What is Strategic Workforce Planning?

There is a shortage of skilled workers, making it difficult for companies to find the right personnel at the proper phase. It is a growing problem for many businesses, failing to meet revenue goals because of inefficient hiring processes.

According to labor market data, Joblessness was at 3.7 percent as of Sept. 2018, which is the least labor participation rate since Dec. 1969. While this is a boon for employees, it presents a significant challenge for HR departments and procurement departments responsible for finding the best talent for its long-term success.

It’s a good thing that the contingent workforce is booming because it has opened up new avenues for firms to obtain high-skilled workers. Businesses must implement strategic workforce planning to fill the gaps in their workforce.

If you’re interested in learning more about strategic workforce planning via video, then watch below. Otherwise, skip ahead.

What is Strategic Workforce Planning?

The design of a process that anticipates present and future hiring needs is the basis of the strategic workforce planning model. It will ensure that your company has the resources necessary to achieve its business objectives.

Business analytics, financial data, workforce data, and input from Human resources and procurement teams can help you develop a workforce strategy that fits your long-term Future business objectives and ensures the long-term profitability of your firm.

A company with a consistent employment level across all departments, with the right talents in the proper roles, will result in more effective outcomes and a greater return on investment (ROI) if you use strategic planning.

How Can I Come up with a Workforce Strategy Plan?

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to developing an organization’s business strategy. It’s impossible to generalize a company’s demands, industry’s requirements, or workers’ expectations. Analyzing a company’s present staff can be used to detect potential gaps and address future demands.

The goal of strategic labor force Business planning is to ensure that your firm is not caught off guard by the altering demands of your personnel.

A managed service provider can provide a lot of value to most firms regarding strategic personnel planning. You may achieve long-term success with the support of an outsourced workforce strategy that incorporates new technologies, in-depth knowledge of the contingent workforce, and the acquisition of top personnel.

What are the Benefits of Strategic Workforce Planning?

It is easier to recruit the best people in your industry after implementing a strategic workforce strategy and identifying all present and necessary employees.

There are several advantages to developing and executing a strategic personnel strategy for your company. Among those highlighted by HCMWorks are the most critical:

Ability to Identify Existing Workforce Gaps

By analyzing the competencies of your present workers and workforce analytics, you may determine the current skill or resource shortfalls in your organization. This way, you can see where the skills gaps are between your existing workforce and what you’ll need to succeed in the future. Using this knowledge to find the best possible employees will assure your company’s success.

Potential to Create and Enhance the KPIs

Entrepreneurship is all about improving and managing those KPIs (KPIs). Data from your comprehensive workforce strategy may help you move ahead and guarantee that you’re improving metrics and accomplishing new goals with time.

If you have a well-thought-out strategy that considers both present and future demands, you may avoid the unexpected. In the long term, preparing for these difficulties will save your firm money and time.

The HR university offers detailed technical human resources certification courses that you can go through to learn strategic workforce planning in HR. Make sure to go through the table of contents and the course learning outcomes to get a brief idea of the outline we’ll cover in each course:

Human Resources Certifications

What are the Four Fundamentals of Workforce Planning?

Developing a strategic workforce plan is based on the below-mentioned four fundamentals.

1. The Consideration of Appropriate Individuals

The recruitment of new teammates is critical to certain firms’ success. It means that they will need to increase their personnel to handle their responsibilities.

Fundamentals of Strategic Workforce Planning

Global borders are no longer an obstacle in today’s remote business environment, where top people can be found no matter where they reside. To identify the best employees, broaden your search outside your immediate neighborhood. Consider the following for effective consideration of appropriate individuals:

  • A worldwide hunt for talent
  • Factors that influence the number of workers needed
  • Effortlessness

2. Possess the Right Abilities

It is essential to know what your firm needs from its employees to face future challenges and fill skill shortages. Achieving strategic competencies is possible by identifying the levels of experience that support strategic competencies. Find out about these pain points:

  • Essential abilities that are required across the company
  • The effect of your abilities on your company model and strategy

3. The Right Location and Timing

Continuous growth needs putting the appropriate people in the proper places and having positions to deploy them in to continue to expand. Ensuring that staff is spread around the organization in the most efficient manner possible is vital.

In addition, it implies that firms must define their business objectives to guarantee that they are employing team members capable of supporting current and future corporate goals and giving them a competitive advantage. Adapt the following tips for effective planning:

  • Talent management distribution in a way that aligns with business requirements
  • Modification of the hiring approach to achieve business goals

4. The Right Price

While hiring new employees, plan for indirect and direct expenditures such as advertising costs, interviewing time and new employee salary and benefits, and insurance and other fees.

