What Is Workforce Planning?

A simple way to put workforce planning is “hiring the right people, in the right place with the right skills at the right time”. So workforce planning is the process of analyzing and planning for the future of a workplace. 

The process involves the following steps:

  •  Analyzing what your current workforce looks like
  •  Determining what could be your organization’s future needs.
  •  Identifying what needs to be done in order to fill the gaps between where you currently stand and where you want to be in the future. 
  • Finding the solutions to tackle your current issues and then implementing those solutions in order to reach goals.
  • Lastly, using your top talent to fulfill your goals.

Why Is Workforce Planning Important?

  • The key benefit of having a good plan for your employees is that it helps organizations prepare for the future. 
  • Workforce planning helps managers know who to hire in the future and the qualifications required to be promoted in the company.
  • Strategic employee planning helps decrease hiring costs. When companies help the current workforce improve instead of hiring new employees, the cost is cut down.
  • A workforce strategy helps identify the talent gaps. At the point of expansion, it can also help employers identify the hires needed in the future. 
  • Employee planning helps with accurate forecasting. An accurate plan means that an organization is hiring the right number of people. Hire too many employees, it is a waste of resources, having too few means you’re not offering great customer service. This is where workforce planning helps. 

What Purpose Does Workforce Planning Serve?

The purpose of this process is to have skilled, experienced, and knowledgeable people in the organization in order to achieve both short term and long-term goals of the company. Additionally, it is meant to improve overall business performance and planning. A careful workforce strategy helps managers to anticipate change rather than being surprised by results, as well as providing strategic methods for addressing current and foreseen workforce issues. It also helps giving more opportunities to women and minority groups in the future growth and strategic plans of the organization.

With technological advancements, the process has become easier than ever. Systems like human resource information system HRIS make it easy for employees to get insights on their employees. The information gained from systems like these can make workforce planning easier by promoting the interests of employees and those of the organization.


Related Terms 
Workforce planning tools