If ever there was a perfect time to embark on an initiative to implement a workforce management program, it is now. The old double bind notwithstanding (that when economy is poor there isn’t any appetite for new projects and when the economy is booming, no time), the unmistakable growth in the employment numbers signals a positive environment for taking on the task now. Here’s an even more exciting bit of evidence that the time is perfect to focus on workforce management.
Bloomberg recently reported that 2014 was the best year for job growth since 1999. Roughly 3 million Americans found new jobs in 2014, the highest rate in more than 15 years. Clearly, US companies are optimistic about the opportunity for near term growth. However, perhaps as a result of strong hiring in full time roles, the year-over-year growth rate for temporary employment slowed to 7.81%. While this still represents growth, albeit at a slower rate, this lull should be seized as an opportunity to focus on workforce management initiatives like automation systems such as VMS or managed service program (MSP) solutions for human capital management.
If you’re the Chief Financial Officer of your enterprise, consider the operational efficiency savings to be captured by streamlining the processes involved in workforce management. Consider the risk avoidance potential of having a program that is fully compliant with all IRS guidelines as well as new ACA-related mandates and regulations. Wouldn’t you agree that the nominal costs associated with the implementation of VMS and/or MSP solutions far outweighs the potential costs of failing to do so? And with the current slowing of temp hiring growth, there is a window to act with minimal disruption to business continuity. It seems like a bit of fiscal malpractice to allow this opportunity to pass by.
If you’re the HR leader for your organization, similar considerations apply. Consider how your staff could be unshackled from tactical activities and refocused on strategic planning if an automation tool was implemented to aid in workforce management. Yes, there would be a short window of time wherein new systems and practices would need to be deployed and adopted. However, after 6-12 weeks of effort, your workforce management goals would be far more likely to be measurable, reached and exceeded now and into the predicted period of growth facing the US economy today.
Don’t let the window of opportunity close. Get it done now and reap the benefits greatly during the upswing. The added bonus is that with these systems in place, you’ll be even further ahead of the game when the next cyclical downturn arrives and your competitors (who didn’t strike while the opportunity was presented) are left scrambling to adapt.