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NC Office of State Personnel uses SAS® to support workforce planning

Using SAS, the North Carolina Office of State Personnel (NC OSP) channels multiple information sources into a single repository via the North Carolina Workforce Outlook and Retirement Knowledge System (NC WORKS) data integration system. With easy access to so much data, the state can then leverage advanced business analytics to predict employee turnover and the availability of qualified candidates needed to fill those openings.

Customer Success Video
Check out this video to learn more about North Carolina Office of State Personnel and its successes with SAS. 

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(Runtime: 4 mins., 40 secs.)
Customer Viewpoint
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Thomas Wright 
State Personnel Director

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Sharon Howard
Human Resources Consultant

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Poised to become the seventh-largest state in the United States, North Carolina must meet an increasing population's needs as it faces an impending state worker shortage. Of 90,000 current employees, over 58 percent are baby boomers; 10 percent are eligible to retire by 2010, and that number jumps to 38 percent by 2015.

"Workforce planning in our state government is essential if we are to compete for the talent necessary to carry out the business of the state," says Sharon Howard, Human Resources Consultant for the NC OSP. "It's extremely important that we begin deliberate and thoughtful workforce planning activities to ensure that we have the talent now and in the future."

As a result, the NC OSP worked with SAS and consulting partner Zencos to implement the first phase of NC WORKS: a data warehouse and business intelligence application that enables the state government to proactively manage and forecast talent needs. This application provides state agencies with the ability to analyze employee data and plan for retirements and other attrition by capturing aggregate data from multiple internal and external sources in a single repository.

With a central data warehouse upon which analytics can be applied, agencies will be able to access pre-defined and ad hoc analysis, forecasting and predictions on human capital needs to support strategic decision making for current and future talent needs. "In addition to giving us the ability to bring together data sources from across the state, the real power of the NC WORKS system is the predictive modeling and forecasting capability that it provides," says Thomas Wright, State Personnel Director.
NC WORKS enables the state to improve overall performance because it provides the workforce intelligence needed to proactively respond to the changing workforce demographics, including an aging and retiring staff. NC WORKS will give agencies a competitive advantage with recruiting and retaining employees. Managers will also have a renewed value to management because they will be able to directly bring in data from one central, accurate source, allowing them to better supervise their talent in the workplace.

The first NC WORKS project involves tackling the state's nursing shortage at four large mental health facilities. By combining Board of Nursing data with nursing school graduation and admission numbers, the state will know how many potential hires are available to fill empty positions and where they live. It can then tailor recruitment and retention efforts based on that information. Similar efforts are planned for other professional areas.

"We're able to pinpoint where to focus recruitment efforts and look at different development programs and incentives to retain staff where certain occupational areas are under stress," says Wright. "We're always looking for the right person at the right time for the right job. NC WORKS will allow us to predict job openings and to fill those openings. It's going to be a wonderful tool for our managers, and it's going to be a great tool for our executives."

Howard concludes, "By using SAS technology to build the NC WORKS data warehouse, we are now able to be more proactive and more predictive in understanding our state's workforce needs."

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North Carolina Office of State Personnel

Business Issue:
Forecast the eligible supply of candidates to fill openings for an anticipated state worker shortage.
SAS combines multiple sources of workforce data into a single data warehouse for a holistic view of talent, along with an analytics application to enable state government to proactively manage talent needs.
NC WORKS helps build talent supply ahead of demand by predicting departures, retirements and vacancies and developing workforce plans to fill them.
Zencos is a SAS Partner with an expertise in deploying SAS solutions.

By using SAS technology to build the NC WORKS data warehouse, we are now able to be more proactive and more predictive in understanding our state's workforce needs.

Sharon Howard

Human Resources Consultant