Managers to Rethink Workforce Planning Strategies

Edmond Lau
2 min readMay 7
Software engineer in front of computers

With the market downturn, this is a good time for managers to do a retrospective of their workforce planning over the last few years. The tech market went through hypergrowth, hyper valuations, a short-lived wave of COVID knee-jerk downshifts in 2020, and the current wave of tech downturn/market corrections with many layoffs starting in March 2022.

So through these upswings and downturns in the last few years, you, as a hiring manager, did you use the correct information to support your workforce planning correctly?

Some questions for food for thought:

  • What data and metrics did you use to decide to open up new roles in your organization?
  • Did you hire too many people too fast?
  • Did your interview process work for you and your department?
  • Did you have a fair and effective process for hiring new people?
  • Did you have an effective way to onboard new people and make sure they are productive?
  • Did your organization gain momentum and get more work done as you added more people? Or things slowed down because of the additional layer of communication?
  • What data and metrics did you use to decide who in your department would let go during a downturn?
  • Did you have a fair process and outcome communicating and off-board people in your organization?

Looking at all the metrics in your organization (or company) during the growth and downturn phases, were your process and decisions made equitably and effectively? And based on principles in DE&I (Diversity, equity, and inclusion), do you know if your company did an appropriate job?

While you have time and capacity away from hiring over the next few months, I encourage all leaders and managers to retrospect their workforce planning strategies, processes, and tools. It is essential to know if you are doing a decent job or if there are areas in you and your organization that need to make further improvements.

There are a few things you can do:

  • Recalibrate your strategies and processes for planning, hiring, onboarding, and off-boarding.
  • Identify additional data points required for future workforce planning.
  • Work with external independent HR and DEI consultants to review and give you a different perspective based on data.
  • Provide appropriate training to hiring managers and make sure they make the right decisions when expanding and optimizing their teams.

Hopefully, after all these, you will better handle planning your resources and avoid any mistakes within your control.

If you are a product or software engineering leader facing challenges to becoming an effective leader, I can help! I am a fractional CTO, startup advisor, and coach at Mossa Labs. Reach out to me for an online discovery meeting! I provide leadership coaching to senior leaders.

Edmond Lau

CTO, Advisor, Mentor, Architect, Product Management


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