CFO Magazine (October 2008) has published an article on retiring baby boomers, talent shortages, strategic workforce planning...and how the CFO should be responding to these issues.  While being unconvinced there is a major across the board talent crisis, the article definitely advocates action:

"Macro trends don't matter that much to any given company," says Mary Young, senior research associate with The Conference Board. "What they really need to do is analyze their own workforce." Enter the CFO, who can help with everything from projecting labor supply and demand to handling cost/benefit analyses of retaining specific people. Why should finance get involved? As Young tactfully notes, "The ability to do statistical analysis is not traditionally within the realm of HR."

We are asked this question nearly as often as the question of where the workforce planning function belongs in an organization. We've known for a while that the CFO is concerned about workforce issues, but what IS their role in workforce planning?  Of course it is as a key player and business partner in the process.  However, as with all business partners in the process, be sure you get the right level of person.  You don't want to end up in an annual budgeting process (that's what you do with operational workforce planning) when what you are trying to achieve is a longer term strategic view - so be sure and include the CFO or someone near her to be a key player.  Like HR, the role Finance needs to play is a strategic partner to the business, not compliance police!