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Workforce Planning In Pakistan

Workforce Planning In Pakistan

Workforce planning helps an organisation to estimate its future workforce requirements and calculate the numbers, nature and sources of potential employees who might meet that demand.

In other words, it’s about getting the right number of people, with the right skills, in the right place and at the right time.

Effective workforce planning helps organisations identify and plan how to tackle their current and future workforce challenges and priorities. It provides a sound basis for developing an effective workforce strategy.


Why do workforce planning?

  • To make best use of your workforce and justify spending money.
  • To get a grip on the present, and impose some order on the future.
  • To acquire and grow skills that take time to develop.
  • To staff a new development or manage a relocation…
  • …or withdraw and or downsize in an orderly, phased way.
  • To support a major change project.
  • To communicate future resource requirements so people understand what will happen, when, and how.
  • To inform your workforce about areas where there will be future job opportunities.
  • To think about the longer term and plan how to cope with different possibilities.
  • To inform decision making.
  • To link the service, council or partnership workforce strategy to the relevant organisational plans and strategies.
  • To think about the whole organisation in a coherent and consistent way.

Key questions

  • What will your service, council or partnership look like in the future – structure, skills, jobs, attitudes and so on?
  • What sort of workforce do you need to achieve the key objectives of the service, council or partnership?
  • How does the current workforce compare with what you need?
  • What is the context – for example, government drivers, customers’ needs, the local labour market?
  • How are you going to develop, attract and retain the workforce you need to be successful?

Best areas in which to apply workforce planning

Workforce planning works best in organisational areas where one or more of the following apply. Areas should:

  • have a policy of developing their own skilled staff, or relationships with local colleges and universities who develop the required staff
  • need skills that are in short supply
  • use complex skills needing long training periods
  • make decisions with long-term implications
  • have relatively stable or predictable requirements
  • have a need to control resources.

Roles and responsibilities

Workforce planning needs to be led by senior managers and supported by human resources (HR) staff. To support senior managers in workforce planning HR leads needs to:

  • talk to the key people
  • find out things
  • understand and manipulate data
  • highlight and debate future issues
  • translate findings into proposals for action.

Potential pitfalls

It is important to gather and analyse workforce data to understand your potential future issues. But beware of giving up on workforce planning because you can’t get hold of all the workforce information you would like.

Beware too of giving up because you can't fully make sense of workforce data. Often the most important future workforce issues where action is needed are not that difficult to pinpoint.

It is also important not to:

  • focus on analysing your workforce needs without looking at your potential workforce supply in the labour market
  • make workforce planning appear a highly technical HR specialist area
  • assume and reinforce the status quo, rather than consider other options
  • leave senior manager and others with knowledge of frontline issues out of the process
  • create something wholly controlled by HR that is overly bureaucratic with few results.

Ingredients for success

Workforce planning is most successful when:

  • it is integrated, as far as possible, into service, corporate or partnership planning processes
  • it leads to action being taken that deliver results
  • the resulting action plan and impact are reviewed regularly.

Time frames

Time frames for workforce planning can vary. However, there are three broad categories:

  • Short-term: the year ahead – usually aligned with the annual business and strategic planning cycle.
  • Medium to long-term: three to five years.
  • Longer-term: up to ten years – for longer-range forecasting, such as the implications of a new graduate development scheme or achieving diversity targets.

For most aspects of workforce planning it is better to focus on the short or medium term.

Workforce planning may be affected by changing circumstances. It is not something you can do only once. Overall decisions and plans will need revisiting for relevance. Action plans will need to be monitored to ensure things are happening at the right times and producing the desired results.

In times of great change

If your council is facing major changes, it is best to integrate workforce planning into your change programmes and to focus on:

  • areas where the vision is clear and you can plan with more certainty
  • critical workforce issues where action is needed to achieve the organisation’s strategic ambitions
  • vital occupational areas where you can predict future need – for example, social workers, social carers or areas where high numbers of staff are retiring or turnover is too high
  • critical cross-cutting skills areas such as strategic commissioning, change management, organisational development, business process improvement and customer management.

How do you know you’ve got it right?

Successful workforce planning is rarely the occasion for public celebration. However, you can consider it a success when:

  • the organisation is running smoothly with no staffing crises
  • you have an appropriate workforce age, gender and ethnicity profile
  • your staff have clearly understood career progression routes without blockages or shortfalls
  • your customers are happy.


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