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October 12, 2023

Workforce Planning ‘Tiger Teams’

Recently, Heads of Talent Acquisition have been telling me their organizations are launching internal tiger teams focused on overhauling their approaches to workforce planning – from early careers to executive hiring. And, in most cases, they are in charge of the group. 

These initiatives follow a typical “tiger team” formula: Bring together a cross-functional group of experts to solve a specific problem and disrupt a fundamental way the business operates.

Most of these teams, it seems, have been formed in response to the requisition turmoil of the last few years. There’s real hunger for a better way to predict and map business talent needs for years to come. 

I spent some time going through my notes about these teams to synthesize the main objectives they seem to be pursuing. I thought I’d share the three most common here.

Key Objectives of Workforce Planning Tiger Teams

(1) Years-Out Skills Mapping 

First among the objectives is working with business lines to get a clear sense of the skills the business will need in the years to come. Along with this goal comes the sub-goal of designing skills-based assessments to accurately vet for those abilities.

(2) Long-Term Process Ownership

Many Heads of TA running these teams have as a primary objective owning larger parts of the workforce planning process in the future. This is both so that they can have more advanced notice of trends in business need but also so they can pressure test the strategies put forward by business leaders – and how talent could (or could not) fit into them.

(3) Explore Alternative Sources

With additional clarity on the skills necessary for the future and a seat at the WFP table, Heads of TA seem to be interested in exploring alternative ways to fill the skills necessities of the business. Chief among those are internal development programs and increased reliance on early careers work.


If there is one trend connecting all leaders, however, it is their dissatisfaction with current WFP processes. Not a single leader I’ve spoken with believes theirs to be strong. Market-wide, there seems to be interest in change.

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Guide to University Recruiting Workforce Planning