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We are diving into the workforce practice of head count planning. Check out below to learn what it is, how to use it and how it can be an efficient tool in uncertain times.


"Headcount planning, a crucial component of strategic workforce planning, is the process by which companies ensure they have the right people, with the right skills, to meet short- and long-term business goals within an established labor budget. The process requires a cross-functional team of line-of-business leaders, senior executives and HR and finance specialists able to move expeditiously.

Why is there a need for speed? For one thing, it’s not as if workforce costs are static. While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that wages and benefit costs increased modestly in Q4 2020, by about 1% and 0.6%, respectively, for civilian employees, most experts believe these costs will continue to rise. And as the economy continues to recover, the available labor pool will shrink. A multidisciplinary team delivers a more complete view of goals and can revise strategy quickly if costs jump, the company’s needs change or the right talent proves elusive." Learn more


"Many organizations are seeking to trim labor costs and optimize their existing workforce in a time of economic recession. Headcount planning offers a host of benefits, allowing organizations to become more efficient in the management of labor costs, promote organizational agility, align labor spend with business strategy, and inform and elevate other HR initiatives. To assist HR and organizational leaders in their planning efforts, McLean & Company, the trusted research and advisory partner of HR leaders around the world, has outlined a three-step plan to create a headcount plan in its new industry guide." Learn more


"The economy has been anything but predictable for the last two years. From a pandemic to inflation to soaring interest rates, it’s hard to know what will come next. For many leaders, headcount planning may seem like an exercise in futility. We can all look back at the financial plans and budgets we laid out over the last several years and see a plethora of adjustments, pivots and outright do-overs. But throwing up our collective hands is not the answer. As leaders, we know the cyclical nature of the economy, how to manage through a crisis and how to make changes on the fly. Although the future remains unclear, it’s time to set a course for 2023." Learn more

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