Forecasting and workforce planning are critical aspects of ensuring that your business is successful.
As your business grows, you need to ensure that you have the right kind of staff with the right skills and in the right quantity to fill any gaps and realise future growth. Workforce planning also involves implementing initiatives to find, hire, and retain employees with the right talents and skills to ensure the long-term success of your business.
As with anything in economics, there is a need to understand the dynamics of supply and demand within the talent landscape or skills pool in your particular field. Workforce planning is about ensuring that you have the right people in the right positions, so your company can grow and succeed.
Firstly, you need to carry out a thorough assessment of your current workforce and the workforce you want to grow. Through this assessment, you will be able to determine any existing skill gaps and what roles need to be filled. Based on this, you can develop appropriate strategies to attract and retain the right people.
Once these strategies are implemented, you will need to evaluate the success of the programme. After evaluating the programme, several issues may be identified and further gaps and shortcomings recognised.
At this stage, it is important to analyse the process and gaps in skills that may still remain. You should also analyse the existing workforce to ensure the spread of talent is even to avoid redundancies. Once this analysis is completed, the process can start over with a new assessment.
According to AIHR, the goal of workforce planning is to ensure that your workforce is properly sized and shaped, as well as being cost-effective and flexible enough to remain resilient.
Achieving the right size means ensuring that you have the right amount of people and job roles to get the work done satisfactorily. Overstaffing can be just as problematic as understaffing, so it should be carefully addressed.
Secondly, the shape of the workforce is important, as this speaks to having the right set of skills and competencies to ensure the business functions successfully in the present and in future.
Managing workforce costs is critical, as costs that are too high can bankrupt a business while underpaying employees can result in poor performance and ultimately cause the company to fold.
Lastly, the workforce needs to be agile and flexible so that it can easily adapt to market changes and meet market needs, thereby making the company more resilient.