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Workforce Planning and Building Your Business

A core part of your company’s success is effective planning for your workforce. This process involves projecting workforce needs and identifying the policies and systems necessary to building a workforce that will support the growth and success of your company. With strategic workforce planning, you can understand how to best manage the direction of your company, whether it’s expansion, maintaining your current status or downsizing.

To prepare for developing your workforce plan, it is important to collect and understand a number of different informational areas related to your employees, including: total number of full-time employees, part-time employees and independent contractors, employee skills, turnover, and an analysis of what is going on in your local job market and industry.

What Is Happening in Your Job Market?

Part of developing your workforce strategy includes what is happening as it relates to employment in your city or geographic area. Some of the information areas to research include:

  • Local unemployment rate: If there are more highly skilled employees looking for work, you may be able to snap up great candidates.
  • Demographics of your general community: Be aware of college graduates in your areas that are coming into the market and can fill entry level positions.
  • Understanding your competitors: It is important to be aware of your competition and make sure you are offering competitive compensation and benefits packages to attract new employees.
  • Social, technological and economic trends: For example, a recession may potentially enable you to attract highly skilled employees or a booming economy may make finding the right candidate more difficult, thus making it even more important to retain your valued employees.
  • Political and legislative trends: For example, will changes in federal, state or local laws affecting your industry negatively or positively affect your ability to hire new employees and provide benefits to existing employees?

Other sources of information include: the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employer associations, news, competitors’ annual reports, and government agencies like the Department of Labor.

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