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Industry Trends

Talent deployment: how to put their availability at the center of your strategy?

6 min.

talent deployment availability

In every organization, there is always untapped potential. The ones that make it impossible to be more successful, to grow faster and to perform better. Professional Services Organizations are fully aware of this reality. A context that is all the more difficult to grasp given the rapid evolution of work codes, which adds complexity to identifying availability. These companies are therefore faced with a major challenge: unlocking talent deployment by leveraging their full availability. Far from being anecdotal, capitalizing on this availability is crucial to ultimately increase margin and revenue. So let’s focus on this key need: how do you successfully detect employee availability to meet demand and improve operational performance?

Talent Availability: A key performance factor for Professional Services Organizations

Talent availability is a strategic operational metric for Professional Services Organizations. It’s the essential data for assigning talent to projects. Except that, as an intellectual services organization, assignments accumulate and consultants have different assignment periods. These assignments may or may not be renewed, sometimes at the last minute. Knowing the end date of the mission, in order to better anticipate the return of the consultants is therefore crucial. It is therefore imperative to know who is available and when so that the activity is optimized.

This is where the staffing rate comes in, the performance indicator par excellence. It measures the ratio of time billed by employees to time available. The more we optimize the availability of talent, the higher the staffing rate. This results in higher revenues and margins. This virtuous circle is gold for companies. And beyond the very business aspect, good availability management allows managers to further develop the skills of their talents and to offer them new opportunities.

Causes of poor utilization rate

Inefficient management of skills

Poor availability management often has several causes. First of all, it is important to know that organizations do not have a good understanding of the skills collections of their talents. They may not be able to detect key skills that are needed on assignments.

In general, Professional Services Organizations do not have clear processes to identify the skills of their talent in order to properly assign them to upcoming assignments. It’s not uncommon for talent to be assigned to projects more to fill gaps in activity than to fulfill their aspirations. Putting the business aspect above competence is a complete disservice to the company: you get average performance for a low utilization rate. And that’s without counting the decrease in motivation and commitment experienced by the employee. Deploying talent through the prism of availability therefore makes sense.

A lack of visibility on talent availability

This notion of availability is crucial when it comes to utilization rates. Managers regularly suffer from a poor overall view of the availability of their talent. Managers often do not have a holistic view of their talent availability. Poor planning, lack of anticipation, overload of work for some employees, floating period for others, etc., the consequences are numerous. And when you take a closer look at the source of the problem, it is often the same: there is no dedicated talent management solution.

Conflicts between projects and talent management

Managers are used to juggling multiple projects at once. For example, a talent may be assigned to several projects at the same time, resulting in overload and a decrease in the quality of their work. To avoid these conflicts, effective resource planning is the best answer. This strategy ensures that the assignment is in line with the employee’s skills and availability.

Talent availability: what are the consequences of bad management?

Deploying talent by leveraging its availability cannot be improvised. When talent is not used at all or not completely, it has a direct impact on the company’s margin and revenue. Simply put, talent not assigned to a project is talent that does not generate any revenue for the company. This period of uncertainty, known as the inter-contract period, has a financial impact, but also a human one.

Risks to client trust

We must not forget that the main mission of a service company is to respond to a customer need efficiently. Mismanaging this availability is therefore a risk to their trust. If consultants are not available when a client needs them, the client may turn to other companies. This not only affects revenue, but can also damage the company’s reputation.

Impact on talent engagement

In addition, this mismanagement of availability has repercussions on the talent side. If consultants are not available to work on projects, it can lead to delays in deadlines. In addition to these extended deadlines, there is also an overload on other employees, who then provide less quality work. By being on the bench, the consultant can feel frustration, disinterest and a questioning of his own value. The decrease of his satisfaction can thus increase the attrition rate, and impact the profitability of the company. And we know that increasing talent retention also has a cost, which can be avoided.

Company profitability at risk

As a result, the lower the talent utilization rate, the lower the company’s profitability, and therefore its growth. Thus, mismanagement of talent availability can have significant negative consequences for a service company. Lower revenue and margin, increased attrition, longer delivery times, lower service quality, lower reputation… the list goes on and on. Implementing an availability management strategy is therefore essential. The objective is to better exploit availability to optimize their utilization rate and thus increase their profitability.

Better visibility into availability: technology as the only answer

Making the choice to optimize the availability of your talent is a real step towards deploying your talent, and therefore your performance. And that’s where technology comes in. Today, it is the only possible answer to this quest for occupancy optimization. Thanks to vertical SaaS, Professional Services Organizations have the opportunity to rely on a technological foundation designed and developed for their specific needs. Talent availability is one of them.

A talent deployment platform, which integrates competency management and the consultant assignment cycle, provides clear visibility into resources. Which talent is available, which week and which day, for how long, with which skills… the manager has a clear and precise vision. Talent assignments are made in this way, always to ensure that customer needs are met as best as possible, and above all, on time.

Information is centralized, assignments are anticipated and inter-contract times are minimized. Service companies can thus capitalize on their main mission: to assign talents to the right projects, at the right time, while listening to their aspirations and skills.