Strategic Workforce Planning

Khushboo Kaushik is Content Manager at CareerBuilder India. Her expertise of writing can be uncovered in areas- Employer Branding, Recruitment Trends, Employee Engagement, Tech in HR. Also, a lover of poetry & art. Reach out to her at

One of the most talked about issues in the recruitment industry, still many HR specialists have not gone beyond the discussions around Workforce Planning. The task actually remains unaccomplished owing to the several challenges associated with it.

Through the following paragraphs our readers can know what workforce planning is all about and suggestive ways to plan it.

Workforce Planning

In simple words we can comprehend workforce planning as the ‘War Room’ for HR professionals. The workforce plan ensures those both talent management strategies and human capital go parallel towards the organization’s goals. This battle room allows business strategies to be formed and actions to be implemented, as well as, monitored. Moreover, the process of workforce planning even identifies any errors that are becoming a hindrance to the growth of the business and effective measures are crafted to attract, encourage and retain talent. We can even say that with such a designated war room, an organization is able to evaluate the internal graph of the company from ten thousand feet.

How to a plan an effective workforce planning strategy?

1. Discern who you are

Prior to planning for the future, it is wise to assess who you are. This would mean, making a revisit to your firm’s

* Visualization
* Mission
* Resolution

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Your firm’s identity can continually be discovered by undertaking a stock of the present workforce. This would mean reviewing all the employees at all levels. At this juncture, do not skip to pay foremost attention to employees whose work roles will be significant for the failure or success of the business. This would also inculcate making a note of departments, which:

* Witness high turnover rates
* Hold important skill gaps
* Experience highest absenteeism
* Have maximum loss of high performing workers
* Experienced with a track record of employees leaving within less than a year of joining

2. Decide who you want to be

Once it is determined who you are, next is to identify who you want to be. This would include considering your:

* Long-term profitability goals
* Future plans of company expansion into new geographical markets
* Future plans of diversifying the company’s product or service line

Built upon the above accumulated information, it is important to figure out how you want your future workforce to appear like. For instance, identify what exactly the kind of skills, knowledge and experience you want to see in the new hires.

3. Evaluate External Factors

Nothing comes easy nor does the task of strategic workforce planning. The challenge is to look not only inside the current structure but also beyond the four walls of the business. External factors either help to spoil or promote your organization goals. For this, ensure to check:

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* The emerging trends
* The political environment
* Economic developments
* Technological advancements
* Enhance the quality of data

An effective workforce planning comes with an organized, and quality-oriented data. Therefore, to ensure the data you have gathered does not entail quality issues, check it across various sources including:

* Company’s documents
* Talent management systems
* PowerPoint presentations
* Spreadsheets

Realize that there are chances of wrong decision-making owing to the information which is dispersed across several sources. Hence, remember to consolidate all the data into once source. Investigate through the progress, make amendments as and when required, and check for errors all at one place. When done appropriately, mindful workforce planning can go a long way in ensuring success of the business.

Recruiters, hiring managers, HR specialists must note that workforce planning is not a task that is conducted and accomplished in a vacuum. Managers at all levels must dedicatedly strive in aligning the strategic workforce planning task with that of the business plan of the organization.

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