If Strategic Workforce Planning – or SWP – isn’t on your corporate radar, then it certainly should be. Why? Because SWP is one of the critical HR practices that combines an organisation’s overall strategy with its workforce strategy. Ignore it at your peril.

For two similar organisations with similar product portfolios in similar locations, effective SWP could be the key differentiator in gaining a competitive advantage over its rival. Aligning people strategy more closely with overall business strategy allows both greater speed to market and more agile adoption of change agendas, not least because the lead time to resource critical projects is decreased.

Most of the Chief Executives involved in this year’s Odgers Berndtson ‘CEO X 1 Day’ initiative cited the pace of ‘perpetual change’ as the most pressing challenge facing their organisation. Many of the CEOs also highlighted continuing access to talent and the importance of attracting, developing and retaining good people as an area of focus. This is likely to be more achievable through effective SWP and links directly to the importance of better collaboration between the Board and senior HR stakeholders.

Berwick Talent Solutions* is embarking on a major piece of international SWP research that aims to provide significant insight into the maturity of SWP among global organisations, to identify trends and to understand the barriers and obstacles to effective adoption. 

We are seeking input from HR professionals on what effect the many issues faced by businesses today (diversity and inclusion, Brexit, the millennial wish list and AI, among others) have on their ability to embed SWP effectively.

We want to hear from businesses that have compelling cases for SWP – where it has given them a clear competitive advantage – and from those who feel their businesses have suffered from a lack of effective SWP.

*Berwick Talent Solutions delivers project and volume recruitment campaigns for mid-senior management level and specialist roles, and critical talent intelligence via its market mapping and pipeline projects. Its projects are driven by business growth, change or transition, and often, but not exclusively, by factors such as expansion, M&A, relocation, a new site opening or a new product launch. It operates across the commercial, not-for-profit and public sectors, and mirrors the Berwick Partners and Odgers Berndtson functional and sector specialisms.

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