Workforce Planning: Does your candidate experience undermine the plan?
No matter how thorough your workforce planning process, shortages in the availability of candidates with the required skills are likely to be the biggest cause of resourcing pain. You’ll no doubt understand the supply and demand issues, there may be a well thought out attraction strategy, but the real test of any workforce plan is the successful delivery of essential talent where and when it is needed. Are you measuring everything about this process that you can?
If effective workforce planning is the ‘right people with the right skills in the right place at the right time’, then the quality of the journey into the organisation is crucial. Candidates with in-demand skill sets tend to know they are in a strong position, which is all the more reason to understand their views about the recruitment process. After all, if this experience fails to live up to expectations then key talent is not only lost – but that talent is likely to join a competitor. Even worse, they may even share any negative experiences within their network – as research increasingly suggests.
Take, for example, the supply of engineers in the UK. A recent study by the Royal Academy of Engineering, found that British industry will need 100,000 new graduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects every year until 2020 just to maintain current employment numbers. However, the UK currently produces 46,000 engineering graduates each year in a sector that is already acknowledged as a recruitment hotspot. So, for any organisation recruiting engineers (graduates or experienced hires) a good candidate experience is essential – as it is in any sector where demand exceeds supply.
For a data driven discipline like workforce planning, measuring the candidate experience could perhaps provide the most crucial information of all – how the recruitment process is seen by the critical talent you need – which, if negative, is potentially the point where all the best planning unravels. And, while employers are showing an increasing interest in the candidate experience, many only measure the views of successful candidates – and so miss the really interesting data on the factors that cause disengagement in the recruitment process.
Mystery Applicant is an award winning feedback tool, specifically designed to measure the candidate experience in real time. It can support workforce planning by delivering a great deal of insightful data exploring candidates influences, motivations and expectations – including how perception shifts across the hiring process. It also allows benchmarking of this data against other employers.
Ultimately, identifying issues in the recruitment process allows interventions to take place to improve the candidate experience. As far as workforce planning is concerned, this means greater numbers of the right people with the right skills in the right place (your organisation) – at the right time.