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6 keys to strategic workforce planning in turbulent times.

February 09, 2022

Contributor: Zhenli Lin

With effective coordination and greater transparency, you can overcome the limitations of business-unit level workforce plans and better support your organization in advancing its strategic priorities.

  • The pandemic has awakened organizations to the need for strategic workforce planning as a way to manage sudden changes.
  • HR leaders are often adept at planning talent needs within business units (BUs) but struggle to integrate BU needs into strategic enterprise plans.
  • Understanding how inputs from business units are used in designing and executing strategic workforce plans will help you drive a coherent talent strategy to drive business ambitions.

Most organizations now realize that a holistic overview of skills in an organization-wide workforce plan will enable them to deploy employees across business units (BUs) more effectively, especially when a mismatch in talent demand and supply needs to be urgently addressed. However, most organizations are making workforce plans at a BU level and often struggle to bring them together in a strategic workforce plan for the organization. Instead of thinking about workforce plans at an organization or BU level as two distinct options, identify the steps and activities that should be conducted at a BU level. Then focus on how these inputs may be used to inform plans made at an organization level.

Download now: How to Build a Business Case for Strategic Workforce Planning

Organizational Workforce Planning Steps With BU Inputs

To better understand how an organization-level workforce plan can be conducted with inputs from BU-level workforce planning , a closer look at the activities involved in each step of the process is necessary. The activities involved in workforce planning can be broadly categorized as designing and execution.

Designing Activities

The first four steps in the strategic workforce planning process involve designing activities. The inclusion of stakeholders within a BU differs depending on the activity, some of which are conducted at both the BU and organization levels.

Step 1: Prepare for Strategic Workforce Planning

As part of preparation for the strategic workforce planning process, identify:

  • Key components in a workforce plan document
  • Key stakeholders and their responsibilities in the process
  • Critical BUs to partner and prioritize investments in

To overcome time constraints and yet continue to actively shape future hiring needs, American Red Cross uses a prioritization framework to identify BUs with high growth rates and high alignment with organization’s priorities as critical BUs. American Red Cross prioritizes deeper talent planning conversations for critical BUs but still takes a light-touch approach with its other BUs. Those with similar resource constraints can take inspiration from this prioritization approach to identify critical BUs to partner and invest in.

Step 2: Understand the Business Strategy

Three main activities are performed as part of understanding the business strategy : setting business objectives, analyzing internal and external labor markets and assessing talent needs. In these activities, a bidirectional flow of information takes place between the key stakeholders overseeing workforce planning on an organization level and those within the individual BUs. Key stakeholders overseeing workforce planning on an organization level usually include the head of talent management and business leaders in top management. In contrast, workforce planning within individual BUs usually involves the HR business partners (HRBPs) and business leaders of the specific business segment.

Key Insights of Cross-HR Skills Team Members

To obtain a more accurate insight into skills needs, Lloyds Banking Group assembled a cross-HR skills team that collaborates with the business on skills planning.

The cross-HR skills team includes representatives from all relevant HR subfunctions such as total rewards, talent management, recruiting and L&D.

When setting business objectives:

  • Identify the strategic priorities of the organization.
  • Cascade the organization’s priorities to each BU to determine individual priorities.
  • Help HR leaders in individual BUs understand the impact of the organization’s priorities on their BU and get them to evaluate how they should set their individual priorities to contribute to the organization’s priorities.

When analyzing external labor markets:

  • Identify emerging trends and their impact on the organization’s business strategies.
  • Cascade information on trends and general skills impact to individual business units.
  • Support HR leaders in individual business units to analyze the impact of those trends on priorities and skills needs of their BU.

When analyzing internal labor market:

  • Create a sufficient, not exhaustive, skills inventory that provides enough data to inform skills decisions at the pace the business requires.
  • Form a flexible, cross-organization network of stakeholders tasked with identifying and monitoring changes in skills supply and demand.

When assessing talent needs:

  • Prioritize critical talent segments or roles at the organization level.
  • Uncover the capability needs of these critical talent segments within individual BUs.
  • Use the analysis of internal and external labor markets to identify where skills are in excess or facing a shortage.

Step 3: Diagnose Risks to Strategy Execution

You will need to use the results of the internal and external labor markets analysis in Step 2 to diagnose risks of executing a workforce strategy. A key activity here is to align talent needs with business objectives. This involves:

  • Centering discussions within the BU around the most important capabilities needed for alignment with the BU strategic plan, which should also align with the organizational priorities.
  • Sourcing inputs from BU leaders and middle management to influence discussions around the most important capabilities needed within the BU and broader organization.
  • Using these multiple sources of inputs to inform risk analysis for the most important capabilities.

Step 4: Develop a Plan to Address Risks

When drafting a workforce plan to address talent risks:

  • Create transparency into skills needs within and across BUs to inform workforce plan creation and facilitate the dynamic transfer of skills within the internal labor market. Ways to create transparency may include a centralized internal application portal, a common point of contact for advice on skills availability within the organization, or a standardized process for BU leaders to requisition skills.
  • Work on the potential action steps in the workforce plan from both the organization and BU levels. Common needs throughout BUs can be collectively addressed at the organization level, while BU-specific workforce needs can be addressed at the BU level.
  • Prioritize action steps to be addressed at the organization level based on their urgency and criticality to meeting strategic priorities. For action steps at the BU level, assign ownership based on responsibilities and capacity.

Execution Activities

Execution activities are mostly conducted at the BU level but involve collaboration with stakeholders throughout the organization. In executing a workforce plan, set clear triggers for when a plan needs reevaluation and assign ownership for trigger identification.

Step 5: Prepare to Execute the Plan

Before you can effectively execute the organization’s workforce plan, you need to:

  • Create a complete workforce plan document that includes each of the key components (workforce plan summary, implementation plan, individual initiative overview and implementation risks map).
  • Communicate the workforce plan to relevant stakeholders for execution within their BUs or areas of responsibility.
  • Establish triggers for reevaluating the plan outside of the regular review cadence (for example, quarterly or annually). Triggers should be set at both the organization and BU levels. For instance, new skills needs that remain unmet for a predetermined threshold period may call for a review of the BU and/or organization workforce plan.

The Australian Financial Security Authority splits the responsibility for updating workforce plans between HR and business leaders based on their existing expertise. This way, each party works on updates where it can have the greatest impact. The split is made such that HR is responsible for identifying labor market triggers, while business leaders are responsible for identifying business triggers, which they already track for business strategy purposes.

Trigger Identification Process for Updating the Workforce Plan

Step 6: Monitor the Plan

To know if a reevaluation is needed, it's imperative to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the workforce plan. BU leaders should set up regular check-ins with HRBPs to review the BU’s workforce plan against objectives. The head of talent management should do the same with BU leaders to evaluate the effectiveness of the workforce plan and determine if an adjustment to the plan is needed.

Conducting workforce planning at an organizational level can indeed be challenging. However, it is not an insurmountable task.

To foster success, work closely with other stakeholders in the organization, especially the BU HR leaders who can collectively contribute to the creation of an effective workforce plan at an organizational level.

With effective coordination and greater transparency, workforce planning at an organizational level can overcome the limitations of BU-level workforce plans and better support the organization in advancing toward its strategic priorities.

This article originally appeared in HR Leaders Monthly in October 2021. Download the full issue here .

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Taking the time to plan and make decisions as part of a broader strategy improves every aspect of your business, including your workforce. Despite the size or type of company, workforce planning is a valuable HR process that ensures you have the staff to execute your business strategy.

Learn what workforce planning is, how it helps with goals and produces positive outcomes, the benefits it can offer, five key steps in workforce planning, and what it looks like in practice.

  • What is workforce planning?
  • Primary workforce planning criteria
  • The goal of workforce planning
  • How workforce planning affects HR processes
  • The benefits of workforce planning
  • The five core workforce planning steps

What is Workforce Planning?

Workforce Planning is the process of analyzing existing employees and planning for future staffing requirements through talent gap assessment, developing employee management procedures, and setting recruitment strategies.

With effective workforce planning, your business is always staffed with the necessary talent, knowledge, and experience to produce positive business results.

Workforce Planning requires developing an appropriate and cost-effective strategy for retaining, recruiting, and training your workforce while also continually assessing employee performance.

A survey by the American Productivity & Quality Center (APQC) shows 89% of 236 organizations integrated workforce planning into their business operations.

The plan for your workforce, what it will look like moving forward, and how to strategize for specific goals are unique to your business and depend on many factors. Typical components that affect workforce planning include:

  • Talent availability
  • Business growth
  • Age of the existing workforce
  • Current knowledge/skill gaps
  • And much more

Strategic Workforce Planning

Strategic Workforce Planning is a proactive approach to managing staffing needs and aligns HR processes to business-wide goals. It guides future employee plans and decisions, ensuring they adhere to the company’s long-term vision.

Strategic workforce planning tends to take place at the senior leadership level and focuses on big picture goals such as:

  • Structural organization
  • Employee redeployment
  • Succession planning
  • Staffing budgets
  • Maintaining capacity
  • Reducing risk

Operational Workforce Planning

In contrast to strategic workforce planning, operational workforce planning focuses on the business’s immediate priorities. For example, which staff level can efficiently meet the current deadlines and objectives?

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Primary Workforce Planning Criteria

Criteria to consider when planning for your company’s future workforce include:

  • Employee numbers : getting the correct workforce size so the business is not overstaffed and inefficient but not too small to hinder growth and fail to match demand.
  • Skillset : having the right mix of skills, capabilities, knowledge, and experience to perform effectively and achieve your goals.
  • Budget : finding the optimal staffing expenditure to achieve a high return on investment from employees and maximize profits.
  • Flexibility : developing your workforce to be agile and adapt quickly when changes in the market occur.

The Goal of Workforce Planning

The primary goal of workforce planning is to create a strategy for your staffing needs that ensures you can meet strategic objectives both now and in the future.

To achieve this goal, workforce planning requires an in-depth understanding of your existing workforce, employee skills, experience, load capability, and potential talent gaps.

Through performance tracking and employee assessment, you can take a birds-eye view of your entire workforce and create actionable plans for the future.

