This guide introduces you to workforce planning and provides you with an overview of how to do it. It examines the key stages involved in workforce planning and offers a practical structure for determining your strategy, with illustrative examples to guide practice.

We’ll show you how to develop a workforce plan by walking you through two methodologies for workforce planning: a six-stage planning framework and a seven ‘rights’ principle. The planning framework offers six stages for conducting workforce planning in the right order; the seven ‘rights’ principle lists seven areas of the business that you need to consider. 

People practitioners can use this guide to structure their (strategic) workforce planning, to identify the workforce challenges they may face ahead of time, and to put in place the appropriate actions to ensure organisational readiness and success.

What is workforce planning?

Six stages to workforce planning


Appendix: Workforce planning checklist

More on this topic

Job design

Explores the purpose and evolution of job design, its role in creating good work, and assessing job quality.

Thought leadership
Pay awards set to fall in 2024 as employers set sights on the year ahead

The CIPD’s Labour Market Outlook – Winter 2023-24 reveals falling pay increase expectations for the first time since the pandemic

A thumbnail image of a woman and man in conversation
Supporting your workforce in a crisis event

Key considerations and resources to help you support your people in exceptional times

Succession planning

Understand what succession planning involves, the link between succession planning and talent management programmes, and the role of people professionals in the process

Latest guides

Fire and rehire: Guide for employers

What this practice is, why you should avoid it, and how to approach it if no other options are available

People manager guide: How to tackle sexual harassment

Practical advice for managers on tackling sexual harassment in the workplace

Sexual harassment in the workplace: Guidance for people professionals

Practical advice on how to tackle sexual harassment in the workplace

For Members
TUPE transfers: Guide for people professionals

Outlines the main legal requirements surrounding TUPE transfers, and the essential steps involved in managing them

For Members
All guides