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Workforce Management Optimization Specialist

DC - Business Operations | Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India | Full Time

Job Description

An ASX100 business part that is owned by Australian universities, IDP is a pioneer in international education services. Our core business lines include student placement to Australia, US, UK, Canada and New Zealand institutions, English-language testing and training. 

We are on a mission to build the world's leading platform and connected community to guide students along their journey to achieve their lifelong learning and career aspirations.

As a co-owner of IELTS, we deliver the English test that is trusted by more governments, universities and organisations than any other. We also operate English language teaching schools in South East Asia. 

We are innovators, driven by the needs of our customers and deep data insights. Our 5,000 team members based around the world understand that our services change lives – not only of our customers, but their wider communities. 

By combining empathy and professional expertise with digital excellence, we create launch pads for our customers to achieve global success. 


Resource planning is a critical function to the success of a contact centre.  It manages the balance between exceptional student experiences and the cost to serve.  It is also a critical element in employee morale and workplace harmony.

Often this role is considered a “back office” function, but given it’s critical nature to numerous lagging indicators, successful WFM Optimization Specialists must consider their role in contributing to the future success of the contact center and approach the role with this leadership mindset.

Optimisation Specialists support the Mission and Vision of the company through effective operational workforce planning. They achieve this through;

  1. Deep understanding of the desired SP WOW student experience journey
  2. Empathy for the student and their “job to be done”
  3. Empathy for contact center staff and their desire to deliver great outcomes for their students and achieve work / life balance (quality of life)
  4. Purpose driven passion and persistence in the quest for ensuring the right agent is on the right call, at the right time, against an accurately forecasted workload
  5. Imagination, curiosity, and co-creation courage to drive continuous improvement in CC operational efficiency as defined by the strategic objectives of the contact center in providing delightful customer experiences


Areas of Accountability

Resource Planner Accountabilities

The role is designed to elevate the IDP contact center environment to best practice.  It is specifically designed to map a path to the “sweet spot” of exceptional student experience/conversion for the lowest cost to serve.  Maximizing revenue impacts and driving productivity.  It is tasked with empowering contact center leaders to be armed with the right information, long term forward looking to real-time, to make informed, insightful and impactful decisions on how to best utilize resources effectively.

Noting in IDP ‘s context not all contact centres (for example small 2 seat centres) may need a WFM forecast or schedule but all centres will need performance analysis on outcomes and identified opportunities for improvement.


Thus scope of work may include the following, depending on each countries requirements:

  1. Produce high quality workforce data and information to support workforce planning, monitoring and maintenance of service levels of as defined (targets).
  2. Provision of timely, accurate and relevant reporting to support business processes with a view to review, prioritise, streamline and automate existing operational reporting ensuring the reports that are produced provide high value with minimal manual effort.
  3. Effective strategic and tactical forecasting to ensure accurate scheduling of resources to meet seasonal workload demand.
  4. Manage rosters and data in real time to ensure efficiencies are maintained in real time.
  5. Monitor workforce management, operational and call management systems and proactively identify opportunities and assist in the implementation of system enhancements.
  6. Production of agreed forecasts (labour, staff/resources, calls, etc) on agreed timeframes (regular and one off)
  7. Production of all schedules on agreed timeframes, including all known and assumed activities
  8. Effective operational workforce planning including on and off phone activities.
  9. Real time management and decision making on resourcing to meet variances to forecasts and scheduled so as to meet desired KPI outcomes.
  10. Peer measured contribution outcomes
  11. Analysis and recommendations to improve customer or productivity outcomes, without unintended consequences.
  12. Vocal and active custodian of the student experience journey (active contributor to this important activity)
  13. Proficient use of systems, contribute to the development ‚ of tools and resources, including policies and procedures.
  14. Active generator of ideas and innovative thinking with regard to balanced multi-party stakeholder outcomes


Contributing to WFM as a Service

WFMaaS is a new concept for IDP, as such the role requires very clear leadership, ownership, proactivity and accountability.  

