The Headcount Planning Countdown to Success

Sarah Wallach
Aug 17, 2016

headcount planning strategy

Headcount management. Workforce Forecasting. Headcount Planning. It’s all kind of the same thing – at the end of the day, you’re simply trying to manage your headcount within budget while still having the employee resources to meet your organization’s strategic goals for growth and overall success. 

Alright, so “simply” may not have been exactly the right word to describe the process of headcount planning, but that is our end goal. We want to help you make this process as simple as possible. Here’s how we count down to headcount planning success:

headcount planning countdown to success

In today’s competitive business landscape and challenging economy, CEOs, HR leaders, department managers, and pretty much everyone else in a leadership position at an organization needs to know that their talent, costs, and goals are aligned – that’s where headcount planning comes in, and why it’s vital to your organization’s future.

You’ve probably already identified some of the ways your organization can benefit from taking headcount planning seriously. We have uncovered five key advantages that a successful headcount planning process provides:

  1. It aligns your plans for headcount with the company’s strategic goals, and the skills needs to achieve those goals.
  2. It Identifies skills that your current workforce may not have, but that you need to be successful.
  3. A successful headcount plan helps your recruiting team look out for new employees who possess the skills your company desires during the recruitment process.
  4. It allows your managers to identify and mentor those reporting to them who can help fill skills gaps with additional training.
  5. A good planning process creates a projection of costs associated with the hiring, potential additional development, and salaries associated with creating the workforce you need for the future.

We’re sure that there are many more advantages that you can think of, including, but surely not limited to, the fact that it’s always better to have a plan for where you’re going and how you’ll get there. What’s that old saying? Oh, yes – “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” As you know, there’s no wishing in business just like there’s no crying in baseball if you want to be in a “league of your own” and set yourself apart from your competitors.

Now, to benefit from these advantages, we recommend you take these four simple steps to create your headcount plan:

  1. Pinpoint the key metrics you need to evaluate your workforce and create your headcount plan.

    A few suggestions – performance ratings, position requirements, employee skill sets and general qualifications, attrition rates (overall and by department), department hierarchy, retirement eligibility information, and salary information.

  2. Identify your business goals and challenges and have them front and center.

    A couple questions to ask yourself – What challenges is our business facing? Our industry? What opportunities does this create for our organization?

  3. Evaluate your workforce, paying special attention to critical roles.

    Some important considerations to think about during this stage – Which roles are critical now and which ones will be in the future? Which can we do without to maximize the ROI? Where are we having problems with attrition and what are we doing about that issue? Are we creating or hiring enough succession-eligible employees?

  4. Build your headcount plan with your goals and budget in mind and send it for executive review.

    Considerations you’ll need to try to balance during this step – How will your headcount plan be accounted for in your budget and does it
    really align to your organization’s goals for the future. That’s what your company’s execs will want to know!

Would you like additional resources to learn more about headcount planning? Here are our three recommendations:

  1. Register for our upcoming headcount planning webinar, part of our Business Leaders – What Keeps You up at Night? webinar series where we help you with all kinds of workforce planning topics, such as budgeting and affirmative action planning.
  2. Download our workforce planning infographic that outlines important questions to ask during headcount planning, during succession planning, when identifying critical roles, and more!
  3. Read our headcount planning guide to see how you can use your existing HCM data to create a visual, digestible, and useful view of your workforce during the headcount planning process.

Do you need more information on headcount planning solutions? Here are two ways to get in touch with us!

  1. Email us at wpa-saleQ@peoplefluent.com or call our team directly at 1-800-782-1818, option 3.
  2. Fill out this form and select “workforce planning” as your interest.

Finally, we recommend following us on our social media channels as one additional way to stay up-to-date on workforce planning, compliance, diversity, and talent management hot topics.

Subscribe to our blog!

Follow us on       LinkedIn               Twitter                 Facebook

 

Related blog posts

Flight Summary: The 2016 ILG National Conference

share
Murray Simpson, Ph.D
Aug 12, 2016
08.12 Blog Title Image_WCAD
Last week's ILG conference in Charlotte hit several important themes and topics for compliance and diversity. Read our conference review to see the can't-miss takeaways from ILG 2016.
Read More...

EEOC Requests Final Comments on the Revision of the Employer Information Report (EEO-1)

share
Sarah Wallach
Jul 25, 2016
proposed eeo-1 form
Get more information and answers about the proposed revisions and changes to the eeo-1 form and how it will impact your company.
Read More...

OFCCP Audit Readiness 101

share
Sarah Wallach
Jun 22, 2016
OFCCP audit
What do you do when that OFCCP audit scheduling letter hits your desk? First: don't panic. Then, read this to prepare yourself for the audit process.
Read More...

Have you joined our mailing list yet?

Keep updated on the most current topics in talent acquisition and talent management via our free bi-weekly digest of our recent blogs. Light on your email inbox, heavy on useful HR perspectives and information!