At the Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB), an independent and quasi- judicial agency of the Government of Alberta, a key challenge for this not-for-profit organization includes recruiting and retaining talent The ERCB regulates approximately 1500 oil and gas companies and manages a budget of approximately S175 million. Given the demographic profile of the ERCB’s approximately 1000 employees, the ERCB expects the departure of 300 employees due to retirements alone in the next five years. In addition, the ERCB has an estimated average loss of 80 people per year for other reasons. To address the looming labour shortage, the ERCB undertook a strategic workforce planning (SWP) initiative. According to Susan Cassidy, Manager of Human Resources at ERCB, “SWP is about determining actions we need to take today to provide t workforce we need for tomorrow. It is taking the steps today to ensure we have the right people, in the right job, with the right skills, at the right time Part of ensuring the ERCB can mect workforce requirements of the future includes going through a process of SWP and analyzing how technology can assist in that process in a strategic way, a challenge often faced by HR departments As Cassidy indicates, “Data collection is an essential component of workforce plan- ning. Collecting data and turning it into management information that can be acted on is the essence of SWP.” Acquiring the appropriate software was a necessary step to achieve this level of data collection. The posals from potential outside providers and settled on Aruspex, a niche provider of SWP. Costing about $85 000 annually, Aruspex software works to collect relevant data, creating scenarios and generating reports to help address development plans and sustainability strategies. Essentially, Aruspex “provides more than anecdotal evidence-it provides good information that is creditable.” ERCB solicited request for pro- The adoption of strategic workforce planning suggests a shift from “manpower planning,” which includes headcounts and forecasting used for budgetary purposes to strategic planning, which looks at replacement and succession from a holist perspective-using technology as a leveraging tool. As Cassidy indicates, “Technology has gone beyond Excel spreadsheets which were associated with ‘manpower plan ning’ and we realized more was needed Source: Correspondence with Susan Cassidy, Manager, Resources, at Energy Resource Conservation Board and Former Chair of the Board of the Human Resources Calgary, June 2011. QUESTION might be improved by information technology. In this case we see that software assists with the ERCB being able to meet the needs of the future. How might IT be leveraged in other areas of HR for the ERCB and perhaps other organizations? 1. Strategic workforce planning is one example of how the HR function
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