Course Code+Name
University Name
City, State
Date of Submission
Background (Introduction)
Department of Culture and the Arts
Human resource planning is the process of identifying current and
future workforce requirement in an organization ensuring availability of
essential number of the workforce, with sufficient knowledge and skills
required to perform different duties. It is a dynamic process involving
scrutiny of the overall workforce characteristics, and linking the
identified workforce composition to organizational goals. It also
involves prediction of future workforce requirements and making plans on
how to obtain the requisite future human resources to achieve
organizational goals (Chan & Geon 2012). In analysing the vitality of
Human resource planning (HRP), this paper will focus on HRP functions
from The Department of Culture and the Arts` (DCA) trough an interview
conducted on Aloysius Toh, a Workforce analyst at The DC.
According to Aloysius Toh DCA has over nine hundred employees working in
branches such as
The Western Australian library,
The Perth Theater, Trust,
The State Library of Western Australia,
The State Records office
The Art gallery of Western Australia
Out of over nine hundreds DCA workforce, sixty percent are over fifty
years old, those aged between twenty five and fifty years account for
only eighteen percent, whereas workers under twenty five years account
for less than four percent of the workforce. Eighty percent of
librarians and library officers are female, who also account for sixty
five percent of the executive. In addition, two percent of DCA workforce
has disabilities and two percent are aboriginals. This diversity brings
in different organizational differences, increases workers creativity
including provision of different problem solving criteria.
Culture of DCA
The DCA, supports cultural and arts sectors thereby providing
exceptional and transformational experiences which assists in improving
the lives of Western Australians. In addition, the DCA provides
articulate leadership in improving the delivery of Arts and cultural
policies, on-behalf of Western Australian Government. The DCA has over
nine hundred workers across different Arts and Cultural portfolios
working hand in hand to see to it that the organization goals are met.
The DCA aims at creating a public value in Australian’s workforce
thereby, developing an impartial and varied workforce that, to the
greatest level, roughly represent different Australians intellectual
stimulations, cultural richness as well as artistic inspirations. The
department also supports participation and enrolment of physically
challenged people in the management positions to encompass different
aspects of Western Australian diversities.
Workforce Planning
Human resource planning is the process of identifying current and future
workforce requirement in an organization ensuring availability of
essential number of the workforce, with sufficient knowledge and skills
required to perform different duties. Sufficient work force with ample
knowledge skills and expertise are essential to any organization, hence
the need to institute workforce planning (Chan & Geon 2012). Workforce
planning is made possible by the workforce analysts who play a vital
role in determining the current and future manpower need in an
Workforce planning has five distinct processes, starting with
environmental scan, a planning procedure aimed at identifying facts
surrounding the work place, profiling current workforce, which entails
detailing demand and supply. These are followed by future workforce
view, that encompasses planning and working towards future workforce
requirements given the circumstances identified in environmental scan
process. The fourth procedure involves analysing the targeted future
workforce, through qualitative and quantitative analysis of the internal
and external factors affecting workforce planning. The last procedure in
workforce planning is closing gaps which entails eight key areas, among
them, resourcing, training and development of existing workforce,
recruitment, retention, knowledge management, industrial relations,
recruitment and remunerations (Horwitz et al. 2003.
Functions of workforce analyst  
·   Workforce analysts play the vital role of advising the HR
managers on current and future workforce requirements in their
institutions. This entails use of statistical data to depict a real
economy, followed by projecting the future workforce requirement to get
the actual workforce required in incorporations, both present and the
future. To determine the personnel requirement, an analyst has to
predict all scenarios in the economy such as the best-case scenario,
most likely scenario and the worst-case scenario (Helms & Nixon 2010).
At DCA, the workforce analysts advices the HR management on workforce
arrangement initiatives such as the qualifications to be sought during
interviews, the number, skills , composition and abilities of employees
to be taken in the workforce, the workforce to be laid off, and the
qualities to be mentored for future use. In addition, the workforce
analyst advices on pay, equity, diversity as well as reporting all
matters pertaining the workforce.
Current Practice
Tools used in Workforce Planning
To analyse personnel requirements, Aloysius Toh, uses management tools
such as environmental analysis, Strength, weakness, opportunity and
threat (SWOT) analysis, to get the current business stability, predict
the case scenarios. Other tools used include demographics and statistics
to study, analyse and predict current and future workforce requirements
to meet daily organisational objectives, Environmental analysis which
includes scrutiny of organisational internal and external environment,
as well as scenario analysis. All these are used in workforce planning
to facilitate smooth work flow so as to achieve organisational goals. In
predicting personnel requirements, analysts aim at attaining best
achievable case scenarios and therefore advice human resource manager on
the number, skills and knowledge that incoming employees should possess.
