Pinpoint Needs

Articulate your company's workforce needs


As a Human Resources leader, you have a role in working with your company’s senior management, budget, and strategic planning leaders to identify and prioritize your workforce goals. Perhaps you strive to maintain the workforce you have by sustaining knowledge and skills. Maybe your focus is on enhancing your organizational efficiency, performance, or culture. Determining your company’s human capital focus depends squarely on your company’s human capital needs. As an HR leader, you have the knowledge necessary to articulate your company’s workforce needs.

Chances are that your company is facing one or more of the following challenges:

  • A “skills gap”: According to the ManpowerGroup 2013 Talent Shortage Survey, 39 percent of U.S. employers are having difficulty finding staff with the right skills and nearly half of employers surveyed say that talent shortages impact their ability to serve clients and customers. Employers say the difficulty in filling these open positions is due to (1) candidates lacking technical competencies; (2) candidates lacking workplace competencies/soft skills; and, (3) lack of/no available candidates. A follow up survey for 2014 showed continuing talent shortages for many industries.
  • Employee turnover: On average, it can cost businesses about one-fifth of a worker’s salary to replace that worker; however, there’s a wide range of cost estimates across different types of employment, from 5.8 percent to 213 percent. Regardless, for businesses with high turnover, these costs can add up over time. What contributes to these costs? Many things, including lost productivity from the vacant position, overworked remaining employees who may themselves start to look for new jobs, lost knowledge, and training and interviewing costs.
  • Competition for highly skilled employees: Highly skilled workers drive innovation and business opportunities, and new post-recession jobs are more likely to require postsecondary education and up-to-date technical skills. However, hiring these individuals may prove to be a challenge to businesses. By 2018, the U.S. labor market will demand 3 million more college graduates than are available, leading to competition for the best job candidates. And once the economic recovery accelerates, those currently employed who do possess the necessary skills and education may not stick around if a better offer comes along, especially if they have been shouldering the burden of added work due to recession-based downsizing.
  • An aging workforce: The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that between 2011 and 2021, the number of individuals in the labor force who are at least 65 years old will grow by 75 percent, while the number of workers ages 25 to 54 will grow by only 2 percent. This will create a large pool of workers that is eligible for retirement, which has implications for public and private sector employers.

Can education and training help your company overcome these challenges? Absolutely!  However, you may be saying to yourself, “We already provide training to our employees. Are there ways to improve what we’re already doing? How much will it cost us and what kind of return can we expect? Who can we partner with to develop valuable and cost-effective solutions?” The Tennessee Employer Toolkit was created to show you what resources exist that can help you answer those questions.