Workforce Planning Model: Elements, benefits, and steps

Strategic workforce planning can help HR plan for the skills they will need in the future if used well. The workforce planning model is often mentioned, but it’s rarely explained. It is a holistic way to analyze an organization’s strategic goals and create a complete map of its people resources.

This article will discuss what a workforce planning model is, its elements, and its benefits. We’ll end with a list of steps to follow if you want to start planning your workforce model.

What is a workforce planning model?

The workforce planning model is to give clear and helpful advice on how to plan the workforce in a way that matches staffing and skills with an organization’s current and future strategic business needs.

The model gives instructions on making an entire workforce plan that includes strategies for the main areas of workforce planning: recruitment, retention, employee development, knowledge transfer, and succession management.

Workforce planning models can be as simple as a spreadsheet or as complicated as a system for collecting and analyzing a lot of data. It depends on how many variables and possible situations you want or need to look at to accurately predict the number of workers you will need.

Elements of the workforce planning model

  • Hiring and employee development

Workforce planning gives your company a plan for how to find new employees and help them grow.

With a clear picture of your current employees and your plans for the future, you can make a profile of the skills, experience, and knowledge needed to meet your needs and create hiring and training processes to match.

Companies are always competing for the same high-quality workers. With good workforce planning, you’ll be able to find the best employees for your business in the future and come up with ways to attract them to your company.

Also, workforce planning analysis can help companies develop the proper training and employee development to fill talent gaps and find people who can excel with the proper professional development.

  • Succession planning

The workforce planning model brings us to succession planning and ensuring that all of your company’s leaders are successful.

By being aware of the open or soon-to-be-open leadership positions, companies can start evaluating current employees for promotions or looking for new hires with the right mix of skills and experience.

Workforce planning and succession planning work together to create a smooth transition for the critical roles in your company, so you can keep giving your customers the same service or product without interruption.

  • Performance management

Managing the performance of your employees to make them more productive and efficient is an essential result of workforce planning.

With workforce planning, you can figure out how to get the most out of your employees and devise plans. This planning will help you increase output and get a better return on the money you spend on staffing.

The benefits of workforce planning

Making plans for the future

With a workforce planning model, you can plan for the future by having a plan for your staffing needs. This could mean hiring more people to keep up with growth projections, changing your business model, and finding the people you need to do this.

Finding workforce gaps

Knowing the gaps in your current workforce allows you to make hiring plans, move people around, and train them.

Good succession planning

You can plan for staff leaving in a way that causes the least amount of disruption by finding and developing employees who have the potential to become leaders in the future.

Succession planning can also help motivate employees. According to surveys,

  • 62% of employees would be more engaged with a succession plan.
  • 94% of employers said having a succession plan was suitable for employee engagement.

Improved Retention strategies

A good workforce planning model lets you know exactly what skills your employees have and where they can be most beneficial to the business. So, instead of firing good employees, you can keep them on with well-planned redeployment.


Your business can be more flexible and better able to anticipate and respond to change if you have a clear plan for hiring and training employees and a clear idea of how they will be used.

You can reduce your total staffing costs by making plans to:

  • Enhance your efficiency and workforce ROI.
  • Retain talent and reduce turnover-related costs.
  • Build a flexible workforce that can satisfy consumer needs.

5 Steps of the workforce planning model

The five steps for planning a workforce model are easy to follow. Once you think you are ready, you can add to and change the steps to fit your organization’s needs.

  • Set the scene for strategic planning

First, you must gather all the information you need for your workforce planning model. You need to ask your company for its strategic plan for the time you want to look into it. Ask your executive team for a business plan every year.


This plan will help you figure out what you’ll need and how you can reach your goals, such as how many people you’ll need to hire. Talk about important things with the project leaders about getting new employees involved. Figure out the overall goals of onboarding as well.

  • Look at your company’s current employee profiles.

Find out where your organization may be short-staffed most of the time. Study and figure out why more people are leaving one department than another. You might find that these problems are caused by strategic needs that need to be met. With this step, you can learn a lot about the people already working.

  • Create an action plan

Find ways to fill in any gaps you found in what you learned in the first two steps. Real-time reporting software is an excellent way to track your employees’ productivity accurately. If you outsource and reorganize, you might be able to find intelligent solutions. But some issues may only be necessary to specific teams. You can deal with this by adding more requirements, putting money into technology, and giving them more training.

  • Apply the action plan

Work with different groups and departments to make your plan for workforce efficiency come to life. You can discuss the budget with your financial analyst or accounting team. Look for ways to tell people about new positions and sell them. You’ll need to work with your executive team, IT staff, and middle management. This is required in order to make sure that everything goes well.

  • Plan and revise closely

It would be best if you kept a close eye on how your plan is carried out to see how well it works and where it might be weak. This can make changes to your workforce planning project to get better results.

The workforce planning model has many benefits for your HR team, such as:

  • It gives everyone a better idea of how many people will be needed in the future and how likely there will be a shortage of workers.
  • It gives a clear plan for hiring people with reasonable costs and timelines.
  • It brings out specific skills developed by repeatedly using the recruitment process.
  • Your HR team can plan for new jobs by attending different training courses.


A workforce planning model is a holistic way to analyze an organization’s strategic goals and create a detailed map of its human resources. Effectiveness requires management buy-in. Enlightened and proactive management can give organizations a competitive advantage in their sectors. Workforce Planning must be handled correctly to produce a clean cut.

If you want to start a workforce planning model, check out QuestionPro Workforce, a Culture and Employee Experience survey and analytics platform that can help you drive the best kind of change.