In conducting workforce analysis, Aloysius Toh, incorporates internal
factors such as the general organisational structure, staff remuneration
budgets, as well as the external factors such as general training of
potential workforce, source of organisational funds, government
policies, and environmental factors. According to (Hilla &Yitzhak 2011),
internal factors affecting the workforce include the financial budget,
remuneration, current labour supply, number, knowledge and skills of the
existing workforce as well as organisational structure. External factors
affecting workforce planning are those occurrences outside the
organisation but that greatly impact on the organisations workforce.
These factors include social cultural factors, economical, political and
legislative factors, demographical and technological factors,
information sources as well as the organisation’s competitors
Aloysius Toh, has a streamline plan of how the workforce should
function. The plan assists developing different skills and leadership
qualities in the organisation at different times and levels to achieve
organisational goals. Development of workforce knowledge and skills is
attained through knowledge management and communication, whereby the top
level management interact with other workers, during mentorship programs
and in the process imparting knowledge and skills perceived to be
crucial fro the success of the organization.. This is based on the
future organisational goals rather than workforce planning goals, and as
such, the workforce training is aimed at attaining organisational goals
rather than workforce planning goals. According to Tripathi (2012),
workforce training is a vital strategy in attaining organisational
goals. Training may be on-the-job or off-the-job and is more valuable
only if it helps in attaining set objectives, therefore it should be
frequently evaluated to conform to the set objectives.
Workforce planners should adopt both qualitative and quantitative
methods of forecasting future workforce requirement. Qualitative
strategies include skill inventory such as use of clear defined
organisational objectives and regular monitoring of workforce
performance replacement charts which clearly profile workforce details
showing their likely replacement periods as well as succession planning
that aims at filling created vacancies ensuring continued performance.
Quantitative methods include turnover analysis that accurately predict
future demand for labour and Markov analysis matrix which shows
probability of workforce moving to alternative employers thereby
planning on replacement (Horwitz et al. 2003).The DCA adopts both
qualitative and quantitative strategies to predict the exact number of
employees needed hence enabling him meet workforce demand in the
According to Aloysius Toh, the DCA has an elaborate strategic short-term
plan for its workforce along with strategies to achieve the set goals.
These include, occupational and health strategies, recruitment diversity
strategies among others. One of the long-term strategies adopted by the
DCA is meant to pass and retain knowledge, skills and abilities of
potential retirees onto new workforce. DCA has in recent past
implemented a system to allow employees enlighten the managers about
their developmental needs, which helps in improving workers’ morale
thereby increasing their productivity and organisational development.
Setting clear workforce planning goals is critical in enhancing
organisational performance since the HR management is sure of the
employee number, skills and abilities required to achieve the set goals
(Chan & Geon 2012).
According to Aloysius Toh, the DCA has an in normal succession plan for
key positions. They adopt an informal plan whereby, an employee is
promoted to a vacancy after it is rendered vacant only when the HR
management is convinced that the individual has adequate knowledge and
skills to assume that position. Failure to have an intricate
succession plan, the DCA faces potential challenges of not getting
sufficiently qualified staff to replace some of the most trained and
qualified staff either in WUA art gallery or the WUA museum. This is
compounded even more by the fact that the staff members are highly
specialized meaning it would take time to train or get a suitable
candidate to fill a vacancy. Any abrupt departure of the specialised
staff would negatively affect DCA’s resources.
Aloysius Toh, is of the view that DCA has to invest in new technology
due to the increased advancement and use of technology in recent years.
The technology progress advancement has increased use of online
services, iPods and computers, hence the need to invest and training
current workforce to keep abreast with changes. Conversely, the
increasing technological advancement will render conservatives outmoded
since their skills are structured and fixed. They will be required to
completely change and improve their skills to remain relevant in future
job market.
The DCA has created a replacement chart to identify key organisational
roles, the level of importance attached and the ease of replacing that
skill hence strategising on replacement methods. DCA monitors the
workforce planning process after every six months based on set plans.
This assists in identifying unproductive working strategies and
rectification process. In addition, the strategic risks are regularly
reviewed to know DCA overall performance.
An elaborate succession plan needs to be implemented to ensure that
existing employees will fulfill organisational goals after retirement of
aged employees. An elaborate succession planning assists in internal
and/or external identification of appropriate replacements. This is
achieved through training and developing other workers or recruiting
already trained workforce to assume vacant responsibilities. Succession
planning must be elaborate to avoid organisational gaps and losses after
retirement or departure of skilled employees (Succession Planning 2013).
According to Aloysius Toh, the DCA sends workforce to different
training courses to acquire different skills requisite in it operations.
In addition, the DCA has the informal training program where the
managers train other staff members on required skill, conversely, though
informally, the DCA provides inexperienced workers with skilful mentors
who work them through challenges in their work. In workforce planning,
the DCA has a short-term workforce replacement programme but basically
adopts a long-term workforce planning program by making ties to
universities and colleges in preparation for future organisational
needs. The DCA does not use HR forecasting methods of determining
exactly the number of employees required in future dates but rather gets
employees after vacancies arise. Their short term workforce plan is in
many cases changed to conform to current organisational needs.
