Continuing yesterday’s blog…

Yesterday’s blog covered a number of workforce planning challenges explored in an Australian political satire The Hollowmen. Episode 5 is a funny demonstration an organization that wants to strengthen its workforce.

The solution they come up with? Tailor the recruitment campaign to address the issues of the key supply segment (here, Gen Y) really cares about. For the Hollowmen, this meant abandoning traditional ADF recruiting paradigms. Instead of uniform-clad soldiers in combat, the ads featured young casually dressed professionals and tradesmen working with mates, enjoying free education and training. In effect they are highlighting the benefits of working for the ADF. (none-too-subtly, in true satire fashion)

In the context of the series, the light-hearted recruitment campaign is a huge success for the ADF workforce. Recruitment enquiries are up 47%.

But it’s not a success for the Unit and the Executive is far from impressed. Why? Because it hurts his image - “81% of his stakeholders (pensioners and retirees) really hate it.” As the credits roll, we are advised of a strategic goal being compromised by a troop shortage. A salient warning for any company that delays in addressing its critical workforce challenges.

Of course, The Hollowmen is a work of fiction and a comedic satire at that. But like any good work of satire, Episode 5 contains some valuable truths, and more importantly, some relevant lessons for any company that wants to improve its workforce.

Episode 5, “Military Matters”, warns of the dangers of failing to engage the Executive in the workforce planning process, and allowing internal politics to compromise a workforce initiative, with potentially catastrophic results. It highlights the importance of acknowledging just how serious a genuine workforce crisis can be, and understanding the benefits to be gained from properly addressing it. It identifies some practical considerations, including a number of job characteristics that appeal to Gen Y, and emphasises just how important it is to tailor recruitment techniques to your critical supply segments. It highlights the importance of clear accountabilities in the workforce planning process, and the value of up-to-date research and environment scanning in developing strategic action plans.

Have you watched it yet? What did you think of Episode 5 as a demonstration of the pitfalls of Workforce Planning?