Talent Acquisition and Strategic Workforce Planning: A Powerful Partnership | The Conference Board

Workforce Planning

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Strategic workforce planning (SWP) is a priority for many leaders, but its implementation poses challenges for numerous organizations. A recent 28-page report by BCG and WFPMA evaluating 32 HR and talent practices revealed that SWP ranks second out of 32 HR and talent practices with the most substantial gap between its importance and the organizations’ capability to execute it effectively. One opportunity for closing this gap is strengthening the collaboration and synergies between SWP and talent acquisition (TA) practitioners in organizations. As noted in this 15-page paper, TA is the HR function responsible for finding and hiring new workers, while SWP is the process that identifies the right mix of talent needed to achieve future organizational goals. While TA professionals have much to contribute to this process, surprisingly, they are not always included. It’s essential that TA play an active role in SWP so organizations can reap the benefits of this powerful partnership. One suggestion is providing TA with access to SWP data, which is often “guarded” and not accessible to TA—limiting their ability to contribute to SWP. Another suggestion is for Chief HR Officers to remove barriers to the structural integration of SWP and TA functions, such as aligning them under common leadership. The paper delves into other ideas, including a diagnostic (Figure 2) that helps organizations assess their SWP maturity and outline steps for progress.