By Peter Hoffman

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the most rapid transformation in the workforce and work itself. Organisations disrupted themselves through rapid digital transformation and innovation and are now moving at a pace that demands agility and adaptability from the available talent.

The transformation has driven revision of organisational business models in the post-pandemic recovery phase. This necessitates HR leaders to further develop agile methods of working and rethink the traditional FTE role and responsibilities; and identify where and what the impact will be on their organisation’s talent and skill needs – both in the short and longer term.

With digital transformation also driving the relationship between employers and employees, the location of talent and skills is no longer limited by the geographic location of the organisation. With talent being available anywhere, the key drivers of competition for talent have changed. Options for acquiring lower-cost talent are expanding and the recruitment of diverse talent is becoming easier. With remote working enabling flexibility, productivity and cost savings; the approach to talent planning is changing from an organisational role-based approach to a workflow and skills-cluster based approach. From a manpower planning perspective, this approach is driving a focus on where, when, and how to secure and move talent and skills to critical workflows – drawing on talent both from within and outside of the organisation.

With talent being available anywhere, the key drivers of competition for talent have changed.

In the post-pandemic recovery phase, effective planning may provide for a focus in four key areas. The first area addresses the assessment of internal and external business conditions within the context of revised business models to understand how skill needs have changed or could change in the future and how to link business transformation to the organisation’s people strategy. The second area is the identification of the critical skills needed to competitively position the organisation together with an assessment of the time frame required to gather the required talent. The third area covers the analysis of currently available skills, with consideration of internal capability and external supply within the context of the key drivers of competition for talent. The final area focuses on creating a flexible / multiple scenario manpower plan around the current and future skill needs – including holistically reviewing the composition and size of the future workforce – with due consideration of the dynamics related to talent within the labour market.

With changing conditions, employees need to adapt whilst organisations need to ensure employees are matched to the new roles and activities flowing from revised business models. Manpower planning needs to consider what reskilling and upskilling is required in the post-pandemic recovery phase to achieve revised organisational objectives – with a talent strategy that suitably promotes the development of digital and cognitive capabilities, social and emotional skills, adaptability, and resilience. This should be supported by high levels of employee communication and engagement, with roadmaps being developed for employees following the mapping of current skill to anticipated future skill requirements.

With changing conditions, employees need to adapt whilst organisations need to ensure employees are matched to the new roles and activities flowing from revised business models.

Adapting employees’ skills and roles to the post-pandemic ways of working are vital to building operating-model resilience, with a commitment to driving learning and development programmes and reskilling being crucial to positioning organisations for strategic success, whilst creating resource capability to position organisations for future disruptions.

Upskill yourself to fully understand the costs involved with HR that allow them to present a realistic case to management. Join ‘Budgeting & Budget Control of the HR Function / Effective Manpower Planning’ training course that will feature case studies, business simulation and practical group exercises to show delegates how to prepare, monitor and control the HR budget and, most importantly, understand the link between organisational finance and HR budgets.