Workforce Forecasting

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Mark Sullivan 8 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #166229

    Mark Sullivan

    In addition to publication of GovLoop’s new Guide to Workforce Planning in the Public Sector, there have been a number of recent blog posts on the topic.

    I am curious how other public employers are forecasting the actual number of anticipated hires. Many years ago, we could look at anticipated retirements and use that data as a proxy for hiring activity. Today, our labor markets are far more complex. Our counterparts in private industry at companies like Microsoft, Starbucks, and Amazon have all developed pretty sophisticated forecasting models.

    What new methods / models have you seen being used in the public sector to forecast actual hiring numbers and trends?

  • #166233

    Mark Sullivan

    In my own organization, we have started organizing our analysis by workforce segment (i.e., IT, auditors, natural resource professionals, etc.). We then examine the following data on an enterprise (cross-departmental) scale:

    1. ‘Real’ turnover trends (leaving our jurisdiction/sector)
    2. Churn-over (transfers and promotions between departments)
    3. Percent reaching average retirement age (currently 62.8) over the next several years
    4. Current hiring practices (typical level at which new employees are brought into the system)

    We then bring in all the ‘x’ factors that will likely alter employment assumptions (e.g. budget constraints, change in business strategy, and change in business strategy or environment)

    Currently, we are at an inflection point in our hiring expectations. This is largely due to shifting economic and budget factors, as well as an inevitable change of governor in the next year. Consequently, we are revisiting our forecasting model.

    What about others?

  • #166231

    Terry Gonda

    I recently posted on

    I work for the Army and am looking at Dayton Aerospace for a manpower modeling approach. The S/ACOM model and DAI are used by Wright Pat/AF Material Command and the USMC according to colleagues there who have recommended them and I’ve seen reports. Yet the Asstant Sec of Army (ALT) resource planning office is setting off to create a new model at this point in 2012 and is in the process of trying to collect empirical data to base the model on. I see a challenge in the different camps for manpower analysis. The functional/task/workload drivers manpower agency approach camp versus the quick and dirty “shoot from the gut” camps. Dayton Aerospace, through their experience with the Air Force and now others, seem to have found a method to navigate in between those waters. Anyone know of anyone else? We’ll probably give them a try and see how it works with our environment while we do the more labor intensive workload analysis. Then we’ll compare the two approaches…actually three approachs. What was the initial subject matter guestimate versus the other two approaches.

    As a reply, someone from USAID replied that he’s been using a model and using workforce drivers of funding, difficulty in work environments, benchmarking others, etc.

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