Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 1 2010 Contents 30 www.defence.gov.au/defencemagazine
PEOPLE STrATEGIES AND POLICy GrOuP
workforce Intelligence Projects
The commander faces key questions in any operation: what are the threats,
what are my choices and which choice has most to recommend it? Military
intelligence informs their decisions.
Like the operational commander, Defence relies on quality intelligence about
its workforce and its competitors – or workforce intelligence – to ensure the best
decisions are made. Like the operational commander, a workforce intelligence
failure can threaten current or future capability, in this case people capability.
Defence has a range of products
about its workforce, from workforce
reports to attitudinal surveys and the Defence
Census. However, there are important gaps
in Defence’s knowledge which limit its
ability to deal effectively with threats to its
Given an increasingly competitive market for the
skilled people Defence requires, the 2009 White
Paper directed Defence to develop an integrated
workforce intelligence model. The establishment
of the Directorate of Workforce Intelligence in
Workforce Planning Branch of People Strategies
and Policy Group reflects this direction.
what is workforce
WI is the synchronised process of defining,
gathering, analysing and disseminating
quantitative and qualitative information that
supports decision-making on people matters.
The aim is to provide better evidence to decision-
makers, enabling them to more cost-effectively
address current or emerging workforce issues.
WI fills gaps in knowledge, prevents duplication,
directs effort to areas of priority, exposes
key projects to all stakeholders, and aligns
effort across Services and Groups to reflect
of the workforce
In 2009, a WI Project Team was established to
develop and implement a Defence WI capability.
Senior HR officers in each of the Groups and
Services are members of the WI Steering
Group and the new Directorate of Workforce
Intelligence was established by end-2009. A
draft work plan outlines the priorities for WI
and takes into account higher level planning
requirements, committee directives and
outcomes, and the yearly planning cycle.
Aligning with White Paper and Strategic Reform
Program requirements, the People in Defence
vision and blueprint defines success for Defence
People Capability. This, in turn, guides activities,
including WI, to achieve this vision.
Another key document within the hierarchy
of Defence People Strategies and Plans is the
Defence Strategic Workforce Plan 2010-20
(DSWP2010-20). Building on the previous iteration,
the DSWP2010-20 identifies a range of workforce
issues, challenges and risks which may be
ABOVe : Mr Alexander Grant and Ms Julie Ryan discuss
their workplace at Russell Offices in Canberra.
Photo: ABPH Jo Dilorenzo
FIrST IN ThE wOrKFOrCE By Commander Wendy Bullen
encountered by Defence in achieving and meeting
Defence People Capability requirements and
achieving Force 2030.
The DSWP2010-20 outlines action items and
generates WI research tasks to address these
issues and actively support Defence in meeting
strategic people goals. The DSWP2010-20 also
introduces a workforce planning cycle to provide
systematic guidance for considering workforce
issues in strategic and operational planning – to
ensure timely decision making based on robust WI.
Defence employment Offer
To identify, regularly re-validate and, as necessary, refine the key elements of the Defence
employment offer which will ensure that Defence can recruit and retain the workforce required
to meet its capability needs.
ADF Recruiting success
To identify the major factors - internal and external to Defence – which impact on the numbers of new
recruits joining the ADF, and model these factors to enable Defence to predict future recruiting success
over a rolling five-year period.
Defence Impacts of
in WA – Focus on Navy
To examine the expansion of the mining industry, with a degree of focus on Chevron’s Gorgon project,
and its effect on the WA and national economies. The project will also identify potentially adverse effects
across occupations within the ADF and the impact on already critical categories.
To identify, regularly update and refine external remuneration benchmarks for the ADF and Defence APS,
so that Defence can understand its market position and refine its employment offer to meet capability
needs in an increasingly competitive employment market.
ADF Initial Mandatory Period Of
service (IMPs) Attrition Project
To evaluate attrition in the ADF in the initial period of service, and propose ways to improve capability
and the return on investment in the recruitment and training of ADF personnel.
Defence Census 2011 To gather accurate data from all Defence personnel on their personal and family situations which can
be used to support personnel decision making.
Attitude survey Benchmarking
To acquire external benchmark data on attitudinal measures included in the Defence Attitude Survey, so
that Defence results can be compared those of other organisations. This will allow ongoing assessment
of the competitiveness of Defence’s employment offer.
external labour market trends and developments
affecting Defence’s ability to attract and retain its
Examples of WI are long-term studies of labour
market shortfalls, the impact of technology, and
investigations into short-term issues such as increased
separations in critical categories. Major projects
underway in 2010 are detailed in the table below:
There are several major WI projects in the 2010
Work Plan reflecting Defence priorities.
WI projects include assessment of internal
Defence workforce issues, current and future, and
A previous article (Defence Magazine, Issue 8,
2009) outlined the implementation and role of a
new Defence HR Metrics System (HRMeS).
It provides an electronic dashboard which enables
senior managers, HR professionals and analysts to
monitor a large range of HR measures, or metrics.
HRMeS is a key WI tool, as its metrics assess the
delivery and impact of Defence’s employment offer,
including the brand promises, on the workforce.
Workforce intelligence informs the development
of new metrics, which in turn allow early
identification of new workforce issues which may
be the subject of further studies.
Over time, knowledge increases and the ability
to understand developments in the workforce,
and take effective early action, improves. As WI
projects mature, the ability to develop predictive
metrics will also increase.
The work to date on WI and HRMeS
provides a solid basis for growth in HR
knowledge and expertise which will enable
better, timely, evidence-based decision-making
in workforce matters.
The result will be a greater capacity to attract,
retain and sustain the workforce Defence needs,
and to proactively identify and mitigate workforce
risks which will inevitably arise.
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