Imerys and the Forecasting Process as it Relates to Recruitment

Student 1 David

Imerys and the Forecasting Process as it Relates to Recruitment

Imerys is the world leader in mineral-based specialties for industry and transforms a large variety of minerals into high value specialty products for the industry using sophisticated technical processes. Imerys is a market-driven organization with over 16,000 employees across 250 industrial sites in more than 50 countries.  Imerys Refractory Minerals located in Andersonville, Georgia is the leading worldwide supplier of high-quality alumino silicates and provides a variety of fused minerals as raw materials to the refractory industry.   We have 200 non-union employees at our Andersonville, Georgia and Roswell, Georgia locations consisting of general labor, skilled operations, maintenance, information technology, accounting, engineering, geologists, and numerous other skilled positions.  As with any company, there is turnover within the company due to both voluntary and involuntary separations.  It is important to plan for these types of events as best as possible.  Turnover and recruitment costs the company a lot of money each year and failure to properly plan and budget for these types of events can be detrimental to the company.

 

Steps in the Forecasting Process

There are six basic steps in the forecasting process.  For each step we will discuss how this relates to the recruitment process at Imerys for forecasting purposes.

  1. Determine the what and why of the forecast and what will be needed. This will indicate the level of detail required in the forecast (e.g., forecast by region, by product), the amount of resources (e.g., computer hardware and software, manpower) that can be justified, and the level of accuracy desired (Shim & Siegel, 2012).  Turnover is a fact of doing business that every company must deal with.  Proper planning for this turnover and the recruitment and planning that must take place is important to the overall success of the company.
  2. Establish a time horizon, short term or long term. More specifically, project for the next year or next five years (Shim & Siegel, 2012).  Companies must look towards to future and develop their workforce.  This takes time and money and does not happen overnight.  You have to look at your workforce and try to look at who can fill the gaps should someone important to the organization leaves the company.  What will it take to get this person ready to step into the next role in their career?  If we do not have someone, what resources will we need as a company to onboard someone that does have the qualifications.
  3. Select a forecasting technique (Shim & Siegel, 2012). There are both qualitative and quantitative approaches that can be used during this step.  Qualitative approaches forecasts based on judgment and opinion while quantitative approaches forecasts based on historical data (Shim & Siegel, 2012).  The qualitative approach I would use is Executive Opinions. I would take the subjective views of managers from the operations, sales and marketing teams to generate a forecast of potential turnover within their departments.  Based on these expectations, we can formulate a plan to help forecast the future needs of the organization as it relates to recruitment, retention, and workforce development.    The quantitative approach I would take is the Naïve model.  Naive forecasting models are based exclusively on historical observation of sales or other variables, such as earning and cash flows. They do not attempt to explain the underlying causal relationships that produce the variable being forecast (Shim & Siegel, 2012).  We can look at historical data of turnover and causes for that turnover.  We can also look at the age and makeup of the current workforce and draw conclusions to potential areas or turnover and make a best guess of the future needs of the organization.  We can also look at information as far as what it costs to train new employees or recruit for specific positions within the plant to make a forecasted budget of our potential spend.
  4. Gather the data and develop a forecast (Shim & Siegel, 2012).  For this step, I would work closely with the management team to help determine potential areas where they see we may have gaps in the coming years.  I would also look at what it will take to develop the current workforce in order to help build the bench strength within the organization.  Not only will this help improve retention, but it will also help prepare for unexpected exits of employees within the organization.  Having someone trained that can step into new roles within the organization is beneficial to both the employee and the company.  I would also look at recruitment trends for the types I positions I will be looking to fill. Every position is different and each will come with their own set of costs.  For some positions that are easier to fill, the company does not have to budget as much.  However, other positions there may not be a source of local candidates and you have to look at bringing in someone from another state to fill this position.  This is going to include a tremendous of amount of relocation costs as well.  Perhaps the company may need to use an external recruiter as well.
  5. Identify any assumptions that had to be made in preparing the forecast and using it (Shim & Siegel, 2012).
  6. Monitor the forecast to see if it is performing in a manner desired. Develop an evaluation system for this purpose. If not, go back to Step 1 (Shim & Siegel, 2012).

Qualitative or Quantitative?

Preparing for future exits within the organization is never a sure thing.  You can always plan for the best, but what you plan for is not always what is going to happen.  Looking at quantitative results will be going off history, but that is not always going to tell you what is going to happen in the future.  Qualitative results are going off opinions and best guesses.  I would probably choose the qualitative approach to help me plan for future needs within the organization as it relates to recruitment and workforce development.  As a company, managers know what the needs of the organization are and they can help develop their workforce to fill those gaps.  They can also use succession planning to help bridge those gaps.  With this use of this succession planning, we can also look at positions that we have no one to backfill with and prepare and forecast potential costs for the organization in order to bring in fresh talent.   While neither a qualitative or quantitative approach is going to give all the answers, an organization should plan for exits from within the organization and what they are going to do should key talent leave.  This is where a strong workforce development and a training plan is going to come into play.

Reference

Shim, J. K., & Siegel, J. G. (2012). Budgeting basics and beyond (4th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

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