Top Workforce Planning Software - 2023
The best workforce planning software, hand-picked for enterprises and small businesses, along with benefits, pitfalls, pricing, and more.
Workforce planning refers to the business process of forecasting, analyzing, and organizing workforce supply and demand. In other words, it’s about making sure the right people are at the right job and at the right time. Hence, workforce planning software is a tool that is designed to perform this process more effectively and in less time.
Although many HR professionals agree that the workforce is one of the most important assets of an organization, the Society for Human Resource Management has pointed out that this asset is often overlooked. Some organizations don’t measure, optimize, and plan out their workforce, limiting at times the executive capacity of the business itself.
So, if you’re looking to avoid such problems, we’re glad that you’ve landed on our listing of the top workforce planning software vendors. This carefully selected list contains some of the best options in the market, but it was also made with variety in mind. We’ve tried to include at least one tool with a lengthy free trial and solutions that adapt well to many sorts of business sizes and industries.
Top Workforce Planning Software
We pride ourselves on strict editorial standards and use a thorough process to vet and review software before we publish it on the site (and in fact, most vendors we have to end up rejecting). This process includes having our team of HR and recruiting experts use the tool themselves, getting user feedback, and then evaluating the vendor on key metrics like their financial health, customer retention, and responsiveness to customer queries. You can read more about how we evaluate vendors here.
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ChartHop is an organizational management software company that is rapidly evolving into one of the most interesting HR Tech vendors in the business.
- Charthop nicely integrates with your existing HR and ATS systems. Having everything under one roof means not having to use ten different applications.
- Charthop’s organization chart is its biggest asset. Their drag-and-drop feature to edit the chart is a hit amongst a majority of the users. Overall, the tool makes navigation throughout the company really easy - you can find the people you need, figure out their responsibilities, and track changes after the latest company re-organization.
- Charthop's goal tracking interface is simple, intuitive, and easy to build. There's not much else you can ask for.
- Charthop's Map feature allows businesses to see where each employee is located. For organizations that work remotely, this promotes a feeling of togetherness, which is crucial for employee engagement.
- Charthop's organization chart navigation isn't the best. The chart zooms in and out quite quickly, and the gestures aren't intuitive, making it difficult to use.
- Charthop can be a little complicated to figure out. Also, the fact that there are so many features is a little intimidating.
- Charthop's search function isn't user-friendly. There's not much information on how to use it effectively, and it sometimes throws the wrong results.
- Charthop's UI is somewhat dated and clunky.
Although ChartHop started out as an org chart software vendor, they see their offering as a new category called organizational management. It is for that reason that they've added people analytics and headcount planning tools to their platform. You can use this tool to understand the state of diversity hiring, for example, or how your organization has changed over time, as well as compensation across the org, etc.
One of the best parts is the ability to forecast headcount, and specifically to do this under various scenarios (if we raise another round, if we built an enterprise business, etc). ChartHop also boasts a compensation management solution which is excellent at distributing salary data and creating personalized scenario planning.
Companies of all sizes can benefit from ChartHop's offering. It's proved to be particularly effective with remote teams.
Anaplan is all about complex scenario planning. Their robust solution is used for many kinds of planning processes and forecasting.
Within HR, Anaplan is used to turn workforce planning into an extension of the company’s strategic, operational, and financial projects. HR organizations can connect with finances and business data, as well as third-party sources, in order to plan and visualize various workforce scenarios.
For instance, Anaplan can forecast attrition based upon past experiences, plan workforce movements, set and monitor headcount targets, and identify talent gaps. All this is done within an excel-like platform with rich analytics and statistical capabilities.
- Del Monte
- The Greenery
Anaplan offers three plans, Basic, Professional, and Enterprise. These vary in their planning and modeling capabilities, but all of them are custom-priced depending on team size and needs.
Several business sizes and industries could make good use of Anaplan’s extensive platform.
Board helps manage and plan human resources efforts with a unified analytics software platform.
Board has business intelligence products for HR, finance, sales performance, and supply chain management. Their HR tool helps manage resources for the department in a manner that stays unified with the plans and activities of the other business units.
