Staffing policies are adopted to best ensure that organizations are staffed in an equitable and efficient manner. The staffing plan is used to prepare for changes in the organization's workforce due to retirements and changes in required job responsibilities and skill sets. Recruitment efforts rely on staffing plans that can range from ad hoc plans to detailed plans built on analysis of current and future human resource requirements. The variations in these plans are due not only to available information but also to the techniques used to develop the plans, the developer's expertise and experience, the number of factors considered, the quality of the information that is the basis of the estimates and the predictability of each variable considered in the estimate.


The creation of a staffing plan to support business strategies requires determining the needed staffing levels; defining the required capabilities of employees; identifying available resources; projecting the current supply of labor to meet future requirements; identifying any gap between projected supply and future demand; and developing and implementing a staffing plan to address the gap between demand and supply.

Management Intuition

Staffing plans may be developed solely on managerial estimates. The organization’s strategic plan, productivity assumptions and turnover estimates are considered in this process, as is the organization’s existing personnel and available skill sets.

Statistical Projection

Fairly precise staffing plans can be developed on the basis of statistical projections. In this case, organizations either purchase research data or develop their own information base to serve as the basis of statistical projections. Such information includes human resources (HR) data regarding existing personnel and their roles in an organization. Using this information, employee replacement and succession plans can be developed by estimating the likely tenure of the existing staff and the probable development of the possible replacements. In addition, trends can be developed based on internal factors such as likely employee transfers and promotions and external factors such as population shifts, demographic change and competitors’ labor requirements.

Delphi Technique

The Delphi Technique integrates the forecasts of multiple experts in order to develop a singular staffing plan. Using this method, a staffing plan is first developed by each individual expert. Each of these plans is then summarized by the personnel department and then circulated to the individual experts for independent review. This process is repeated until a consensus is reached and the final agreed-to staffing plan is developed.

Combined Projection

In order to achieve the most accurate staffing plan possible, separate projection methods can be employed and the results of each method combined into a single forecast model. This strategy may produce a more accurate forecast due to the particular benefits of each individual method and the ability to potentially minimize the disadvantages of each.