4 Workforce Planning Definitions

February 27, 2017 by Raymond Lee

Workforce planning is a growing area of importance for human resources and for organizations. There are several workforce planning definitions present right now in the field. While it cannot be determined if one workforce planning definition is more right or wrong than others, it is easy to see the value in each of them. See below for the four workforce planning definitions that we have found present in the field today.


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Workforce Planning Definition #1:

It is a process of matching an organization with the talent it needs, at the time it needs it. Thus a workforce planning team must assess what talent an organization needs at any given point in the future, and then prepare for that point in time with training of current talent or the recruiting of new talent that is skilled in a particular area. This definition is much more broad, and encompasses most (if not all) of the definitions discussed below.

Workforce Planning Definition #2:

It is a process of exiting baby boomers from an organization over the next decade. Studies have shown that on average ten thousand baby boomers will retire each year for the next decade. Organizations must prepare for this massive shift in employee skills and characteristics, as well as how they will support their baby boomer employees through said retirement transition.

Workforce Planning Definition #3:

It is a process by which an organization will develop more progressive policies and culture. This is through creating an emphasis around diversity and inclusion, as well as a focus on innovative cultures through new age HR policies. An example of a new age HR policy would be unlimited vacation time or employee controlled work hours.

Workforce Planning Definition #4:

It is a process surrounding the development of current employees so that they can progress into positions that will be vacant in the future. In general, these vacant positions are created by the exit of baby boomers.

Raymond Lee

Raymond Lee

Raymond Lee is the President of Careerminds, a global outplacement company based in Wilmington, Delaware. He has over 20 years of human resource, outplacement, and career consulting experience. He has his bachelor’s in psychology and holds a Master’s Degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Louisiana Tech University. He is active in SHRM and ATD. Raymond’s been featured on SiriusXM Business Radio, CareerTalk, and the Wall Street Journal and he’s published a book titled, Clocking Out: A Stress-Free Guide to Career Transitions.

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