Their platform focuses on leveraging workforce analytics to provide actionable insights. When it comes to workforce planning and performance management, these insights can be key in making sure that the proper decisions are taken at the right moment.
- Coca Cola
- Mitsubishi Electric
- United States Navy
Board does not provide pricing details upfront.
Board is best-suited for enterprises that want to align their decision-making behind a single source of data.
Planful connect HR, finance, and operational data together. Businesses can then plan out the workforce that they’ll need to meet their goals.
Planful strives to help teams that may be spending too much time in manual processes, suffering from siloed approaches, and stuck to knee-jerk reactions to day-to-day problems. They ease these headaches by enhancing workforce planning with accurate and current data from the business, better aligning HR’s forecasts with what’s happening, and being planned, at other departments.
In this sense, Planful works for teams beyond HR as well. For example, as soon as a workforce budget is created, HR data is instantly loaded into the system, saving time for each manager, whether they’re in finance, HR, or marketing. Also, once a workforce forecast is done, it can easily be adjusted to match market ups and downs.
- Five Guys
Planful doesn’t provide pricing upfront.
HR departments that want a tight partnership with the finance team when it comes to workforce planning.
Visier is a robust analytics solution that has a People Planning module. Their platform is built mainly for mid-market to enterprise clients and they offer professional services as well.
The fact that they’ve chosen to name their workforce planning module ‘People Planning’ goes to show how in tune the folks at Visier are to modern human resources. Thinking of that, it makes sense that they keep coming up in many HR analytics conversations.
Many organizations use Visier to better understand themselves. Whether it’s retention, headcount forecasting, TA funnels, or how all these efforts stack up in relation to peer companies, Visier has very robust people analytics capabilities to offer.
Visier is used at organizations like Amgen, BBVA, Micron, EA, Nielsen, Bridgestone, Dignity Health, and more.
Pricing for Visier is not currently disclosed, so the best way forward is to get in touch or request a demo.
Mid-market to enterprise clients looking to get workforce planning done right, but also implement a myriad of HR analytics tools while they’re at it.
Quinyx is a powerful and user-friendly workforce planning software that can help businesses to improve their scheduling, reporting, and employee management. Its feature set, data-driven approach, and scalable model make it a perfect option for fast-growing companies.
- Quinyx provides advanced scheduling features, including pre-built templates, options to roll out schedules fully manually, semi-manually, or automatedly, auto-compliance warnings, and shift management capabilities.
- Customer support can be reached through a variety of means: online help documents, tickets, emails, and phone calls. Users have highly rated them for their helpfulness.
- Has a variety of reporting features that allow managers to track employee attendance, productivity, and time off.
- Can integrate with various other software, such as payroll and HR systems, ERP, and Forecasting & BI.
- Available in 15 languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish, Polish, Russian, and Turkish.
- Some users have reported that Quinyx can be slow and unresponsive, especially when managing large teams.
- Some also have stated that Quinyx can take a long time to update data, such as employee schedules and timesheets.
- It is impossible to copy and paste large numbers of shifts at once in the standard schedule mode.
- Tech issues requiring Quinyx’s Service Request Form (SRF) will be invoiced for at least 4 hours.
Quinyx strives to provide the most up-to-date and significant insights regarding recruitment needs. Businesses can use the workforce planning solution to calculate and visualize various what-if scenarios and the impact that they could have on their workforce. We have tested Quinyx for our workforce planning and have found some really good gems about the product.
First and foremost, Quinyx packs a lot of features that we have found helpful. For instance, we like the ability to create schedules based on Quinyx’s pre-built templates — saving us a lot of time and hassle. We also like that Quinyx uses AI to auto-detect our future staffing gaps and give us recommendations on how to fill them. The platform can help with proactive planning regarding training, outsourcing, or reallocating people. To do all this, Quinyx takes multiple data sources and factors them into consideration. These include resource constraints, costs, current attrition level, and efficiency rates.
