Workforce planning and people management include lots of analytical work. To forecast workforce demand and supply, detect skill gaps, spot future knowledge opportunities, and more, HR teams wouldn’t manage without workforce planning software.
But how to choose software that’ll help you eliminate the routine work, fulfill your goals, and get your HR team up and running quickly? We wrote this blog post with four factors you should consider choosing workforce planning software wisely. Read on and enjoy!
1. Understand your goals and tasks
Workforce planning software can solve several tasks at once. In order not to get lost in the sea of features, you need a list of goals and objectives you want to fulfill with workforce planning software.
Typical workforce planning tasks concern:
- Hiring needs. What headcount is necessary to cover your business needs? Is there a disbalance between workforce demand and supply?
- Skill management. What skills you currently lack and will you lack in the future? What are the reskilling and upskilling opportunities for your organization?
- Workforce transformation. How do we conduct mergers, acquisitions, digital transformation activities smoothly?
For example, one of our clients, Lufthansa Systems Hungary, struggled with the harsh talent competition in the IT industry and uncertainty in future skills. Together with the HRForecast team, the company analyzed their existing workforce and detected current skill gaps that helped them determine future-readiness and develop steps to tackle skill gaps.
The bottom line: Your into tasks you need to solve and software features accordingly. Therefore, step one in your software selection process is to make up a list of objectives and tasks you’d want to achieve. For example, you can study the experience of other companies that operate in your niche.
2. Make up a list of must-have features
The goal of workforce planning software is to connect business goals with workforce capacity. You don’t necessarily need to acquire a complicated toolset with the functionality you won’t use to achieve this goal.
In order not to get lost in the sea of options, go through this list of must-have features for workforce planning software:
Workforce gap analysis. This functionality allows HR teams to identify disbalance in workforce capacities; find workforce inconsistencies across different business units, departments, locations, etc.; track vital metrics like attrition and turnover; conduct headcount planning; and so on.
Skills gap analysis. A skills management module helps you detect current and future skill gaps. The module helps you build an internal talent marketplace based on actionable data and opens new learning and retention possibilities for your workforce.
Talent acquisition planning. An essential part of workforce planning is building a hypothesis and an action plan to tackle the identified issues. Talent acquisition planning helps you tweak your recruitment strategy to meet business challenges like the company’s growth, mergers, acquisitions, and so on.
Workforce forecasting. This module helps HR teams simulate workforce scenarios and unpredictable events to test out the action plans before committing to ones. With accumulated knowledge at hand, workforce planning software helps you save resources on implementing HR strategies, test their feasibility, and predict impact.
Analytics and reporting. Data-driven HR processes are impossible without tracking actionable metrics and timely reports. This functionality helps you gather vital metrics and indicators, benchmark the received data against your KPIs and OKRs, and maximize decision-making at your organization.
3. Check integration and customization capabilities
The next issue to clarify is whether software can be easily integrated with your existing software, hosting, and data ecosystem. By figuring out the nitty-gritty integration details at the very start, you’ll save time and finances later.
Don’t forget to tick the customization capability off your list before your purchase the workforce planning software.
Here are the critical questions to answer at this stage:
“What are the possible risks of integrating the software into my existing ecosystem?”
“How easy is it to upgrade software?”
“Can I customize the software on my own or with my in-house IT department, or do I need specialists from vendor’s size to make necessary changes?”
“How much do I need to customize the software to meet my business goals?”
4. Check pricing options
If you don’t want to overrun your budget, choose the right pricing option. Some of the popular options include:
- Package-based subscription. This is one of the most popular pricing options in the SaaS industry. The idea is simple: the more features, connected users, or capacities you need, the more advanced package you require. When choosing the subscription package, consider your current and future growth. For example, you may quickly exceed the basic package and will need to upgrade to a more expensive version.
- Pay-per-user. The name of this pricing plan is explicit: you pay for each user (employee) connected to the software. It’s a workable option for small teams. However, as you grow, you may overrun your budgets.
- Quote-based plan. This plan is suitable for companies that require a fully customized piece of software or its specific part. In this case, you don’t have to pay for the features you don’t need.
- Perpetual licensing. With perpetual licensing, you own your data completely (which is great for security concerns) and pay the vendor for maintenance, upgrades, customization, and support. Typically, the price in terms of perpetual licensing depends on the number of software users.
smartPlan is your workforce planning destination
HRForecast offers a comprehensive suite of tools for market intelligence, skills management, and workforce planning. Check out smartPlan, our workforce planning software that utilizes Big Data and AI to forecast future workforce and skills demand, simulate future events, and conduct a 360-view analysis on your current workforce situation. Or, contact our sales team off-hand to find out more about benefits you can get and pricing options for your organization.