Workforce planning allows companies to understand and design their workforce effectively and efficiently with long-term objectives in mind. It prevents problems from developing and allows management to spot issues early, creating plans to remedy them. Examples could include:

  • Identifying understaffed departments and potential bottlenecks
  • Staffing requirement to scale operations
  • Excess employees for redeployment or termination

How Workforce Planning affects HR Processes

Recruitment and employee development.

Workforce planning provides the game plan for your company’s recruitment and employee development .

With a clear understanding of your existing workforce and your future goals, you can profile the skills, experience, and knowledge required to meet your needs and develop hiring and training processes to match.

Companies are constantly competing for the same high-end talent. With appropriate workforce planning in place, you can better identify future top employees for your business and develop talent acquisition strategies to attract them to your company.

Plus, workforce planning analysis can help companies formulate proper training and employee development to fill talent gaps while also finding individuals capable of excelling with the correct professional development in place.

This leads us to succession planning and ensuring you maintain successful leadership across your company.

By recognizing the leadership positions currently open or soon to be available, companies can begin assessing existing employees for promotion or targeting outside hires with the right mix of skill and experience.

Workforce planning together with succession planning creates a smooth transition for the critical roles in your company so you can provide an uninterrupted, seamless service or product for your customers.

Performance management

A significant outcome of workforce planning is managing the performance of your employees to increase productivity and efficiency.

With workforce planning, you can understand and develop strategies that get the most out of your employees to increase output and get a higher return on investment from your staffing expenditure.

The Benefits of Workforce Planning

1. preparing for the future.

With workforce planning, you have a roadmap for your staffing requirements to prepare for the future.

This could mean increasing the number of employees to match growth forecasts or pivoting to a different business model and finding the staff you need to accomplish this.

2. Discovering workforce gaps

Understanding the gaps of your current workforce informs your future personnel strategy in terms of recruitment, redeployment, and training.

Read: Skills gap and skills gap analysis

3. Effective succession planning

By identifying and developing employees with the potential for future leadership roles, you can effectively plan for staff leaving with minimal disruption.

Succession planning can also have a positive effect on employee engagement. Surveys show that:

  • 62% of employees would be “significantly more engaged” if they had a succession plan at their company.
  • 94% of employers said having succession plans in place positively impacted employee engagement .

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4. Improved Retention strategies

Effective workforce planning gives you a clear understanding of employee skills and where they can be the most successful in the business.

So rather than terminating employees, you can retain valuable staff through well-planned redeployment.

5. Flexibility

A clear workforce plan with recruitment and training structures in place can make your business more agile, with the ability to efficiently anticipate and react to change.

You can reduce your overall staffing costs by developing plans to:

  • Increase your productivity and workforce ROI
  • Retain talent and reduce costs associated with employee turnover
  • Develop a flexible workforce that can meet customer demand in different circumstances

Labor costs can account for up 70% of total business costs . Workforce planning allows you to map talent to value and ensure you are getting the best results for the costs .

The 5 Core Workforce Planning Steps

Successfully implementing new workforce planning strategies is an extensive procedure. However, businesses can break down workforce planning into five core steps to simplify the process.

1. Deciding strategic direction and goals

Workforce planning is a top-down process requiring clear organizational direction and defined strategic goals to inform and guide future decisions.

  • What direction do you see your business going in?
  • What are you hoping to achieve through workforce planning?
  • What are the primary goals/milestones you are targeting?
  • Why does your business need new workforce planning structures?

These are vital questions to ask yourself before analyzing your workforce and implementing new employee management strategies.

It is also important to remember that every process in your business affects another. Therefore, your workforce planning must be an organization-wide endeavor and include effective communication between HR and other departments.

Your new workforce plan must be produced with a collaborative approach that generates a consensus amongst all invested parties. Without organizational buy-in and a rationale for new strategies, you cannot reap the benefits of workforce planning.

Consider this step setting the “soft” workforce planning framework that will define the overall strategy to assess future information rather than the plan’s specific details.

2. Analyze existing workforce

The next step is to properly assess your existing workforce.

Common strategies used in this step include:

  • Demand Planning – Determining the number of employees needed for each role required to reach your goal. Demand planning requires accurate business forecasts to determine your workforce’s future number, structure, and composition.
  • Internal Supply – Internal supply planning needs accurate talent evaluations, an understanding of the expected employee turnover rate (retirements, resignations, etc.), and the design of training and professional development programs.
  • Gap Analysis – Identifying the gaps in your workforce and making plans to close them through recruitment, redeployment, and training.

These strategies help to answer the following questions:

  • Do you have the right-sized workforce?
  • What skills, knowledge, and experience do your current employees have?
  • Do your employees need additional training?
  • What new resources can improve workforce performance?
  • Is your workforce correctly structured? (This includes organizational design, departments, communication channels, etc.)
  • What is your current employee turnover rate?

What you have now is the starting point for future workforce plans. You can begin developing workforce planning strategies when you know what you have (step 2) and where you want to be (step 1).

A common pitfall of workforce planning is ensuring it is based on high-quality information from within the organization and external sources. Workforce planning defined by inaccurate forecasts and undeliverable future goals cannot be successful.

3. Develop your plan

This is where companies must take their overall goal, input the assessment of their existing workforce and produce a concrete plan for the future.

Businesses must plan their workforce to reflect the value and revenue it produces. A simple example of workforce planning in action could be:

A company is manufacturing two models of cars. Model A is the business’ flagship car, selling the most and bringing in the most revenue. However, model B is showing significant growth, and the income from model A is beginning to stagnate.

The car company can produce a simple revenue table based on 2023 figures and 2024’s forecasts.

The revenue per employee for model A is $250,000, and the revenue per employee for model B is $300,000.

Based on growth forecasts, you can estimate that staff working on model B will need to increase by 57 to match increased demand. This process assumes the forecasts are accurate and there are no sudden changes in sales or production. At the same time, model A will likely begin to have a surplus of staff in 2024 and need a reduction of 8 employees.

With workforce planning structures in place, you can develop plans to retrain and redeploy staff from Model A to Model B during 2023. This kind of planning minimizes disruption and reduces employee turnover.

Of course, this is just a plan based on forecasts and does not mean you should immediately move eight employees from model A to model B and hire 49 more. Instead, the business should put redeployment, hiring, and training plans in place to execute when key revenue indicators are met and take a gradual approach that matches the shift in focus of their business.

4. Implement workforce planning

Successfully implementing workforce planning requires:

  • HR personnel to clearly understand their new roles and responsibilities.
  • Strategies and processes for recording all relevant data and information.
  • Effective communication channels between all invested parties to support the plan.
  • Defined measurement and evaluation criteria to assess the plan’s success.

While the future HR plans for managing your workforce are specific to your business, they will involve some or all of the following:

  • Recruitment
  • Redeployment
  • Outsourcing
  • Deploying new technology

With many new processes to implement, workforce planning does not transform your company overnight. Instead, it is a gradual endeavor that optimizes each procedure for the given circumstances to get your business closer to your long-term goals.

5. Monitor results

It is crucial to remember workforce planning is an iterative process whereby progress is monitored and measured against specific milestones and long-term goals.

Post-implementation, your workforce planning processes may need adjusting due to unexpected factors within your business or to meet new realities of your industry.

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Creating a path for continuous strategic workforce planning

How companies can integrate talent with finance and risk to better balance staffing needs.

how to do strategic workforce planning

Organizations face two major challenges when they implement ongoing and continuous workforce planning. The first is finding the technology and tools that are right for the organization today while also leaving room for it to grow. The second is identifying which skills will be needed for the future and which are becoming obsolete as automation and artificial intelligence (AI) reinvent jobs and the nature of work itself. To successfully enable continuous workforce planning, we recommend the following steps:

  • Match technology to maturity: New or growing strategic workforce planning (SWP) functions require tools that enable basic workforce planning now while allowing more complex planning to be conducted in the future.
  • Anticipate organizational changes: Generative AI is leading to the creation of a new support ecosystem requiring different skillsets, such as automation managers, and the development of new types of tech functions, such as AI prompt engineers.
  • Leadership alignment and education: Leaders need to focus on being more interconnected with their organization and other leaders, as SWP is a living process that is impacted by many variables, requiring organizational-wide buy in and collaboration.

In this paper, we discuss the benefits of integrating SWP into the wider enterprise performance-planning process. We also describe effective ways to hire, develop, outsource, and automate your staffing needs so that you can accomplish the strategic, operational, and financial goals that will support your business growth.

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What Is Strategic Workforce Planning? A Complete Guide

By definition, strategic workforce planning means creating a hiring process that will make sure the right candidates are brought on throughout every step of your organization’s growth. Business leaders aim to develop a process that will proactively identify future hiring needs while filling current ones.

Human resources and business managers collaborate to determine a business’s long-term goals. They then develop a business strategy to make sure the current and future workforce are equipped to meet those goals. This means that thorough workforce plans can be a great help to growing businesses.

Let’s look at what makes a good strategic workforce plan and how your business can get started on theirs.

What Is the Purpose of Strategic Workforce Planning?

Workforce plans are meant to set a team up to scale by making sure all internal needs will be addressed and growth will be seamless. Companies do this by anticipating future hiring needs and working to make sure the right people will enter the company at the right time.

This also means identifying any skill gaps that currently exist within the workforce or may arise as the business grows. You can use workforce planning to make sure you meet your diversity initiatives as well as job postings.

4 Components of Strategic Workforce Planning

The main components of strategic workforce planning are:

  • The Right People : Hires will be beneficial to the company and work well with the company’s culture, values, and needs.
  • With the Right Skills : New hires will have the right work experience and skill set to do their job correctly.
  • Enter the Right Job : New hires or promotions will be placed in a job that correctly uses their skill set and furthers the company’s goals.
  • At the Right Time : Hires or promotions will be immediately able to produce work that furthers the company.

The best way to find the right people with the right skills at the right time is to hire across borders. Incorporating global hiring into your strategic workforce plan empowers you to find candidates who check every box while maximizing your hiring budget.

