Workforce Planning: What is It and Do I Need It? (Part 1)

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You may have heard of workforce planning — the process by which your company makes sure it can find the right employees when needed at anytime in the future — and wondered what it is and if your business needs it.

Here’s a short primer (part 1) on strategic workforce planning that will explain this process. Next week’s post will discuss when a company should engage in workforce planning (part 2).

Most people automatically think of “employees” when they think of planning for future workforce needs, but many experts in the field recommend that employers think more in terms of “talent” than “employees.” Talent also means finding workers in many different ways, including employees, contractors, temporary workers, partnerships and even changing your company’s business activities to modify your talent needs, if necessary. Talent also means the knowledge, skills, disposition (personality), and education that are needed to do the jobs that your company needs done.

Strategic workforce planning also entails looking at the risks your company may encounter if you can’t find the right talent when you need it, or if your can’t find enough workers, or even if you place your employees in the wrong place (mis-deployed).

Your workforce planning should, of course, be linked with your company’s vision and strategic plan, which means you should identify those critical talent needs — the workers that, if you don’t have them, disaster will be the result.

Once you’ve identified these positions, then you focus on when you may need talent. Does your need for workers typically pick up at the holidays? Are you anticipating a huge new client coming on board, necessitating the acquisition of workers?

Planning for your workforce needs is one of the most important tasks a company can do. If you’re a Washington Metro construction, engineering or architecture firm looking for help in planning for your staffing needs, contact RealStreet Staffing. We have many flexible staffing options to serve you.

RealStreet has been an excellent partner in understanding our programs’ unique staffing requirements-skills, experience, clearances, seasonality—and consistently provides qualified and highly productive team members who are often recognized by our customers for their performance.

Cheryll Bissell

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