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The Effective Tools for Workforce Planning

Published: September 5, 2017

The growing need of organizations to hire the right people, with the rights skills, in the right place and at the right time, is the planning that is frequently demanded of the HR department.

However, in practice, placing the right people at the right time is quite challenging for many organizations but nonetheless necessary to ensure deliverance of long term and short term business goals, through effective workforce planning.


In order to rise to this challenge and to ensure delivery of the business plan, modern organizations take effective workforce planning as a business strategy and use many efficient tools to achieve their purpose.

To understand these effective workforce planning tools, let us discuss some below.


Define the direction of the organization’s strategy

Effective workforce planning is not achievable, unless the organization sets the direction and communicates its strategic plan organization wide. This may also include the review of performance requirements and identify the strategic or core skills/competencies required for business success.

The organizations with sound strategic plans get the insight of expected changes in the geographical distribution of work, changes in work volume, access hours, service delivery modes and the types of served clients – using this information as a tool for effective workforce planning.

This is important to consider because any change in any one of these plan elements can bring significant implications for a business’s demand for competencies or specific skills.


Model the existing workforce

Modern organizations understand that capabilities, characteristics, and workforce distribution are crucial in projecting a new workforce plan. This also provides a fundamental workforce understanding that helps in developing efficient gap-closing strategies.

Moreover, the organization must consider all of the permanent, contractual and supplemental employees in modeling their existing workforce. The entire database for such employees, along with competencies, is easily available with the HR and offers a great start for your workforce planning.


Scan micro and macro environment

Organizations do not survive in a vacuum and are affected by many internal as well as external environmental factors. For an effective workforce planning, a review of social, demographic, economic, political and technological trends and issues may play a significant role in knowing the direction to employ the workforce effectively.

Considering these macro and micro changes helps an organization in defining its workforce planning more strategically, by knowing how to provide service, whom to serve and who needs to be employed for the job.

Develop a strategy for gap-closing

This is the most effective tool used by many modern organizations. Gap analysis identifies the surplus or deficit between workforce demand and workforce supply. It is a strategy that determines the ways to meet the surplus by overcoming deficiencies.

In workforce planning, this will help the organizations in filling those gaps where more workforce is required, a different skill set is needed or redesigning of work processes and positions, needs to be done.

These gap closing strategies might require recruitment of employees with the required skills, creation of plans for employee development, ways to reduce over staffing, building the skills of employees and retaining organizational knowledge –  among the many other effective strategies.


Effective workforce planning is all about strategies and their outcomes. The best approach is to look through the process perspective and start evaluating the good systems, which are already in place, to the need of emerging trends – considering both the workforce supply and demand.

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