As the labor market tightens, companies are finding it harder to find workers who have the skills they need. In response, more businesses are adopting strategies known as workforce planning, or workforce analytics. These involve using technology and data analysis to anticipate future demand for different types of workers, understand how much of each type of worker is available in any given location, and then plan how to meet future staffing needs. AI, big data, and HR automation can all help with these efforts. HR automation refers to the use of software programs that can automate routine manual tasks in HR. With this type of software, a company can set up rules in order to streamline business processes without putting employee data at risk. The result is that instead of employees performing a task manually once or twice per day (e.g., updating files), they can do so once or twice per week (e.g., updating a file once and then letting the program update it again every Friday). These five examples show how HR automation can help your workforce planning efforts.
HR analytics and workforce planning
HR analytics is the use of data about employees to inform business decision-making. This may include things like turnover rates, average hours worked per week, average productivity rates, and employee job satisfaction. It can also include things like projections of future demand for different types of workers, an analysis of the skills and education levels of current employees, and the availability of workers in different locations. In short, it is about using data and analysis to make better decisions. HR planning is the process by which a company anticipates what types of workers it will need in the future, and then plans how to hire and train those workers before they are needed. This is different from traditional staffing, which is done on a reactive basis, in that it involves anticipating future needs.
AI-enabled workforce forecasting
As noted above, workforce planning typically involves predicting the types and numbers of workers you will need in the future. Predictive analytics are used to make these predictions based on various factors such as the number of employees you currently have, the skills of those employees, the current economic climate, and the timing of upcoming projects. AI enables workforce forecasting by applying algorithms to all of this information, and then making predictions about the type and number of workers you will need in the future. AI will not replace human decision-making in this process, but rather will help inform business leaders about the potential outcomes of different types of decisions.
Automatic recruiting refers to the process of using software to search and screen potential candidates. This may be as simple as downloading a database of resumes from your company’s website. More advanced software can be used to search multiple job boards and social media platforms, and then screen and rank candidates based on their skills and experience. Automated recruiting can help you plan for future employee needs by allowing you to search for candidates in advance. Instead of hiring someone and then trying to find additional candidates to fill the open positions, you can search for candidates before there are open positions. This means you can increase the likelihood of hiring people who have the skills you will need in the future.
Automated employee retention
Retention is one of the biggest challenges organizations face. They have trouble retaining workers, especially in key positions. More than half of U.S. workers plan to leave their jobs within the next year—and only one in 10 say they are happy at work. Automated employee retention can help organizations identify employees who are at risk of leaving and then take steps to keep them. This data can then be used to help you predict when other employees will leave. This may seem like an inexact science, but data shows that if you want to keep employees you must intervene before they leave. And the best way to predict when employees will leave is to look at the data.
Automated job rotations for training and development
More than half of U.S. workers report that they are actively disengaged from their jobs, meaning they are unproductive and unhappy at work. With so many unhappy employees, companies have found that investing in training and development programs is the only way to improve this situation. Automated job rotations for training and development enable you to better plan for future skill shortages. For example, you can use data about which skills are needed for upcoming projects, and then mix and match employees to fill those positions with people who have the needed skills. This will help you plan for future skill shortages and keep your company from falling behind on important projects.
HR automation is one of the most effective ways to help meet your workforce planning needs. It can help you forecast future needs, find the best candidates, and retain your existing employees. And it can do all of this while helping you reduce costs. In fact, according to research, the costs associated with managing HR operations could be reduced by as much as 50% by using HR automation.