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Workforce Planning and Talent Planning

Pinpoint the workforce planning and talent planning. How do you relate talent planning and management succession planning?

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Question asked by sanjaya_paudel

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angel profile image
Angel Paudel

Workforce planning has to do more with the number of people that the organization needs over a period and the cost incurred along with when the new hiring is necessary. For this, a planning calendar is formed as well. It is also about getting the people with the right skills and the right number at the right time and place to deliver organizational short-term and/or long-term objectives. Workforce planning includes of varieties of activities like job design, flexible working, succession planning and many others (Davies, 2010). This form of planning should be viewed as an important part of the business planning process and should also be linked to strategic business goals.

Talent planning is the process of finding, developing, training, and retaining employees whose skills best align with the objectives and needs of the company. The end goal of talent planning is to hire the best employees the business can afford or in some case develop the talent from within the organization so that the company can achieve its goals and reach the maximum potential for success (Armstrong, 2014). The process of talent planning includes of a series of steps in the process which constituents of being prepared, knowing the challenges faced by the company, hiring and training new employees, and preparing to replace employees who leave or who are set to the company (Gkttman, 1968).

Succession planning involves identifying or developing new leaders who can replace the old leader once they leave the job, retire or die. This form of planning is inter-related with the talent planning as they demonstrate a genuine commitment of the organization to developing the existing workforce and also provide businesses with a deliberate strategy for the retention and continuation of critical competencies (Evans, 2009). Both the forms of planning combined help at identifying the perfect candidate(s) with the required skillsets for the position if anyone in the key position leaves it prematurely. For example, in an organization, a Director General died on an accident no one anticipated, in which case the organization can’t give the role to someone in the position of Program Manager nor can it go on a hiring process to replace the person immediately. In this case, if the organization has used talent planning and succession planning properly than looks at their director level and give the acting role or position itself in full to one of the directors who are more compatible with the position (as identified before). The person filling in will have the detailed ideas of the process and how the organization operates along with the workflow as he/she would have been prepared for it beforehand. Both these planning combined makes sure that the organization doesn’t fall back during any such difficult period either.


Armstrong, L. A. (2014). A Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice, 13th Edition. Kogan Page Limited.

Davies, E. (2010). Workforce planning. BMJ , c5327.

Evans, J. (2009). Succession Planning. Oncology Issues , 24 (2), 22-27.

Gkttman, L. (1968). Manpower Planning for High Talent Personnel. Public Personnel Management , os-29 (4), 240-241.

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dipadhungana profile image

Workforce planning is a core process of human resource management that is shaped by the organizational strategy and ensures the right number of people with the right skills, in the right place at the right time to deliver short and long term organizational objectives (CIPD, 2010). It is related with the systematic identification and analysis of what an organization is going to need in terms of the size, type, experience, knowledge and skills of its workforce to achieve its objectives. Workforce planning provides the basic for a systematic approach to accessing the number and type of people needed by the organization. It aligns business and human resource needs to execute the organizational activities efficiently and successfully. It provides basis for systematic approach to accessing the number and type of people needed taking in account the information on demand and supply of labor and scanning the environment for the preparation of recruitment, retention, management succession planning and talent management plans (Armstrong, 2014).

The driving forces for workforce planning are current movement and projected labor shortages, globalization, growing use of contingent, flexible workers, need to leverage human capital to enhance returns, mergers and acquisitions and evolution of workforce technology and tools (More Companies Turn to Workforce Planning to Boost Productivity and Efficiency, 2006). Workforce planning helps in eliminating surprises, smoothing out business cycle, identifying problems early and taking advantage of opportunities (Why You Need Workforce Planning, 2002). Workforce planning is used increasingly to help control labor costs, assess talent needs, make informed business decisions and access human capital and risks (More Companies Turn to Workforce Planning to Boost Productivity and Efficiency, 2006).

Talent planning is the subset of workforce planning that refers to the process of establishing how many and what of talented people are needed currently and in future in any organization (Armstrong, 2014). The capabilities, qualifications, expertise, personal qualities and terms and conditions are to be taken into consideration during talent planning. It helps to add real-time, enterprise-wide clarity to examine the workforce and then place talent where the impact is more visible and effective. According to (CIPD, 2017), the talent planning has helped increasing competition for well- qualified talent, developing existing staffs, increased communication and increased organization cautiousness in recruiting. It emphasizes on a wide range of position and number of employees across an organization. The talent planning cycle comprises of planning, selecting, developing, promoting and replacing. The core purpose of talent planning is to retain valuable employees. The four dimensions of talent planning includes career planning, talent development, leadership development and succession planning.

Management succession planning is the process of identifying and developing new leaders when the old ones resign, leave, retire, are fired or die. It increases the availability of experienced and capable staffs to fulfill the higher level managerial posts as they become vacant. In simple words, it is the process of preparing an organization for a transition in leadership. It involves integrated, systematic approach for identifying, developing and retaining capable and skilled employees in line with current and projected business objectives. The aim of succession planning is to avoid leadership vacuum at company during critical time. The things to take in consideration while planning for a successor is are enough successors available, are they good enough and do they have to right skills and competencies required for the position.