Having a clear picture of these charges will help your team stay within their budget. As a result, it will guarantee that you’re paying for what you need and not overpaying for what you don’t need. Consider the following tips:

  • Spend time focusing on ways to reduce the expenses associated with recruiting and retaining talented employees.
  • Budgeting for both direct and indirect costs associated with employment
  • It’s essential to keep your company’s demands in mind while allocating resources
  • It would help if you built your strategic personnel planning on these concepts
  • Coming up with a strategic workforce planning is a seven-step procedure

Once you’ve completed these stages, you’ll have the right potential to assemble a very influential group.

What are the Seven Steps in the Workforce Planning Process?

Here are the seven steps that assist you in drafting an effective workforce planning strategy:

1. Evaluate The Goals

One of the purposes of human resource talent management activities is to guarantee that your company’s objectives are attainable. A strategic workforce planning approach should begin with a review of short- and long-term company goals.

In this phase, having a business partnership and H professionals or specialists is not enough. The ideal individuals for strategic workforce planning activities are line managers, financial sector representatives, HR technology specialists, and business leaders.

2. Examine the Workforce Potential and Performance

After determining the current workforce, the next phase in the planning phase is to analyze the force. When assessing the staff, business executives must make sure that both the number and quality of employees are considered.

Strategic Workforce Plan

9 Box Grid allows you to examine the potential and performance of the workforce, and from it, you can analyze in a clear way which individuals need help, who are less skilled, and who are the star performers.

3. Find out Your Strengths and Weaknesses

For the future workforce, doing a skills gap study is essential. For example, a review of an employee’s talents may reveal when they intend to retire. Instead of hurrying to find a replacement for the leaving employee, a skills gap assessment would have given human resources enough time to plan.

4. Foresee Potential Future Problems

Having a well-thought-out strategy for the future gives organizations an edge in their field.

Company executives need to develop a strategic workforce plan that predicts future business challenges and provides specific strategies to solve them. Supply chain challenges and labor market concerns are two examples of workforce issues.

5. Create a Plan of Action

Action plans are developed after you establish the goals, study the workforce, and discover the gaps in skills. Recruitment and retention initiatives, organizational restructuring, and technological advancements, all are a part of this phase.

6. Put the Strategy Into Action

It is vital to ensure that the appropriate resources are deployed, roles are defined, and requirements are satisfied to carry out the strategy and accomplish business objectives. To determine the results, you’ll need to consult with HR professionals and upper-level management.

7. Test and Monitor the Strategy

Employee planning strategy changes as the demands of the company evolve. Keeping a close eye on your plan’s development and any possible concerns with the workforce is critical to ensuring its future success.

What are the Best Tips for Planning For A Successful Remote Workforce Strategy?

Strategic personnel planning helps firms adapt to the constant and unavoidable changes that take place in the workplace. And in moments of emergency, the current Covid-19 outbreak, which has already affected how people live and work throughout the globe, provides corporate adaptability. During the crisis, several companies began to allow remote work for the safety and well-being of their workers.

To make the workers more productive who can target organizational objectives, companies must change their business strategies to accommodate the remote work paradigm. These tips show how to succeed with Remote labor planning.

  • Set up clear rules and guidelines for remote work. These should include information about the duties of each person, the organization’s and department’s aims and objectives, the influence on customers, and the results of each employee’s work.
  • Make sure you hire the correct personnel for the task. ” The ability to work from the house isn’t suitable for everyone, so it’s crucial to figure out who is.
  • Preparation is the key to a successful outcome. When issues develop, it’s critical to take action to avoid and resolve them.
  • Ensure that goals and expectations are defined and that the company’s action plan is tested and monitored on a regular basis.
  • Even more crucial than ever to distinguish your company in a manner that connects with talent and consumers in an ever-changing environment.
  • Team engagement is essential to ensure that your employees are equipped to succeed, allowing your company to prosper. To maximize your organization’s potential, you must have a well-thought-out workforce strategy.


In short, we can say that strategic workforce planning is a technical process with which you assess the needs of your organization, goals, and objectives, and based on these targets, planning for what kind of workforce and strategies will go best so you can target your goals in the anticipated time. Successful organizations always think and plan detailed workforce strategies that allow such companies to target their goals faster. This article provides a complete guide on how you can develop a successful workforce strategy for your organization, along with some fundamentals and tips to consider.


If you are new to Human Resources and are looking to break into any HR Operations position, we recommend taking our HR Certification Courses, where you will learn how to build your skillset in human resources, build your human resources network, craft an excellent HR resume, and create a successful job search strategy that lands you a sought-after HR Operations job.


Josh Fechter
Josh Fechter is the founder of HR.University. He's a certified HR professional and has managed global teams across 5 different continents including their benefits and payroll. You can connect with him on LinkedIn here.