Shoosmiths LLP
  February 28, 2023 - Milton Keynes, England

HR Improve: Workforce Planning
  by Shoosmiths LLP

In the second of our HR Improve articles we consider the importance of effective workforce planning and the options available to employers to help meet the current challenges in recruitment and building a workforce with the right skills for the future.

Effective workforce planning enables employers to align their staffing requirements with their strategic direction for the business. In other words, it involves planning ahead to make sure you have the right people in place when you need them. 

Workforce structures and recruitment methods have changed significantly post-pandemic. Employers are dealing with gaps in the workforce and skills shortages. Certain sectors such as logistics, retail and hospitality are struggling to recruit at all. As a result, employers may look to more atypical workers to fill those gaps whilst aiding flexibility in the face of uncertain economic climates. 

We have considered some of the alternative solutions and what to watch out for in each case. 

Casual Workers

One of the most flexible arrangements is with casual workers who are particularly useful when managing peaks and troughs in business. The main benefit of hiring casual workers is the lack of obligation on the employer to continuously provide work. Having a bank of casual workers available means that you can more easily fill any gaps as and where needed.

Considerations for hiring casual workers:

Contractors or consultants

Independent, self-employed contractors or consultants can be an ideal solution if assistance is required on a specific project. In addition, contractors often provide specialist skills and knowledge which employers may not be able to source internally.

Considerations for appointing contractors:

Young Workers

More and more young people are actively seeking work to help support their families during tough financial times. This brings fresh opportunity for employers who are looking for people that they can develop internally. 

Considerations for hiring young workers:


Apprenticeships are a good way to attract new recruits with a view to developing occupation specific skills. This route can also be cost effective for businesses, particularly if they are eligible for government funding. This option is suitable for longer-term recruitment plans, as the apprentice will often be starting with little or no previous work experience and will need to complete the relevant training over a period of time. The benefit is, once the apprenticeship is complete, the business will have a fully trained individual ready to step into a substantive role.

Considerations for apprentices:

For detailed advice on any of the above, or to discuss other options that might be available, please do get in touch. 

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