WFM Optimisation Specialists  are influential leaders across the IDP contact centre universe.   The role plays a critical part in culture, shared success business outcomes.  These roles  lead through;

  1. Understanding they play a key role in culture and morale and take that responsibility with the utmost professionalism
  2. Decisive – but take a balanced approach to all decisions
  3. Collaborate don’t dictate
  4. Learn-it-all mindset, not know-it-all mindset
  5. Be a Difference-Maker

Specifically leading in the following areas:

  1. Build a WFM service built on trust and support not one of autocratic prescription
  2. Be collaborative recognizing that regional contact centres can always “do their own thing”…Optimisation Specialists need to show them why using the WFMaaS is a better choice for them
  3. Active contribution to the leadership team on insight, feelings, concerns, ideas and options heard through general duties
  4. Catalyst between the outside / inside for world of WFM and industry trends / innovation
  5. Make a difference, to all stakeholders, by actively analysing risk.  Both business and operational risk and by establish recommendations to either prevent, mitigate or manage the risk outcomes.
  6. Document all WFM process, procedures and policies and ensure they remain up to date and published to all relevant stakeholders.
  7. Ensure all stakeholders receive and acknowledge value from the WFMaaS activity
  8. Undertake an ongoing communications activity to ensure all current contact centre staff operate with a detailed understanding of how they can leverage the WFMaaS activity to benefit their performance
  9. Establish an ongoing improvement process that reviews current WFMaaS processes and practices and evolves these ahead of the IDP SP WOW initiatives.  WFM needs to be ahead of the SP WOW execution so that it is capable of planning and managing the desired outcomes



The performance of resource planning is often a good barometer for the performance on the contact centre.  High performing Optimisation Specialists rarely operate in a low performing centre. The most successful Optimisation Specialists operate on a balanced mix of leading and lagging indicators, these include;

  1. Metrics that are both objective and subjective
  2. Metrics and measures that are both action orientated and behavior led
  3. Outcomes that measure across multiple stakeholders
  4. Insight that empowers actionable change

Specifically, the metrics to be achieved include (but may not be limited to):

  1. Production compliance, all regular activities completed on time and published
  2. Forecast accuracy – measured at interval level +/- variance and target number of intervals.  For all forecast types
  3. Schedule efficiency – measured pre actual and post actual
  4. Real time management impact, essentially measuring impact of decisions
  5. Budget to actual costs compared to experience outcomes
  6. Engagement metrics, typically via 360 degree feedback from all stakeholders
  7. Ideation, improvement metrics
  8. Learning outcomes, measured via process change
  9. Risk management metrics


Communication and Engagement

Optimisation Specialists must make certain that communications and engagement across all roles within the organisation is quite literally the most important function of the role.  This is achieved by;

  1. Making communication of insight and interpretation OF information, not production and distribution of information, the cornerstone of their activity
  2. Be proactive…..if in doubt be more proactive
  3. Looking at how communication takes place and innovating that.  Such as use of Infographics, explainer videos, social media, apps, time and space, questions as opposed to spreadsheets and opinion based statements, emotion versus logic

Specifically, the key communications and engagement activities should include:

  1. Regular face to face discussions with all stakeholders, both inside and outside the organisation with a key focus on how to improve that stakeholders outcomes (curiosity and a growth - not fixed mindset )
  2. Communicate in many different forms on a regular basis, this should include recommendations, insight, inspiration as well as information
  3. Become a recognised custodian for the views of many.  Professionally represent the views of many stakeholder groups to other stakeholder groups both informally and formally
  4. Provide advice/counsel where required to mediate any resource issues
  5. Educate (in plain English) all stakeholders on contact centre math and the often contradictory "at conflict" process of balancing desired outcomes

Stakeholder Management

Persuade people, make commitments, build trust, change behaviour and

  1. Build strong and trusted relationships with key stakeholders across the organisation.
  2. Positively influence these individuals and groups in the interest of delivering agreed objectives and activities effectively and simply.