But it’s worth mentioning that several users whose teams are big shared have encountered slow platform loading, especially when they update data or schedules, which can be frustrating. Quinyx doesn’t have a transparent pricing structure. The tool doesn’t have a free trial that we can sign up to try things upfront, either. While it provides customer support in various channels: phone calls, emails, tickets, and help center without charging additional fees, the tech support submitted via its service request form costs a minimum of 4 hours of service fees, regardless of the request’s type.
McDonald’s, Hilton, Starbucks, Domino’s, DHL, London City Airport, Elysium Healthcare.
Pricing details for Quinyx are not provided upfront.
Quinyx is a worth-exploring workforce planning tool for medium-sized businesses and growing teams being on the market for a scalable solution to help them improve their scheduling, engagement, time attendance, and strategic workforce planning.
Workday is one of the most popular people management software products out there, with a workforce planning tool specifically geared towards enterprises.
Workday is one of the best human capital management suites, particularly for large enterprises. Although it is true that their reputation is not the best with users and the HR teams that have to implement the solution, if you’re in need of a product that can scale, checks the necessary IT/Infosec boxes, and can be implemented across large global companies, Workday’s workforce planning tool is worth looking into.
- Quicken Loans
- Bank of America
- General Electric
The exact pricing details of Workday aren’t provided by the vendor, since they’ll likely tailor their offer to your business size and needs. They also don’t offer a free trial, but you can see the tool for yourself through their demo videos online.
Large enterprises looking for a comprehensive workforce planning solution, with an eye towards fulfilling more HR & business needs with the same platform.
As one of the big names in enterprise software, it’s no surprise that SAP SuccessFactors has an HR metrics and workforce planning tool made for medium to large businesses.
SAP SuccessFactors is a cloud-based solution with a people analytics module that’s built for strategic workforce planning. Using augmented analytics and AI-driven insights, HR teams at large companies can make smarter and more informed decisions when it comes to talent acquisition, employee engagement, internal mobility, diversity, turnover, and more.
- American Airlines
- Premier Foods
- Ernst & Young
- Hero Group
- Watco Companies
The exact pricing for SAP SuccessFactors is only available upon request, but they do offer a 90-day free trial of their analytics cloud.
Enterprises looking to leverage AI in order to streamline their workforce planning.
Use Cases: Why Use Workforce Planning Software
Workforce planning software can help you optimize productivity — both for you and your employees. As such, you’ll be able to reduce costs and be more efficient as a company overall. Here’s how WFP systems can make HR jobs easier:
- Forecasting Labor Demands: Know how many employees — and what type of employees — you need on a given day based on expected demand so you avoid over- and under-staffed days and not get stuck paying unnecessary overtime. For example, if you have a call center and are approaching a busy sales season, you'll likely need to temporarily increase your workforce. But exactly how many more people will you need at your contact center? With workforce software, you can find out how many more you'll need to cover your expected increase in sales volume (without hiring too many and overpaying or hiring too few and losing sales).
- Scheduling Employees: Manage all your employees’ schedules in one place, so you never have to worry about over-scheduling, missed shifts, or unhappy employees (or managers).
- Time & Attendance: Attendance tracking and time management are hugely important tasks, but they also can take a lot of YOUR time to keep up with. Fortunately, scheduling software lets you easily track your employees’ hours and allows them to clock in and out. Depending on the workforce software you use, you can manage time and attendance directly through the platform itself by integrating with an existing timesheet tool you’re already using.
- Time Off Requests: Allow employees to request paid time off (PTO), parental leave, and more. Managers can approve or deny requests right in the program and see who will be out when creating schedules. That way, you never make the mistake of scheduling an employee when they won’t actually be working.
As you can see, convenience plays a big role in why you might use a workforce planning tool. Traditionally mundane and manual processes — from managers creating and assigning employee schedules to employees requesting time off — can be streamlined, managed, and stored all in one place.
Pricing: What WFP Solutions Cost
More often than not, workforce planning systems will charge on a per employee per month basis. Some might offer certain modules as independently-priced add-ons or charge a fixed annual fee. Hence, the best way forward is to see which vendor from this list works with companies similar to yours and get in touch with them for an actual quote.
