A Question & Answer Overview
- What is "workforce
competitive intelligence" (WCI)?
- What kinds of companies can benefit from WCI?
- Can WCI help smaller companies as well as large multinational
- How can WCI help us develop strategic responses to competitive
- Can WCI develop intelligence about more than
just our rivals' HR
- Should a WCI program reside in a company's
CI or HR function?
- Does WCI have anything to do with "corporate
- What can we do to be less vulnerable to our
- Can we use WCI to get more value out of all the money we spend
sending our employees to conferences and trade shows?
- When does it make sense to hire a full-time WCI manager?
What is "workforce competitive intelligence" (WCI)?
is an innovative set of tools that enhance traditional competitive
intelligence efforts to help your company gain a sustainable
edge over your rivals.
understand WCI, let's start with
competitive intelligence (CI) — the process of ethically
gaining insights about your competitors' strategies, technologies,
marketing plans, finances, corporate cultures and much more to
help you make better strategic and tactical decisions. CI is
a hot commodity in today's
corporate world, especially among companies that place a premium
on the knowledge possessed by their key people.
Workforce Competitive Intelligence™ augments traditional CI by tapping into
a source of intelligence that has been largely overlooked and
underutilized: the knowledge and insights about your rivals that
your employees and HR-related networks already possess. But typically,
nobody has asked them about their competitive insights before — at
least not as part of a proactive, institutionalized and systematic
RivalScape can help you design and implement
a WCI program that will not only unlock this treasure trove of information,
but also analyze, disseminate and use this new wellspring of intelligence
to give you a decisive advantage over your competition.
kinds of companies can benefit from WCI?
that utilize traditional CI can add substantial value to their
intelligence efforts by developing a WCI program — for
example, companies in industries such as:
- Pharmaceutical and
- Professional services and management consulting
- Financial services
Any company that values their intellectual
and human capital would be well advised to explore the possibility
of implementing a WCI program.
While it's a fact that most
companies that could profit from WCI do not yet do so, it is also
true that not every company is well suited for WCI. RivalScape will help you determine if you would benefit from a WCI program.
3. Can WCI help smaller companies as well as large multinational
Absolutely. Companies of all sizes that rely heavily
on intellectual capital for their success should consider conducting
WCI. The principal prerequisite is a passion to excel in your
RivalScape can tailor
and scale its services to fit any company that stands to gain competitive
advantage by acquiring WCI skills.
4. How can WCI help us develop
strategic responses to competitive HR practices?
You might be surprised
how much knowledge you can readily access about the competitive
HR landscape. Internal recruiters, external recruiting firms,
compensation and benefits staff, and recent hires from competitors
already hold invaluable information about competitive hiring
activity and trends, employer branding, compensation and benefits
packages, retention rates, workforce diversity, talent rosters – all
aspects of your rivals’ human
capital strategies, plans and activities. The key is developing
an effective process for continually mining this information
and putting it to good use.
RivalScape will help you create customized
internal systems and procedures to routinely interview your workforce and HR
networks; analyze, evaluate and organize this input; and create specific
policies and plans to compete more successfully in the human capital marketplace.
Can WCI develop intelligence about more than just our rivals’ HR
Yes! Gaining critical information about
your competitors’ HR
activities and policies is a rich and essential vein to tap,
but that’s only the beginning of WCI’s potential. Your
workforce and HR networks, once WCI systems are in place, greatly
enhance ongoing CI efforts to gain information across the full
range of competitive threats and opportunities.
RivalScape will help you set up an ongoing Competitor
Alumni Program™ (CAP) with employees who previously worked for your competitors.
A well planned and executed CAP will uncover critical, actionable
intelligence about the entire competitive landscape, such as M&A
and divestiture activities, technology trends, pending pricing
moves and product releases by your rivals – virtually
any competitive issue that keeps your executives awake at night.
Should a WCI program reside within a company’s CI or HR
Either possibility might be the better choice
depending on factors such as the corporate culture and the
nature and extent of existing CI activities.
RivalScape will help you make this important determination,
and equally important, set up effective channels of communication
and cooperation between CI, HR and senior management.
WCI have anything at all to do with “corporate spying”?
is absolutely NOT about corporate spying. What it is about is the
intelligent discovery and use of public but not necessarily published
information about competitors and the competitive landscape.
RivalScape fully subscribes to the ethical
of Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP) and
its founders are recognized leaders in industry efforts to ensure
rigorous adherence to ethical business practices. We will show
you how to make certain that your WCI program gains the intelligence
you need without venturing into dubious territory.
8. What can
we do to be less vulnerable to our competitors’ CI
There are a number of steps you can take to
plug information leaks, design trade shows and promotional
materials that are difficult to exploit, and generally help
your employees and HR networks become more security conscious.
RivalScape will help you set up a Workforce
Information Security Program™ (WISP) to “tighten up the ship” and
help you protect your strategic assets.
9. Can we use WCI to get
more value out of all the money we spend sending our employees
to conferences and trade shows?
and trade shows present wonderful opportunities to collect competitive
intelligence. Unfortunately, most companies send staff to these
events without a focused plan to capitalize on the abundant intelligence
opportunities, nor the training to do it properly.
RivalScape will review the events your staff attends and
the intelligence collection opportunities that each presents.
then work with you to develop focused objectives, train your
HR staff in the concept of “conference quarterbacking,” evaluate
results, and demonstrate the positive ROI of this budget item
to senior management. We also train your staff in how to protect themselves
from being the targets of collection from your competitors when
they attend external events.
10. When does it make sense to hire
a full-time WCI manager?
It’s time to think about hiring a
dedicated WCI manager when the business case for the function has been established
and an “executive
champion” (perhaps a senior HR officer) has been
identified. When executive management recognizes the
benefit of launching formal WCI, the job has typically
become too big for either the CI manager or an existing
HR manager to handle.
a unique skill set and personality to be a successful WCI
manager. The person must know CI as well as HR and recruiting,
which is rare combination to find. But it is by no means impossible,
and a good candidate can be trained in areas where he or she may
RivalScape will help you document the position requirements
by writing a robust job description and goals for the WCI manager.
Because of RivalScape’s expertise in both HR and CI,
we can often identify internal talent with the right experience,
personality and innate curiosity. Then we can help you decide
whether to fill the position from within your existing workforce
or recruit from the outside. If we recruit from the outside,
we use our extensive networks in both CI and HR/recruiting
plus time-tested assessment tools to help you find a winning
candidate quickly and cost effectively.