Essentials of staff planning and strategy

staff planning

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As an employer what you need from the human resources component of your organization is staff requirements and supply equilibrium to deliver on your vision. The staffing requirements of your organization, the demand side of your staffing equation should be well matched with the supply of quality well suited persons to fill vacancies. The staff plan outlines and stipulates the human resource goals and needs and the strategy of attracting, retaining and developing human resources into top talent with great productivity.


Staff planning however is the process of determining staff requirements through a process of gap analysis, situational analysis and determining the right mix of employees. The development of the staff plan can be done internally or can be done with external help from consultants.


Whichever way you choose to go about your staff planning and staff plan you will need to pay attention to some key variables. In this article we discuss the essential of a staffing plan and strategy that is game changer for your organization


1. Organizational goals

The starting point in development your staffing plan is to clarify your organizational objectives and goals. You get to clarify that from your various overarching planning documents of your organization such as your strategic plan, business plan or business model strategy document.


The starting point is to determine from your plans what the vision and strategies of the organization are in the coming years. The areas of focus of the organization and mapping out your human resource requirements to reach your vision. It is optimal to work with Unit and Divisional managers to fashion out the human resource needs, that which is available internal and what human resources should be hired.


2. Staffing forecast

Next you will have to carry out a staffing forecast of the staff requirements. Here you identify how many staff are needed to meet your targets, objectives, goals, deliverables, outputs, outcomes and intended impacts. Your staffing forecast should project at least three to five years into the future. Some key considerations for your staff forecasting should include the following:

  • How many positions will be needed in to ensure that organizational targets and goals are reached?
  • What is the projected turnover of employees in your organization?
  • What is the projected or anticipated retirements in your organization?
  • What is your skills inventory and the fit of skills in the three to five-year horizon?


3. Skills availability forecast

Next and an important component of the staff planning equation is the skills availability forecast. Here you will begin to think of the availability of skills from your skills requirement inventory carried out. It is the supply of human resources component of your staff planning.


To carry out your skill availability forecast you commence by identifying what and how many staff will be available to meet staffing needs. There are some important considerations in scanning for the skills available to meet human resource requirement to meet your goals.

  • What is the skills availability internally and opportunities to fill gaps through training and development?
  • What are the opportunities to fill staff gaps from the labor market?
  • How many people will be entering the qualified labor pool from schools and training programs in the target recruitment area?
  • What percentage of core knowledge and skill loss is presently being mitigated by training and development efforts?


4. Staffing gap analysis

It is important to carry out a gap analysis of your skills and resources in terms of your demand and the supply of human resources. Using any gap analysis framework will help your present the gaps in a tabular form or visually whichever way you prefer.


By looking at your staff requirements and what is available internally or externally you can determine what your requirements are and begin to plan to fill them. The bottom line is to determine the total anticipated staffing demand and available supply over the three to five-year horizon. If demand exceeds supply, you will have to take remedial measures, but excess supply will be good.


5. Recruitment strategy

Next for your staffing plan is to determine your recruitment strategy. Here you determine how and when to get potential staff vacancies filled. Below are some recruitment strategies and tactics to employ:

  1. Head hunting
  2. Recruitment events
  3. Advertising
  4. Social Media
  5. Recruitment database
  6. Employee referral program


6. Staff Retention strategy

Next you determine what is your strategy for retaining staff once they are onboarded. Below are some of the strategies you can employ to retain top talent within your organization:

  • Staff training and development
  • Attractive employee package and bonuses
  • Great work life balance
  • Staff progression plan
  • Staff redress systems etc.

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Nicholas Guribie
Nicholas Guribie

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