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Factsheet:

Workforce planning

Resource summary

This factsheet was last updated in October 2015.

What is workforce plannng?

Workforce planning is a process to ensure the right number of people with the right skills are employed in the right place at the right time to deliver an organisation’s short- and long-term objectives. It embraces a diverse and extensive range of activities which will vary between organisations and situations. They may include:

  • succession planning
  • flexible working
  • labour demand and supply forecasting
  • recruitment and retention planning
  • skills audit gap analysis
  • talent management
  • multi-skilling
  • job design
  • risk management
  • outsourcing
  • career planning
  • scenario planning.

For more information on some of these topics, view our other factsheets on talent management, succession planning, recruitment, flexible working, job design and identifying learning and development needs.

Workforce planning can also vary in respect of its timeframe and the types of roles it considers. It may be viewed in fairly basic operational terms, ensuring labour is correctly allocated to projects or work areas to fulfil day-to-day customer needs or demand for products and services. Examples of this might include the need to ensure call centres are appropriately manned or that sufficient operatives are recruited to fulfil a predicted demand for certain products or services..

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  • What is workforce planning?
  • What does workforce planning involve?
  • Stages of the workforce planning process
  • Implementation of workforce planning
  • CIPD viewpoint
  • Further reading

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