The Delphi Technique

All HR professionals are expected to understand the basic tools necessary to determine HR Demand.  All the HR textbooks cover the topic, and all HR provincial regulatory examinations will test you on the subject.  Learning the concepts and applying the concepts, are two vastly different tasks. Many HR Professionals use the Delphi Technique, outlined in this Belcourt’s, Strategic Human Resources Planning, to determine HR Demand.

The Delphi Technique is described as:

“A process in which the forecasts and judgments of a selected group of experts are solicited and summarized in an attempt to determine the future HR demand.”

Now let’s take the theory behind the Delphi Technique and make it practical.  The following step-by-step guide for application, was written by Project Manager, Duncan Haughety:

Step 1: Choose a Facilitator

Step 2: Identify Your Experts

Step 3: Define the Problem

Step 4: Round One Questions

Step 5: Round Two Questions

Step 6: Round Three Questions

Step 7: Act on Your Findings

Click here to read more about Haughety’s Step-by-Step Guide.

The next time you are asked to predict HR demand, pull out this step-by-step guide to help you along.

Discussion Questions:

  1. You are the HR director for a solar panel manufacture, currently employing 500 engineers, project managers, sales people, general assembly workers and installers.  Your current annual production is 100,000 units.  Your sales forecasts predict that your sales will double next year, and 500% in five years. Develop an action plan by using the Delphi technique and predict the future HR demand for employees in your industry.

The Drive Force for Change – May the Forces Be With You!

Knowing your forces is the only way to really manage change.

Many geeks, and non-geeks alike, are excited about the upcoming release of the New Star Wars reboot Episode VII – The Force Awakens.  The title is an excellent segway into a discussion of the concept of Kurt Lewin’s force-field analysis as a model to assist change. As an HR Professional, you must deeply understand what will move change forward or what will hold it back.

Forces, whether driving or resisting, are made up of people, habits, customs, and attitudes.  No wonder organizational change is so difficult to implement; there are so many variables pulling individuals and organizations in various directions.

The big question to ask, as well as answer, is – Do the driving forces outweigh the restraining forces?

The following 6 minute video, from Alanis Business Academy, gives you an overview of how to conduct a force-field analysis.

Source: Alanis Business Academy, The above content constitutes a link to the source website.  Click on the play icon to stream the video

Many organization who want change to occur only focus on the driving forces and completely forget about the resisting forces until it is too late.  Don’t fall into this trap! Be prepared and make sure you analyse the driving and resisting forces, as described by Kurt Lewin.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How can HR professionals convince senior management that a force-field analysis would be beneficial before undergoing change?
  2. Think about a personal change you want to accomplish.  Identify all the driving and restraining forces that may be acting on you when you attempt to make this change.

The Inside and Outside of Human Resources

Human Resources (HR) Professionals have to tackle multiple concerns at one time, and must frequently move their practices from transactional to strategic.

A significant part of being strategic is having the ability to conduct environmental scanning.  Understanding environmental scanning and the influences external to your organization, is critical to business and HR success.

Wayne Brockbank explains the impact of the external environment on successful transformation and strategic HR, in the video clip below.

Source: The RBL Group The above content constitutes a link to the source website.  Please click on the play icon to stream the video.

According to Wayne Brockbank, one way to ensure your organization has a powerful HR strategy is to have all five of these elements:

  1. A strategic plan must be sustainable in the long term
  2. The HR plan has to add substantial value that is greater than the competitors are offering
  3. The HR strategy must be comprehensive and not just covering pieces of the organization
  4. The plan must integrate the organization and make the firm whole
  5. The plan must translate into specific executable actions

This is actually a very good HR strategic checklist; however, most HR departments don’t come close to meeting more than one element when it creates its strategic plan.  The next time you want to assess the effectiveness of your HR strategic plan, use the above checklist to measure the quality of your plan.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Take each one of the above elements and describe how you would make it happen?
  2. How would you influence your HR Director to follow Wayne Brockbank’s five elements?
  3. Out of the five elements which ones do you feel HR drops the ball on most frequently?


Succession Management in the Future

In the future, how long will an employee work? In how many jobs? The number will astound you!

Take a look at a report from the US Bureau of Labour Statistics from March 31, 2015, by clicking the link, below:

Click here to view the report

“Baby Boomers held an average of 11.7 jobs during the ages of 18 to 48.”

According to the report, most individuals had 11. 7 jobs over 30 years, and over half of those job were from the ages of 18 to 24.

Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that these individuals between 24 and 48 have held approximately 6 jobs over 24 years. Those numbers seem quite reasonable and manageable especially from a Human Resources point of view.

Now imagine taking that number, 6 per lifetime of a professional career, and increasing it over 600% to 40 jobs in a career.

Human Resources Management ONLINE (HRM) predicts employees in the future will have a retirement age of 100 and over 40 jobs in their career.

Click here to read the article

Imagining numbers like this, is mind blowing for an HR professional.  Think about how challenging succession plans will become? Are employees going to stay with one organization long enough? Are employees going to stay too long? It is hard to answer these questions, but it will fall on the HR professional to develop solutions no matter what the employment reality becomes.

 Discussion Questions

  1. How is HR going to manage recruitment, selection, and retention in this new employment era?
  2. Will succession planning become redundant or will it become more critical to organizational success?