Learn how to easily hire talent across borders, quickly expand your business into new markets, and ensure compliance for global talent in our guide:

How to build a global workforce that takes your company farther - get the guide

Strategic Workforce Planning Examples

A few examples of what strategic workforce planning might look like include:

  • Putting together a talent acquisition strategy
  • Leadership development training
  • Global expansion initiatives
  • Career path development
  • Workflow optimization and streamlining

How Do You Create a Strategic Workforce Plan? 6 Steps For Success

How to create a successful strategic workforce plan

Each business is unique and has its own hiring needs and goals, so no workforce plan will look identical to another. However, there are a few guidelines that every business leader can follow when developing their own plan.

1. Analyze Your Current Workforce 

The first step to workforce planning is assessing what you already have. Look at your current roster and identify strengths and weaknesses. Determine what is going well within your organization and how you can become even stronger.

There are three main workforce issues that should drive workforce planning: your strategic plan, outside factors changing your workforce, and maintenance of your current workforce.

  • Strategic plan: Figure out how your workforce is meeting or not meeting your current goals and the steps that need to be taken to get to a point you’re satisfied with.
  • Outside factors: Determine which outside factors — like new competition, diversity initiatives , adopting remote work , or other factors — are going to affect your workplace.
  • Workforce maintenance: Decide how to strengthen your workforce with better training, new focus on employee wellbeing, or initiatives to boost employee engagement before you start looking to grow.

Tip: Internal surveys can help you gauge your employees’ satisfaction while you work to pinpoint issues affecting your organization.

2. Set Long-Term Goals For Your Organization  

Setting direct, actionable goals can help you figure out how and who to hire as you work toward them. Your goals should focus on your most crucial business needs and help set a trajectory for the way your business will grow.

Most businesses follow a S.M.A.R.T. framework for goal-setting. That means the goals will be:

  • Specific: Each goal should home in on one aspect of your business to make the goal direct and meaningful.
  • Measureable: Tie a tangible way of measuring success to each goal so you can prove you’re making progress.
  • Attainable: Shooting for the moon isn’t always the best option — your goals should be within scope for your organization within the designated time frame.
  • Relevant: Goals should align with your company’s business model, needs, and objectives to make sure you’re staying on track.
  • Time-Sensitive: Goals should be set within a specific time frame so you can keep moving forward and setting new goals.

Tip: Setting long- and short-term goals can help keep morale up by creating more opportunities to celebrate company wins.

3. Anticipate Roadblocks or Future Needs 

The key to an effective workforce plan is doing a little guesswork to anticipate future needs or potential roadblocks. By planning for these in advance, you can be ready to meet them head on.

Consider where you are now vs. where you want to be. How many staff members are currently needed to execute a project or meet a deadline? And if your business grows at the rate you’re anticipating, how many will you need in six months? If the projected number is larger than the current, you need to make sure you’ll have the staff on hand to meet deadlines.

Tip: You can also gauge your current roster’s bandwidth and burnout levels to determine how many new staff members will keep the team productive while prioritizing their wellbeing.

4. Fill In the Gaps 

Once you know where you are, where you want to be, and any obstacles that might stand in the way of getting there, you can start to fill in the gaps and finalize your workforce plan.

Identifying these gaps can help you fill roles with people who will help support your growth. It can also help you determine whether the needs can be filled with a greater number of employees filling your current roles or if you’ll need to develop new roles altogether.

For example, if you’ve been working as the boss with all of your employees as your direct reports, you may need to hire managers to act as middlemen so you can focus on other tasks and let them handle project management.

Tip: Once you start feeling like you’re never logged off, you should consider promoting employees to management positions.

5. Seek Help From Experts 

Developing a relevant, efficient, and actionable workforce plan may not come naturally to some business leaders. Third-party agencies that specialize in workforce optimization can help you nail down your business plan as you scale.

Consulting an agency to help identify your workforce needs and assist in hiring for those needs can help you make sure you’re not only preparing yourself for the future but also setting yourself up for a successful one.

Tip: For those growing globally, a third party is even more important. Globalization partners can make sure you stay compliant with labor laws while selecting the right candidates for your growth.

6. Implement and Adapt As Needed

Just like an adaptable workforce is important, so is an adaptable workforce plan. Your plan might give you a solid trajectory for your growth, but that doesn’t mean you won’t need to make adjustments as you scale.

More than likely, you’ll be confronted with situations and needs you didn’t foresee. And while your plan will be able to tackle the bulk of these needs, some may arise that weren’t accounted for. In these scenarios, you may need to revisit and restructure your hiring plan.

Tip: Keeping track of your goals and growth within those goals can help you pinpoint when you’re getting off track as early as possible.

What Are the Advantages of Workforce Planning?

An effective workforce planning strategy can help make a good workforce great.

Addressing Current Workforce Gaps 

A workforce gap is a mismatch between what skills you’re going to need from your workforce as you scale and what skills your employees possess.

Looking toward the future can help you pinpoint any skill gaps in your current roster. This can not only keep your organization on track to grow, but it can also make sure your current roster isn’t going to become overloaded when expansion does start to happen.

Keeping Goals Met

New business leads, deadlines, and deals can feel like a snowball rolling down a hill for a growing business. And if you’re not careful, you could get buried. Workforce planning makes sure that the new employees will continue to be onboarded as the company grows and more needs arise. This makes sure business goals will continue being met and the business can keep growing smoothly.

Preparing for the Future

Workforce planning allows HR professionals and business leaders to create a long-term strategy that will see the company through years of growth. Once the strategy is in place, business leaders can then get back to focusing on their day-to-day tasks knowing that the organization is ready to grow when the time comes.

It’s Best to Plan Ahead

Preparation is key, especially when looking to grow a business or go global. When taking your business overseas, you’ll need to not only have a firm workforce plan intact but also make sure you’re hiring the best candidates and staying compliant with labor regulations in your new locale.

Contact Velocity Global  to learn how we can help you confidently and compliantly hire talent in 185+ countries.

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Workforce Planning

Workforce Planning is the process of analyzing, forecasting, and planning workforce supply and demand, assessing gaps, and determining target talent management interventions to ensure that an organization has the right people - with the right skills in the right places at the right time - to fulfill its mandate and strategic objectives.

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Blog · Leadership

October 8, 2020

10 Steps for Effective Strategic Workforce Planning

Strategic workforce planning can help sustain organizational growth in challenging times. We've put together 10 steps to help you kick off the process.

Sophie Smith-Watkins

by Sophie Smith-Watkins

10 Steps for Effective Strategic Workforce Planning

Sustaining organizational growth in challenging times

Business leaders are currently facing some serious challenges in regard to their future talent acquisition and human capital strategy . The unprecedented impact of the pandemic and ensuing recession means that a fundamental rethink of business strategy is needed. The way people work, where they work and who they work for is rapidly changing, and business leaders need to plan ahead in order to maintain growth. Strategic workforce planning could be the answer to sustaining organizational growth in difficult times.

63% of CEOs are concerned about availability of key skills

One of the biggest concerns for leaders at the moment is the shortage of skilled talent and the ageing workforce. CEOs are increasingly worried about finding talent with the right skills. 79% of CEOs perceive retaining existing talent as the top management challenge, while another 67% cited attracting qualified talent as the top concern.

Many leaders are well aware of the exceptional challenges that lie ahead, but many seem less certain about how they are going to tackle them. Read on to find out how to implement an effective workforce planning strategy in 10 steps.

strategic workforce planning CEO quotation

What is strategic workforce planning?

Strategic workforce planning is the systematic identification and analysis of an organization's future talent needs associated with its long-term goals and objectives , establishing a clear strategy that ensures that it will achieve these goals.

Workforce planning aims to align an organization's people strategy with its evolving needs . It is a continual process due to the constantly evolving nature of organizational change.

It is essential that HR leaders develop a strategic workforce plan that will help their organization to meet its strategic goals by identifying critical talent needs, assessing potential talent risks and developing strategies to mitigate those risks.

What is the goal of workforce planning?

The main goal of workforce planning is having the right talent in the right roles at the right time . The organization will never be over or understaffed, and will be ready to react quickly to changes in the business landscape.

Effective strategic planning will shape the future of HR, enabling People teams to demonstrate their capabilities and influence in managing people processes and in driving overall business success.

The 4 key elements of workforce planning

All workforce strategic planning processes should consider the following essential components:

  • Key business priorities must be translated into talent strategy
  • HR initiatives must be prioritized based on both current capabilities and projected needs
  • Strategic plans must be communicated to key business stakeholders to get leadership buy-in and investment
  • Plans must be able to evolve to reflect ongoing changes in business conditions

key elements of strategic workforce planning

Common barriers to strategic workforce planning

According to a recent study , only 8% of senior HR leaders believe they are getting a suitable return on investment from strategic workforce planning and talent management. So before you kick off your planning efforts, it is useful to be aware of some of the obstacles that organizations face when they are focusing on workforce planning.

common barriers to strategic workforce planning

Common barriers that organizations face during workforce planning:

  • Lack of the necessary tools and resources
  • Failure to align planning with wider businesses goals
  • Little to no support from leadership
  • Lack of collaboration during the planning process
  • Talent and skill gaps not identified correctly
  • No reliance on employee data

Although there are some barriers, being aware of the challenges going forward will help you to implement a roadblock free planning process.

Benefits of strategic workforce planning

Effective strategic workforce planning improves HR’s strategic contribution to the organization by 13% and, in turn, drives talent outcomes and revenue.

Investing time and resources in your workforce planning process will set up your organization for success. If you are still on the fence, the following benefits will convince you that it is worth your time.

key benefits of strategic workforce planning

Benefits of strategic workforce planning:

  • Reduce labor costs
  • Identify future customer needs
  • Devise appropriate strategies for people development
  • Identify and improve target areas
  • Improve employee retention
  • Boost productivity
  • Improve work-life balance
  • Improve KPIs

Where to begin with your workforce planning strategy

There is no set way to implement a strategic workforce plan. Whilst that might seem contradictory given the title of this article, it actually reflects the unique nature and culture of every organization. The important thing is that each plan must be designed with your organization's specific workforce in mind in order to identify gaps and anticipate future needs. Strategic workforce planning is no mean feat, but when executed correctly it will have a positive impact on your businesses bottom-line.