Issues (critique)
DCA uses open communication method of passing knowledge and skills to
new generation through mentorship and management training programs. This
method may be ineffective compared to closed skill training methods
especially with the inaccessibility of top-level or training management.
In addition, the DCA adopts short term human resource planning rather
than pursuing long run organisational goals. This short-term management
planning strategy is referred to as management- in- crisis and may catch
the HRM unaware hence employee unavailability or lack of requisite
skills. Unavailability of experienced and well trained workforce due to
short term workforce training may hinder attainment of organisational
strategic goals (Charles & Meghna 2008).
Being in a highly specialised industry, DCA faces a great challenge in
getting sufficiently trained and skilled workforce. The high workforce
retention rate of DCA due to the limited choice of the skills acquired
ensures low distribution of skills acquired at DCA hence the problem of
insufficient trained potential workers. In Western Australia, the only
other lucrative employment choice for artistic skills is DCA. According
to Kochnowaski (2011), training and workforce retention are among the
best methods of reducing workforce gaps. This is because, retained
workforce maintains their positions hence no gaps created in the
workforce, whereas, training imparts knowledge and skills to other
workers ensuring smooth transition and avoiding employee transitional
Due to technological advancement, the DCA workforce has to embrace
current technology whereby all employees will be required to know how to
use current technology such as use of iPads. This may negatively affect
the DCA since it has higher percentage of aged workforce constituting
more than sixty percent of the workforce. Ageing workforce requires more
training to adopt new technology as compared to the younger workforce.
The high specialisation in the DCA requiring extensive expertise may
make it difficult to employ more workforces from the labour market once
the old generation retire. This is because the labour market may fail to
supply the requisite knowledge and skills. In addition, the global
market may not supply sufficient workforce due to the high
specialisation in DCA. The DCA offers low salaries to low level
employees such as the framers, a practice that may put off potential
Despite the workforce planning inadequacies, the DCA still remains the
preferable employer. The business culture in the DCA ensures that the
workers retain their jobs until retirement. These favourable working
conditions in the DCA makes some retirees work as volunteers, a practice
that has led to low employee turnover. These favourable working
conditions attract the baby boomers, enjoying a good social environment
but is not appealing to generation Y, which prefer leisure to favourable
social conditions.
Succession plans are more dependent on upper management hence the HRM
need to be link succession planning goals with organisational goals to
persuade the management to accept the set plans. However the DCA’s
human resource has failed to link the succession tools to organisational
goals hence the management failure to adopt these strategies.
Strategic workforce planning is one of the most important skills in
modern business. It involves systematic analysis of all factors
affecting the workforce, either in the internal and the external
environment, and providing solutions to those problems thereby
attracting and maintaining skilful workforce. Strategic HR planning
assists in attaining organisational goals Due to the vital role played
by strategic HR planning, it should align strategic with operational
Currently, organisations focus on short-term, which is referred to as
management- in- crisis. Management- in- crisis leads to future shortage
and lack of necessary workforce in organisations and as such, the DCA
should adopt long-term workforce planning to prevent future shortage of
manpower that would delay achievement of their goals.
Attraction strategies are achieved through advertisements, internal
training and development, use head-hunters as well as online
recruitment. Thus, increased interaction with training institutions to
offer necessary skills would promote organisation, along with other
strategies such as succession planning, mentoring, and development of
Forecasting: the DCA has no sufficient workforce forecasting methods,
and has an informal succession plan, the DCA faces potential challenges
of not getting sufficiently qualified staff to replace some of the most
trained and qualified members. Therefore, we strongly recommend a
succession planning, which will assist in avoiding will avoid
organisational gaps and losses after retirement or departure of skilled
We recommend a formal Mentorship program that would preserve and enhance
the knowledge management system. Since, formal mentorship increases
promotion satisfaction and greater organizational commitment, especially
for new generation.
Training: In addition, DCA should increase spending on training to
convey knowledge and skills to future workforce as well as adopting
succession strategies aimed at providing necessary skills by eliminating
workforce gaps.
Workforce planning plays a vital role in identifying the requisite
workforce number and skills in organisation as well as providing means
of attaining identified workforce characteristics through attracting
training and retaining skills within the organisation, advising on
workforce and time to lay off some employees, thereby attainment of the
best workforce characteristics required to achieve organizational goals.
Workforce planning strategies assist in Knowledge Management, hence if
the DCA implements these recommendations, it will attract more skilful
workforce, retaining them and passing skills within the organisation
thereby having the required workforce that is essential in attaining
organisational goals. Training and succession planning would endear the
DCA to the younger generation since it shows opportunities of growth,
development and advancement.
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