blog post


By Dr. Shivakumar Rudrappa, PhD, 

WFM Thought Leader & Founder President Global WFM Forum (fastest growing Professional forum in India)
“As we observe and analyze Year after year the workforce continues to dynamically evolve and change with the times. If your staff management tactics and processes are not evolving with them, you are bound to fall behind.”   


David Galic
Today’s CXOs war room discussion continue to be on workforce management  .Strategic Workforce Planning is currently Static, Manual based and Excel sheet intensive. The urgency caused by Digital Disruption, changing employee skill sets, technology and innovation andGeo – political environmental changes are the factors that influence the need for Strategic Workforce Planning backed by Analytics to ensure that you have future ready Workforce to meet your product and service demands, i.e, the near future will be filled by data lakes and Automation will be playing a greater role.

Today’s organizations have realized to set-up and invest in WFM Framework , being an integral process  for identifying the gaps in the skill needed for the critical roles.

What WFM means for an Organization:

The capability of build trustand provide confidence to Business & other functions on the ability to provide the right talent at the right time at the right cost.
Develop  talent fulfilment strategy, interfacing with multiple groups in order to execute and deliver on commitments.
Satisfy employee aspirations through providing the right opportunity, considering their progression, rotation, skilling and onsite travel aspirations & competence

Workforce Management (WFM) Trends in 2018 and Way forward :

1.Today’s workforce includes the skills-based AI & Robotics besides the human resources,
2.WFM / RMG function kick -starts beyond the knowledge industries such as Retail, Pharma, Banks, Healthcare, and even public sectors, hence WFM practitioners to get more jobs
3.Talent becomes critical and continue to be CXOs war room discussion
4.utomation in place for most of the companies – talent on cloud , digital talent management , predictive analytics
5AI  & Robotics is an enabler to ASSESS , MATCH the Demand Vs Supply and talent DEPLOYEMENT at the right engagement.
6.Recruiter jobs to be managed by Line Managers, AI, Robotics & WFM practitioners ( future prediction is – Number of recruiters job will be reduced and intake of WFM practitioners will increase)
7.HR professionals & CHROs to be RESKILLED with the required Digital skills and new business domains to manage fast changing business models.
8.CHROs / HR heads, Operation Heads & WFM heads to get business target with revenue  (P&L) assurance model (to reduce the overhead cost and increase the productivity and efficiency of the workforce, I e. build and sustain the culture and high retention of high price talent) dollar paid and dollar earned matters.
9.Workforce Analytics helps to make the business decision
10.Predictive Analytics to show the organization readiness if they are RED, AMBER OR GREEN
11.Reskilling & Re-deployment is on priority to prepare for the future business scenarios
12.High focus on internal workforce absorption , reduce hiring and intake of contract staff increases
13.High priority on improving the high rate of utilization
14.Workforce Optimizing with the shared staffing model
15.Target of being Zero Bench concept is in focus  in most of the organizations
16.Demand accuracy and better alignment with the business pipeline
17.Implementation of TALENT PYRAMID MODEL to monitor the landscape of mix and matches of diversity of talent
18.Organizations Investing on Global research and bench marking on strategic workforce management

So selecting the right talent with right capabilities at right timebecomes crucial if it does not match with upcoming changing needs and demands arising with changing world.

WFM, The resource management and capacity planning, organizations, regardless of size, scope, or activity face critical challenges that they must address to optimize their resources and thus mitigate project delivery delays and overruns, quality issues, and, in the long term, negative bottom line impact.

WFM learning program has Key findings of comprehensive benchmarking such as 
Pain :   The impact of constant change, visibility lacking into incoming demands , capacity  and an inability to effectively prioritize demand and create supply
Business Risk:  Revenue lost and costs increased due to neglected windows in the marketplace, continuing perpetually in mode of crisis, and talent misaligned on the incorrect projects.
Opportunity:  Increase maturity level of capacity planning and resource management to increase efficiency, productivity, visibility, and prioritization of demand.

Strategic WFM Priorities IN 2018 :
1.Today’s Organization should Develop demand- supply model and talent strategy in line with Business demand :
a.The ability to absorb inputs from business & account plans,
b.Together with forecasts & sales reviews as sources for creating a comprehensive talent fulfilment strategy for annual or quarterly talent
c.Outcome should be Annual talent strategy  & Quarterly Talent plan

2.Minimize Business Loss due to talent non- availability :
a.Strategic hiring to maximize internal fulfilments
b.Align with the business pipeline , capture the planned and unplanned demands
c.Define talent processes and operational guidelines or to refine  the  processes to enable demand fulfilment
d.Ensure the right costed resourced deployed in the right projects
e.Improve the hit rate

3.Improve Manpower Margin and Utilization :
a.Re-risk niche skill requirements through cross-skilling and strategic investments, thereby increasing internal fulfilment and controlling
b.Ensure bench cost, absorption, grade mix and latency is in line with targets
c.Monitor hiring costs to ensure that the intake is in-line with the median target defined
d.Apply levers to ensure that manpower P&L targets are met
e.Ensure talent utilization is aligned to targets defined
f.Ensure visas processed are utilized as per target
g.Monitor span-of-control, skills ,average years of experience, non-billed resources, onsite-offshore ratio etc. as levers
h.Ensure Cost-per-resource is monitored and deployed to the right projects / assignments , whereas high price resource should not deployed at
low cost project
i.Pyramid mix, talent mix of fresher, less experienced and right experienced should be there in the projects ,product or any engagement.
j.Utilizing VISA  ready resources.

