Case study in workforce and talent acquisition planning

edited April 2023 in Blog


What do you do when you need a single source of truth for headcount approvals, reports, and pay benchmarking with real-time forecasts? You turn to Anaplan! In this case study, I’ll share how we improved our workforce and talent acquisition planning processes, resulting in significant forecast accuracy advancements, time savings, and better compensation expense management.

Background and our challenge

My company is a global employment platform offering services in 187 countries across over 150 currencies. We are fast growing company and have 1,200+ employees worldwide. To continue our growth in a cost-effective way, we need scalable processes to support that growth.

The challenge was in managing the headcount requisitions approval process. Our previous process had managers from various departments submitting new headcount requisitions and revisions in a spreadsheet to Talent Acquisition, Total Reward, and FP&A for approval.  Then Talent Acquisition manually created the open requisitions in our applicant tracking system (Greenhouse), and communicated requisition status updates to department managers offline.

Here is the process flows before we implemented our Anaplan model:

Image 1.jpg

We needed solutions to improve collaboration with Finance and HR, anticipating that our hiring was on pace to triple the size of the company in twelve months. The goal was a single source of truth for our headcount approvals, reports, pay benchmarking, etc with real-time forecast.

Process of implementing the model

We decided to implement Anaplan as a solution to our challenge by centralizing our headcount request, creation, approvals/rejection process, open headcount applicant updates, and compensation benchmarks. We worked with Anaplan consultants from Anavate to implement the phase I model in eight weeks. We gathered business requirements from cross-functional teams, mapped out the new processes, and created model schemas and user stories before we started implementation.

Here’s how the new process works: the department head creates new headcount requests directly into Anaplan, with all key details. Total Reward benchmarks salaries and bonuses based on the roles and locations. Talent Acquisition sets up target recruiting date and updates revision. Through the workflow process, Talent Acquisition, Total Reward, and FP&A review and approve the requisition before uploading to Greenhouse. Once approval is given, all the new headcount requisitions and revisions are ready to be automatically sent to and opened in Greenhouse (we integrated Anaplan with Greenhouse with updates every 20 minutes). All status changes in Greenhouse then feed into Anaplan.

Here are the data flows we did for the implementation:

Image 2.jpg

We also set up many regular reports that HR and FP&A use to save reporting time and ensure consistency in all reports.

Results and continuous enhancements

This is our first Anaplan model and the start of the Connected Planning journey at our company. We spent time with all departments on change management and demonstrated an agile approach to implementing models. Besides improvement in data accuracy, we also saved an average of five minutes per requisition to manually create it in Greenhouse and at least one hour a week on reporting. Since this model went live, we have created about 1,900 requisitions. It has saved our Talent Requisition group at least 160 hours creating requisitions in Greenhouse. In addition, all departments saved countless hours on data reconciliation and generating weekly reports.

After Phase I, we continued working on our enhancements with email alerts for approval requests to the right group as well as feed information to our other spoke models. At present, we use this model as part of our budget headcount planning process and automated the process to feed to our OPEX model’s personnel expenses line. This helps our C-suite make better decisions in real-time. Our Talent Acquisition model ensures that recruiters spend less time administering their talent pipeline and more time on recruiting. We have better control of open headcount, increased forecast accuracy, and improvement in cross-department collaboration.

WendyWen_photo.pngAbout the author:

Wendy Wen is a Senior Director of FP&A and Certified Master Anaplanner at Globalization Partners.