Talent planning and management succession planning are interrelated with each other. Management succession planning is also one of the dimensions of talent planning. It ensures that the people with right skills and competencies are prepared to take over the major positions of the organization as the need arises. As mentioned by (CIPD, 2017), the organizations anticipate a greater focus on developing more talent in-house and succession planning also contributes to the same.


Armstrong, M. (2014). Armstrong’s Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice.

CIPD. (2010). Workforce Planning: Right People, Right Time, Right Skills.

CIPD. (2017). Resourcing and Talent Planning.

(2006). More Companies Turn to Workforce Planning to Boost Productivity and Efficiency. Newyork: PR Newswre.

Why You Need Workforce Planning . (2002, October 24).

shantamilan profile image

Workforce planning or human resource planning is the process with which the human resource management plans for possible need of current and future workforce based on the analysis of the objective and current condition of the organization. “A core process of human resource management that is shaped by the organisational strategy and ensures the right number of people with the right skills, in the right place at the right time to deliver short- and long-term organisation objectives. (Baron, Clake, Turner, & Pass, 2010)”

The first step is to determine workforce demand. This determination is done on the basis of number of positions required, types of people and the competencies required. This is followed by the supply of workforce. This describes the workforce as it is at present and its projection for future. The third step would be to compare the demand and supply and find out where the possible gaps are. Finally once the gaps are recognized the solution is implemented. The solution being development of process and planning to meet the gap. (Vernez, Robbert, Massey, & Driscoll, 2007)

One part of human resource planning is talent planning or management. As an organization depends on its workforce for its growth and success the limitation of talented manpower in the market is a challenge for the HR. The HR has the important job of hiring the best workforce from the market and at the same time grooming the talent inside the organization and retaining them. “if talent management and development is happening without a workforce plan you can be busy developing people – but for what? (Baron, Clake, Turner, & Pass, 2010, p. 15)”

Succession planning, workforce management and talent management are strategies of human resource management and one of the same thing. Armstrong explains, “It is better to regard talent management as a more comprehensive and integrated bundle of activities, the aim of which is to create a pool of talent in an organization, bearing in mind that talent is a major corporate resource. (Armstrong, 2012, p. 256)”

Thus you can say that talent planning and succession planning are crucial parts of workforce plan. A HR should understand the value of talent management both inside the organization and while hiring should be able to ascertain the type of people and competencies required by the organization and be able to tap those talents at the right time. Only with proper talent planning can succession planning be achieved. A good talent and succession planning will contribute to a good workforce planning which will support the organization decrease its risk factors and get close to attaining its goals and objectives.



Baron, A., Clake, R., Turner, P., & Pass, D. (2010). Workforce planning Right people, right time, right skills. CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Devlopment , 4.

Vernez, G., Robbert, A. A., Massey, H. G., & Driscoll, K. (2007). Workforce Planning and Development Processes - A Practical Guide. Santa Monica, CA : RAND Corporation.

sachitabhattarai profile image

Workplace planning is recruiting right number of people with the right skills in the right place at right time to acquire the desired results of an organization. It is the strategy used by the organization to anticipate the future needs of worker, utilize, and boost the workers effectively with advanced human resources technology. According to CIPD (2012), “Workforce planning is a core of human resource management that is shaped by the organizational strategy and ensures the right number of people with the right skills, in the right place at the right time to deliver short- and long-term organizational objectives.” Suppose there is a huge conflict and dissatisfaction among the employee of a certain company. At that time, the leaders need to appoint the HR for settling the disputes. The company cannot recruit a Finance manager and tell him to solve the problems because he HR is not his stream.

Talent planning is the process of recruiting the competent employee and working towards the achievement of a common vision. It helps in keeping and maintaining talented people in the organization. Talent planning includes providing training to the existing employee who has the potential and avoid recruiting people from the outside. It gives first priority to the people inside the organization and if the higher authority do not find anybody suitable for the job they go for outside recruiting. According to the International Journal of Business & Management, “ talent management is a set of integrated organizational HR process designed to attract, develop, motivate and retain the talented employees (David Leann Rachel, 2016).

Companies needs the right leaders who can drive their business plans forwards. Talent planning and management succession planning co-relate each other. Talent planning appoints talented and skillful people and succession planning provides opportunities to those trained and talented human resource. As Creelman (2004) said, “Talent management goes beyond a certain way of thinking within a set of activities.” In an organization when talented people are already appointed, it will be easy for the HR to immediately fill the vacant position. For example, in an organization, if the CEO of the company resigns from his post then the company with the help of talent and succession planning can select the other top-level managers as a CEO instead of searching completely new person. Finding new people will increase the expenses and waste the time of the company. Hence, to protect from those deviations, the company must follow the talent along with the succession planning.



Creelman, D. (2004). Return on Investment in talent management : Measures you can put to work right now ’ human capital institute27. IJCRB , VOL- 4 NO 1.

David Leann Rachel, N. P. (2016). Impact of talent Management on Organisation Culture. The International Journal pf Business & Management , Vol 4 Issue 2.

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