HRMT610: Workforce Planning
October 20, 2014
Dr. Jan Spencer
Workforce planning is important as workforce planning lets HR avoid talent shortages and surpluses (Sullivan, 2002). There are economic reasons in which why workforce planning is also important. The economic reasons include an increase in productivity, and the reduction of labor costs (Sullivan, 2002). Though workforce planning is of such a great importance it is sometimes executed incorrectly. Such occurs at my current job at Walmart. Walmart is the largest employer in the United States behind the United States government and therefor face a variety of complex issues. Workforce planning is especially important with Walmart especially during the holiday seasons. It is imperative that there be enough qualified associates to service the customers in the busy holiday season. The reality of the Walmart in which I work at is that there are increasingly high turnover rates both voluntarily and involuntarily. The location, the wages, and candidate pool demographics play a major role in the turnover ratio. Workforce planning is difficult as many of the positions are left abruptly and because the candidate pool needed for replacement lack the talent and availability needed by the company. Based on my observations of the store hiring methods and constant communication with the potential candidate pool, shortages in the labor force likely occur for multiple reasons. The city in which the Walmart is located is comprised of over 80 percent Caucasians. The cost of living is also high. Being that the cost of living is so high in the city in which Walmart is located many of the locals do not apply for work within the store, as the pay cannot support living. But instead more than 50% of the employees are Haitians that commute from a few cities over where the cost of living is less. The candidate pool is mainly comprised of college students, people looking for a part time second job, and individuals with English being their second language. As a member of management who normally has to execute the hiring of employees I have found it extremely difficult to hire employees from the candidate pool available to the store. Generally the difficulties that I face are that the desired availability of the candidate does not meet the needs of the company. Another issue that I have faced is interviewing individuals with English being there second language not being able to effectively answer the interview questions. There are other external factors in the community that makes the workforce planning process difficult. The store was recently ready to hire 11 associates pending drug test, of the 11 only 3 of the associates made it through the drug testing process. The generational shift likely impacts the workplace as work values may differ. Younger workers are more likely to not be loyal to the company, which shows in the lower productivity, which lowers the moral of the more experienced employees (Sesa, 2007). There is a current trend of the labor force aging, which is primarily the baby boomer generation. As they are retiring they need to be replaced (Burkholder, 2010). Or in other words the workforce will have to be replenished. There are multiple strategies that can be used to replenish the workforce. The company must decide on how much they would like to spend. One idea would be to hire employees that need training, as they would be able to give such persons a lower wage then experienced workers. Or another idea would be to hire experienced workers that require no training, which would come with a higher wage but lower training costs (Anthony, 2010). However the generational shift in the management team also impacts some of the older associates as I have witnessed. Being that there are multiple managers under 30 in there mid 20’s it bothers some of the older employees when they receive direction. Generally they listen however...
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