An HR Glossary for HR Terms

Workforce Planning

What is 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. Strategic workforce planning enables HR and business leaders to identify and anticipate their workforce needs and gaps in order to take action and ensure the organization is prepared to succeed.

7 Rs of strategic workforce planning

  • Right people
  • Right skills
  • Right shape
  • Right size
  • Right time
  • Right place
  • Right cost.

Benefits of workforce planning

Addressing demographic changes: Aging in the workforce can cause a number of different problems, including a lack of in-demand skills, reskilling challenges, and mass retirement. Strategic workforce planning anticipates this future challenge so that organizations can prepare today and avoid a skills gap.

Cost reduction: Strategic workforce planning helps you hire the right number of employees with the right skills at any given time, reducing costs that come with overstaffing and attrition. 

Flexibility: With rapidly evolving technology requiring companies to be more agile in their approach to building a workforce, strategic workforce planning gives organizations flexibility by allocate resources to priority areas.

Preparing for the future: By anticipating and planning for changes, organizations can prepare themselves for uncertainty and expected and unexpected challenges. By identifying critical roles and skills, organizations can better handle unexpected events like market disruptions or rapid technological advancements.

Aligning workforce strategies and organizational goals: Forecasting how the business will be in the next three to five years helps you to align workforce strategies with broader organizational objectives to develop a workforce that is strategically prepared to support future business directions and goals.

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