SOURCE: Aberdeen Group

September 11, 2008 13:13 ET

Companies Embrace Workforce Planning to Reduce Staffing Pains

Top Companies See Improvements in Retention, Employee Performance, Skills Availability

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - September 11, 2008) - In the new benchmark report, "Strategies in Workforce Planning: Using Talent Acquisition & Performance Management Programs to Meet Tomorrow's Business Needs," Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS), found that organizations are placing greater emphasis on future workforce planning initiatives, in order to improve their ability to recruit and to retain the talent they anticipate will be needed in the short-term and long-term future. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=5154.

Workforce planning programs are especially important in light of the pains that organizations already report with finding talent in the workforce today, and with the impact of turnover of current staff. But preparing today's workforce to meet tomorrow's needs requires that an organization have a clear picture of the skills and capabilities in the organization currently, what gaps exist at present in terms of needed skills, and how that picture will be impacted by changes that lay ahead to the business.

"The only thing certain about the future is that it is coming. But Best-in-Class organizations have implemented a variety of steps to take some of the mystery out of it," said David Weldon, research analyst in the Human Capital Management practice at Aberdeen, and author of the report. "The result is a competitive edge in both recruiting and retention efforts, as well as the ability to adapt to changes in the organization or the marketplace." This benchmark report is a compilation of surveys and interviews from over 200 organizations globally, and highlights how Best-in-Class performers are using workforce planning programs to improve employee performance, increase employee retention, and improve skills availability within the organization.

Best-in-Class organizations are being aggressive at identifying emerging job roles and missions, at implementing career acceleration and leadership development programs, and at partnering with local schools and institutions to help develop future workers with needed skills. As a result of these efforts, Best-in-Class organizations have:

--  Increased employee retention on average by 31%
--  Improved workforce capacity utilization on average by 31%
--  Increase employee performance on average by 27%
--  Increased skills availability on average by 23%
    

The study also found that Best-in-Class organizations with respect to workforce planning programs are more likely to:

--  Clearly understand the purpose of workforce planning
--  Have established buy-in from senior corporative executives
--  Understand the core competencies of key job roles
    

In addition to providing insight on what Best-in-Class companies are doing, this report also offers recommended actions that all companies can take to use workforce planning programs to drive improvements in recruiting, retention, skills development and training, leadership development and succession planning.

A complimentary copy of this report is made available due in part by the following underwriters: Infor and Taleo. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=5154.

To access all of Aberdeen's complimentary research please visit http://research.aberdeen.com.

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

Aberdeen is a leading provider of fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having benchmarked more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is uniquely positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to AberdeenTM for insights that drive decisions. For additional information, visit Aberdeen http://www.aberdeen.com or call (617) 723-7890, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748 or go to http://www.harte-hanks.com.

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