Workforce Planning – Great vision without great people is irrelevant.

What is the value that a recruiter(particularly this one!) brings to a client partnership?

My youngest daughter thinks recruitment is – “finding good jobs for nice people” (I tend to only talk about work with the family when things are going well…). But when I was in conversation with a contact earlier this week, that didn’t feel like a full enough summary.

One of the areas where you can/should utilise your recruitment partners’ expertise is with workforce planning – who else spends 100% of their working life immersed in the world of talent availability, skills analysis, role profiling, team re-structuring, and salary bench marking?

Workforce planning is critical for organisations to ensure they have the right talent in the right roles at the right time. There are several key steps:

Workforce planning – Understanding Business Goals:

Strategic workforce planning begins by aligning with the organisation’s overall business strategy. It requires collaboration between HR, recruiters and business leaders to identify long-term goals, expansion plans, pressures on the labour market, and recruitment trends.

Workforce Planning  –  Current Workforce:

Organizations need to evaluate their existing workforce (how many truly do this beyond box-ticking annual reviews…?). This includes analysing employee demographics, skills, performance, potential gaps and help identify areas where talent shortages or surpluses may occur. These should be data-driven insights, and being honest, how good is your employee skills data? (this is a whole other topic!)

Workforce Planning  –  Forecasting Talent Needs:

Based on business projections, you’ll now have to predict future talent requirements. This is particularly difficult for IT Leaders looking to navigate the complex and ever changing IT landscape! Factors include retirements, promotions, new projects, technology and industry shifts. Quantitative models and scenario planning can aid in this process.

Workforce Planning  –  Skill Mapping and Development:

Skill mapping will involve identifying critical skills needed for each role. You’ll need to assess whether current employees possess these skills or if additional training is required. Development programs can bridge some skill gaps, but quite often external hiring (either permanent or contract) is needed.

 “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”- Richard Branson.

Workforce Planning  –  Succession Planning and Risk Mitigation:

Identifying high-potential employees and creating succession plans. These plans should outline potential successors for key positions. Succession planning will aid continuity during (inevitable) leadership transitions.

Workforce planning also minimises risks. What if a critical employee leaves unexpectedly? How developed are your risk mitigation strategies? How much of your IT infrastructure is dependant on a handful of people and the knowledge they hold…?

Workforce Planning  –  Flexible Staffing Models:

Exploring flexible staffing options is vital to allow companies to adapt quickly to changing demands.

As someone who cut my recruitment teeth in the world of Contract IT recruitment I’m a firm believer in blended teams. Have you considered the evolution of your needs since the last hiring phase? Is it more beneficial to rely solely on full-time employees or assemble a team comprising both permanent and temporary talents for new projects? The fundamental principle is clear: employ individuals based on your specific needs, rather than merely filling positions.

Workforce Planning  –  Technology and Automation:

Alongside the expertise and market knowledge of your recruitment partner, technology can play a crucial role. AI-driven tools can assist in workforce analytics, identifying trends, and predicting future needs.

Workforce Planning  –  Monitoring and Adaptation:

Workforce planning should be an ongoing process. Regular monitoring ensures alignment with changing business dynamics. It is not a one-time event (or annually when you’re putting together the budget); it’s an iterative process that evolves as the organisation grows and changes.

By proactively managing talent, you’ll position yourself for success in a very competitive landscape.

Of course there are many excellent tools and guides in the market to help with workforce planning – for example at – but if you need bespoke assistance with your workforce planning, or want a chat about how we can help, please contact me at or on 07070 727422

Other Posts...

Sign up to our newsletter