Revisiting the spirit, wisdom and relevance of workforce planning pioneers

13 Dec 2018 | Wendy Hirsh, Principal Associate

  • There is never a perfect time to plan, nor a perfect workforce plan, so it’s best to do the kind of ongoing workforce planning relevant to your business on appropriate timeframes, not just to meet the demands of annual budget rounds.
  • HR needs to stick close to business and financial planning, and decisions about work design and productivity. This is not about who is at the top table, nor just effective business partnering, but also building strong lateral relationships with other functions.
  • All forecasts should explore a range of business demand and supply assumptions, keeping workforce risk management centre stage.
  • Insist on coding types of work more intelligently within job families so you can slice your demand, cost and workforce analytics by what people are doing, not what their post is called or where they sit on an organisation chart.
  • Recognise workforce planning as a serious area of expertise, not something you can learn or deliver in a day or two. HR directors, business leadership teams and HR business partners require professional support in workforce planning and analytics just as much as in pay, employee relations and L&D.

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The Institute for Employment Studies is a centre for research and evidence-based consultancy in employment and human resource policy and practice.