How does workforce data help businesses prosper?

Business

Data is everywhere. Decision-makers rely on it to capture problems and stay ahead of uncertainty. It comes as no surprise, then, that hiring processes employed by firms globally are undergoing change.  You need experts on the leadership panel in order to drive decisions regarding who to give what job to.

Staffing a department hinges on utilizing the right skills. Recruiting the best minds, while obvious, is a lot harder than it looks. For one, framing, availability and commitment biases cause hiring managers to close vacancies without confirming that the candidate is indeed, contextually suited for the position. And for another, toxic workplaces and fewer opportunities to grow professionally can create an environment that faces high turnover. This can spell bad news later on when you have a lot of work inflight but have insufficient skills onboard to power it through every step.

Workforce data is important in determining your ability to pick up profitable work. It draws deep insights from people analytics and positions your business such that you know when in the year are you likely to face a crunch or surplus of skills and consequently, the remedial measures needed. Here is how it takes prosperity up a notch;

a.Limitless visibility

Visibility is an unofficial business favorite. After all, what’s the use of information that is conditional? Enterprise-wide visibility into projects and employees let you see tasks pinned to the schedule. It also tracks skills in active use, leading to planned tasks getting marked as completed, in progress and yet to be worked on.  

A resource management software makes it simpler to sift through an assortment of profiles. By knowing the criticality of skills and matching them to the activities to be carried out, you’re assured that projects, internal and routine work are staffed by the right people and that you’re not stretching the load thinly. When the schedule is visible and configured to the rights of the end-user, one can not only catch changes made across the enterprise by individuals but can also ascertain if deadlines are being met or need to be relooked and adjusted in accordance with revised staff availability. 

b.Competency profiling

Shifts in demand fuel an evolution in competencies. In other words, what’s relevant today needn’t necessarily be so a decade down the line. While there’s talk of automation taking away livelihoods, the truth is that it creates new jobs and transforms current ones. And in that process,yes, a few white-collar jobs and most physically demanding blue-collar jobs will be made redundant.

But rather than hire, fire and rehire workers or worse, not have any restructuring strategy in place at all, it’s a more strategic move to determine the relevancy of skills needed for future work. This way, you know how to boost the value and profitability of the work being taken up. After all, competent staff are better engaged and in the position to collaboratively contribute. 

Profiling competencies begin with looking into previous work and previewing inflight progress. Workforce data lets you compile a competency database that runs periodic health checks. It establishes a value-line for skills, and lets you know when and where you’re likely to fall short of or have a surplus of competencies to redistribute optimally.  

c.Multidisciplinary team building

Managing change is a necessary evil, given how hard it is on matrixed teams. Acceptance of it is the first step to building a multidisciplinary team. After all, a change in skills spills over to the dynamics and composition of the team. An effective business leader should not only be able to communicate the necessity but should also enable confidence in the succession line. 

Workforce data analytics lets you tap into potential from within. It separates the leaders from the managers and cultivates soft skills such as creative thinking, leadership, and communication. 

While technology can augment human capabilities, it’s no substitute for a person who can identify and assemble a stable team. Building a multidisciplinary team requires you to take the temperature of the team, and check in on how members work with each other. Inattention to open hostilities and unresolved conflicts only cause people to lose focus on work and drives them further apart. Change management can succeed only if you involve concerned members across the enterprise to win their cooperation. Set teams straight about your expectations and plan future actions in accordance with their receptiveness. Only then can you be assured that everyone is equally ready for what is about to come!

d.Contextual Hiring

You could have the ideal candidate on a resume, but the question is, are they a cultural fit too? Workforce data sheds light on the personality type and skills needed for a particular vacancy. It creates a record history and trail of previous applicants, the interview stage they were at, references provided and responses to questions asked at the time of assessment. Even better, it profiles the type of contract the ones hired previously were on, such as full-time, part-time or a freelancer position filled in for a temporary circumstantial gap.

 This way, you know the rigors of the position and can tap into similar profiles from the applicant pool. For instance, you can get a voiceover artist for a series of branding videos worked on in-house, eliminating the need to create a new position just for a one-off need. This scenario is typical of a business that is reliant on a contingent workforce. Recruiters, in turn, can use more precise criteria to filter out candidates who don’t make the cut, thus reducing the time to hire, train and enable work-readiness. The right hires boost the work environment by hiring only those job seekers whose character references (obtained from previous places of employment) check out.  

Over to you

Hiring processes shouldn’t have a big question mark hanging over it. The data you have on the resource pool should enable you to step your decisions up. More importantly, it should let you measure employee productivity, correct engagement scales and restore work-life balance across the business by homing in on the right talent and opportunities! 

Author Bio :

Mahendra Gupta is a PMP certified business consultant and has been with Saviom Software for the past decade. His specialty lies in enabling portfolio profitability, with globally renowned consulting giants who have benefitted from his expertise on resource management, workforce planning, and service-based efficiency. Follow his work here

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