As your business grows and evolves, having a concerted strategic workforce planning strategy in place is essential. Why? Without consistently adding a substantial number of high-performers across your org over time, achieving your long-term growth goals and overall business objectives becomes all the more difficult.

(That is to say, one that routinely aids large-scale employers with mapping out their respective headcount needs and talent management strategies for the months, and even years, ahead and developing a distinct action recruiting and hiring action plan to help them realize said vision.)

With that in mind, let’s explore exactly how today’s top RPO service providers support strategic workforce planning for their client base — and how collaborating with one of these firms can help you add top talent to teams throughout your business, lower employee turnover, and, at the end of the day, help your company achieve its unique strategic goals that will drive your business forward.

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What is strategic workforce planning?

In case you needed some clarity on what we’re talking about:

  • Strategic workforce planning involves the nitty-gritty preparations conducted by your executive staff with the aim of identifying talent needs and skills gaps that exist company-wide and creating a game plan to rectify those issues.

Your CEO, CFO, and CRO (and perhaps other three-letter e-staff members) play the biggest parts in this process. However, HR and talent leaders also have a seat at the table for these discussions. And, when the hiring needs are so complex, RPO firms are often brought in to offer their insight and ideas.

By creating a strategic plan that helps you “scheme” to fill critical roles that directly impact your bottom line, you can ensure you have the talent needed for your company’s continued growth.

  • A common reason many employer struggle with strategic workforce planning today is that business leaders — particularly those in talent acquisition — operate in a “transactional environment,” global management consulting expert John Vlastelica recently shared with SHRM.

“TA is dealing with so much need that it can’t help but be reactive,” said John. “There’s not enough time spent with the business, outlining hiring goals, conducting quarterly business reviews, updating turnover forecasts, reviewing talent composition, going over succession planning, or starting proactive sourcing conversations.”

Because of the time and resource constraints modern HR and talent leaders (not to mention chief executives) face today, many are turning to RPOs to support their workforce planning efforts.

And they’re wise to do so.

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How an RPO firm can assist with your strategic workforce planning

As your business increasingly looks to optimize your recruiting and hiring processes and develop a future-ready workforce, you need to adopt a future-forward strategic planning mindset — and liaise with professionals who have considerable experience with and expertise in such planning.

By investing the services of a reputable RPO agency, your org can tap into the extensive knowledge, expert tools, and adept insights of said recruitment firm to effectively prepare for the future.

Here are five key ways an RPO agency can enhance your strategic workforce planning process.

1) Building a workforce that aligns with business goals

The first aspect of strategic workforce planning is aligning your workforce to your company’s long-term goals and objectives. A strong RPO agency can assist you in this process by analyzing your org’s business goals for the coming years, then determining the required skill sets to achieve those objectives and developing a TA strategy that matches your current and future needs.

Working with an RPO provider can ensure your org’s talent acquisition efforts align with your long-term strategic objectives. This partnership ensures that you always hire the right candidates, efficiently managing their skillset and qualifications, reducing any skill gaps, and forecasting future workforce needs to ensure a smooth transition as you grow, scale, and evolve as a business.

2) Identifying and addressing role- and team-based gaps

Speaking of gaps, one critical component of successful strategic workforce planning is identifying and addressing any roles or skills that are missing from departments company-wide.

A best-in-class RPO agency can assess your current workforce makeup and make data-backed recommendations regarding which positions and business units to prioritize first (i.e., in the months ahead) and which can wait, so to speak (i.e., mid-level roles employers don’t need to fill ASAP).

Once these gaps are identified, your RPO partner can help you create a strategic plan to address them through targeted talent acquisition, training, and development programs. This ensures your company has the necessary skills available within its org to achieve long-term success, meet ever-changing business demands, better compete for customers, and realize your revenue goals.

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3) Streamlining the entire workforce planning process

One of the main benefits of working with an RPO agency is their ability to streamline the workforce planning process. RPO providers have dedicated teams of recruitment experts who assist your organization in creating a strategic plan to determine the number of employees required to meet future demand.

  • By staying up-to-date with current labor market trends and leveraging advanced tech like talent analytics, RPOs provide valuable insights that assist in devising an effective workforce plan.

With knowledge of various aspects of recruitment, an RPO agency can spot efficiencies, reduce bottlenecks, and cut down the time it takes to identify, attract, and onboard talented individuals.

What’s more, a top RPO firm can help your org outline a clear set of action plans and define long-term goals for your future workforce. As a result, your talent acquisition strategy becomes more targeted and deliberate, ultimately contributing to the overall business strategy in the long run.

4) Enhancing your entire talent acquisition strategy

Talent acquisition is a key component of strategic workforce planning. By working with an RPO, you can ensure your org is prepared to source, attract, and retain top talent by both using their expertise and tech platforms.

Just as your in-house TA team (ideally and hopefully) has an advanced applicant tracking system in place to work from and execute their candidate relationship management strategies, the best RPO service providers also leverage a comprehensive suite of “next-gen” recruiting solutions.

Proven recruitment process outsourcing agencies use rich, real-time insights and analytics from their ATS and tech stack at large to deliver more efficient and effective hiring practices, optimizing your talent acquisition efforts to better serve your organization’s long-term needs.

Simply put, by outsourcing your recruitment efforts to an RPO provider, you can often reduce costs and shorten hiring timelines, allowing your internal team to focus on core business responsibilities.

5) Support your executive-level succession planning

As the world of work continues to evolve at a rapid pace, preparing for the future is paramount for the success of any organization. This means taking a proactive approach to anticipating future workforce needs and adapting to those changes. (This is especially true for C-level and managerial roles).

Scenario analysis considers the potential political, economic, social, and technological changes that may impact your organization in the future, helping you identify possible workforce outcomes and adjust your strategic workforce planning accordingly. Succession planning ensures that your company has a pipeline of future leaders ready to step into key roles when the opportunity arises.

Partnering with an RPO agency like NXTThing, which provides custom talent acquisition reporting for clients, helps provide the foundation for strategic workforce planning to ensure you reach your goals.

Need help executing your strategic workforce planning? Chat with the NXTThing team today. Our recruitment experts can explain how they can aid your TA efforts and help your business grow.

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