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Workforce planning – Do it now

Updated: Sep 20, 2021

In the public sector, I found that leaders knew the perfect storm of a labor shortage was coming. What they didn’t understand was that the tomorrow they feared is today.

Are you neglecting workforce planning?

A workforce plan is more than a headcount. It encompasses recruiting, performance management, learning and development, succession planning, and compensation. Along with job descriptions, your organization needs to understand its human resources business drivers (e.g., roles, talent requirements). A strategic workforce plan is clearly aligned and integrated with the organization’s business plan and HR business drivers.

The workforce plan includes internal and external analysis along with a future workforce forecast. The internal analysis includes reviewing and understanding core capabilities, pivotal roles, and skill set changes needed in the emerging and future environment. The external analysis includes industry trends, demographics, and workforce supply and demand factors. Following internal and external analysis, the future workforce forecast is developed (i.e., by skill set, by job role, numbers, and timing of recruitment and hiring).

Professional associations can be a major force in helping educate your members about developing a workforce plan and a catalyst for industry-wide planning.

I work with my local community college to develop curricula to meet upcoming business needs. The college is responsive to requests, but is also dealing with funding cuts. College administrators need to have clarity on the knowledge, skills, abilities, and other vocational training your industry needs in order to plan for curricula development.

Here’s a link to a RAND process for workforce planning. Or you can copy and paste this into your browser


Sherry S. Jennings, PhD
Founder and principal of Sound Governance. Sherry started Sound Governance because board leaders need a safe space.

Read more about sherry.
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