4 Steps to a Successful Headcount Plan
Now that you know what a workforce forecast is, how should you make a successful forecast? Here’s our 4-Step Strategy for a Successful Headcount Forecasting Strategy:
1. Identify Business Conflicts and Challenges
Introspecting on the operation of your business is a difficult but necessary task. And when it comes to headcount forecasting, analyzing the challenges you face is an important first step. Not sure how to start? You should proceed by answering these questions:
- Are there technologies you can employ to add to your competitive advantage?
- How are your customer’s needs evolving and how can you adapt to these expectations?
- How have your competitors’ offerings changed?
- Are there industry regulatory changes ahead that will change the way you do business?
- Do you have any development goals? What are they, and how do you plan to get them?
2. Establish Metrics for Analysis and Insights
The leaders of successful organizations make important decisions based on data and evidence. The best way to gather information is to establish and usefully apply a set of metrics that you know will tell you what you need to know. Common workforce metrics include the following:
- position requirements
- attrition rates
- salary data
- KPIs and other performance ratings
- department hierarchy
- Employee Skill Sets, Licenses and Certificates
3. Evaluate Your Workforce
Once you’ve determined the metrics that work for your business and the insights you need, it’s time to test them. At this stage, it is important to consider the following:
- Is your business expanding in any way?
- Are there any positions you can do without in order to maximize the overall ROI of your workforce?
- Are you able to identify your high potential employees?
- Do you know which employees are flight hazards?
When you analyze your workforce, pay attention to key roles and the employees currently filling them. Focus specifically on those who fill the roles necessary to implement your business strategy in the near and mid-term. Consider whether they are the best people for the job, and make adjustments where necessary.
4. Make Sure Your Headcount Forecast is Tight and Inclusive
No matter how often you decide to engage in headcount forecasting, we recommend that your strategic approach be agile, iterative and inclusive. Prioritize reviewing your forecasting strategy on a regular basis to assess what is working and make adjustments where necessary.