Although many employers are looking to implement a strategic work force plan to realign human capital needs with the overall business strategy, they are having difficulty finding strategic work force planning leaders because it still a new methodology, and there is no established profile of the successful strategic work force planning leader, according to the recent Executive Action Report from The Conference Board.
"The shortage of experienced (strategic work force plan) leaders is an issue for businesses looking to deploy a three-to-five year (strategic work force plan) process," says Mary B. Young, D.B.A., principal researcher of human capital at The Conference Board. "Interestingly, our research shows that while many (strategic work force plan) leaders have HR experience, that's not always the case. In fact, effective (strategic work force plan) leaders are likely to have diverse work experiences within and outside of HR."
For strategic work force plan leaders to be effective, they must have business knowledge, analytical expertise and change leadership as well as skills in collaboration, stature and credibility, intellectual capacity, communications skills, scenario-planning skills, diverse experience and belief in a strategic work force plan, The Conference Board suggests.
The Conference Board also finds that many strategic work force plan leaders have spent at least some of their careers outside of human resources and have worked in areas including finance, corporate planning, sales, marketing or as a line manager. A background other than HR helps strategic work force plan leaders show the business value as opposed to it strictly being an HR exercise.
As more data is becoming increasingly important in various areas of the business, there's a greater demand for proficiency in analyzing and using data for a competitive advantage. Employers looking to bring on a strategic work force plan leader may not only find few ready candidates, but they may also have to compete with other functions that are recruiting analytical talent, as well.