Talent Management and Workforce Planning


Training workers is a practice that seeks to ensure that employees meet the needs for future skills. The three main stakeholders in this practice include the government, trade unions, and employers. The role of the government is much broader as it focuses on the entire economy, where stability is the priority. Therefore, the government sets the labour standards to ensure the growth and stability of the economy to ensure continuity in the provision of goods and services. In other cases, the governments are seeking to accelerate economic growth where skills and expertise across critical industries are enhanced (Khalid & Nawab, 2018). The government often functions through legislations and support programs that may involve the country’s education sector.

The unions often focus on the well-being of the workers, often on such matters as compensation, workplace environment, and other legal issues. According to Khalid and Nawab (2018), the unions cooperate with the management to address worker issues. Concerning training and development, the unions simply ensure that the organizations play their part in improving the skills of the employees. The unions may also have programs that keep worker skills up to date. The employer has the most prominent role to play since the decisions have to be made based on several criteria. For instance, training costs may be lower than firing and replacing workers. Therefore, employers develop and maintain training and development programs for their employees to retain the best talent in the labour market. Additionally, the employers avail the development opportunities to their workers with the expectation that the needs for future skills will be met by the current workforce.

Impact of Effective Workforce Planning

Workplace planning refers to the action in which a company determines the need for human resources, forecasts changes, and identifies the organization’s demand of supply of employees. Additionally, the firm can also assess gaps and determine interventions for talent management to ensure it has the right people possessing the desired skills. Effective workforce planning has several positive impacts on a business. According to Pahlanie et al. (2020), the main benefit of effective workforce planning is that it helps organizations get the right employees for the right job and at the right time. Therefore, a company can understand what types of skills are needed for specific positions and initiate processes to acquire such talent.

Another impact of effective workforce planning is that it facilitates a restructuring of the company, which includes the reduction or expansion of the current workforce. The need for restructuring emanates from gaps identified, and redundancies found where additions or removals are made. The future of the workforce can also be determined through workforce planning (Pahlanie et al., 2020). The rationale is that the modern business environment is dynamic and keeps changing, especially with new technologies requiring workers with a new set of skills. Therefore, planning for such eventualities means that a company can determine in advance what type of workers will be needed to fill certain positions when the time comes for such an action. This can be achieved by offering the business a strategic direction where human resource (HR) functions can be aligned with the strategic needs of the enterprise. Lastly, the progress and performance of the workplace can be monitored, and the necessary changes made to keep the firm competitive.

Approaches to Succession and Contingency Planning for Mitigating Workforce Risks

Workforce risks are the limitations that can disrupt organizational processes and negatively influence both external and internal environments, which is why succession and contingency planning are to be considered to combat the potential challenges. The basic idea is that any key departures are replaced within considerable time to avoid gaps in the workforce. Three approaches to succession planning have been discussed by Gabriel et al. (2020), including designated replacement, situational replacement, and target date replacement. Designated replacement entails a situation where a position is expected to be vacant, and the firm has already identified a trained and qualified individual to fill the gap immediately. An argument can be made that this approach focuses on scenarios where a departure is expected, especially where a worker is reaching their retirement. The rationale for this position is that a designated replacement is difficult to find, which means adequate time is needed to identify, assess, and, where possible, develop the right candidate.

The second approach is the target date replacement, which focuses on finding a replacement before the date. Gabriel et al. (2020) express that this approach is similar to the designated approach except that more than one employee is targeted and may not require employees that have already been trained. Therefore, the recruitment process begins long before a position becomes vacant, and the list of candidates narrows as the due date approaches. The third approach is a situational replacement, which is based on uncertainty or sudden departures. Such situations are often emergencies, which means that succession planning should involve immediate solutions.

Differences Between Contractual Terms in Contracts

Each employee enters a contractual relationship with the employer based on the conditions to which both parties have to agree. However, the aforementioned conditions have been expressed verbally, in a written form, or implied. Researchers mentioned expressed and implied terms as ones that can be reviewed by the employee on the contract that they are to sign or existing based on other premises (Gibbs-Kneller et al., 2022). The express terms may highlight such concepts as the wage, the working hours, holidays, and other aspects that are agreed upon either verbally or contractually. The implied ones, on the other hand, exist by definition and do not have to be agreed upon since the employer cannot avoid following the said rules. For example, common law is to be followed by each employer, so the employee does not have to sign a contract mentioning the right to equal pay and similar concepts (Davies, 2018). In order for the contrast to be examined, Table 1 refers to the differences between the two types of terms.