Key Considerations of Workforce Planning Software
Is it well-known that the workforce is often an organization’s biggest strength but also its greatest cost. Because of that, it’s a challenge to move beyond any slow and manual processes that fail to integrate into the bigger strategy. When choosing a workforce planning tool, one should make the following considerations in order to truly reap its benefits.
- Continuous optimization: Workforce planning tools aren’t ‘set it and forget it’ like other HR solutions out there. Since a business's staffing requirements, like the business itself, are always shifting, the program needs to be updated accordingly. New forecasts need to be made considering the latest insights and developments in order for the actual workforce planning to be effective. The main thing to take away from this is that the system you choose should have reporting functionality that lets you know when it’s time for a new forecast.
- Syncing with finance & other departments: One of the main characteristics of effective workforce planning is that it takes into account the needs, plans, and objectives of other parts of the organization. Thus, HR becomes a strategic partner in fulfilling the business’s broader goals. Hence, it’s important that any WP tool provides visibility to business leaders in other parts of the organization, so everyone can leverage it, and the insights it creates, for their decision making.
- Mobile readiness: Lastly, the solution should not only be accessible to people beyond HR, it should also be convenient to use. Choosing a solution that’s mobile-friendly creates a better experience for everyone involved since they can study the data and consider new insights from multiple devices. If the solution also has HRIS capabilities such as scheduling and time tracking, then it’s all the better if employees can access these features while on-the-go as well.
Demo Questions: What To Ask About Workforce Planning Tools
You’ll likely have to book a demo in order to find out the exact pricing of most of these tools, and it’s also necessary to see them in action.
Now, one thing to keep in mind here is that even if seeing a demo was a bit of a necessity born from the lack of a free trial (when there isn’t one), you should drive the discussion as much as possible.
The main goal of each demo is to understand if this solution could be the best for your unique needs, and which features it has that make it so. You should also talk about what integrations are important to you, what kind of insights you’re after, and what kind of support you’ll get if something goes wrong.
Here are some other questions to help you get started, but we recommend you draft a list of the ones that are most important to you and your team. You can bring that to the demo, or even send it to the salesperson that’ll be conducting it in advance.
- Is this suited to a particular industry or type of worker?
- Do I need to use the rest of your HR software suite to use this?
- How will others in the organization use this solution?
- How have other organizations used this to optimize their WP efforts?
- What are the key features I want to ask about?
- What are the things that would make me nervous about buying this sort of solution?
- What kind of implementation plan would we be looking at?
Workforce Planning Software FAQs
What is workforce planning?
Workforce planning is the process of preparing your business for new hires, terminations, succession planning, growth, and acquisition.
What are the three stages of workforce planning?
The three stages of workforce planning are acquisition, development, and termination.
What is workforce planning software?
Workforce planning software are solutions that are designed to manage, analyze, and track administrative processes related to your employees. It encompasses the entire employee lifecycle, from hiring to termination.
What features do workforce planning software solutions provide?
Workforce planning software offers the following features: time tracking, scheduling, mobile app, analytics, reporting, payroll, benefits, performance management, AI, compliance, and communication.
What are the benefits of using workforce planning software?
Benefits of using workforce planning software include reduced compliance risk, improved retention, and automation of tedious tasks.
Last Advice on Buying Workforce Planning Software
Workforce planning software can be a key part of assessing gaps in your workforce and determining which interventions need to be made in order to have the right people in the right position at the best possible time. But of course, the tool is not everything. For workforce planning to truly become an aid to broader business goals, there needs to be a strong link between all departments.
We mention that because although picking out 2-3 tools from this list and booking demos is one of the obvious next steps, you should make an effort to involve every stakeholder in the conversation. WP software, if it is to fulfill its purpose, is not only for the HR department.
If you’re in need of a broader HR solution that helps with workforce planning, recruitment, and more, check out our roundups on the best HR software, the best HR tools for SMBs, or the best free HR software.
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