4.Operation Excellence :
a.Define and redefine the right processes for organization’s need
b.Maintain the accurate resource data of workforce with Bench, Roll-off , Rotation ,billing details, utilization and update the recent cross
skilled and upskilled.
c.Ontime deployment to improve the FILL-RATE
d.Ensure timely and accurate MIS , Analytics report & Dashboards are published and made available to all stakeholders
e.Digitalize and automate the workforce management effortlessly
f.Defined the processes and automation with the seamless approach

Today’s Metrics for successful WFM Model:

BusinessMaximize the business impact with the right talent readiness with required skills set, Workforce development aligned to business need for current and future scenarios Sourcing strategy: Reskill & Redeploy of internal talent,Right demands for hiring, Hire contractors for Just-In-Time need

Reskilling & Cross skilling, certifications,VISA readiness,Bench engagement Provide the right opportunity for the right talent, right plan for the Rotation, Roll-off & Out -Rotation.Succession planning & Leadership development,Initiate Shared resource model

Efficiency & OptimizationDigitalization of workforce management, Predictive analytics to take right decision, improve the Utilization and optimize ,Introduce WFM maturity model Better plan for roll-off talent before they come on bench,Thin bench system for cross skilling & support the Business & Operation excellence tasks Build the Workforce Pyramid model , Focus on Internal talent ,Initiate shared resource model ,Intake of fresher, Intake of contractors , ready for contingency resource planning to support the business

Utilisation trends in Indian market :

When I have recently done the research found that assessing utilization levels is a significant part of the financial review process as these numbers indicate the workforce efficiency of the company. With multiple winds of change impacting the IT sector — from tightening client spends to digitalization and automation — finding the right person with the right skill, or reskilling the existing workforce, has become paramount importance. All the IT majors have been investing significant time and effort in reskilling and preparing their workforce for automation. For instance, in the last one year, CTS has seen a 6 per cent jump in utilization (including trainees). The company ended the year with a headcount of 260,000, or 200 lesser than last year. The marked change in hiring plans was evident with CTS entering colleges for campus recruitments several weeks behind schedule. It has reported 10 per cent growth in revenues year on year with fewer people.

The tech titans grapple with digital and changing consumer behaviour, their emphasis on improving productivity of their workforce seems to be paying off with utilization levels improving by up to 600 basis points (100bps = 1 percentage point).

“The Indian heritage IT majors are quickly working out how to deliver technology and business services with less people, through smart deployment of automation tools, AI, digitalisation and constant refinement of people delivery.”

Among other tech cos, Infosys recorded a 4 per cent increase and HCL 1 per cent improvement in utilisation. While Wipro saw its utilisation levels oscillate during the year, but ended flat.
In terms of additions, Wipro saw a drop, ending the year with 1.77 lakh employees — 1,625 employees fewer than December 2016. While both TCS and Infosys saw an increase in headcount in the last five quarters, of 1,928 and 12,000 respectively, there has been a steady drop in the number of additions since then with small increases in revenue
For instance, TCS had 6,978 additions in the quarter ended December 2016 as against 1,667 additions for the quarter ended December 2017. Changing immigration policies in the US are also pushing companies to increase onshore hiring. Both Infosys and CTS have spoken about increasing their headcount in the US. CTS has hired over 6,000 workers in the US this calendar year.
Everest Group CEO Peter Bendor Samuel said, “As the industry moves from the labour arbitrage factory model to the technology-based digital model, the revenue per person rises and fewer people are needed.”

Conclusion :
Workforce management is absolutely critical to an organization’s success. AT the most fundamental level for the organisation, this means having the right number of properly skilled talent and supporting resources in the right place, at the right time, to handle an accurately forecasted workload at service level and with quality. It’s the WFM process that sets the foundations .
I strongly believe If organizations truly want to achieve strong financial performance, customer satisfaction, and employee engagement, it will be mission-critical to apply WFM best practices across their operations, embrace and adopt enabling technologies, and seek automation where possible.
My study revealed that there is positive movement within WFM, with organizations recognizing the need for new technologies, evolved processes, and improved outcomes

About Author-
Shivakumar Rudrappa, Ph.D is a WFM Thought Leader & holds  a global patent on WFM Maturity Model, he has over 20 years of experience as an HR Professional in Big Time Hiring, Resource Planning & Management.(Resource Capacity Building and Management) ensuring that the skills, knowledge, abilities and performance of the workforce meet the current and future business requirements. Shiva is a Founder President of Global WFM Forum (First WFM Forum in the world), he has worked for  Companies like CGI, HCL,Wipro, IBM, Accenture & Sodexo India.