Workforce planning is the process an organization uses to analyze its workforce and determine the proper steps it must take to prepare for future needs. Workforce planning strategically aligns an organization's human capital with its business direction.
The workforce planning process involves forecasting the future composition of the workforce, conducting gap analysis between the current staff and the future staff. deciding how to close any gaps, and determining how to best meet the needs of the organization.
Forecasting involves identifying expected future conditions based on information about the past and the present. It is a good planning method to use when considering HR supply and projecting future demand. The actions to be taken may be influenced by a variety of internal factors (e.g., age of the workforce) as well as external factors (e.g., skill availability).
HR must inceasingly monitor and control the cost of engaging human capital.
Naturally forcasts are subject to error and the myriad conditions on which the forecasts are based may change. However with careful planning, HR professionals can generally forecast with enough accuracy to help sustain organizational objectives and strategies.