Make the most of your project workforce

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Today, project services staff with specialist skills in the IT, science, engineering and healthcare industries are among our most in-demand recruitment segments world wide.

Workforce analysts predict that this employee segment will be the source of the largest job growth over the next decade.

Regardless of whether you’re seeking senior project management experts with critical niche vertical experience, or higher-end professionals in support roles within technical projects, demand will likely outstrip supply for the foreseeable future.

In this highly competitive job segment, workforce solutions must not only be well-planned and responsive, but they must also be cost-effective and deliver high-quality results.

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Make the most of your project workforce

  1. 1. Make the most of your project workforcemichael ruchman
  2. 2. Regardless of the Great Recession, there remains one key area where the demand for skilled professionals is rapidly growing, not slowing. /02 Today, project services staff with specialist skills in the IT, science, engineering and healthcare industries are among our most in-demand recruitment segments world wide.
  3. 3. Workforce analysts predict that this employee segment will be the source of the largest job growth over the next decade. Regardless of whether you’re seeking senior project management experts with critical niche vertical experience, or higher-end professionals in support roles within technical projects, demand will likely outstrip supply for the foreseeable future. In this highly competitive job segment, workforce solutions must not only be well-planned and responsive, but they must also be cost-effective and deliver high-quality results. Introduction /03 Here’showtoachievethatbalance.
  4. 4. What’s driving high demand /04 of STEM project talent?
  5. 5. STEM occupations account for over 8 million jobs /05
  6. 6. /06 2023 2013 Between 2013 and 2023 there will be a 14.9% increase in demand
  7. 7. /07 Computer-related jobs make up 48% of STEM employment
  8. 8. Many employers are experiencing a gap in STEM talent, with current demand outpacing supply. The global economy of innovation is increasing demand for the knowledge, skills, and abilities commonly associated with STEM workers—across all industries—at a far greater rate than average growth in employment. It just so happens that the verticals that are generating the highest level of economic development in the current environment (the STEM disciplines) are also the biggest generators of project-driven activities, and therefore, project services staff. This is largely because the following pressures continue to bear down on most businesses, large and small, despite economic constraints: / the need to deploy rapidly evolving technologies / environmental/sustainability requirements and challenges / increasing focus on innovation and research / the ongoing need for infrastructure improvements What’s driving high demand of STEM project talent? /08
  9. 9. Clearly, each of these issues demands talent with STEM qualifications to solve, and hence, there is already a shortage of these qualified professionals in the workforce. If these trends continue as they are, this shortage will of course, become more acute. Concerns about this gap are likely to continue as growing worker populations are vastly underrepresented in STEM careers. Similar shortages will also grow for the project management, niche technical, and higher-level vertical talent that directly supports or guides project-based work. Carefully cultivating an appropriate mix of these skills through both full-time and contract employees is the way forward for two reasons: 1. These are the skills and experience that are pivotal to running and growing many businesses. 2. Access to these skills in the right way at the right time is key to managing HR costs and maintaining profitability. What’s driving high demand of STEM project talent? /09 We had more sports-exercise majors graduate than electrical engineering graduates last year. If you want to become the massage capital of the world, you’re well on your way.” Jeff Immelt, CEO, General Electric Co
  10. 10. Consider constraints and plan ahead /10
  11. 11. Overall, only one-third of workers with a STEM undergraduate degree work in a STEM job /11
  12. 12. Only about 40% of men with STEM college degrees work in STEM jobs /12
  13. 13. Only 26% of women with STEM college degrees work in STEM jobs /13
  14. 14. Developing an efficient, effective workforce in the market we’re all operating within today begins with a sound technical staffing strategy. Given that technical projects often involve a dynamic workload, with changing requirements for different specialty skill-sets and experience, the optimal approach to staffing them often involves hiring a mix of full-time and contract employees. It may also include outsourcing certain tasks or entire projects. The recent economic challenges have proven that companies that are proactive in planning for workforce flexibility are better able to adjust to unexpected changes in their business demands. In many cases, this has been the difference between surviving, and not. Consider constraints and plan ahead /14 This mismatch in supply and demand has maddened the long-term unemployed, stymied even the most skilled recruiters, and frustrated strategic planners at companies around the world. It has also galvanized debate about post-secondary education in the US – more precisely, how our failure to produce enough STEM graduates and skilled technicians is feeding the mismatch and starving our economic progress.” Carl Camden, Kelly Services President and CEO
