Workforce Needs – Plan – Don’t Panic
The main principle of workforce planning considers the future planning of employees in line with the continued success of the business as a whole, in simple terms it is the process by which successors in any organisation are recognized for key roles within the business. For Workforce planning to work successfully, all levels of management need to be involved from the onset.
Firstly a strategic HR and Business strategy needs to be agreed upon, depending on the type of model your organisation is practicing under.
There are generally five key questions that a company must ask themselves when manpower Planning:
- How many people do we need?
- What sort of people do we need?
- How can we attract and retain talent?
- How can we make the best use of the people we have?
- How can we create a workplace where people are satisfied in their work and develop their skills?
Keeping these specific questions in mind, there are some main objectives / principles to take into account when starting to plan your workforce and building an effective succession plan.
The first and primary principle that needs to be quantified is the Recruitment process – this is fundamental in terms of finding out who needs to be recruited, be it externally or internally, in order to meet needs of the company and fill gaps within the current structure and ultimately a new structure being adopted.
Training & Development is also an elemental part of workforce / succession planning; this ensures that the existing staff and all new recruits have the right training at the right time so they can operate to their full potential from the onset.
Staff Costing is a primary focus when it comes to succession planning and HRP, this is in direct line with the business strategy, in general terms the fundamental priority of the business is to cut costs and increase profits. The business needs to understand how an organisation can be most efficiently staffed with also obtaining the best possible output. It is important to get the staffing forecasts as accurate as possible. If the forecast is too high the project may not go ahead due to costs, if it is too low profits will not be as high as projected. Forecasting is central to business strategies and if incorrect projections are presented this can lead to future uncertainly when targets are not met etc. therefore creating uncertainty of profits which in turn may be harmful to development of the organisation.
Forecasting of staffing needs should be based on the visibility of the requirement for the role:
Permanent – The role is expected to be a long term ongoing need with no visibility of the role no longer being required.
Contract – The role is expected to be required for a specified period of time but it is unclear if there will be a requirement for the role after this time, or the role it to provide cover for a permanent member of staff who is on a leave of absence such as maternity leave or sick leave
Temporary – There is little visibility on the duration of requirement for the role. The role needs to be filled right now but may or may not be still required in the near future.
It is important to have a plan in place for permanent, contract and temporary roles in order to meet the business needs. Working in close partnership with a quality recruitment partner will help your business to meet changing demands particularly where suitable staff need to be placed into roles in a short turnaround time with poor visibility on the duration of the requirement and no opportunity to process headcount approval.
Flexsource offers temporary workforce solutions of skilled staff working on flexible contracts which can help HR in terms of planning for the unforeseen spikes and drops in workforce needs. If you are a H.R Manager and can see the benefits of a having a temporary recruitment agency partner, then contact Linda below.
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Linda Hickey - Service Delivery Manager at Flexsource Recruitment.