Strategic workforce planning (SWP) has long been and still is a top priority of HR directors. It entails processes and activities aimed at the timely availability of the right employee for the right position. The goal is to contribute to the continuity and performance of the organisation in an effective and efficient manner.
Strategic workforce planning has an impact on other HR processes like recruitment, talent management, management development, succession planning and mobility. Therefore it’s an essential part of every business. It’s especially important for companies in sectors where it’s difficult to find good personnel, e.g. IT, to have their workforce planning in good shape.
Advantages of long term planning
Strategic workforce planning is planning for a period that’s still in the future, about 3-5 years ahead. This seems like a long time away, but it plays a central role in the future plans of every organisation. You need to know if you’ll have the right staff to respond to opportunities in the future. The hiring, promotion and development of employees takes a lot of time. You need to have a clear picture of your future personnel needs and those of the business: SWP can help.
The advantages of constructive strategic workforce planning are:
- It is a means of driving the organisational strategy through to HCM strategy;
- A good plan provides the foundation for making choices. It also provides the justification for supporting a particular option;
- It gives insight into the current staffing situation and thereby gives an overview of which individuals need development in what areas, if individuals need to be transferred or perhaps made redundant.
In the end it’s about making rational choices, based on research and planning, not on feelings or assumptions. To devise and substantiate a good strategic plan, you need data. HR analytics provide insight and the foundation for different scenarios.
SWP is a part of workforce management. In addition to the strategic workforce planning, you also have to deal with tactical workforce planning. This is for the medium term, about one year in advance. Many companies also have to deal with operational workforce planning.
Vroom helps organisations with workforce management. Do you have questions about your strategic workforce planning? We’d be happy to sit down with you and discuss how we can help.