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How the Principles of Supply Chain Helps Talent Management in Workforce Planning

Workforce Planning February 24, 2022
How the Principles of Supply Chain Helps Talent Management in Workforce Planning
Vijay Swaminathan

Chief Executive Officer, Draup


Vikas Kumar
Vikas Kumar


In 2021, more than 500 companies turned unicorns, with over USD 500 Bn flowing into these companies. The demand for skilled talent widened the talent supply-demand gap by 4.47 million, which will reach 7 million by 2026.

The effects are already being felt, with 69% of surveyed employers reporting difficulty hiring talent, up from 40% in 2016. It has impacted the time to fill jobs. With the rise of remote work, remote job postings have increased by 7x, making the race even hotter.

In 2001, Management guru Tom Peters said companies win through superior logistics. Success depends on the availability of commodities and materials in plenty at the right time and at the right place, which is possible with superior logistics machinery.

Applying the principle of logistics in talent management, companies must have employees with the right skills available to execute a project.

Supply Chain Principles – The Future of Talent Management

A supply chain with smooth logistics machinery balances customer needs and products available in the warehouses.

When you treat talent management as a supply chain, you can focus on operational orientation, develop a system to build a skills inventory, schedule production (projects), manage inputs, etc.

The below graphic elucidates how you can apply supply chain management principles to talent management. When you achieve this, talent management teams can acquire and manage talent cost-effectively, use the skills inventory to increase net profit, and control associated talent management costs.

Supply Chain Principles

An Analysis of the Supply Chain Principles in Talent Management

Talent management is more a science than art. The scientific approach utilizes several measurable talent management strategies to attract candidates to your organization.

Here is what talent management teams can do to apply logistics principles to talent management.

1. Analyze and understand in-demand skills

Skills gaps arise when there is a difference between skills that employers need and skills their workforce offers. Conducting a skills gaps analysis will help the talent management teams identify the company’s skills to meet business requirements.

Talent management can identify skills a job requires and compare them to an employee’s actual skill level or determine if the necessary skills to work in an upcoming project are available in a team.

For instance, workforce planning is interested in hiring a python developer. The skills needed are as follows:

  • Python framework: Django, Flask, Pyramid
  • Object Relational Mapping
  • Object-oriented platform principles
  • APIs
  • SQL/Database Programming
  • Analytical Skills

Then, workforce planning must understand the leading skills that will be the foundation.

2. Understand foundation skills and where to find skilled people

Foundation skills are the building blocks to other skills and make access to higher-order skills and other parts of the curriculum accessible. Workplace success depends on helping employees acquire these foundation skills, offering talent management to prepare motivated employees, offer them better prospects, and enhance performance.

For instance, Java, R, and SQL skills are a foundation to become a Python developer. Individuals good at foundation skills can pick up skills to become a Python developer in about six months if they have a passion for learning.

While the skills gap is a significant issue many employers must face, hiring skilled employees is endless for talent acquisition experts. Three favorite places for targeted talent acquisition are competitors, startups, and academia.

Nonetheless, talent management teams must work with employees to prepare them for the future with granular career progression.

While there are many ways to acquire talent from the competition, only a few look at startups and academia, especially post-doc students and research scholars. Talent intelligence pulls information from the profiles of over a billion people, compiled from hundreds of public data sources.

3. Develop a Sentimental Analysis for competitors

Sentiment analysis (opinion mining) is the most common text classification tool to analyze an incoming message that tells an underlying sentiment. It helps businesses monitor brand and product sentiment.

Companies use it to detect sentiment in social data, gauge brand reputation, and understand prospects. With sentiment analysis, you can sort data at scale, perform real-time analysis, apply the same criteria to all their data, and help them improve accuracy and gain better insights.

Talent management can develop a sentimental analysis for each competitor and understand what threshold you can reach for that role. You can further customize it at a location level.

4. Build an enterprise-level skillset table

Talent management can perform a component-level breakdown on a talent intelligence dashboard that can help them

  • Breakdown jobs into their constituent skillsets,
  • Identify feeder skills that act as a foundation,
  • Extract talent sources to hire experienced candidates,
  • Understand the flow of talent at a company & industry level, among others.

Translating data from the dashboard into a table and building an enterprise-wide skillset table like this will be a dream come true for talent management.

enterprise-level skillset table

Companies must adjust their talent management to shifting demographics and workforce preferences. They must also build capabilities and revitalize their organizations while investing in new technologies, globalizing their operations, and contending with new competitors. Multinational corporations excelling in managing talent are likely to retain a competitive edge.

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