“Rethinking Workforce Planning in Times of Uncertainty” by M. Collins

Subject: Employee Management
Pages: 2
Words: 627
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: Bachelor

The article discusses the need to adjust the HR approach to workforce planning in dynamically changing and uncertain environments. Collins (2020) rightfully claims that just as a manager must notice business opportunities and strategically incorporate them into organizational vision, it is critical to meet global challenges by considering workforce planning trends. Furthermore, the author states that current humanitarian and pandemic crises undermine conventional HR knowledge. Finally, business more than ever needs to optimize its resources, including human resources. Several niche opportunities and trends discussed in the paper can open a valuable perspective on HR planning and ensure a company with a more predicted and reliable workforce supply.

In summary, Collins (2020) underlines five ways in how an organization may approach staffing planning. It is worth understanding the workforce demand and reframing it according to customers’ experience gaps and expectations. A high-performing team should correspond to the relevant business need and be built through helpful technologies and processes to ensure smooth and agile cross-functional collaboration. Besides, organizational change might also be needed when addressing external paradigm shifts, so the workforce has to meet the new realities and an updated DNA of a company. Soft skills and passion constitute a way to bolster the workforce supply further. These elements can be nourished by strategic investing in high-school education, thus, growing a generation of relevant specialists. Moreover, gaining the necessary skills and attitude can be incorporated into the internal learning process. Finally, borrowing rather than hiring employees solves high demands periods when particular human resources are especially occupied. This practice aims to close the workforce gap when needed. When introduced to a company, all of this positively affects its HR management and, in the end, helps avoid risks associated with the dynamic labor market.

The article perfectly complements the concepts that were learned in this unit. Staffing and workforce planning processes represent a complex operational area of an enterprise that includes many independent variables. These incorporate new inventions, population changes, resistance to change, consumer demand, government intervention in business, foreign competition, and, above all, competition in the national market. Importantly, workforce planning should include the possibility of feedback because if the plan cannot be achieved, it is often necessary to adjust the company’s tasks to become feasible in terms of human resources. Staffing planning goals should be formulated systematically correspondingly to the purposes of the organization and the goals of its staff. When planning goals, you need to take into account legal regulations and the underlying principles of the organization’s policy.

Effective personnel planning and forecasting include several stages. A company must assess the demand for labor, the potential for supply, and the state of the external environment of activity. A human resource plan is drawn up through the interaction of all these factors, indicating how many and what kind of workers may be required in the future. Collins (2020) also identifies similar planning stages, reinforcing them with a capacity to adjust and predict potential risks. There is also a difference between external and internal forecasting. Internal needs of the company undoubtedly dictate the need for a particular employee or skill. From the external perspective, the main factor is the client, who sets trends and global and local changes in the labor market. This also echoes Collins’ thesis about which stakeholder factors influence workforce planning strategy.

Overall, I find the article very relevant, especially in the pandemic and the new hiring model. As you can see, the main theoretical stages and goals of personnel planning coincide with the concepts proposed in the article. However, as the author rightly notes, the academic approach to human resource management is no longer viable in modern realities. That is why Collins reinforces the classic knowledge of this industry with trends in the labor market.


Collins, M. (2020). Rethinking workforce planning in times of uncertainty. Workforce Solutions Review, 11(3), 28–30.