Advice and Information for Finance Professionals

Does Your Business Have the Right People with the Right Skills for the Future?

Guest Author

By Mark Rinaldi, Director of Product Management, Oracle

According to PwC’s 21st Annual Global CEO Survey, 80 percent of CEOs worry about the availability of key skills in the future. This figure is up from 77% in 2017, and 63% five years ago. CFOs are even less optimistic: a new report from The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants and Oracle finds that only 10 percent of finance leaders are confident their teams have the skills needed to support company ambitions.

The rise of artificial intelligence, automation, and demographic shifts are all driving to increase the importance of a solid people strategy.  Finding and hiring employees with the key skills they need to achieve corporate goals is increasingly a top executive priority and board-level concern.   

Leading organizations are taking a hard look at planning the human resource needs of their businesses—identifying what skills they will need in the future and managing the supply and demand of those skills.

Collaboration Between HR and Finance

While most companies set up long-range plans tied to financial goals 5 to 10 years out, HR teams often are not part of that planning. In fact, only 57 percent of HR leaders think their company has a clear understanding of the skills employees will need for a digital future, and fewer still—just 16 percent—think their company is well prepared to deal with the change in necessary skills.

Yet getting the right workforce in place is not just the responsibility of HR. It’s a C-suite and board issue, too. Companies can’t reach their strategic goals without the right talent, so the executive team, finance, HR, and line managers all need to be part of the talent-planning process.

The skills gaps that executives worry about most include data science, analytics, and general technology skills across all industries. To remain employable, 74 percent of employees say they are ready to learn new skills or retrain, but employers need to know what those workforce needs are going to be before they can develop a future-focused strategy.

Getting the right people with the right skills at the right costs requires buy-in from multiple departments and collaboration between HR and finance. Traditional HR solutions cover learning, employee sourcing, talent and performance management, but they haven’t typically helped organizations plan for the future. On the finance side, traditional workforce planning addresses salary and compensation planning. Strategic workforce planning (SWP) brings the two sides together and helps translate the long-term corporate strategy into execution by ensuring that the workforce is in place to deliver on the plan.

It helps answer questions like: Do you need to retrain the existing workforce? Do you need to hire external help? What is natural attrition going to do to existing resources? How do you prevent that attrition and increase employee retention? What about the graying of your workforce? What will happen if 5 percent of your employees in critical roles retire next year? Do you have employees in the pipeline who can support market expansion?

With strategic workforce planning, you can acquire a more skilled and innovative workforce, implement on your long-term business strategy, increase productivity, and increase staff engagement and retention.

Collaborative Strategies Need Collaborative Tools

Oracle Strategic Workforce Planning can help you proactively plan and optimize your workforce, assess talent and skills gaps, visualize predicted impact on headcount and cost, and structure the organization to support the ever-accelerating pace of change in the business.  And because it is built on the unified Oracle Cloud platform and fully integrated, it allows your organization to link all strategic business objectives to one another, and helps ensure that your most vital assets—your human resources—are fully understood and managed:

  • Best Practice Headcount Planning: Industry-leading planning framework for enterprise-wide headcount planning.
  • Driver-based:  Utilize strategic operational assumptions to match the ‘supply and demands’ on the workforce.
  • Scenario Analysis:  Perform robust ‘what-if’ analysis across numerous economic and operational scenarios.
  • Predictive Analytics:  Leverage predictive algorithms to improve accuracy.
  • Stay Connected:  HR-owned, but still aligned with the corporate financial planning process

Learn more about Oracle Strategic Workforce Planning.

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