29 July 2015

Interview with Stephen Moore on all things workforce planning

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Workforce planning is one of the most significant challenges for companies across the country– large and small. It involves not only human resource factors, but how these factors tie in to overall strategic plans, financial and budget considerations, environmental issues and legislative requirements.
Without planning human resource needs and future talent requirements it is unlikely that organisations will effectively fulfill their future business plans and objectives.
I recently sat down Stephen Moore, Founding Director of Optimum Performance and the facilitator of our upcoming Workforce Planning & Resourcing Masterclass to discuss his background and all things workforce planning. Here’s what he had to say…
Luana: So Stephen, you’re a true HR industry veteran. What attracted you to the HR industry in the first place?
Stephen: My first job after university was as a management trainee with Trans Australia Airlines at Brisbane Airport where my initial posting was in the Personnel Department. It was here that I quickly realised that an effective HR Department touches just about every part of an organisation and that life is never dull or boring… a new (unexpected) challenge happens just about every day. I couldn’t have asked for more, 37 years later I remain proud of my profession and the contribution we make inside organisations.
Luana: 37 years wow! What are you most passionate about?
Stephen: Enabling HR professionals to embrace and thereafter utilise HR metrics, analytics and forecasting tools in order to continuously improve workforce management and performance in their organisations. As a result, transform HR Departments from working in the business to working on the business, the key that unlocks the door to the executive table.
Luana: How can HR professionals ensure that they are delivering the ‘right’ employees in a timely way in today’s fast paced working environment?
Stephen: Well I guess the first question to ask is what does right mean? Right skills? Right match? Right timing? Right number? Right outlay/expenditure? To me, all of these criteria are important, and all form an integral component of workforce labour demand planning.
By effectively forecasting future workforce job families, headcount & core competencies, HR Departments can develop effective resourcing strategies that deliver the right people, at the right time, in the right place too.
Luana: Right, effective forecasting is key. What is one thing that all HR professionals should know about workforce planning?
Stephen: That it is not simply one resourcing tool… far from it. When properly structured and executed, workforce planning enables organisations to effectively manage their annual labour costs, eliminate duplication and waste, procure people at least risk and cost to the business, and to pro-actively look out over the horizon in order to identify and address inherent structural and demographics issues before it is too late.
Luana: What should HR professionals be prioritising in 2015?
Stephen: In a climate of slowing economic growth and rising unemployment rates, I would suggest that astute HR professionals focus their attention on programs/strategies that enhance workforce productivity and utilisation and thereby reduced annual labour expenditure within their organisations before the bean-counters propose the short-term destructive path towards down-sizing and redundancies.
Luana: Stephen, thank you for joining us today. It’s been a pleasure speaking with you and we look forward to hearing more insights from you at our upcoming Workforce Planning & Resourcing Masterclass.
From a young age Luana wanted to become a teacher. She would line up her teddies in a row and teach them for hours on end. However, she eventually grew tired of their nonchalance and has ended up leading a team of producers instead- which she finds far more fulfilling and stimulating!  
Luana comes from an experienced production and management background. She has produced and topic generated events across Asia and Australia.
Luana enjoys learning about emerging trends and drivers for change and loves the notion of the 'butterfly effect'- that change can start small but grow immeasurably through a ripple effect.

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