  15. 15. Building workforces purposefully, with a carefully chosen combination of full-time and contract professionals requires careful consideration of issues such as: / Budgetary constraints: how many full-time or contract hires can you afford? At what level can you afford to hire each staff member? Is there a way to bring in experienced and higher wage personnel for shorter timeframes in order to train up younger/less experienced permanent team members? / Project peaks and valleys: these can cause downtime and affect workflow. Leveraging contract-based talent to deliver seasonal or time sensitive projects may be an option. / Learning curves: expert project managers or niche support personnel engaged as contractors may be preferable for projects requiring specific skill sets or experience, in order to shorten the associated learning curve and thereby lower your costs. / The risks of contract employee time limits: when a vital technical role is to be filled with a contract employee, be sure to obtain the required internal exception approvals ahead of time, to prevent counter-productive turnover at a critical point on your project timeline. To ensure the development of a strong work team, technical hiring managers should communicate with key supervisors and project managers to get a complete picture of the skills they need in potential job candidates, and then create the right, flexible strategy for attracting and hiring the best talent available. Consider constraints and plan ahead /15
  16. 16. Go lean and think outside the box /16
  17. 17. An effective workforce model includes a mix of strategies to attract, hire and retain the best of the best. Each year, companies spend money, time, and energy on recovering from poor hiring decisions that drain budgets with hidden costs such as training, unproductive work hours, and lengthy learning curves. These losses can be avoided by developing a proactive, progressive strategy that helps you optimize your project workforce to maximize profitability and achieve business objectives. Yet, to achieve this you need to apply an over-arching methodology to your workforce planning that supports this. ‘Lean’ principles are one option that will deliver advantages such as ensuring your organization: / pays for staff only when you need them / lowers the expenses associated with hiring and training full-time professionals, / reduces the need for continual lay-offs and re-hires due to fluctuations in business cycles / has additional personnel engaged at critical points in your project life cycle go lean and think outside the box /17
  18. 18. There are many resources available on the benefits of lean methodology, but the basic principles are: 1. To improve quality: in the recruitment space this means to better understand the talent/labor needs of the organization and how to attract and retain the best of the best 2. To eliminate (or reduce) waste: waste is seen as those processes or tasks that consume resources but do not add value (to the customer or the organization). In recruitment and workforce planning, the waste is clearly in areas such as utilization of resources, hiring cycle times and ramp to full productivity of each resource. Regardless of which supporting methodology your organization uses, an effective staffing solution should be geared towards not just attracting and retaining the best talent, but towards motivating and enabling them to do their best (highest quality) work in the most efficient way (with the least amount of ‘waste’). go lean and think outside the box /18
  19. 19. Throughout history, many companies have approached staffing decisions by reacting to changing business needs as they arise, rather than adopting proactive strategies to plan for inevitable business peaks and valleys. When business is booming in a robust economy, it may seem plausible to build your workforce steadily as you build your business. But, in the current economic and market cycles we are seeing ahead, it’s clear that is no longer a sustainable workforce strategy for any business. If project workforces are set to grow, and the supply of these resources continues to decline, the only way forward is more proactive planning of this precious resource. By using a methodology such as the Lean principles, and ensuring your workforce planning team addresses those critical questions of budget, cyclical demand and talent productivity, any organization has a better chance of securing the skills and experience it needs. /19 Conclusion Inthishighlycompetitivejobsegment,workforce-planningsolutions mustbecost-effectiveanddeliverhigh-qualityresults—andtheycan onlydothisiftheyarewell-plannedandresponsive.
  20. 20. EXIT About the author Michael Ruchman is the Project Services product lead for the Global Managed Solutions practice of Kelly Outsourcing and Consulting Group (KellyOCG). He is a Professional Engineer (P.E.) with over ten years of direct experience in the oil, gas and energy sectors. He holds degrees in Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Environmental/Sustainability Engineering, an MBA, and Master’s Degrees in Information Systems Management and Project Management, as well as multiple certifications in Petroleum Engineering (including a BOP license to work on land and offshore drilling operations). He is responsible for strategy, brand relationships, business development and support for Global Managed Solutions, adding value, technically and functionally, across the board for Engineering, Clinical, Healthcare, IT, Finance and Science. About KellyOCG KellyOCG® is the Outsourcing and Consulting Group of workforce solutions provider Kelly Services, Inc. KellyOCG is a global leader in innovative talent management solutions in the areas of Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO), Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Contingent Workforce Outsourcing (CWO), including Independent Contractor Solutions, Human Resources Consulting, Career Transition and Executive Coaching, and Executive Search. KellyOCG was named to the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals® 2013 Global Outsourcing 100® list, an annual ranking of the world’s best outsourcing service providers and advisors. Further information about KellyOCG may be found at kellyocg.com. For more thought leadership go to talentproject.com

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