  1. 1 Digital Adoption Success Lead, DigiTech LX, WalkMe, Comms and KMS teams
  2. Student Placement Operations team
  3. Delight Marketing teams
  4. Delight Tech teams
  5. Other Project Teams / Leads / Sponsors
  6. Country Directors/Managers and other offshore stakeholders
  7. RCXMs
  8. Fellow Melbourne based operational colleagues
  9. People and Experience Melbourne team


  1. Third party vendors, partners and suppliers


Key performance Indicators

  1. Forecast accuracy
  2. Timely production of forecasts, adherence, utilisation and performance reports
  3. Insights analysis and identification of improvements
  4. Shrinkage performance
  5. Utilisation performance
  6. Adherence performance
  7. Service level targets (speed to answer, conversion rate performance etc)
  8. Average handle time analysis




Essential Requirements

Resource planning is as much art as it is science, the key competencies of professional resources planners start with their beliefs. Contemporary Optimisation Specialists believe;

  1. Their role is one of, if not the, most important in striking the perfect balance of conflicting stakeholder outcomes (things like, contact centre professionals want to work and break at their desired times, the company wants the lowest possible cost to serve, students expect world class service)
  2. They have a duty to ensure everyone understands the importance of workforce planning and the role it plays in success.  Not just expecting people to understand
  3. Their role is to engage and influence, not dictate
  4. They can't contribute to stakeholder success being purely reactive, they must be proactive
  5. Balanced student, regional centre leader and employee centricity can be achieved
  6. They can continually learn and grow and that challenging the status quo is important

Specific essential competencies;

  1. Detailed understanding of contemporary contact centre math
  2. Detailed knowledge of contemporary workforce planning models, methods and frameworks cover all aspects of WFM from strategic planning to real time management
  3. Experience and capability in modern workforce management tools
  4. Ability to visually and simply convey complex messages for mass consumption
  5. Detailed analytical skills
  6. Provide workforce operational and financial information required for the development of business cases relevant to contact centre planning. Write draft material for straightforward submissions and assist in the development of material for more complex submissions.
  7. Have supported and participated in projects that impact locally, organisationally and stakeholder wide.
  8. Identify, plan and implement projects to support improvement, responsiveness to area of responsibility. This will include assisting with budgets, resources, risk management and communication planning for projects.
  9. Actively strive for quality outcomes for area of responsibility. Ensure all systems and procedures support quality outcomes and proactively engage in enhancement.
  10. Work with other roles to ensure workforce planning supports the best possible, customer, client and employee centred outcomes are achieved for individuals we support. Identify and plan for future workforce needs including new services and leave management.
  11. Identify potential financial and operational risks and work with managers to effectively control risk in ways that maximise opportunities.
  12. Look for current and emerging workforce trends; positive and negative, and suggest actions to address them.
  13. Sound organisational and analytical skills and attention to detail; ability to review practices and determine trends
  14. Strong administrative skills; time management, coordination of tasks, efficient work practices
  15. Well developed communication skills; verbal and written
  16. Extremely high proficiency in Excel (super user capability - simple test create a complex pivot chart with updatable graphs), Word and Powerpoint
  17. Ability to work autonomously
  18. Ability to drive and support continuous improvement and innovation
  19. Capacity to support change and deliver creative solutions
  20. Knowledge of human centred principles and approaches
  21. Commitment to reflective practice and ongoing learning
  22. Capacity to learn and work within all systems and technology tools provided to support outcomes
  23. Advocate and create a high quality work environment
  24. Vocal, engaged stewardship and teamwork

Desirable Requirements

  • Good budgeting and financial skills
  • Good understanding of advanced multi-channel digital experience technology
  • Good understanding of matrix management style of organisational design and operating model