10 steps for effective strategic workforce planning

10 steps for effective strategic workforce planning

1. Keep in mind the organization's long term objectives

Strategic workforce planning is about making sure people within your organization are able to deliver the wider business goals. It would therefore be logical to start with those key business goals. Think about where the company is headed in the short and long term, what does it want to achieve, and what human capital can do to help it achieve it. By aligning talent management strategy with the organization's business strategy, you will start to see real benefits to the organization as a whole.

2. Engage key stakeholders from the outset

It is really important to get leadership and key stakeholders on board before you begin with strategic workforce planning if you want to see real results. You will need to buy-in not only from the HR department, but also from finance, operations and the C-suite.

3. Create a dedicated team

High-performing organizations might already have a dedicated workforce planning team in place, but if your business cannot accommodate this there are ways around it. Establish a project team, where members are able to continue in their normal role and can also join the new workforce planning team. Build your team wisely, with input from senior leadership, finance and HR stakeholders. Establish clear communication channels and segment specific roles within the team.

4. Analyze the current workforce

In this stage of workforce planning, your organization needs to evaluate its gaps and work out what actions it can take to close them. It is essential to carry out some analysis of the current state of the workforce.

What does your workforce look like at the moment? What skills shortage is already apparent? What could be improved on to increase efficiency and enhance employee employee experience?

Reviewing your current talent situation and recognizing the gaps is the first step to better understanding the changes that need to be made to drive improvement. Once the gaps have been identified, create appropriate action plans.

5. Use people analytics

People analytics are a very useful way to get insights about the workforce. What are the current capabilities, skills and size? Collect data on workforce demographics and leverage this information to make smarter , data-driven decisions regarding your workforce.

6. Collaborate

One of the biggest barriers that organizations face during workforce planning is the failure to communicate across the company and gather internal feedback before decision making. It is essential to collaborate with department leaders and managers, as they work closely with employees and will therefore have a better understanding of areas that need improvement.

7. Use innovative technology

An effective planning process requires continual interaction, something that can be improved by using a strategic workforce planning tool. Cloud-based, data driven workforce planning tools encourage collaboration and flexibility, and turn planning into a more agile, collaborative and data-driven process. Using planning technology will allow you to free up budget, model different scenarios, create better alignment between finance and HR and better track workforce plans.

8. Outsource an expert

The complexity of creating an effective workforce planning strategy must not be understated. Don't be afraid to seek external help. Experts are able to provide your organization with invaluable help and support to make the process more effective. Bringing in some external help will save your organization both time and resources, and will represent a significant return on investment.

9. Anticipate the future

To be ready for the future, you need to have some idea of what is on the horizon. Whilst no one can predict the future, what you can do is create potential future scenarios and plan accordingly. These can be used to create action plans in advance. Then when something unexpected happens, there will already be some contingency measures in place.

10. Evaluate, revise and modify

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, workforce planning needs to be adapted in line with the evolving needs of an organization. It is important to continuously track the progress of your workforce planning strategy in order to identify its strengths and weaknesses, and modify it accordingly. The process needs to incorporate a regular review process in order to gather feedback needed to evaluate the process. The current business environment is constantly changing and evolving, and your workforce planning should too.

Whilst there is no one size fits all solution for today's talent management issues, strategic workforce planning is an excellent place to start. If your organization hires hundreds of roles a year, it is particularly important to think strategically about how your future workforce can achieve maximum productivity at any given moment.

A clear plan will help to reduce employee turnover, prepare for demographic change and create a long-term talent management strategy that will undoubtably improve your bottom-line.

Check out our top tips for effective workforce planning here .

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Further Reading

Related articles from our blog, read on

10 Steps for Effective Strategic Workforce Planning

Strategic workforce planning is a complex process, but when executed effectively it can help sustain organizational growth in challenging times. We've put together 10 easy to follow steps to help you kickstart the process.

Sophie Smith-Watkins

SMART Goals for Managers and Leaders

SMART Goals for Managers and Leaders

Setting SMART goals for managers and for your team is an easy exercise to promote strategic alignment and motivation.

Kylie Strickland

Kylie Strickland

Boost Employee Motivation: Five Activities To Focus On

Boost Employee Motivation: Five Activities To Focus On

Engaged employees are more aligned with strategic objectives. We have put together five engagement activities to help increase employee motivation.

Nikolaos Lygkonis

Nikolaos Lygkonis

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The Complete Guide to Strategic Workforce Planning

  • Nadia Ponomareva
  • Mar 29, 2023

Key Takeaways

1.  Strategic workforce planning is a tool for business and HR leaders to scope and plan for the capabilities which their companies are likely to need in order to meet future business goals.

2. A strategic workforce plan aims to shape staffing in line with future business needs and challenges. Robust planning should enable companies to operate more effectively and meet key goals in a future environment with evolving demographics, economic trends and commercial opportunities.

3.  The continued normalization of remote working, use of a  contingent workforce , and integration of collaborative online working platforms, could all have significant potential impact for future workforce shape, size and skill requirements.

4.  Strategic workforce planning can help companies to operate more smoothly, with more predictable staffing costs and greater productivity and profit. Without a strategic workforce plan, fluctuating staff costs, unforeseen trends, and gaps or performance failures affecting critical business, could all waste time, energy and money.


2022 may be a good year to look towards the future and make decisions on the long-term direction of your company and the workforce needed to power your business ambitions.  International HR  leads in particular should be reviewing and revising the longterm strategic workforce plans for their companies in the light of the COVID pandemic and related shifts in labor markets and working patterns.

In larger and/or multinational companies, it’s important that changes to staffing are made intelligently and in a coordinated way which supports business objectives and minimizes business disruption. Strategic workforce planning is often the answer to this need.

Definition of strategic workforce planning 

Strategic workforce planning is the art of creating a workforce which can operate effectively in the future environment in order to meet your company’s goals. It sets out the numbers, skills and nature of workers likely to be required by the company, while considering relevant trends, challenges and opportunities at play in the external environment. 

A strategic workforce plan should be developed and updated in alignment with core business planning. Business leaders should consider their strategic workforce plans regularly as one of the fundamental delivery mechanisms for their company’s vision and objectives.

What is the purpose of strategic workforce planning? 

The ultimate goal of strategic workforce planning is to make sure that you have the right staff in the right positions at the right time to realize your company’s strategic vision and meet the objectives in your long-term business plan.

It should act as a guide and reference point for managers, HR leads and anyone making decisions around recruitment, training, promotion or other staffing issues. Business leaders should refer to the strategic workforce plan when monitoring business performance data and looking for ways to improve productivity, engagement and cost effectiveness.

In terms of scope, the strategic workforce plan should include information around:

  • Businesses must plan to have neither too many staff nor too few, balancing recruitment levels against retirement, redundancy and other exits.
  • Staff must be deployed in the right regions, countries or cities to fit business needs.
  • Recruitment and internal appointment systems must be managed to ensure that critical business areas do not carry long staffing gaps. Succession planning is required for senior roles.
  • A strategic workforce plan should include a budget and demonstrate the financial value added to the company by the shape and size of any proposed future workforce.
  • Worker type
  • The nature of the proposed workforce should reflect business needs for permanent, temporary, casual, part-time, contractor, or any other types of staffing. Where the work is to be remote, the strategic workforce plan should cohere with a  remote work policy . 
  • Skills, knowledge and competences
  • The workforce must maintain the key skills, knowledge and competences required for business (e.g. languages, project management, economics).

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Benefits of strategic workforce planning.

With a strategic workforce plan in place, your HR leads should have a superior vantage point to inform staffing policies and decisions. This can help to get the right staff in the right positions at the right time, with advantages including:

  • Better business performance
  • A well-designed and competently-delivered strategic workforce plan is a powerful tool for realizing a company’s core business goals. If you get it right, your plan could open a door to greater productivity, access to new markets and support your broader  international expansion strategy.  
  • More predictable staff costs
  • Better strategic workforce planning should mean less budget surprises around staff payroll and wider costs. Finance leads should be better placed to estimate future workforce costs. 
  • Efficient use of line-manager and HR time
  • With an effective plan guiding recruitment, staff development, monitoring of levels of skills, competences and learning etc.. there should be less time and energy spent by managers and HR leads on planning and support around individual roles. 

What does a Strategic Workforce Plan look like? 

Strategic workforce plans will look different from one business to another, depending on sector, size and company goals. At the same time, a  strong strategic workforce plan  is likely to have certain key features, or background research and evidence components:

1. Mission and vision

The strategic workforce plan should have clear scope, timescale and links to the company’s top-level  vision, aims and business plans .

2. Current workforce snapshot

HR leaders should conduct or commission a full review of the shape, size and fitness of the current workforce. This would typically include information on demographics, locations, contract types, costs, skills, competences etc..

3. Business intelligence and foresight reports

For a robust long-term view, a strategic workforce plan requires an assessment of current business intelligence in relevant sectors, as well as an investigation of trends, opportunities and challenges likely to matter for the company along the time horizon of their business and workforce planning.

4. Staff engagement and public opinion data

Information around internal staff engagement and public perceptions of a company can help establish how they are seen as an employer and give insights into potential issues around staff retention or recruitment. 

5. Future workforce snapshot

Drawing on key inputs, HR leads or external experts will need to set out the shape of the future workforce that would be needed to deliver business goals, considering the wider environment, affordability and feasibility of recruitment. This should include estimated staffing costs and long-term liabilities.

NB Depending on the importance and predictability of wider trends beyond company control, planning for 2-3 different future workforce scenarios can make a plan more robust. 

6. Transformation roadmap

A strategic workforce plan needs a roadmap and/or action plan showing how the current workforce can be transformed into the future workforce. HR leads should be ready and able to monitor the transformation and report progress to business leaders. Recruitment, promotion and redundancy needs should be made clear and communicated appropriately to existing staff to maintain engagement.

How to introduce strategic workforce planning 

1. senior ownership.

Introducing strategic workforce planning requires board-level leadership, explicit buy-in and active support alongside the work of the HR leaders and managers who will usually carry out or oversee the necessary scoping, reviewing and drafting.

2. Staff involvement

If this kind of thinking is new to your company, or your strategic workforce plan has not been refreshed in some time, you should pay particular attention to how you communicate this work stream to your current staff. Be clear on what the plans will cover and how they will be used.

