Dr. Corey Bucher, director of workforce research and advanced analytics for Lowe’s Companies, Inc., is a speaker at the fifth annual National EMSI Conference in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, September 21-23. Below is an interview we conducted with Dr. Bucher on his work, his inspiration, and his talk at the upcoming conference.
1. What drew you to the field of workforce planning and talent strategy?
I have had the opportunity to work in a variety of functions throughout my career. I have found a passion for helping leadership understand how the workforce is connected to organizational success—a passion driven not by a functional responsibility, but by an operational need to enable an organization’s success based on business outcomes or measures. Now I have been fortunate enough to take something that I have been passionate about for a long time and turn it into a job leading workforce planning, analytics, and research efforts.
2. There’s an increasing emphasis on the importance of external data in creating a strong talent strategy. When did you first see labor market data being used in the private sector? Has it been more widely adopted since then?
External labor market data has been used in the private sector for a long time but it was limited to initiatives like location analysis or site selection work. Today, as human resource departments are becoming more data savvy, we see more HR professionals understanding the value of labor market data for developing talent strategies or workforce plans.
“Today, as human resource departments are becoming more data savvy, we see more HR professionals understanding the value of labor market data for developing talent strategies or workforce plans.”
I believe the real turning point for this change came as the popularity and evolution of strategic workforce planning emerged over the last five years. Many of the current strategic workforce planning models include a step for environmental scanning, and this step created a need to better understand the external labor market. As more companies are implementing strategic workforce planning programs, it has created more need for labor market data and insights.
3. Can you give us a sneak peek of your presentation at the 2015 EMSI conference?
My presentation is based on my history of enabling organizational success, focusing on translating labor market data into insights that a leader can use to make business decisions.
4. What are you passionate about outside your work? Any side ventures or hobbies?
Although I truly enjoy what I do for a living, my favorite job in the last few years was that of a part-time middle-school soccer coach. There is something very rewarding about seeing teenagers start to understand how team work, strategy, and hard work can lead to success.