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The Advantages of Workforce Planning in STEM

In the face of a rapidly changing business environment, the advantages of workforce planning play a pivotal role in the success of STEM businesses. 

Technical and specialist talent is in high demand as leaders double down on their commitment to innovation and ongoing geopolitical disruptions post-COVID continue to drive business model transformation.

46% of global CEOs are reconsidering their market presence this year, and 41% are diversifying their products and service offerings. Given the context, controlling costs remains a focal priority – but not at the cost of access to talent. 40% of leaders are concerned about increases in inflation, but 60% do not plan on reducing their headcount this year.

In this article, I’ll explore key insights and methods to support building a powerful workforce planning strategy to meet the requirements of today’s STEM business environment.

Read on for more about:

  • The advantages of workforce planning 
  • The importance of an effective preferred supplier list
  •  How to strengthen your workforce planning strategy

The advantages of workforce planning

Workforce planning enables businesses to both identify and prepare for their future business and workforce needs together. 

While individual business requirements can mean the key objectives behind a business plan may change, the core principle behind a workforce plan remains the same: getting the right people in the right jobs to drive efficiencies and save time and money.

A powerful workforce plan needs to consider access to talent, skills gaps and fluctuations in the internal workforce to ensure that strategic outcomes are not only achieved but accelerated.

To do this successfully, a workforce plan must be data-driven, connected to specific KPIs and tied to long-term business goals.

 The advantages of a successful strategic workforce plan include:

  1. An identification of internal skills gaps
  2. Supply chain management
  3. Governance
  4. Quarterly business reviews
  5. An understanding of future talent demands
  6. Impactful and aligned people and organisational strategies
  7. A sustainable talent pipeline
  8. Improved business risk management

The importance of an effective preferred supplier list

A Preferred Supplier List (PSL) is a key access point for services, including recruitment and access to talent to feed into your workforce planning strategy. 

While preferred supplier lists do have a number of benefits, they can also be limiting for hiring managers, particularly when they are not regularly reviewed and optimised – hindering the efficacy of the overall workforce plan.

Benefits of having a preferred supplier list include:

  1. Cost competitiveness – 49% of hiring managers say working with a preferred supplier list can help control costs and gain access to more competitive prices.
  2. Consistent EVP – 45% of hiring managers note that a consistent communication of the employee value proposition (EVP) when working with a preferred supplier strengthens the candidate experience and employer outcomes.
  3. Strength of relationship with recruiters – Established relationships with preferred suppliers can support project continuity and enhance the overall candidate and employer experience across the recruitment project.
  4.  Service level commitment – Preferred suppliers are able to hit the ground running with recruitment projects in terms of maintaining pre-established service level commitments. 

Downfalls of having a preferred supplier list include:

  1. Time taken to manage agencies – 65% of hiring managers cite that the time taken to manage the many agencies on their preferred supplier list can limit the time-saving benefits the list offers.
  2. The number of suppliers on the list – 60% of hiring managers find the number of suppliers on the list to be challenging to both navigate and manage – 81% of organisations have up to 50 agencies on their preferred supplier list. 
  3. Access to specialist and technical hires – 45% of hiring managers struggle to find the technical and specialist hires they need using their preferred supplier list.
  4.  Quality of data – working with multiple systems across many providers can limit the quality of data in terms of compliance, quality of hire, time to hire, and DE&I recruitment initiatives making it challenging to measure organisational impact.

How SRG can strengthen your workforce planning strategy

At SRG, our data-driven approach to recruitment enables us to provide measurable and impactful recruitment outcomes for businesses across STEM.

As a specialist recruitment organisation operating across the wider STEM industries, we have the expertise and flexibility to provide strategic and bespoke solutions to effectively streamline and optimise how our clients hire by powering solutions like: 

  • MSP and contingent recruitment
  • RPO and permanent recruitment
  • Executive and technical hiring services
  • Bespoke solutions
  •  Consultancy recruitment services

Click here to get in touch

About the author: Shen is a highly successful, award-winning, solutions-orientated, global life sciences recruiter who is now part of a unique team for a global leader in Scientific and Clinical hiring. Shen supports the STEM Portfolio as a Client Solutions Manager at the Impellam Group dissolving borders incorporating brands including SRG, Lorien and Carbon 60, to ensure the best talent is secured and retained, using data intelligence combined with a flexible and transparent process. Shen works across all areas of SRG, including Search Byto connect businesses across STEM with tailored solutions suited to business requirements for niche roles, senior appointments and, delivery on project builds. Click here to connect with Shen on LinkedIn.

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