Some staff may fear that strategic workforce planning will precede a forced redundancy program or pay cuts, while others will feel more positive, potentially being interested in opportunities for promotions, acquiring new skills or transferring location.

3. Expert advice and support

This is an area where it can be helpful to involve external experts. From horizon scanning the economic and social trends which could affect future recruitment and retention, through identifying new markets and opportunities for  overseas expansion , to on-the-ground delivery of your strategic workforce plan in a key country, sometimes there is no substitute for local expertise and insight.

Foresight advisors, business intelligence consultants and Global Employment Organizations (GEOs) may all have a role to play.  

How Horizons supports strategic workforce planning

For international companies, external expert advice around strategic workforce planning can save time, identify gaps and opportunities, and add wider value, especially around international HR. Horizons has extensive experience in providing employment solutions to support strategic workforce planning around the world.

  Call us today  to discuss your company’s strategic needs. 

Frequently asked questions

Workforce planning is a proactive business approach to staffing where recruitment, staff development, redundancy, retirement etc.. are considered together as part of an overall strategy. Without any workforce planning, they might be dealt with individually for each job or team or handled as separate workstreams in HR. This would make it harder to evaluate the current workforce or create a workforce which meets future business needs.

A strategic workforce plan should be developed by HR and business leaders and guided by core business objectives. It should incorporate external trends, insights and expert advice as relevant for the sector and operations.

The exact shape of the plan will depend on the individual company but in general, it would need to include the broad vision and goals of the future workforce, an assessment of the current workforce, and a roadmap for transforming one into the other.

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Strategic workforce planning


What is workforce planning?

Why is workforce planning important for your company, who should be in charge of strategic workforce planning, workforce planning process, what tools can help you with your strategic workforce planning.

As recruitment becomes increasingly data-driven and strategic, recruiters must upskill their own knowledge and expertise to offer value to their clients. Strategic workforce planning is a vital area to understand, and in this blog post, we will look at everything to do with strategic workforce planning, what it is, why it matters, and how it can be carried out for the best results.

In today’s changing business climate, organisations use strategic workforce planning to ensure their business strategy and workforce align for the best possible results. This involves analysing the forces of supply and demand when it comes to the workforce and recruitment and then adjusting what the business does to meet its goals and needs.

At its heart, modern strategic workforce planning means leveraging the power of data and technology to align the organisation’s key resource; its people – with its intended strategic goals and plans. By using workforce planning, organisations can set themselves up for success by giving HR the insight it needs to make smart decisions about business talent needs, including strategic hiring and technology implementation (such as AI).

The process involves looking at workforce supply and demand and carrying out analysis, forecasting and planning. The end goal is to get the right people with the right skills in the business, at the right time and in the right locations, to deliver the strategic plan and drive the organisation’s success. Essentially, workforce planning recognises that business strategies can only be successful with the right people in place to deliver them.

When it’s done well, workforce planning ensures businesses have enough of the right staff. Without this strategic approach, organisations can become either overstaffed (and struggling to meet the payroll bill) or understaffed (and struggling to meet client needs.) Workforce planning is a tool that lets decision-makers rightsize the business in a way that meets business goals and strategic plans without creating a large and unnecessary overhead for payroll.

What are the benefits of workforce planning

Some of the main benefits of having an effective workforce planning process include:

  • Bringing the strategic plan to life by creating a road map that explains how it will be achieved. This is because the workforce plan aligns the supply and demand of talent with the business’s strategy to make it a reality.
  • Preparing for future needs by bringing a longer-term view on board with respect to labour market trends, job streamlining, the use of AI, flexible workers and other staffing solutions.
  • The change to find efficiency opportunities and staffing gaps- which can then be assessed and corrected.
  • Generating data that supports better HR decision-making rather than knee-jerk or impulse decisions.
  • Making succession planning easier.
  • Reducing turnover with better retention, as employees are well-used, developed and not over-stretched when a strategic plan is in place.

Every organisation will have its own approach to strategic workforce planning . In some businesses, it’s a C-suite activity, and in others, it’s led by HR. Generally speaking, a lot of people will have input into this strategic process, including hiring managers, people managers, and possibly recruiting partners. It will be generally driven by HR as part of strategic HR planning.

1. Define the organisation strategy

The organisational strategy is the starting point for all workforce planning as it will drive the staffing needs to deliver the strategy’s projects, goals and outcomes. The business plan will be an output of the strategy, which usually has a 3-5 year timespan. The business plan will usually be for the coming financial year but may be longer. A workforce strategy may also have a 3-5-year timespan that matches the business strategy.

2. Assess your existing workforce supply

In this phase, you look at your existing talent pool within the business, factoring in existing employees and potential candidates within any talent pool process you nurture or within the recruitment pipeline. You can map the numbers against defined skills, competencies and qualifications to create a richer picture of your employee skills base. You can use skills gap analysis to pinpoint the skills that you need now and in the future.

3. Assess the demand

Look at how many employees will be needed to achieve the business’s current needs and to then achieve its strategic plans. This is your workforce demand.

4. Analyse gaps between the supply and demand

At this point, you have the supply and demand data needed to consider your workforce against your strategic plans. If you see gaps between them, you can look for ways to close them. For example, if your business is moving into a high-tech digital product field, you may see from your supply plan that you don’t have enough existing employees with the necessary skills to lead the development and marketing of this product. You can then plan a training budget, hire people with those skills or look at flexible staffing.

On the other side of the coin, you may see from your supply plan that you have too many employees in a customer service role at a time when you are implementing AI and no longer need this full headcount. You can then plan ahead to reskill existing employees and move them into other areas or consider whether programmes to reduce headcount will be necessary.

5. Put the plan in place

This is the stage where the data translates into action! You might hire new skilled staff, work with a recruitment agency to bring temps on board, consider using contractors or use technology in some areas to replace or augment human skills. You might also look at consolidating certain teams or outsourcing functions. Plenty of options exist when a business has the necessary data and insights to make confident decisions.

6. Measure progress

Once you’ve made the necessary adjustments to the workforce, continue to measure the results of these strategic actions to make sure they are having the desired effects.

A variety of tools and technologies exist to make the strategic workforce planning process. These include:

Strategic workforce planning map

This map shows how this activity aligns with organisational strategy and is the process’s core document. Most businesses will now use software that makes the creation of workforce planning maps far easier, with interactive documentation and templates that the business can populate, update and interrogate.

This is also called an HR3P matrix, and it maps the performance and potential of each employee in a single model, assessing every level from ‘talent risk’ to ‘shining stars’.

HR dashboarding

Many businesses are using dashboards as part of their commitment to strategic HR. These instruments are a great way to provide rich data about the workforce in real-time, with information from HR databases such as the ATS, payroll, training records, etc.

Compensation & benefit analysis

This tool can also feed into workforce planning analysis because it allows businesses to map their workforce and its skills and performance against the cost of payroll.

Scenario planning

This vital business tool lets businesses model different scenarios and plan how they would respond to them. These challenge scenarios could be anything from new product introductions to climate change. By identifying these risks, the business can build contingency plans.

ATS systems and recruitment software

Applicant tracking systems also feed into the workforce planning process by showing where talent is in the recruitment process. Teamdash is a highly customisable recruitment software that businesses are using to unlock powerful insights and value into their recruitment, with rich features such as interview scheduling, asynchronous video interviews, social media recruitment tools, etc.

Workforce planning is a powerful strategic tool that is also surprisingly easy to implement as a framework. Its power lies in providing the necessary framework for robust workforce analysis and generating valuable data that supports business decision-making to support strategic goals. For a surprisingly simple framework, it can yield extremely powerful results and help organisations position themselves to achieve their strategies.

For recruiters, it offers a way to provide extra value to clients by offering the services that help them rightsize their workforce, whether from temporary staffing to skilled contractor hiring or through targeted recruitment and executive search. Today’s recruiters must be smart and strategic to demonstrate value, and understanding frameworks such as workforce planning is a highly relevant way of demonstrating this value to client businesses.

RPO vs Recruitment Agency: What are the differences?

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What Is Strategic Workforce Planning? 5 Steps for Successful Planning

  • June 3, 2022

It’s a fact that all jobs are not equally essential to the survival of a business. For example, research by Bain and others have indicated that fewer than 5% of an organisation’s roles account for more than 95% of its ability to execute its strategy and deliver results.

Accordingly, the question that every business leader must answer is which 5% applies in my organisation? And what is being done to ensure that the talent pipeline is healthy with talents to fill these roles today and tomorrow?

The business world is complex, and only the proactively strategic will thrive in it. Companies that thrive in today’s complex business environment are constantly rethinking which skills will be most important to enable them to navigate the murky waters of the future.

As a result, these companies proactively develop these skills in their workforce and actively recruit them. I n all, the discipline that caters for this crucial task of developing and recruiting future talent is termed Strategic Workforce Planning (SWP). 

What is Strategic Workforce Planning (SWP)?

Strategic workforce planning enables businesses to map out what is required in terms of talent to deliver the business strategy and achieve the company’s long-term goals.

A good workforce plan looks at what’s required from the workforce perspective to build and sustain a competitive advantage for the organisation. It focuses on the strategic capabilities a business will need to master to accomplish its goals and the moves required to deliver those capabilities. 

 In a nutshell, strategic workforce planning is about ensuring your organisation will have : 

  • The right people 
  • With the right skills 
  • At the right cost 
  • At the right place 
  • At the right time 

The ‘strategic’ element of strategic workforce planning means looking significantly further ahead than the typical short-term hiring plans. For example, a good strategic workforce planning uses a three- to five-year outlook instead of just a one-year view. 

Questions & Actions Arising from Strategic Workforce Planning

Accordingly, questions arising from strategic workforce planning include: 

  • What new work is needed to be successful in the future, and how will our current work change? 
  • What capabilities are needed to deliver the business strategy?  
  • What internal capability do we have?  
  • What does the external labour market look like?  
  • What’s the gap?  
  • How do we fill the gaps?  
  • Where are the critical risks? 
  • How do we evaluate the effectiveness of the plan? 

Correspondingly, actions arising from strategic workforce planning will include: 

  • Buying in new skills or creating learning roadmaps or talent pipelines to develop them internally 
  • Developing transition pathways to reskill and redeploy people where demand is reducing 
  • Improving retention and engagement.     

