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Whether it’s the challenge of planning IT projects in today’s dynamic landscape or the struggle associated with assembling quality teams before the commencement of a new project, workforce planning is having a direct impact on success in the IT realm. The majority of organizations are experiencing negative business outcomes as a result of poor workforce planning strategies. Figuring out a better approach to workforce planning will be critical for these organizations as the use of contingent labor is still seen as the most effective way to fill skills gaps needed to complete their projects.
There is a clear connection between the short amount of time spent planning and the frustrations and complications that arise as a result. When organizations are only starting to identify the people they need for a project at 90 days or less out (a full 25 percent don’t start until 30 days or less), they’re putting themselves at a greater risk for setbacks before the project is even off the ground. Additionally, with the average time to onboard a new hire hovering around 50 days, organizations are really putting a strain on the process to get a team assembled and ready to add value quickly.
One solution is to start workforce planning further out than 90 days. Although organizations have to be flexible with the rate of change associated with technology-related projects, the skill sets required for work to begin can be identified earlier in the planning process. By engaging a trusted staffing partner earlier in planning, organizations can leverage that relationship to initiate the search for the right people in the right amount of time to fill those key needs.
They can also turn the mirror on themselves. If organizations already have talented in-house IT professionals with the necessary skill sets, they should work harder to keep them there and engaged in their work. These pros have already been assimilated into the organization, proven their expertise and are familiar with the culture, workforce and IT landscape. Finding ways to retain these professionals and migrate them to newer projects is a great way to leverage internal resources for new initiatives without having to go through the challenges of starting the hiring process from scratch.
Any successful approach to workforce planning will involve putting more time into the process. As the war for talent continues to ensure the most in-demand skill sets will be difficult to procure—and if success in IT initiatives means getting the right people in place on time—adequate planning time to procure those professionals must be a priority for organizations and needs to be incorporated into the overall planning strategy.