Introducing New Workforce Planning Capabilities in Workday

Workday just received some incredible recognition in “The Forrester WaveTM: SaaS HR Management Systems, Q4 2014,” published by Forrester Research, Inc. We are very honored by this recognition of our commitment to developing great products and our passion for creating delightful customer experiences.

Yet here’s the thing: With leadership, you’re never resting. You have a huge responsibility to keep innovating and finding new ways to deliver value in the marketplace. That’s why the Workday product team has been working hard to deepen capabilities that help customers with their strategic planning initiatives, with the most recent incarnation being a new supply and demand analysis tool.

Think of it as a business planning tool that helps HR and business leaders prepare for changes in the future and respond to shifting business priorities. Goals for global expansion, new products, big campaigns, and new customers all hinge on having the right talent at the right time, and in the right places. This pressure is intensified for organizations that are hiring and expanding in regions and in job functions where talent is scarce and comes at a premium—a challenge many of us are dealing with right now.

Yet in talking with folks about how workforce planning happens now, we’ve heard scenarios like this:  You were up late into the wee hours, trying to finish a headcount plan in a spreadsheet based on assumptions and old data. Then after some stressful scrambling to perfect the numbers, you share your completed plan with the finance team only to learn their starting numbers are radically different than yours.

Such scenarios can be immobilizing. Because when HR is stuck at the basics, they’re a long way off from providing strategic direction about what to do next. A huge part of this problem is not having the tools to pull accurate, consistent data together in a way that tells the stories that leaders can understand and then act upon.

Let’s say that next quarter your organization’s two top initiatives are to expand in the Philippines and to start development on a major new product. To support these goals, the first step is to really understand your headcount—not just the number of people you have, but your attrition rates, how much you’re hiring within the company, the cost of your workforce, and so on. Then you need to know how attrition, hiring, and costs are trending within certain geographic locations and departments.

Once you understand your supply, you can determine if you can meet your demand for talent to support the business initiatives. If you discover your attrition rate, for example, is high in regions or product groups involved in these plans, you can then develop the right hiring strategies to support them.

This strategy works particularly well in Workday, because all the information our customers need is already in their core HCM system. At the same time, planning tools such as supply and demand analysis are configurable to the needs of each organization.

Please take a moment to check out the demo at the link above, and let me know what you think. In the meantime, I look forward to seeing many of you at the HR Technology Conference and Expo in Las Vegas this week (here’s where Workday will be). Let’s have fun, keep learning, and keep innovating. We’ll find time to rest later.