Within HR there are many specialist areas that, to the business, may look independent or even disjointed. As we continue to move along the path of HR being a key strategic partner I think it is critical we help business leaders understand the linkages. Two such areas that may on the surface seem unrelated are workforce planning and remuneration. However I believe there is real value in aligning these functions more closely.
Workforce Planning is the perfect culmination of learnings from the past and a deep insight into the future. Similar to Remuneration it is as much art as it is a science. Yet the insights used to develop workforce plans are just as critical to future remuneration decisions.
Economic indicators, availability of skills in the market or salary cost forecasts all line up with the development of the remuneration strategy. Then factor in how critical business engagement is for both these functions – there seems to be a clear need for a unified approach to the collection, analyses and presentation of findings. We don’t want the business to repeat themselves and for HR to look disjointed, do we?
We also need to explore ways of accessing market data suitable for both purposes. Our current salary survey providers, Strategic Pay have a wealth of information in their databases already and these analytics can also support the workforce planning agenda. E.g. Percentage of people in certain job families as a proportion to the workforce.
Although this information needs to be correlated with other factors like technology changes it does give us an interesting starting point. In a current bespoke study we conducted, in partnership with workforce planning, Strategic Pay was able to incorporate questions around the growth of certain jobs over the next three years. This helped in looking at supply and demand ratios and projections for future workforce needs.
A mutual understanding
A closer look at the skills sets required for Remuneration and Workforce Planning (Analytical abilities, Economic awareness, Relationship management etc.), highlights the commonalities between the two streams and the ability for individuals to cross over easily.
Referring to Michael Hibbert’s article earlier this year, The Black Sheep, it is clear that organisations demand a better and deeper understanding of all kinds of data. By partnering together, these two functions are able to provide the connection across data sets and enable better business decisions.
It looks like a match made in heaven to me and is set to bring HR to the strategic forefront even more than before.
A very special acknowledgement to Amanda Oliver, who has been a mentor, driving force and an inspiration. Thank you for your support on this article and helping me work through my thinking.