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Last updated 22 Mar 2021
For most businesses, large or small, the task of identifying what work needs doing and who should do it is a continuous challenge! Workforce planning is the approach most businesses take to address this challenge.
It is rare that a business of any size operates for long without having to recruit or remove employees.
For example, consider why a business might need to recruit staff:
- Business expansion due to
- - Increasing sales of existing products
- - Developing new products
- - Entering new markets
- Existing employees leave:
- - To work with competitors or other local employers
- - Due to factors such as retirement, sick leave, maternity leave
- Business needs employees with new skills
- Business is relocating – and not all of existing workforce want to move to new location
The world of work is also changing rapidly:
- Increase in part-time working
- Increased number of single-parent families
- More women seeking work
- Ageing population
- Greater emphasis on flexible working hours
- Technology allows employees to communicate more effectively whilst apart
- People rarely stay in the same job for life
Businesses need to understand and respond to these changes if they are to recruit staff of the right standard – and keep them!
So what is workforce planning?
Workforce planning is about deciding how many and what types of workers are required
There are several steps involved in workforce planning:
- The workforce plan establishes what vacancies exist
- Managers produce a job description and job specification for each post
- Detailed explanation of the roles and responsibilities of the post advertised
- Most applicants will ask for this before applying for the job
- Refers to the post available rather than the person
- Sets out the kind of qualifications, skills, experience and personal attributes a successful candidate should possess.
- A vital tool in assessing the suitability of job applicants
- Refers to the person rather than the post