Workforce planning often fails because of poor execution, a new guide from the Institute of Employment Studies (IES) shows.

The guide encourages HR professionals to keep the process as simple and focused as possible, relying on quality over quantity when it comes to gathering data.

Peter Reilly, author of the guide, said:

“HR should be close enough to the business to know the principal challenges in matching workforce supply to work demand. It should then be able to identify the means by which gaps are closed or surpluses dealt with.”

“We wrote the guide because so often HR complains that its workforce planning is ineffective and business leaders complain that HR processes are too cumbersome. Both groups have unrealistic expectations that workforce planning will solve all their resourcing problems, ignoring the benefits of identifying and thinking through the workforce challenges.”

The following infographic draws on 45 years of research to deliver the ten top tips for HR practitioners to improve the process of workforce planning:

Workforce planning






Steff joined the HRreview editorial team in November 2014. A former event coordinator and manager, Steff has spent several years working in online journalism. She is a graduate of Middlessex University with a BA in Television Production and will complete a Master's degree in Journalism from the University of Westminster in the summer of 2015.