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Workforce Planning Process: Types of Plans & Team Members Needed

Workforce Planning Process

When kicking off the workforce planning process, you’ll need to understand the typical types of workforce plans and also the team members needed for buy-in and successful outcomes.

There are 2 types of Workforce Plans.

1. Strategic Workforce Plan: aligns to the 3-5 year business plan. Today 3-year plans are more common than 5-year.

2. Operational Plan: aligns to the 12-18 month recruitment forecast.

Once CEO sponsorship is secured, focus on building the Workforce Planning team. The team depends on the size of the business, but ideally it consists of:

  • HR Leader (who also has a seat at Business Planning table)
  • HR Strategy point person
  • Talent Acquisition professional
  • Senior executive representing the overall business
  • IT professional to access the required data
  • Finance executive for input into tax incentives for operating in particular markets


The CHRO leader can spearhead the team, but all stakeholders must feel ownership for the plan. The stakeholders must be senior-level enough to ensure the team is informed quickly of business strategy changes. The project teams for implementation must be accountable to the heads of the business lines and head of the CHRO.

During the workforce planning process, HR and Talent Acquisition provide a critical central view into different business divisions. For example, one segment of the business may be downsizing while another needs to hire. HR and Talent Acquisition can connect these groups to avoid redundancy costs by redeploying people to the open roles (as appropriate).

Why Finance and IT?
Because they are the best possible partners. Finance can assist a keener understanding of tax, accounting, regulatory issues and pro forma studies pertaining to different types of labor. IT can gather the data needed to assess internal attrition rates, time-to-fill statistics, the percentage of positions that remain open beyond a certain threshold, and other insightful workforce analytics guiding more informed decisions. At the same time, IT can be called upon to undertake similar analyses of the external talent market in different geographic regions.

Project Management & Technology Needs
This approach requires traditional project management skills like the setting of objectives, assumptions and deliverables that are reviewed and challenged at specific milestones. It also insists upon the use of technology tools to aggregate needed data for analysis, such as time-to-fill rates, costs-per-hire, worker age rates, and other data sets critical to making informed, assured decisions.

When to Launch into the Workforce Planning Process
Workforce Planning is best done in conjunction with business planning and budgeting so that it informs the business planning exercise. This allows HR and Talent Acquisition leaders to challenge time frames and business assumptions made in the plan based on their knowledge of talent availability and time frames for hiring new talent. It also ensures that proper funds are allocated to recruitment and training.

If you are just getting started and it’s outside of the business planning cycle, it is better to begin than do nothing. However the objective should be to eventually align Workforce Planning with business planning.

Need support with Workforce Planning? Hudson has tools, processes and templates that can help you engage with your business leaders. Contact us

Get Hudson’s step-by-step guide to Strategic Workforce Planning titled “Strategic Workforce Planning: A Critical Differentiator for Businesses.” (No registration required). Click here to download.

 
 
 

Workforce Planning Tools: The 5 Step Method for Building a Commercial Case for Workforce Planning

Workforce Planning Tools

The first item in your workforce planning tool kit should be the method for building the commercial case to get buy in from the CEO and senior leaders.

You’ll need to identify a revenue-generating role that is regularly filled and show the financial value of filling that role faster.  

The quick 5-step method for building a commercial case for Workforce Planning:

Step 1 – Select a handful of roles for which you can measure the value of 30 days of revenue-generating work. Likely these will be sales roles.

Step 2 – The value of the 30 days is what you will “earn” by filling that role 30 days faster.

Step 3 – Determine how many of these roles you fill per year.

Step 4 – Multiply that number by the 30 days’ value to demonstrate the hard savings of decreasing time-to-fill by 30 days.

Step 5 – Explain that a proper Workforce Plan will allow you to build a talent pipeline in advance or undertake other activities that will cut down time-to-fill… while last-minute notice on vacancies will not.

It’s worth the effort
Employees are a company’s most important asset. It’s perplexing that so many business leaders are comfortable with addressing people needs as they arise rather than developing a well thought-out plan in advance. People are what bring a new strategic initiative to life. If the initiative does not take into account the volume and types of employees necessary to bring the plan to fruition, it will lose momentum, cost more than expected, and possibly fail to achieve the intent.

By demonstrating the value and getting buy-in to workforce planning, you’ll position the company for better project success and create a company “habit” that will reap benefits for years to come.

Need support with Workforce Planning? Hudson has tools, processes and templates that can help you engage with your business leaders. Contact us

Get Hudson’s step-by-step guide to Strategic Workforce Planning titled “Strategic Workforce Planning: A Critical Differentiator for Businesses.” (No registration required). Click here to download.

 
 
 

The Triggers & Benefits of a Workforce Plan

Workforce Plan

When is it time for a Workforce Plan, and what is the expected ROI?

It’s important to understand that a proper Workforce Plan requires a smart balance of technology tools, scenario planning, advanced analytics and strategic insight.

Most organizations are accustomed to recruiting on an ad hoc basis—filling a vacant position or hiring a volume of people when the need arises. There is nothing wrong with this process, as long as the availability of talent far outpaces the demand. This is typically not the case, however.

 


8 Triggers that Indicate Your Organization Will Benefit from a Workforce Plan

1. High cost-per-hire
2. High time-to-fill metrics
3. Undesirable employee churn and turnover
4. Significant company expansion
5. High employee demand in your market
6. People failing to achieve desired level of productivity within a reasonable timeframe
7. Company is still slower to react to new business opportunities
8. Added pressure on current employees covering for open roles

Benefits of a Workforce Plan include:

  • Delivering ROI
  • Agency spend reduction
  • Improved process efficiency
  • Improved budgeting accuracy
  • Role specific information gained
  • Scalable team size according to need
  • Accurately defined roles attract better talent
  • Understanding of known and unknown attrition
  • Greater visibility into technology support needs
  • Enhanced succession planning and internal mobility
  • Proactive talent pipelining of actual business needs
  • Anticipated costs before the recruitment process starts
  • Benefits of being able to plan hiring across the business
  • Better positioned to execute new business initiatives successfully


Another Benefit: A Workforce Plan Energizes Current Employees
Companies can expect substantial improvements in employee engagement and retention efforts. Workforce Planning includes internal mobility, succession planning and professional development. The awareness that a planning process exists to identify internal people for positions before reaching out externally will engage and energize current employees.

Need support with Workforce Planning? Hudson has tools, processes and templates that can help you engage with your business leaders. Contact us

Get Hudson’s step-by-step guide to Strategic Workforce Planning titled “Strategic Workforce Planning: A Critical Differentiator for Businesses.” (No registration required). Click here to download.

 
 
 

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Hudson is a global talent solutions company. We help transform the workplace and unleash the full potential of organizations and individuals. Our expert team and proprietary tools provide you with unique insights and services that help you maximize your success. Across 20 countries, we deliver a range of recruitment, talent management and recruitment process outsourcing solutions to get you and your business where you want to be.