Strategic personnel planning (SPP) offers insight into future personnel bottlenecks. In other words, it helps you prepare for the future. Because, do you know what type or how many employees you’ll need in three years to reach your organization’s goals? And what are the consequences of developments in the industry or changes in the recruitment market for your human resource policy? In this fast-changing world, you need to be prepared and ready to face the future. Strategic personnel planning is the best tool to anticipate change and steer the optimal workforce of an organization, department or team in an effective and targeted manner, both today and in the future.

6 steps for strategic personnel planning

To reach your business goals, you’ll need a balanced and competent workforce. It’s all about getting the right number of people, with the right skills, in the right place at the right time. When it comes to strategic personnel planning, there are 6 steps to take:

1. Consider the long-term goals of your organization

Strategic personnel planning is all about making sure your employees are able to deliver on the business goals of your organization. So, it makes sense to start with those, right? Consider where your company is going in the short and in the long term, and what you’ll need in terms of human capital to achieve this.

2. Analyze your current workforce

Strategic personnel planning starts with analyzing your current workforce. What does it look like at the moment? What people and skills do you already have in your organization? It’s useful to get an insight into the age demographics of your workforce, the type of contracts and the current quality of your employees. How do your employees perform, and what is their future potential? Who are your high performers, and how much potential do they have? Don’t forget to look at the quantity of your workforce, either. What is your employee turnover, and who has recently been promoted?

3. Find future skills gaps

Now that you know what your current workforce looks like and what their skills and needs are, you can start to plan ahead. A skill gap analysis can help you determine when people will retire, for example. It allows you to start thinking about how you can fill the gap they will leave behind before they actually do retire. This is especially important when you operate in an industry where there is a shortage of staff, as it will take some time to find an appropriate candidate to replace this person.

4. Prepare for different scenarios

We know it’s impossible to predict the future. What is not impossible, though, is preparing for the various situations that might occur. Have a look at how technological developments will impact your organization, for example. Are there currently positions in your company that will likely disappear because of technological innovations that will be commonly used in the next couple of years? In other words, will automation replace and/or change any of the jobs in your company? Don’t forget to monitor the economic situation worldwide, either. Tough economic times can also cause significant changes in your workforce.

5. Don’t forget your company culture

It’s not only technology and the economic situation that can change over time. Your company culture may change as well. It’s constantly evolving, and you might discover that, over time, certain people and skills don’t fit in with your culture anymore. When you look ahead to the future, think about how you want to steer the cultural development of your company. What core values do you want to preserve over time, and what type of employee fits in with these values?

6. Monitor and adapt

Strategic personnel planning is an ongoing process that’s never really done. In the fast-changing world of today, your workforce planning needs to be adaptable, too. You’ll need to constantly monitor whether you still have the right people, with the right skills, in the right place. And if it turns out that this is not the case, you’ll need to adapt and make the necessary changes.

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