When these conditions are met, your workforce will be better poised to deliver on your business goals effectively for the long term.  

Considering how vital an SWP is to the long-term health of an organisation, let’s explore the steps you can take to develop your workforce planning process. 

5 Steps for Developing Your Strategic Workforce Planning

First, ask, what’s the long-term business strategy .

Considering that strategic workforce planning caters for the future staffing needs of an organisation, the very first step to creating your SWP is to define the organisation’s long-term goals clearly. The fastest way to develop your long-term business strategy is to ask the question: Where do we see ourselves in the next five years? 

Decisions concerning the organisation’s long-term goals are not to be made trivially. Schedule time away from the daily grind to plot your company’s five-year goals. 

 Some insightful questions to ask your team include: 

  • What is our desired future state? 
  • As a company, what do we want to accomplish five years from now? 
  • What must we do to execute the strategy successfully? 
  • What must we stop, start or continue to do to achieve our goal? 
  • What must we do exceptionally well to win? 
  • What capabilities do we need to perform sustainably at an exceptional level? 

Next, conduct a current-state analysis

conduct a current-state analysis 

After establishing where the business is going, the next stage is to evaluate what you currently have in terms of people and skills. This step is called a current-state or internal supply analysis.

When evaluating your talent supply, do it by job role rather than a person; this will help you remain objective. Then analyse the capabilities the employees in those roles have right now and compare them to what you need them to be to execute your business strategy. 

Decide on which roles qualify as your 5% 

What roles are most critical to your organisation’s current and future success? Deciding which positions are essential in your organisation  or those most crucial to moving toward your goals mustn’t be done hastily.

Instead, together with your team, take the time to think carefully and answer the following questions:  

  • Which roles (present or future) will disproportionately drive the success of the business strategy? 
  • Which roles can we afford to understaff without risking our business unduly? 
  • What jobs are most crucial? 
  • What current or future skills will disproportionately drive the success of our business strategy? 
  • What capabilities will accelerate our ability to deliver on our promise? 

Analyse the gaps and the risks

This stage is usually the most eye-opening. If, after analysing, you find a skills gap between what you have and what you consider that you’ll need, take time to explore the possible ways by which you can close those gaps.

Some organisations will require training their employees ; for others, it will require hiring new talent to close those gaps.

It is vital to identify the external factors  that may endanger your strategy at this stage. Examples of external risks include changes in the labour market, alterations in economic or political conditions, evolving industry trends or new government legislation.

To effectively weigh the implication of these external risks, get your leadership team to share their topmost concerns. Then, as a team, determine which are most relevant or potentially catastrophic to your business. After that, you may follow up with scenario planning and proactively decide how to take action. 

Finally, draw up an action plan

After careful analysis of your most critical roles and skills, it’s time to start prioritising and implementing your action plans. 

The burning questions to answer are: 

  • Which skill gaps present the greatest strategic risk to your success? 
  • What actions must be taken to close those skill gaps? 

We recommend that you draw up specific, appl i cable, attainable, quantifiable, and time-bound goals  to guide your efforts. Then, once the wheel of progress starts rolling, do all within your power to ensure that it continues to roll. If you fall off the wagon by any means, make the necessary adjustments and get back on track. 

 In Conclusion

The future is uncertain. As a result, strategic workforce planning is highly iterative in practice. However, more important is that once conversations around strategic workforce planning begin, it will change the organisational mindset.

These conversations create the right conditions for managers to think deeply and systematically about the workforce and what it takes to move the organisation forward. 

If you need further clarifications or require the help of our senior and experienced consultants, please reach out to us at [email protected] .

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What is Strategic Workforce Planning and What are the Benefits?

Skilled workers are the foundation talent of a company, but a shortage of these skilled workers is making it hard for businesses to find the right employees at the right time. For a large number of businesses, this is a growing concern, with many missing out on revenue goals due to unorganized hiring processes. 

In fact, as of September 2018, the unemployment rate in the US declined to 3.7 percent - the lowest jobless rate since December 1969. This is great for employees who now have the ability to shop around for the perfect office environment and an offer that meets their expectations, but it’s a huge challenge for HR and procurement departments who are tasked with finding talent for the future of their business. 

Order From Chaos - taming the Contingent Workforce Marketplace

Thankfully, the booming contingent workforce has opened new opportunities for companies to access talented workers with specialized skills. Businesses must, however, adopt strategic workforce planning to anticipate organizational skill gaps and recruit the right candidates to fill them.

What is strategic workforce planning?

Strategic workforce planning is created by designing a process within your organization that proactively anticipates current and future hiring needs. This will ensure your organization has the resources needed to meet its business goals.

Through the use of business analytics, finance, and input from HR and procurement team data, you will be able to create a strategic workforce plan that meets your desired long-term goals and maintains your company’s long-term success.

Strategic workforce planning will help you to build an organization with stable staffing levels across every department, with the right skills in the right positions for more successful results and a higher return on investment (ROI).

How do I create a strategic workforce plan?

There is no set way to create a strategic workforce plan. Every company is unique, every industry has different needs and every worker is expected to meet different goals. However, each plan must be designed to analyze your company’s current workforce in a bid to identify gaps and fill future needs.

The aim of strategic workforce planning is the constant evaluation of workers and their performance, preventing your business from being surprised by the ever-shifting needs of your workforce.

Strategic workforce planning is no easy task, and most companies will benefit from the expertise that a managed service provider (MSP) can bring them. With unique insights into the contingent workforce, acquiring top talent and the use of innovative technology to design a strategic workforce plan, outsourcing help can set you up for long-term success.

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What are the benefits of strategic workforce planning.

Once you have adopted a strategic workforce plan and you can successfully identify all current and required workers, you will be able to hire the top talent in your particular field and stay one step ahead of your competitors at all times.

Creating and implementing a strategic workforce plan can help your business realize a plethora of benefits. HCMWorks has listed some of the most important here:

Addressing current workforce gaps - Analyzing the skills of your current employees can provide insights into the skill or resource gaps that you currently have within your business. Through this evaluation, you will be able to identify the gaps between your current workers’ competencies and what you’ll need in the future to reach your goals. Using that information you can ensure you acquire top talent with the skills required for your company’s success.

Improving KPIs - Business is all about constantly developing and improving those key performance indicators (KPIs). You can use the data from your strategic workforce plan to drive your business forward and ensure you are constantly improving performance metrics and meeting new objectives.

Preparation for the unexpected - Once you have created a strategic plan that not only looks at your current business needs but also your future requirements, your company will avoid potential and unexpected problems down the line. Being prepared for these issues will save your company significant time and money in the long run.

Ready to learn more about creating a strategic workforce plan and how it can benefit the future of your business? Contact HCMWorks today and learn how we can create a plan specifically designed for the future success of your business.

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How to Strategic Plan in 7 Steps

By Avery Collins, GSA

April 26, 2022

This is the second post in a series highlighting different aspects of strategic planning in the Federal Government. Today, we will meet Agency Alpha, a fictional agency that will help us learn more about the strategic planning process.

L ast week, we met Carson and learned how she used strategic planning to land a new job . We talked about how this same process applies to government agencies and leaders, who use strategic planning to determine their vision for the future and create a strategic plan to serve as their roadmap.

The strategic planning process that agencies follow is more in-depth than most of us use for our personal goals. Today we will be following Agency Alpha, a fictional federal agency that will help illustrate the strategic planning process. While each federal agency approaches strategic planning a little differently and there is not a single best approach, a sound strategic planning process includes the following 7 key steps.

Step 1: Environmental Scan

The first step of any strategic planning process starts with research. Agency Alpha conducts an environmental scan , a process where they identify and monitor factors that may impact the long-term direction of the agency. Agency Alpha starts by looking at the incoming administration’s priorities and potential new regulations. They identify climate change, customer experience, and equity as a few Administration priorities that they would need to incorporate into their future vision.

Step 2: Internal Analysis

Research doesn’t stop after assessing the environment outside of an agency. Agency Alpha also needs to complete an internal analysis , including a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) assessment. They utilize their annual review process to evaluate performance across the agency and engage with staff and senior leadership. They compare their operations with the Administration priorities they identified in step 1, and in this instance they focus specifically on climate.

Step 3: Strategic Direction

Agency Alpha uses what they learned from their environmental scan and internal analysis to create a strategic direction . They meet with staff and stakeholders and use that input to build a vision for the future that is both idealistic and high-impact. They theorize how to align Administration priorities like equity, customer experience, and climate with agency operations. They determine what is actually achievable and what the agency should strive for. Climate is important to the agency employees and those they serve. They see it as a big part of the future, and thus a big part of the vision for Agency Alpha.

Step 4: Develop Goals and Objectives

After determining their strategic direction and vision, Agency Alpha engages with internal stakeholders and senior leadership to create a focused set of goals and objectives . They facilitate focus groups and meet with subject matter experts to come up with strategies, indicators, and desired outcomes for each goal. They use existing processes like staff engagement, communities of practice, and quarterly reviews to get buy-in from across the agency.

Step 5: Define Metrics, Set Timelines, and Track Progress

After the goals and objectives are set, Agency Alpha adds details to their plan. They determine the responsible offices and bureaus for each goal. They identify the necessary resource allocations, create actionable timeframes, and define metrics that best measure success. Agency Alpha appoints Team Beta to lead clean energy initiatives and Team Cobra to lead climate literacy initiatives. They set milestones and timelines to ensure they stay on track.

Step 6: Write and Publish a Strategic Plan

Once Agency Alpha gathers the information in step 5, they write an informed strategic plan that captures the voice and purpose of the agency. Their engagement with staff and stakeholders in steps 2 through 5 gained agency-wide support for the plan to help ensure that the strategic plan does not end up as a stand-alone document.

Step 7: Plan for Implementation and the Future

While drafting their plan, Agency Alpha begins to prepare for how to implement it after publication. They include performance measures that track progress and create a formal system for leadership and staff to annually review the plan and update goals and objectives as needed. Every agency follows a slightly different process, but most have gone through these 7 steps over the last year and a half. Last month, federal agencies published their strategic plans for 2022 to 2026 on performance.gov .

