People are indeed the greatest assets to an organisation; they are the foundation, but also one of the largest expenses. Thus it is critical that an organisation ensures that these human assets are properly utilised before going ahead and hiring new staff. However, when you have hundreds of projects and many employees, there is bound to be a resource allocation inefficiency – right? Wrong. Resource inefficiency can be greatly reduced – if we make the right choice.
In today’s organisations, it is increasingly difficult to manually calculate an accurate demand and supply of human resources across the organisation. This is because when there are complex organisational structures, matrix management and many projects, the visibility of the work and resources goes down. If you want to enable accurate human resource planning in order to maximise the utilisation of your employees, then it is important that you implement a proper centralised system with the right processes.
This means not just any old system, but one that will keep up with the pace of your dynamic organisation and continuously track the supply and demand of human resources in order to support you bridge the inefficiency gap. When finding the right system for your human resource planning, the following steps are a must:
- Determine current and future SUPPLY of human resources
- Determine current and future DEMAND of human resources
- Match DEMAND with SUPPLY and determine the gap
- Create and implement plan to bridge the gap between DEMAND & SUPPLY
1. Determine the current and future SUPPLY of human resources
Since employees are located all over the place – within departments, teams, projects, offices, cities and countries – it is important to have an organisation wide visibility of the quantity and quality of the people you have employed. To ensure this, it is critical that you have a centralised system in place where the following information can be systematically recorded and managed for the whole organisation:
- Individual Capabilities i.e. skills, trainings, certification.
- Work history on different jobs, projects, functional areas.
- Areas of interest and types of roles an individual can play.
- Current and future work hours of an individual.
- Planned and unplanned leave.
- Public holidays, part time and full time work calendar.
2. Determine the current and future DEMAND of human resources
All organisations have a variety of projects that require different people with different skills, yet tracking this at a micro level is difficult and cumbersome, especially in a large organisation. Hence, it is necessary to have a system in place where the various resource demand created by planned and unplanned activities can be tracked and managed at macro level. A system that tracks project related work and also non project related unplanned work such as business as usual activities and help desk support in order to calculate the total resources demanded.
3. Match DEMAND with SUPPLY and determine the resourcing gaps
It may sound simple, that once the supply and demand of human resources have determined accurately, they need to be matched up. It is important to ensure that the right person for the project is identified based on the required skill, role, training, availability and area of interest. This ensures a win-win situation for both employees and employers and ultimately adds to the profitability of the company. Sounds quite challenging doesn’t it?
It can be easy. Finding the best person for the job can be easily achieved through the use of a robust resource planning and scheduling software – a tool that will find the correct resource with the click of a button. A tool that will measure and track the utilisation of individual human resources, so that new work can be allocated and existing work can be reallocated in order to balance the work load across the organisation and achieve optimum utilisation.
4. Build and implement future plan to bridge the gap between DEMAND & SUPPLY
No matter how much we attempt to reallocate our resources, we often end up with resourcing gaps where we have too many employees, or sometimes don’t have enough. The important thing is being able to identify this in advance and plan accordingly to ensure that our organisations run smoothly. In such situations organisations should ensure they:
- Build and implement a proper recruitment plan based on the resourcing gaps i.e. plan to hire people at the appropriate time.
- Retrain current employees to acquire new set of skills to maximise the efficiency of existing staff.
- Provide better incentives to retain people with rare skill sets – as they can be hard to come by.