Personnel planning

What is the challenge?

The purpose of personnel planning is to assign the required number of employees with the appropriate skills to the right tasks (i. e. at the right place at the right time). If companies lack knowledge about their own staffing needs and available skills, this can lead to bottlenecks or overstaffing and to negative workloads (e.g. underutilization). Also, short-term changes (e.g. illnesses, new projects) may require dynamic adjustments. So it is important to gather the information and combine it well.

What data can help?

  • Employee data (individual qualifications, type of employment, short-, medium- and long-term career planning, departures such as retirement dates, number of people per qualification, substitution arrangements for vacations and absences, patterns in employee workflows, e.g. turnover, customer contact and customer frequencies)
  • Company data (information on company goals, milestones and requirements along projects or workflows)
  • Data on shift distributions (rotation patterns, occupancy, seasonal variations), team compositions, and preferences for areas of operation
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Use case category: personnel planning

How can companies use their data?

Company data and personnel data are analyzed and transformed into optimal personnel planning with the help of software applications. Staff scheduling can be made more predictive by using data. Among other things, vacancies, skills gaps and fluctuations in workloads can be identified at an early stage. For areas such as trade fairs or conferences, the benefits also lie in the optimization of short-term additional personnel processes, for example with the help of data-based workflows, automated briefings or a central document database.

Where is this use of data already being applied?

The retail group Walmart uses data analyses on the number of customers in its stores to make predictions on the need for employees and can adjust staff scheduling. The group also uses data-based comparisons to evaluate the efficiency of self-service checkouts.

The Premier Inn hotel chain uses Personio software to optimize its HR processes, particularly staff scheduling. Redundant and time-consuming processes can be standardized and staff planning automated.

With the help of the “Success Factors Workforce Analytics” program, the SAP software group creates a uniform database with standard definitions for key personnel figures. HR data from various systems (financial accounting, talent management etc.) are integrated for this purpose. The result is a well-founded information basis for personnel decisions, e.g. for workforce planning. 

How does this use of data contribute to value creation?

Optimized personnel planning improves the contribution of human resource management to value creation. HR processes are accelerated and sources of error are minimized. Personnel bottlenecks and under-utilization can be avoided. Necessary qualification measures can be addressed at an early stage. In the long term, this contributes to employee satisfaction.

Aim of data use

Sources: Walmart (2017), Personio GmbH (2020), ActivateHR (2020)