Stay tuned as we explore the importance of strategy and performance in the Federal Government and share agency success stories. The next post in this series will feature the National Endowment for the Arts and look at how staff and external engagement shaped their overall vision for the next four years.

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Director People Strategy & Workforce Planning

Job Location: Hershey, PA  

Note: This position can be remote

The Director of People Strategy and Workforce Planning will partner closely with the CHRO, HRLT, VP Strategy as well as other cross-functional senior leadership.  The role will support and enable leadership to make decisions in service of our workforce needs that deliver on Hershey’ strategic priorities.      What the role must deliver:    

-Comprehensive strategic workforce plan in partnership with Enterprise Strategy team that serves future workforce needs, forecasts workforce costs aligned to the Business Planning cycles and is anchored in enabling our Leading Snacking Powerhouse vision.  -HR strategic plan and roadmap aligned to executive priorities and overall business goals.  -People strategies, guided by data, set the HR functional priorities to deliver the business run and change while enhancing the employee experience, improve retention, and drive employee engagement aligned with our EVP​. 

Critical skills: 

   -Ability to continuously research trends to inform our strategic priorities including needed skills and capabilities.  -Ability to develop and implement HR strategies that align with workforce planning mission and long-term objectives.   - Ability to serve as strategic advisor to ensure alignment of goals to executive priorities.  -Strong leadership skills to inspire, motivate, and guide the HR team and the broader organization.  -Exceptional communication skills, both written and verbal, to engage with senior management, staff, and external stakeholders effectively.   


-Data and Insights Expert: Leverages data and insights to form strategies and measure progress.  -Results-Oriented Visionary: Achieves current goals while planning for the future with trust and courage.   -Problem Solver:  Ability to drive work from strategy to execution delivering solutions, implementing seamlessly, and measuring results.  -Strategic Mindset: Ability to understand business vision and priorities, and translate into integrated tools, processes and actions.  -Strategic Advisor:  Easily collaborates and consults with senior leaders to build strategic plans and ensure alignment of HR priorities with enterprise priorities.  -Effective Influencer and Communicator:  Ability to lead, communicate and influence stakeholders at all levels.   

Experiences:     -Depth in workforce planning and talent with the ability to anticipate what it takes to drive meaningful outcomes in the bench, including how to anticipate skills, numbers and timing.  -Advising Executive and Senior leadership and influencing their thinking through enterprise leadership experiences, with a preference in HR and human capital strategy.  -Leveraging data for storytelling and informed decision making.   

Educational pedigree: 

Undergraduate from top school  MBA from top school or MSHR from top school      

Nearest Major Market: Harrisburg

how to do strategic workforce planning



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The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington, DC 20500

FACT SHEET: President   Biden Issues Executive Order on Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence

Today, President Biden is issuing a landmark Executive Order to ensure that America leads the way in seizing the promise and managing the risks of artificial intelligence (AI). The Executive Order establishes new standards for AI safety and security, protects Americans’ privacy, advances equity and civil rights, stands up for consumers and workers, promotes innovation and competition, advances American leadership around the world, and more. As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s comprehensive strategy for responsible innovation, the Executive Order builds on previous actions the President has taken, including work that led to voluntary commitments from 15 leading companies to drive safe, secure, and trustworthy development of AI. The Executive Order directs the following actions: New Standards for AI Safety and Security

As AI’s capabilities grow, so do its implications for Americans’ safety and security.  With this Executive Order, the  President directs the  most sweeping  actions  ever taken  to protect Americans from  the potential  risks  of  AI  systems :

  • Require that developers of the most powerful AI systems share their safety test results and other critical information with the U.S. government.  In accordance with the Defense Production Act, the Order will require that companies developing any foundation model that poses a serious risk to national security, national economic security, or national public health and safety must notify the federal government when training the model, and must share the results of all red-team safety tests. These measures will ensure AI systems are safe, secure, and trustworthy before companies make them public. 
  • Develop standards, tools, and tests to help ensure that AI systems are safe, secure, and trustworthy.  The National Institute of Standards and Technology will set the rigorous standards for extensive red-team testing to ensure safety before public release. The Department of Homeland Security will apply those standards to critical infrastructure sectors and establish the AI Safety and Security Board. The Departments of Energy and Homeland Security will also address AI systems’ threats to critical infrastructure, as well as chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and cybersecurity risks. Together, these are the most significant actions ever taken by any government to advance the field of AI safety.
  • Protect against the risks of using AI to engineer dangerous biological materials  by developing strong new standards for biological synthesis screening. Agencies that fund life-science projects will establish these standards as a condition of federal funding, creating powerful incentives to ensure appropriate screening and manage risks potentially made worse by AI.
  • Protect Americans from AI-enabled fraud and deception by establishing standards and best practices for detecting AI-generated content and authenticating official content . The Department of Commerce will develop guidance for content authentication and watermarking to clearly label AI-generated content. Federal agencies will use these tools to make it easy for Americans to know that the communications they receive from their government are authentic—and set an example for the private sector and governments around the world.
  • Establish an advanced cybersecurity program to develop AI tools to find and fix vulnerabilities in critical software,  building on the Biden-Harris Administration’s ongoing AI Cyber Challenge. Together, these efforts will harness AI’s potentially game-changing cyber capabilities to make software and networks more secure.
  • Order the development of a National Security Memorandum that directs further actions on AI and security,  to be developed by the National Security Council and White House Chief of Staff. This document will ensure that the United States military and intelligence community use AI safely, ethically, and effectively in their missions, and will direct actions to counter adversaries’ military use of AI.

Protecting Americans’ Privacy

Without safeguards, AI can put Americans’ privacy further at risk. AI not only makes it easier to extract, identify, and exploit personal data, but it also heightens incentives to do so because companies use data to train AI systems.  To better protect Americans’ privacy, including from the risks posed by AI, the President calls on Congress to pass bipartisan data privacy legislation to protect all Americans, especially kids, and directs the following actions:

  • Protect Americans’ privacy by prioritizing federal support for accelerating the development and use of privacy-preserving techniques— including ones that use cutting-edge AI and that let AI systems be trained while preserving the privacy of the training data.  
  • Strengthen privacy-preserving research   and technologies,  such as cryptographic tools that preserve individuals’ privacy, by funding a Research Coordination Network to advance rapid breakthroughs and development. The National Science Foundation will also work with this network to promote the adoption of leading-edge privacy-preserving technologies by federal agencies.
  • Evaluate how agencies collect and use commercially available information —including information they procure from data brokers—and  strengthen privacy guidance for federal agencies  to account for AI risks. This work will focus in particular on commercially available information containing personally identifiable data.
  • Develop guidelines for federal agencies to evaluate the effectiveness of privacy-preserving techniques,  including those used in AI systems. These guidelines will advance agency efforts to protect Americans’ data.

Advancing Equity and Civil Rights

Irresponsible uses of AI can lead to and deepen discrimination, bias, and other abuses in justice, healthcare, and housing. The Biden-Harris Administration has already taken action by publishing the  Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights  and issuing an  Executive Order directing agencies to combat algorithmic discrimination , while enforcing existing authorities to protect people’s rights and safety.  To ensure that AI advances equity and civil rights, the President directs the following additional actions:

  • Provide clear guidance to landlords, Federal benefits programs, and federal contractors  to keep AI algorithms from being used to exacerbate discrimination.
  • Address algorithmic discrimination  through training, technical assistance, and coordination between the Department of Justice and Federal civil rights offices on best practices for investigating and prosecuting civil rights violations related to AI.
  • Ensure fairness throughout the criminal justice system  by developing best practices on the use of AI in sentencing, parole and probation, pretrial release and detention, risk assessments, surveillance, crime forecasting and predictive policing, and forensic analysis.

Standing Up for Consumers, Patients, and Students

AI can bring real benefits to consumers—for example, by making products better, cheaper, and more widely available. But AI also raises the risk of injuring, misleading, or otherwise harming Americans.  To protect consumers while ensuring that AI can make Americans better off, the President directs the following actions:

  • Advance the responsible use of AI  in healthcare and the development of affordable and life-saving drugs. The Department of Health and Human Services will also establish a safety program to receive reports of—and act to remedy – harms or unsafe healthcare practices involving AI. 
  • Shape AI’s potential to transform education  by creating resources to support educators deploying AI-enabled educational tools, such as personalized tutoring in schools.

Supporting Workers

AI is changing America’s jobs and workplaces, offering both the promise of improved productivity but also the dangers of increased workplace surveillance, bias, and job displacement.  To mitigate these risks, support workers’ ability to bargain collectively, and invest in workforce training and development that is accessible to all, the President directs the following actions:

  • Develop principles and best practices to mitigate the harms and maximize the benefits of AI for workers  by addressing job displacement; labor standards; workplace equity, health, and safety; and data collection. These principles and best practices will benefit workers by providing guidance to prevent employers from undercompensating workers, evaluating job applications unfairly, or impinging on workers’ ability to organize.
  • Produce a report on AI’s potential labor-market impacts , and  study and identify options for strengthening federal support for workers facing labor disruptions , including from AI.

Promoting Innovation and Competition

America already leads in AI innovation—more AI startups raised first-time capital in the United States last year than in the next seven countries combined.  The Executive Order ensures that we continue to lead the way in innovation and competition through the following actions:

  • Catalyze AI research across the United States  through a pilot of the National AI Research Resource—a tool that will provide AI researchers and students access to key AI resources and data—and expanded grants for AI research in vital areas like healthcare and climate change.
  • Promote a fair, open, and competitive AI ecosystem  by providing small developers and entrepreneurs access to technical assistance and resources, helping small businesses commercialize AI breakthroughs, and encouraging the Federal Trade Commission to exercise its authorities.
  • Use existing authorities to expand the ability of highly skilled immigrants and nonimmigrants with expertise in critical areas to study, stay, and work in the United States  by modernizing and streamlining visa criteria, interviews, and reviews.

