What is Workforce Planning?

Workforce Planning is the process of evaluating, predicting, and planning workforce supply and demand, identifying gaps, and determining specific talent management interventions to ensure that an organization has the appropriate people in suitable locations at the right time to meet its mandate and strategic objectives.

Workforce planning, whether performed individually or as part of the business strategy, includes addressing four issues:

  • The personnel mix and content are necessary to strategically position the company to deal with its potential future and commercial objectives.

  • The gaps between the future "model" organization (s) and the present organization, including any particular talents required by potential futures.

  • The recruiting and training programmes for permanent and contingent personnel must be implemented to fill such gaps.

  • Identify outside sources that meet the skill requirements for outsourced operations or processes.

Workforce planning recommendations

To ensure the effectiveness of the workforce planning process, human resource professionals in charge of managing workforce planning efforts should do the following:

  • Assign the procedure to a specific member of the HR staff.

  • Identify a high-level executive who will advocate the strategy.

  • Include important stakeholders in workforce planning.

  • Align the strategy with the strategic business plan of the organization.

  • Align the personnel plan with succession planning and professional development programmes.

  • Make workforce planning a continual exercise, with regular assessment of changes in the internal and external environments that may influence the organization's personnel requirements.

Workforce planning process

In workforce planning, many separate analytical stages must be taken:

  • A supply analysis, often known as a "supply model" or "staffing evaluation," examines an organization's present labour supply.

  • A study of future company goals and objectives is included in the demand analysis, often known as the "demand model."

  • The gap analysis evaluates the disparities between the supply and demand models, identifying skill surpluses and gaps.

  • The solution analysis focuses on how to fill existing and future workforce shortfalls through recruiting, training and development, contingency staffing, and outsourcing.

Criteria for primary workforce planning

Consider the following criteria when planning your company's future workforce:

  • Employee numbers: ensuring that the workforce is not overstaffed and inefficient, but also that it is not too small to stifle growth and fail to meet demand.

  • Skillset: possessing the correct combination of talents, capabilities, knowledge, and experience to operate successfully and achieve your objectives.

  • Budget: determining the best personnel spend to optimize earnings and produce a high return on investment from employees.

  • Flexibility: train your team to be adaptable and respond fast to market changes.