Table 1

Express Terms Implied Terms
Agreed upon verbally or in written form Implied
Can be customized upon employment Are common practice and cannot be modified
By law, certain express terms are to be written and signed by the employee Do not require formal agreement between the parties
Are agreed upon between the two parties within the contractual agreement Can be implied in the contractual agreement through legislation of by the court

It is important to mention that besides express and implied terms, other concepts are to be considered in the contractual relationship between the employer and the employee, namely, custom and practice. According to researchers, custom and practice often create instances in which a conflict occurs between the law and social norms (Ioannou & Dukes, 2021). These are implied terms that have been established as a result of certain practices exemplified by the employer. An example is when the employees have become accustomed to receiving a yearly bonus in December, a practice that has not been formally agreed upon, yet practice shows it to be a custom for the said organization. Such aspects of the employee-employer relationship are also considered when contractual relationships are formed.

Presentation Pack on Recommendations

Strategic Positioning in Competitive Labour Markets

Shortages of workers are a real possibility across various sectors due to unfavourable turnover trends. According to Aeschbacher and Addor (2021), strategic employer positioning is critical to strengthening the employer brand. The two approaches that can be used to strategically position an employer are reward and culture.

Strategic Positioning in Competitive Labour Markets

On the one hand, reward focuses on the amount of money that can be paid to employees. On the other hand, culture entails ethical treatment of workers and building an attractive environment for them. Using these two approaches, four strategies for employer positioning are devised: cash, values, churn, and employer of choice.

Employers of cash tend to pay higher wages and salaries to workers. However, high pay employers are often associated with a harsher treatment of employees, and one can expect to work for very long hours. Employers of value may not afford to pay high wages and salaries. However, they are committed to treating their employees well, offering job security, and rewarding efforts. Employers of churn can be classified as organizations that have negative outlooks in terms of both pay and treatment of workers. In other words, the employees are poorly treated and offered poor salaries. Thus, such organizations can expect a high rate of turnover as compared to the rest. Lastly, the employers of choice have workplace practices that help them successfully attract and retain workers. Practices, policies, work conditions, and benefits have been designed such that employees are comfortable with their situation and they would prefer to stay and commit to their employer.

Employer Positioning

Impacts of Changing Labour Market Conditions on Resourcing Decisions

Changes in the labor market have had significant impacts on resourcing decisions. As explained by Héder et al. (2018), the changes have forced a paradigm shift from operative and administration roles to strategic human resource management. In other words, the functions of HR focus more on developing competitiveness and aligning or partnering with other organizational managers. Therefore, it can be argued that the first effect of the labour market changes is the shift in the purpose and practice of resourcing.

Growing competition across the workplaces has resulted in a high-stress environment. Therefore, resourcing decisions have also changed from work safety to health preservation. The HR department has to ensure that workers can handle the high stress effectively. Additionally, legal and legislative changes have also forced resourcing decisions to consider new compliance issues. Examples include equal opportunities and considerations for people with disabilities, which change the overall outlook and composition of a workplace. Technological developments have also impacted how resourcing decisions are made. The modern environment comprises higher levels of digitization, which necessitated the HR departments to adjust accordingly

Techniques for Supporting the Process of Workforce Planning

The process of workforce planning is to be addressed to minimize potential risks related to changes in human resources and the occurrence of instances in which new positions are to be added. The first technique is contingency planning, otherwise known as scenario planning. This technique involves envisioning scenarios and how a firm may respond to them. Forward-looking scenarios can help a firm to always be ready for eventualities (Jensen, 2019). However, the future will always remain uncertain, which means not all scenarios will be apparent. Another technique that can support workplace planning is the organizational strategy. This technique is more of a guide that can be followed by the HR function, where the focus is to align the process with the corporate strategy. Supporting organizational strategy is the most significant advantage of this technique. However, it can only be used for planning several years in advance, which makes it less practical for short-term goals.

The 9-box grid is a technique that maps the potential and performance of employees in a matrix. Multiple categories are present, including talent risk and consistent stars for low performance and high potential employees, respectively. As a workforce planning technique, the 9-box grid helps a firm understand the current workplace composition, gaps, and potential. Another technique is HR analytics and reporting, which uses analytic software to handle the HR data. Examples of data include rates and trends of turnover, which can help make critical resourcing decisions.

Comparison between Approaches to Developing and Retaining Talent

Talent development and retention are critical necessities for any organization hoping to remain competitive. While the two concepts are both crucial for organizational success, there are different strategies for creating a talent pool and establishing the conditions in which it can be retailed. When it comes to development, the aim is to shape the skills of the employees to fit the company’s agenda. Thus, determining the organizational needs before improving knowledge through training is an efficient strategy (Ali et al., 2020). However, development relates to the concept of resilience and improvement on a human level, while retention illustrated the company’s aim to remain an attractive employer for its team members. Ott et al. (2018) refer to the following retention practices: strong culture and values, applicable and dynamic training opportunities, and engaging work environment, and clear and suitable career advancement opportunities.