Advancing American Leadership Abroad

AI’s challenges and opportunities are global.  The Biden-Harris Administration will continue working with other nations to support safe, secure, and trustworthy deployment and use of AI worldwide. To that end, the President directs the following actions:

  • Expand bilateral, multilateral, and multistakeholder engagements to collaborate on AI . The State Department, in collaboration, with the Commerce Department will lead an effort to establish robust international frameworks for harnessing AI’s benefits and managing its risks and ensuring safety. In addition, this week, Vice President Harris will speak at the UK Summit on AI Safety, hosted by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
  • Accelerate development and implementation of vital AI standards  with international partners and in standards organizations, ensuring that the technology is safe, secure, trustworthy, and interoperable.
  • Promote the safe, responsible, and rights-affirming development and deployment of AI abroad to solve global challenges,  such as advancing sustainable development and mitigating dangers to critical infrastructure.

Ensuring Responsible and Effective Government Use of AI

AI can help government deliver better results for the American people. It can expand agencies’ capacity to regulate, govern, and disburse benefits, and it can cut costs and enhance the security of government systems. However, use of AI can pose risks, such as discrimination and unsafe decisions.  To ensure the responsible government deployment of AI and modernize federal AI infrastructure, the President directs the following actions:

  • Issue guidance for agencies’ use of AI,  including clear standards to protect rights and safety, improve AI procurement, and strengthen AI deployment.  
  • Help agencies acquire specified AI products and services  faster, more cheaply, and more effectively through more rapid and efficient contracting.
  • Accelerate the rapid hiring of AI professionals  as part of a government-wide AI talent surge led by the Office of Personnel Management, U.S. Digital Service, U.S. Digital Corps, and Presidential Innovation Fellowship. Agencies will provide AI training for employees at all levels in relevant fields.

As we advance this agenda at home, the Administration will work with allies and partners abroad on a strong international framework to govern the development and use of AI. The Administration has already consulted widely on AI governance frameworks over the past several months—engaging with Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, the UAE, and the UK. The actions taken today support and complement Japan’s leadership of the G-7 Hiroshima Process, the UK Summit on AI Safety, India’s leadership as Chair of the Global Partnership on AI, and ongoing discussions at the United Nations. The actions that President Biden directed today are vital steps forward in the U.S.’s approach on safe, secure, and trustworthy AI. More action will be required, and the Administration will continue to work with Congress to pursue bipartisan legislation to help America lead the way in responsible innovation. For more on the Biden-Harris Administration’s work to advance AI, and for opportunities to join the Federal AI workforce, visit AI.gov .

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  1. Business Strategy and Workforce Planning

    how to do strategic workforce planning

  2. PPT

    how to do strategic workforce planning

  3. Workforce planning flowchart

    how to do strategic workforce planning

  4. Strategic Workforce Plan Model Ppt Template

    how to do strategic workforce planning

  5. PPT

    how to do strategic workforce planning

  6. Strategic Workforce Planning

    how to do strategic workforce planning


  1. EPBCS Workforce Planning Employee Skills| EPBCS Workforce Planning

  2. Three Steps to Implement IT Strategic Planning [Webcast]

  3. Introduction to Strategic Planning

  4. When to Do Strategic Planning

  5. Inferred Skills Demo: Drive strategic workforce planning through by ML-based skills currency

  6. Basics on WFM (workforce management)


  1. Strategic Workforce Planning: A 3-Step Process Guide

    Strategic Workforce Planning: A 3-Step… Posted by Erik van Vulpen Workforce planning is often mentioned - but rarely explained. What is workforce planning, and how do you do it? When used well, strategic workforce planning enables HR to plan for the capabilities they need in the future.

  2. Strategic Workforce Planning

    Strategic workforce planning sets HR up to identify talent needs associated with the organization's future goals and establish a strategy to ensure the organization has the right mix of talent, technologies and employment models to reach these goals. Download Strategic Workforce Planning Case Studies

  3. Strategic workforce planning

    Strategic workforce planning Understand what strategic workforce planning is and how to do it Guide 04 May, 2023 All locations Workforce planning This guide introduces you to workforce planning and provides you with an overview of how to do it.

  4. Workforce Planning: How to Do It on an Organizational Level

    Designing Activities The first four steps in the strategic workforce planning process involve designing activities. The inclusion of stakeholders within a BU differs depending on the activity, some of which are conducted at both the BU and organization levels. Step 1: Prepare for Strategic Workforce Planning

  5. A Guide to Workforce Planning: Process, Strategies, & Template

    Here are six steps you need to take to create an effective plan: Establish concrete current and long-term business objectives. The more concrete and detailed you can get with your business objectives, the better. That way, you're able to identify and measure the most relevant metrics after you launch this effort.

  6. Workforce Planning: Model, Process, Steps [Guide 2023]

    Strategic workforce planning tends to take place at the senior leadership level and focuses on big picture goals such as: Structural organization Employee redeployment Succession planning Staffing budgets Maintaining capacity Reducing risk Operational Workforce Planning

  7. 14 Essential Steps In Workforce Planning

    1. Ensure Alignment And Goal Clarity The most critical step in strategic workforce planning is alignment — alignment of business strategy, organization structure, people and results.

  8. Creating a path for continuous strategic workforce planning

    The first is finding the technology and tools that are right for the organization today while also leaving room for it to grow. The second is identifying which skills will be needed for the future and which are becoming obsolete as automation and artificial intelligence (AI) reinvent jobs and the nature of work itself.

  9. A Complete Guide to Strategic Workforce Planning

    1. Analyze Your Current Workforce The first step to workforce planning is assessing what you already have. Look at your current roster and identify strengths and weaknesses. Determine what is going well within your organization and how you can become even stronger.

  10. Workforce Planning

    Overview. Workforce Planning is the process of analyzing, forecasting, and planning workforce supply and demand, assessing gaps, and determining target talent management interventions to ensure that an organization has the right people - with the right skills in the right places at the right time - to fulfill its mandate and strategic objectives.

  11. Workforce Planning Is Essential to High-Performing Organizations

    Diagram 1. Workforce Planning Process Following the workforce planning activities outlined in the diagram results in these benefits: Aligns strategic planning with head count and talent...

  12. 7 Steps For Successful Strategic Workforce Planning

    Steps to successful strategic workforce planning 1. Consider the long-term goals of the organization 2. Analyze your current workforce 3. Find future skills gaps 4. Prepare for different scenarios Stop guessing, Start data-driven hiring. 5. Don't hesitate to ask for external advice 6. Don't forget your company culture 7. Monitor and adapt

  13. Workforce Planning: Definition & Best Practices

    Workforce planning is the process of leveraging data to ensure that a business's workforce supports business needs, goals and strategic plans. By utilizing workforce planning, businesses can set ...

  14. 10 Steps for Effective Strategic Workforce Planning

    Strategic workforce planning could be the answer to sustaining organizational growth in difficult times. 63% of CEOs are concerned about availability of key skills. One of the biggest concerns for leaders at the moment is the shortage of skilled talent and the ageing workforce. CEOs are increasingly worried about finding talent with the right ...

  15. Workforce Planning: A Complete Practical Guide 2023

    It involves analyzing and forecasting your future workforce needs in terms of quantity, skills, and capabilities, and then developing strategies to have the right people in the right roles at the right time to realize your strategic objectives. Per the Harvard Business Review :

  16. Strategic Workforce Planning: Why And How To Begin

    Now, here are the steps you can take to develop your own strategic workforce plan. 1. Discuss business strategy. Your organization must have a clear, shared vision of its long-term goals to have an effective strategic workforce plan. To get there, develop your long-term business strategy by exploring where you want to be as an organization in ...

  17. The Complete Guide to Strategic Workforce Planning

    Key Takeaways. 1. Strategic workforce planning is a tool for business and HR leaders to scope and plan for the capabilities which their companies are likely to need in order to meet future business goals. 2. A strategic workforce plan aims to shape staffing in line with future business needs and challenges.

  18. Strategic workforce planning: What it is and how to do it

    1. Define the organisation strategy The organisational strategy is the starting point for all workforce planning as it will drive the staffing needs to deliver the strategy's projects, goals and outcomes. The business plan will be an output of the strategy, which usually has a 3-5 year timespan.

  19. What Is Strategic Workforce Planning? 5 Steps for Successful Planning

    In a nutshell, strategic workforce planning is about ensuring your organisation will have: The right people With the right skills At the right cost At the right place At the right time The 'strategic' element of strategic workforce planning means looking significantly further ahead than the typical short-term hiring plans. For example, a ...

  20. How to Successfully Implement Strategic Workforce Planning

    Online Training for Workforce Planning… If you're looking to get started in workforce planning checkout our online training course, Getting Started with Workforce Planning.This introduction to workforce planning will ensure that as a HR professional, you not only understand how to create a strategic workforce plan, but also how you can gain buy-in and manage your workforce planning activities.

  21. Workforce Planning: Definition, Process and Principles

    Components of strategic workforce planning include evaluating the current talent as employees leave the organization, anticipating future talent needs, estimating potential barriers to hiring and developing and implementing an effective strategy for analyzing the workforce. Read more: What Is Talent Management? (Plus Processes for Effective Use)

  22. PDF Worforce Planning Guide

    Workforce Planning assists organizations by providing critical data analytics and tools to inform leadership decisions on the workforce and to enable them to meet current and future organizational goals and objectives. Workforce Planning is the systematic process of analyzing and assessing to set targets to mitigate the gaps

  23. What is Strategic Workforce Planning and What are the Benefits?

    Strategic workforce planning is created by designing a process within your organization that proactively anticipates current and future hiring needs. This will ensure your organization has the resources needed to meet its business goals. Through the use of business analytics, finance, and input from HR and procurement team data, you will be ...

  24. How to Strategic Plan in 7 Steps

    Step 1: Environmental Scan. The first step of any strategic planning process starts with research. Agency Alpha conducts an environmental scan, a process where they identify and monitor factors that may impact the long-term direction of the agency. Agency Alpha starts by looking at the incoming administration's priorities and potential new ...

  25. Director People Strategy & Workforce Planning

    Requisition Number: 120454. The Director of People Strategy and Workforce Planning will partner closely with the CHRO, HRLT, VP Strategy as well as other cross-functional senior leadership. The role will support and enable leadership to make decisions in service of our workforce needs that deliver on Hershey' strategic priorities.

  26. FACT SHEET: President

    To mitigate these risks, support workers' ability to bargain collectively, and invest in workforce training and development that is accessible to all, the President directs the following actions: