Workforce Planning


– Why You Need a Workforce Plan and How to Develop One



Workforce Plan

Simply put, you need a workforce plan to get the right number of people with the right skills in the right jobs at the right time.

Workforce planning is used by organisations to respond quickly and more strategically to change and potential skill shortages. It allows managers to recognise and anticipate changes in business direction and the labour market, such as an ageing workforce and potential skills shortages.

Workforce planning creates an integrated process for identifying, securing, and developing the workplace capabilities required to support and achieve the organisation’s current and future mission.


What to do

Decide if the workforce plan will cover the whole organisation or only a limited part of the workforce, such as mission-critical jobs or larger parts of the organisation.

Try to identify the occupations and skills that are difficult to recruit. 

Refer to the business strategy and try to predict the future skill requirements and mix of competencies needed by the business to achieve its goals.

Try to identify jobs and skills that will become mission critical in the future.

Achieving the above will set you on the path of developing an agile organisation able to respond and adapt ahead of your competitors.


How to do it

Conduct a workforce analysis -

  1.  Review your organisation’s direction and the external environment;

  2. Analyse internal and external labour forces;

  3. Finally, consider your competency (knowledge/skill/attitude) mix.

Forecast future needs -

  1. Understand future work requirements;

  2. Identify future competencies and what is required in the next one to five years. Make sure you understand your industry, related trends, and company direction, as well as potential   innovations, unique products and services.

Analyse the gaps – Analyse and identify the gaps between the existing and the desired workforce.

Develop strategies – Attend to strategy formulation, such as improving attraction and retention strategies. What does it take to attract the talent your organisation needs? Think outside the box and try different strategies, such as asking! Talk with and survey students, graduates, and millennials.

Implement strategies – Execute the strategies, using change management techniques and process to support the endeavour. Ensure that the strategies align to organisational values and culture.

Monitor & Evaluate –

  1. Review the performance of the strategy against its pre-determined objectives, i.e. attraction of candidates and less turnover;

  2. Assess what’s not working;

  3. Adjust the plan and implementation of strategies as necessary.


Next steps

Once workforce gaps have been identified and there are insufficient potential internal candidates available, a recruitment request should be developed which includes a business case to supporting future competency requirements.  Also consider succession planning tools and development plans, along with continuous performance dialogue and feedback.


Design • Implement • Support

Through our blog, we wish to give you a comprehensive insight into the world of Intrepidus HR, where our overall goal is to inspire businesses to improve themselves and their people.

Do you wish to discuss a particular business improvement topic or even contribute a guest Blog article? If yes, please contact Simon Campbell at Intrepidus Human Resource Consulting.

If you or your organisation requires input or assistance in establishing or enhancing your positive organisational culture, please contact Intrepidus Human Resources Consulting for assistance.  Intrepidus can assist with the design, implementation and support of employee surveys, analysis and action plans, employee briefings, and employee communication and engagement initiatives. 

Furthermore, contact Intrepidus for assistance with one on one performance feedback for teams and individuals and all your complex human work issues.


Human Resources – Industrial Relations – Recruitment

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Intrepidus Human Resource Consulting

Intrepidus is a human resources and industrial relations consultancy based out of Melbourne. We help clients with difficult people issues, HR & IR strategy, and more. If you want to find out how we assist with workplace issues, you can contact us at  or give us a ring on +61 401 716 818.