Staffing and Workforce Plan

What’s a Staffing and Workforce plan?

While the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, a workforce plan and a staffing plan are two different things altogether. A workforce plan is a long-term look at the business’s talent needs. Think up to 5 years out. It typically aligns with the business’s strategic plan.

Let’s say we have a local retail establishment and we want to expand into online shopping. Over a span of time, they will have to start hiring people with e-commerce expertise to help them build a strategy. Then, they will need to start hiring sales reps with e-commerce experience. Right now, it’s possible they have employees who could learn about e-commerce. Instead of hiring from the outside, they might want to develop the e-commerce team from within. They already know the products. A workforce plan would help them map out that long term strategy for “buying and/or building” the best talent.

A staffing plan is a shorter-term plan that helps organizations with their more immediate hiring needs. Think 12-18 months out. Many business’s prepare a staffing plan in conjunction with their annual budget because a staffing plan might have a better view of current hiring trends.

Using the same retail example as above, maybe the business doesn’t plan to start working on their e-commerce initiative until next year. The staffing plan helps the business stay focused on building the talent pipeline they need right now, while not losing sight of the company’s long-term strategy. It’s possible that the workforce plan can be used to assist in the development of the staffing plan.

How to Develop a Workforce and Staffing Plan

Organizations should consider having both a staffing plan and a workforce plan. Here’s how to develop them.

Step 1. Look at the organization’s current strategic plan.

Step 2. Review the KSAs that employees currently have.

Step 3. Evaluate the skills gap.

Step 4. Make a workforce plan and a staffing plan.

Step 5. Use and review the plan on a regular basis.


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