Workforce Planning

For most businesses, large or small, the task of identifying what work needs doing and who should do it is a continuous challenge! It is rare that a business of any size operates for long without having to recruit or remove employees. For example, consider why a business might need to recruit staff:
  • Business expansion due to
    • Increasing sales of existing products
    • Developing new products
    • Entering new markets
  • Existing employees leave:
    • To work with competitors or other local employers
    • Due to factors such as retirement, sick leave, maternity leave
  • Business needs employees with new skills
  • Business is relocating – and not all of existing workforce want to move to new location
The world of work is also changing rapidly:
  • Increase in part-time working
  • Increased number of single-parent families
  • More women seeking work
  • Ageing population
  • Greater emphasis on flexible working hours
  • Technology allows employees to communicate more effectively whilst apart
  • People rarely stay in the same job for life
Businesses need to understand and respond to these changes if they are to recruit staff of the right standard – and keep them!
So what is workforce planning?
Workforce planning is about deciding how many and what types of workers are required
There are several steps involved in workforce planning:
  • The workforce plan establishes what vacancies exist
  • Managers produce a job description and job specification for each post
Job description
  • Detailed explanation of the roles and responsibilities of the post advertised
  • Most applicants will ask for this before applying for the job
  • Refers to the post available rather than the person
Job specification
  • Sets out the kind of qualifications, skills, experience and personal attributes a successful candidate should possess.
  • A vital tool in assessing the suitability of job applicants
  • Refers to the person rather than the post