Workforce planning is all about getting the right number of people, with the right skills, in the right jobs at the right time.

Businesses that create a plan for growth and future staffing levels and skills requirements are more likely to be successful in meeting their business goals. Workforce planning is an important part of a company’s business and strategic plan.

Benefits of workforce planning

  • improve productivity
  • respond to emerging challenges and opportunities
  • avoid talent surpluses and shortages 
  • achieve business vision and growth targets.

Auckland’s ageing workforce

We have an ageing population and workforce. Over the next decade 20 per cent of Auckland’s workforce will be new entrants. This will lead to increased competition between businesses to attract young workers for entry-level positions and skills gaps.
See more Auckland employment data

Workforce planning guide

Based on the models of the Victorian Public Sector and Canterbury Development Corporation.

  • Where do you want business be in 6-12 months, 2 or 5 years?
  • What is the vision and mission for your business?
  • What are the external opportunities and threats to your business?
  • What internal and external factors influence your current and future labour demand and supply? 
  • What is the composition, characteristics and competencies of your internal workforce (including contractors and temporary staff)?
  • Can you readily source the labour you need? Is this likely to change in the future? 
  • What future work and business requirements does your business need to accomplish its mission and plans?
  • What products and services will you provide and what staff skills and competencies will you need to produce them?
  • Will changing technology or legislation impact your workforce? How?
  • Can you forecast or develop scenarios for your future workforce requirements?
  • What are staff telling you about current and future workforce issues?
  • What are the gaps between your current workforce and the workforce you need for the future?

Prioritise your gaps and come up with ways to address them. Your workforce planning actions should align with your business values and culture. Your workforce planning actions could include:

  • Employer brand
    Consider your company’s brand and reputation. How can you use it to recruit your future workforce?
  • Recruitment referrals
    Think about both formal and informal ways to recruit staff, such as encouraging staff to refer family and friends to apply for jobs.
  • Retention and turnover
    What is the optimal turnover rate, what are the reasons staff leave and which staff do you seek to retain?
  • Internal redeployment
    Can you reassign staff within the business?
  • Training and development
    Are there any training and development programmes available to address employee skill gaps?
  • Succession planning
    Determine a succession plan for key roles.
  • Career and talent development
    What career pathways are available within the business? Consider coaching and mentoring programmes.
  • Casual and temporary staff
    Consider the role of casual and temporary staff in your workforce.
  • Monitor and evaluate workforce plan actions. How much have they helped you achieve your business objectives? Which actions were most effective?
  • Analyse emerging issues and adjust the plan’s actions as necessary.
Other useful resources
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Find tools and tips to help you hire staff and create legally safe employment agreements.
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MBIE web tool

This online tool is a great help in finding and exploring extensive information on the economy of Auckland and other New Zealand regions.
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Quarterly Labour Market Scorecard

Get an overview of the current state of the New Zealand labour market.
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