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How do you manage the expectations of a multigenerational workforce?

Generational Differences

Whatever way you look at it, today’s workforce is multigenerational.

The Boomers, Xers and Millennials all work together in a professional environment with very different life experiences, values and preferences.

But are there really significant differences between the expectations, needs and wants of the different generations at work? It certainly poses a different set of challenges and opportunities for today’s HR and Talent Management teams.

Much has been written about the shift in focus for recruitment and retention initiatives, particularly around diversity and inclusion. But when push comes to shove, doesn’t everyone want meaningful work and the opportunity to progress and personally develop?

Hudson researchers asked over 1,000 professionals about their motivations, aspirations and drivers in the workplace. When we really drilled down into the nitty gritty of the data, what we found were very clear differences in what motivates the different generations.

No surprises there. But, the results certainly bust the myths of what perhaps you might expect for each of these generations.

How to Motivate the Different Generations

Let’s start with the Baby Boomers. Many Boomers will be working transitionally as they phase themselves into retirement. They’ll take with them the experience, insights and capability to work within and lead organizations which have seen tougher times. The mentoring and coaching skills of this generation could be valuable to Gen X and Y. As Boomers wish to transition from the workplace, companies should seize the opportunity to utilize this generation as internal consultants 1-2 days a week, rather than the five.

Generation X is driven by cultural fit. More specifically… is your business the right cultural fit for them? It’s a great time to target this candidate pool as overall the Gen Xers aren’t raving about their companies’ cultures. Only 17% of Gen X surveyed rated their work culture as very positive. To really motivate this group, review how you are positioned through your employer value proposition. Does your workplace culture come through on your website, LinkedIn company page and social media feeds?

Generation Y is ready to move with over half of those surveyed having updated their resume or LinkedIn profile in the last 6 months. Our studies show that over half of employers are failing to develop a social culture, which is not good if you’re trying to attract top talent within this generation. Millennials seek collaborative workspaces where they can network and connect. When this group researches a company they want to work for, the company website is their first port of call.

When thinking about your recruitment and retention strategy for 2016, don’t forget to take generational attitudes into consideration for the talent you seek to attract and retain.


The 8 Most Common Workforce Planning Pitfalls to Avoid

Workforce Planning Pitfalls

Getting Workforce Planning right requires a smart balance of technology tools, scenario planning, advanced analytics and strategic insight.

First and foremost, for Workforce Planning to achieve its purpose, the CHRO/VP of HR either needs to have a seat at the strategy table or be kept informed about important business initiatives at their inception. Executive leadership knows where it wants to grow the business; the CHRO must be perceived as a chief ally in carrying this out.

The goal is to align long-term workforce needs with long-term strategic goals. Senior business leaders typically develop three-year strategic plans; HR and Talent Acquisition need to forecast workforce demands against this projection, identify challenges and ensure that needs are met. Since strategic plans are not static, this process must be dynamic. The evaluation of skill sets in relation to growth initiatives must be continuous.

The 8 Most Common Workforce Planning Pitfalls to Avoid

1. Lack of Commitment – This is not a short-term exercise or one-time event. It’s important to secure the appropriate commitment from the CEO, the business line leaders and the Workforce Planning Team.

2. Going Too Junior – You won’t reach the desired outcome if the Workforce Planning Team consists of junior people. Senior leaders must drive the initiative forward and flag changes in business strategy to alert Talent Acquisition of possible workforce consequences.

3. It’s an “HR Problem” – The CHRO often spearheads Workforce Planning and is a key player, but the business must own the process since it is tied to business strategy.

4. All Or Nothing – If you try to do too much at once, the process will become overwhelming and the team will give up. Start with a manageable pilot and grow from there.

5. Obsessing Over Stats – We’ve seen teams take one year to pull together stats. Use what you’ve got. Sometimes it’s a best guess, but don’t let the data derail the project.

6. Reactive Recruitment – One major advantage of Workforce Planning is that the company moves out of reactive mode. If the recruitment team is still only reactive, something is broken.

7. External-Only Recruitment Focus – Don’t forget the wealth of internal skill sets already in the company. A good process includes internal mobility, succession planning and professional development. Include internal employees in the recruitment plan.

8. No Budget for Training – Part of Workforce Planning involves identifying internal talent you can move into key roles with some basic training. If no training budget exists, this internal talent cannot be leveraged.

Need support with Workforce Planning? Hudson has tools, processes and templates that can help you engage with your business leaders. Contact us

Get Hudson’s step-by-step guide to Strategic Workforce Planning titled “Strategic Workforce Planning: A Critical Differentiator for Businesses.” (No registration required). Click here to download.


Workforce Planning Data: What Do You Need?

Workforce Planning Data

When it comes to Workforce Planning Data, the key is to avoid getting overwhelmed, get what you can get, and use that as a launching point. At the beginning it’s unlikely you’ll have every last piece of data or analytics you need, but use what you have, create the plan, activate the plan, gather more data as you go, and adjust as necessary.

Workforce Plans are always meant to be living and breathing documents. The market will change, business objectives will change, but without any sort of workforce plan the business will always be in reactive mode.   

What workforce planning data should you collect?

Supporting Data Requirements

  • Number of permanent employees, location, role type, salaries
  • Number of contractors, location, roles, pay rate
  • Bonus data: Prior work history information to identify additional skill sets. Some companies require employees to register within the HRIS so that Talent Acquisition may search for skill sets when needed. Without an HRIS, it may be challenging to obtain this information. For mid-market companies this is a bonus that will make your life easier, but for companies with more than 50,000 employees this is critical for Workforce Planning. If you don’t have it today, work on getting it.

Data for Continuous Improvement
As a general rule, here are the key statistics to benchmark as you execute the Workforce Plan:

  • Retention statistics (identify areas with turnover issues)
  • Time-to-Fill Statistics
  • Cost-Per-Hire
  • Percentage of open positions. How long?
  • Bonus data (but highly recommended): Predictive analytics about who is at risk

Ongoing Evaluation
HR and Talent Acquisition should review the Workforce Plan every three months, and meet with the formal Workforce Planning team (comprised of senior-level business stakeholders) every six months to keep them engaged in the process. Naturally, the Workforce Planning team would meet to respond to any major market changes or shifts in the business plan.

As you continuously evaluate the outcomes, analyze the Workforce Plan effectiveness along the way. Are roles being filled faster? Is retention improving? Are we achieving the expected results? Are we getting the necessary cooperation from the field? This way you’ll identify gaps and course correct as necessary.

Need support with Workforce Planning? Hudson has tools, processes and templates that can help you engage with your business leaders. Contact us

Get Hudson’s step-by-step guide to Strategic Workforce Planning titled “Strategic Workforce Planning: A Critical Differentiator for Businesses.” (No registration required). Click here to download.





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Hudson is a global talent solutions company. We help transform the workplace and unleash the full potential of organizations and individuals. Our expert team and proprietary tools provide you with unique insights and services that help you maximize your success. Across 20 countries, we deliver a range of recruitment, talent management and recruitment process outsourcing solutions to get you and your business where you want to be.