The first approach creates an attractive internal climate in which the employee feels a part of a team. This opposes the development practices or identifying the organizational needs and offering individual training to fit the objectives. On the one hand, the employee wants to fulfil the company’s aim and objectives. On the other hand, the company creates the necessary conditions in which the team member feels comfortable and connected to the organization. A strong organizational culture and established values help retain the workforce, while training assists in its development. Training opportunities, however, can also be applied for retention since team members are often motivated through opportunities to grow and advance in the organization. However, in this case, the new skills have to do with individual desire rather than a fulfilment of the company’s agenda.

An engaging work environment, which is another retention technique, also contrasts with the aim to increase productivity and knowledge through development. The first concept relates to the creation of the necessary conditions to minimize high turnover while increasing individual potential is related to the organizational results, such as productivity, innovative development, and competitiveness in the external environment.

Approaches for Building and Supporting Different Talent Pools

Building and supporting strong and diverse talent pools allows employers to have multiple opportunities to hire the specialist that they need for smooth organizational processes. A talent pool consisting of as many candidates for a job as possible is an effective way of maintaining an ongoing human resource, and having various options facilitates managers in finding the most qualified person for a specific job.

Several techniques can be applied to build the talent pool based on the ways in which the job market is examined, hiring techniques, and other initiatives. Researchers mention inclusive hiring as an effective way to ensure the team is diverse, employees possess different qualities and experiences, and the organizational environment is innovative and welcoming (Dossett et al., 2019). Another approach to consider is establishing selection approaches that compromise a lack of possible candidates. The use of technology and frequent assessment of the job market are among the strategies that are being recommended (Sivathanu & Pillai, 2019). Employees can obtain information on potential employees by accessing their CVs posted on relevant platforms and using analytical tools to select the ones aligning with the position that requires a specialist. The CVs that have not passed the requirements can be added to the organizational database for future implications (Neelie, 2020). Thus, preventative measures are implemented to combat difficulties in having options when it comes to hiring new specialists.

Last but not least, learning and development (L&D) strategies such as coaching can be efficient in building and supporting talent pools, which is incredibly successful when experienced mentors guide the candidates (Cornelius et al., 2019). Other measures include the use of performance reviews to assess the best candidates and analytical tools to determine specific patterns and changes in the database of employment possibilities.

Benefits of Diversity in Building and Supporting Talent Pools

Diversity is a relatively new strategy that companies use to build teams consisting of people with different backgrounds, experiences, and ways of thinking. Three major benefits of diversity in building and supporting talent pools have been discussed by Wessinger (2017). First, diversity helps attract talent, as highlighted by a recent Glassdoor study that estimated that 67% of job seekers prefer to work in a diverse workforce (Wessinger, 2017). The labour market remains highly competitive, which means that landing talent can be difficult. Diversifying a talent pool means that an organization has a wide choice of candidates possessing varied skillsets and work values.

Second, diversity helps offer an employer a competitive edge in the labour market. For example, gender-diverse companies have been found to have a 15% more possibility of outperforming firms that are not gender-diverse (Wessinger, 2017). Diversity means a better mix of skills, experience, and competence, which can directly translate into organizational performance and success. Additionally, diversity offers a chance for employees to learn from one another, which also helps improve competence. Lastly, diversity drives employee engagement, especially since it becomes necessary for workers to understand each other to effectively work together.

Suitable Types of Contractual Arrangements for Specific Workforce Needs

Different contractual arrangements are suitable for different workforce needs. For example, full-time permanent employment contracts are suitable for critical positions in a company, especially managerial roles. Full-time employment has been the basis of contractual agreements, yet limitations such as high costs for the employer and a lack of work-life balance on an employee level occur (Kelliher et al., 2018). Part-time employment contracts can be more suitable for workers who do not seek long-term engagement with a company. Additionally, a company can use these contracts to fulfil cyclical labour demands where peak seasons require more workers. Zero hours contract can be used where specific work can be accomplished as and when needed. Some tasks are irregular, and zero-hours contracts allow a firm to recall a worker when their services are required. Lastly, annualized hours offer a specified number of hours annually to workers. Those positions that do not need permanent staff can offer these contracts, which also prove favourable to employees who desire greater levels of work flexibility.

Having a workforce in which each position is assessed based on the contractual requirement is effective in minimizing the costs for the company and allowing potential candidates to have multiple options. It is evident that specific positions require a full-time schedule. However, when it comes to tasks that do not need constant supervision and attendance, a part-time, zero-hours contract or annualized approach allows for flexibility to guide the workforce and employers to combat unnecessary spending.

