Workforce planning checklist: Mapping talent to business needs in a ‘deskless’ workforce


For employers with shift-based, roster-driven (or “deskless”) workers, workforce planning has several additional challenges, but also multiple benefits. To help with this critical task, Humanforce has created a handy checklist.

Why does strategic workforce planning matter?

At the simplest level, workforce planning is the process an organisation uses to analyse its workforce and determine the steps it must take to prepare for future staffing needs.

Workforce planning helps HR professionals anticipate change and determine workforce capacity limits. It provides a framework for making workforce decisions that align with meeting the strategic goals of the organisation. It also identifies how future staffing and skill needs will be met – that is, via external recruitment, workforce development plans, internal deployment, succession planning, etc.

Workforce planning in deskless workplaces

An effective workforce plan goes beyond the strategic activities of budget and resource allocations; it also helps on a functional, day-to-day level. For example, workforce planning enables HR and managers to be proactive with their staff rostering to ensure talent surpluses and shortages are avoided. The process can help HR build a better understanding of employee qualifications and experience, where and when they prefer to work, and so on. Creating a “profile” of each worker is crucial for understanding how to motivate, develop and retain them in the long-term.

What does our checklist include?

To make the workforce planning process as easy as possible, we’ve broken our comprehensive checklist into four steps:

1.      Planning and preparation

This critical first step is about conducting a strategic analysis of your landscape to assess internal and external influences on your workforce. This phase focuses on determining the who, what, where and when of work.

2.      Risk diagnosis and analysis

In this step, the focus should be on identifying and assessing potential risks to the talent strategy and the business at large.

3.      Execution

This step involves bringing together all the insights from the supply analysis and demand analysis carried out during step 3, as well as stakeholder engagement and demand modelling, to develop an implementation roadmap.

4.      Monitoring and modifying

It’s important to measure, adapt and evolve the plan. The outcomes should be continuously evaluated to determine progress in addressing gaps and identifying where adjustments to strategies and action items are required.

A valuable future-proofing activity

Alongside the recommended activities to take at each step, we’ve provided useful tips and important questions you should be asking.

Discover how workforce planning can help future-proof your organisation against an uncertain future. Download the checklist today!