Workforce had a brief interview with Gail Fosler, the new president of the Conference Board.  While it's brief, I particularly liked the way Gail described the changing need for workforce planning:

[Employers have] been accustomed to the U.S. labor force as being a very rich pool. They can dip their ladle in as they wish and out come exactly the sets of people they want and need. This seems like a no-brainer, but people have [simply been] filling positions rather than charting over a five-year or longer period what people they are going to need, where are they going to need them and what kinds of skills they are going need.

It's another way to express exactly what a client of ours said to us (in a little frustration) recently:  "management wants to trust the math, and think that the math will take care of it - but it needs to be bigger than that".

Both of these points get to a very important matter - many employers are simply looking to calculate how many of the exact same positions they want to fill with a plan for dipping into the labor pool and fishing out the people....a replication of the past or at best a slight variation.

We certainly believe that it's bigger than that!