Analysis with Evidence

Strengths and Weaknesses of Recruitment and Selection Methods

These are multiple recruitments and selection methods that can be deployed by a firm. Examples include recruitment events, talent pooling, social recruitment, and referral programs. The strengths of recruitment events are that they can capture new talent with better results. Additionally, hotly contested talent and skillsets can be attracted this way. The main weakness is that the events might be costly and time-consuming. However, since digitalization has changed the recruiting potential, applying technology to the approach can minimize the aforementioned risks (Gilch & Sieweke, 2020). Talent pooling has several strengths, including that a database for the best potential candidates is maintained, which makes it easier to access candidates. Another strength is the ability to develop complete profiles, which eases the recruitment function. The weakness of talent pooling is that it is impossible to keep all potential candidates at arm’s length, as those who do not currently get a position at the company will be most likely to search elsewhere.

The social recruitment method has a key advantage in that the relationship with the candidates can be tightened. Additionally, search criteria become easier to deploy; for example, experience, skills, and training can be easily monitored. In terms of weaknesses, social recruitment can be biased towards some candidates, and better-qualified candidates outside a social network could be ignored to the detriment of the company. Another weakness is the reliance on social networking sites, which do not always comprise the best talent pool that an employer can hope for. Lastly, referral programs can be the most efficient recruitment and selection methods since most workers hired this way stay the longest at the company. Therefore, the main strength is the ability to retain talent. Another strength is that the work of HR is made easier as the referrals always take into consideration the skills and qualifications of an employee. The weakness of referral programs is the possibility of leaving out better talent using the company’s resourcing protocols.

Turnover and Retention Trends and factors

The current turnover and retention trends have been influenced by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Examples of these trends have been outlined by Paulsen (2021), who observes that despite many firms reducing the number of workers, recent months have witnessed a more rapid recovery. First, the rate of voluntary quitting is on the rise, which means a mass exodus that creates a surplus of open jobs. Therefore, corporate leaders are struggling to retain the best and most difficult-to-replace workers.

Second, the confidence in the job market among the employees is rising. The effect is that if workers feel that it is possible to get another job as good as or better than the current one, then their intention to leave increases, which raises the turnover rate. Lastly, workers’ intent to stay peaked in 2020 but declined in 2021 (Paulsen, 2021). Therefore, a rising turnover rate was experienced, which leaves many job positions vacant. This is a major limitation since companies benefit from retaining skilled employees due to the fact that new ones have to be trained and require certain experience to reach the same level as an expert who has been operating in the company for years. The measure implies that more financial resources are needed to replace a team member, which is why retention is to be addressed.

Even though most of the current trends are driven by the current economic conditions caused by the pandemic, other factors have played a key role. According to Paulsen (2021), poor leadership communication is among the leading factors, as illustrated by only 35% of workers feeling comfortable with organizational communication. Employee recognition is another factor where workers who feel values will stay whereas the rest will leave. Other factors include the lack of career growth and development, insufficient work-life balance, and lack of competitive benefits. Thus, it is certain that retention does not only depend on remuneration but also on cultural and leadership factors. A team member who trusts and is motivated by the leader is recognized for hard work and has the potential to grow in the organizational hierarchy and is more likely to operate within one company long-term.

Impacts of Dysfunctional Employee Turnover

Dysfunctional employee turnover can have devastating effects on a company. According to Wynen et al. (2019), there is substantial evidence linking turnover to negative organizational performance. The link can be expressed in terms of the massive disruptions caused by turnover. For example, constant worker exodus means a company cannot build and maintain a culture since this depends on the behaviours and actions of workers. New employees can bring new values and belief systems that can replace the existing ones. Additionally, it can be argued that dysfunctional turnover can cause a company to rapidly and constantly lose top talent. The effect of this issue is that a firm loses its competitive edge and skill sets that are tied to its performance. Successful companies tend to hire and retain the best talent in the labour market, where the skills and competencies are transformed into both individual and corporate performances.

Another major impact of dysfunctional turnover is that a business loses continuity and momentum in the pursuit of its goals. Such an impact is felt more when important and hard-to-replace individuals leave, especially those responsible for driving the company forward. Unfinished projects may become a major setback if the company fails to find individuals with the necessary skills to complete them. Lastly, dysfunctional turnover can cause an organization to spend a lot of time and resources on the HR functions of recruitment and selection. Such expenses can be counterproductive, which means that the primary concern for an employer is that the retention of key workers is prioritized.

Components and Benefits of Effective Onboarding

Effective onboarding can be accomplished using several components. Most importantly, a warm welcome goes a long way in ensuring that an employee settles comfortably. Orientation will not be the end of the onboarding process since onboarding may require a more extended engagement. Welcome emails, critical introductory meetings, and regular check-in sessions will also be critical. Another component is clarification, where the new employee is made to understand responsibilities and duties. Hints of upcoming projects may also be necessary where the worker expectations can be clarified beforehand. One of the benefits of effective onboarding is that it can facilitate retention rates for a company. The rationale is that an employee who settles well will be more likely to stay. Another benefit is that the new employee settles in quickly and becomes a productive member of the workforce. For example, roles and responsibilities are understood, which will improve the individual performance of the new member.


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