6 Workforce Planning Tools: Software to Stay Ahead of the Game
What’s that saying? A goal without a plan is just a wish?
None of us are strangers to the necessary, but time-sucking and maddeningly inaccurate task of workforce planning. Now more than ever, workforce planning is a must. Luckily, it’s no longer the paper, pen, and spreadsheet slog it once was.
New and improved workforce planning tools, some of which are powered by AI, make workforce planning not only faster and easier, but a whole lot more accurate. Hours turn into minutes, and best guesses turn into informed choices.
With the right workforce planning tools and software, you can save valuable admin time while also capitalizing on your workforce in a sustainable, burnout-free way. Claim back your maker time and handball the admin bog to software.
We’ve got the full rundown of the best workforce planning tools and software on the market, including a nice variety of tools so all industries and organization sizes will find something for them.
Also, stay tuned for the end of the article, where we walk you through the what, when, why, and how of workforce planning, AI-powered workforce analytics, and how to make the most of it all.
Workforce planning tools and software: The shortlist
Six strategic workforce planning tools: The full rundown
As we said before, strategic workforce planning tools are a huge advancement that can save you time and create a far more accurate people strategy for your company, regardless of its industry or size.
Here are six of the best workforce planning software options available today.
Runn's philosophy is that resource scheduling shouldn't be hard. They've whittled the process of creating high-level schedules down into mere seconds.
- Being proactive and eliminating guesswork
- Confidently planning and tracking projects
- Easily keeping track of what’s going on in your org
Runn is particularly useful for consultants and agencies and makes scheduling these teams, workloads, and projects easy and efficient. With features that optimize your HR and organization's capacity, Runn is excellent software for modern companies.
No matter the hybrid setup you've got going, or time zone variations you're working with, Runn keeps you up to date about how well you're tasking your employees, and what areas of the business could be utilized more, and allows you to assign tasks accordingly.
Paymo is another piece of software that makes a whole lot of grunt work disappear. It has a wide range of features like scheduling, tracking, managing etc... the usual culprits, but in a really thought-out way. For example, there are features like:
- Auto-pilot time tracker: Paymo Track automatically generates a timesheet for you.
- Client invites: Add external 'guests' for collaboration.
- Project estimates: Create estimates for upcoming client projects.
- Expense tracker: Easy expense tracking software like mobile receipt scanning.
- Client profitability: Immediate and up-to-date info on client-by-client profitability.
Available in 22 languages and with plenty of integrations, Paymo is a great tool for anybody looking to improve their project management, payment systems, and profitability.
Praisidio is talent intelligence that simplifies your workforce planning, performance management, and talent risk management. The powerful platform provides instant AI-powered insights about your employees.
This includes real-time information about everything from productivity and talent acquisition to performance management and risk management.
To give you talent insights on demand, Praisidio seamlessly combines your workforce-related business data and then applies advanced analytics and generative AI. It delivers accurate answers about your workforce whenever you have a question.
Planday is, as you would expect, a shift planning tool designed to make scheduling headache free. It has simple solutions like allowing your staff to swap shifts or assigning shifts by skill so that only qualified employees can claim the right shifts.
Planday offers solutions based on business size or industry. For small businesses, Planday software reduces admin time and frees up growth time. Medium businesses get solutions to simplify their complex tasks. And large organizations are assisted with managing multiple locations, large employee numbers and business systems.
Planday also has industry-specific automations for retail, leisure, hospo and healthcare. It also plays well with others, with a huge quantity of integrations.
Their scheduling saves up to 80% in admin time.
If you're a practical business with unique needs, Timecloud is for you.
They make it easy for construction and trades to keep in touch with workers scattered all over the city on various projects. And manufacturing and engineering employees have a reporting system where they can keep up easily with machinery maintenance and received goods.
Beyond this, Timecloud also provides tailored servicing for other industries like agriculture, horticulture, warehousing, logistics and aging health care. They pride themselves on being an intuitive and enjoyable software to use.
Cube is a friction and busy-work free time saver. And they're not here to play. Self marketed as “not for small businesses without the intention of growing rapidly”, Cube is all about cutting the fat wherever possible.
Saving hours of manual work and focusing on business performance, Cube has been said to "help organize your existing chaos and scale as you continue to grow." (Dustin Walsted - customer and VP of Finance, Technology, HR)
A great data managing tool, Cube takes care of things like:
- Financial Reporting
- Management Reporting
- Ad-Hoc Reporting
- Headcount Reporting
- Variance Analysis
- OpEx Planning
- Headcount Planning
- Scenario Modeling
What is workforce planning and analytics?
Now that you’ve seen the full list of top tools and software, let’s take a step back for a minute. What exactly is workforce planning and analytics, and how can you best take advantage of it?
Workforce planning is the act of taking a strategic approach to your HR management. Designed to optimize your manpower, workforce planning software answers questions like:
- How many people should be on this task/project/client?
- Who would best suit this role/client/promotion?
- Do we have skill gaps?
- How can we best leverage the existing skills/expertise?
- What skills will we need in the future?
- What risks/opportunities do we need to plan for?
Workforce analytics is the AI-powered version of workforce planning. Essentially, machine learning aggregates and analyzes all the data you have on hand so it’s ready and waiting to give you immediate feedback on how you can improve workforce strategy and headcount planning.
This takes the bias and room for human error out of the equation – you're not making emotional or opinion-based decisions anymore, you're working with facts and figures and enjoying consistently high performance.
When, why, and how to use workforce planning tools
Now for the nuts-and-bolts of when, why, and how to use workforce planning tools at your company.
When to use workforce planning tools
You want to use strategic workforce planning tools to manage and execute your strategies. So, the answer is always, but to varying degrees.
Anytime you're making plans, look and see if there are tools that can make your life easier. Chances are there are going to be some excellent time and resource-saving gems out there.
Obviously, adjusting to new tech takes time, so you don't want to be swapping around always looking for greener grass, but it's worth keeping in mind that your competitors will be constantly evolving, so you want to keep up.
Why you should use them
When you make purposeful, educated decisions, your success rate skyrockets.
Workforce planning tools give you the diagnostic power to make these kinds of decisions, and for these decisions to make the impact you want.
How to make the most of them
There are three useful “how’s” to keep in mind when you begin using workforce planning tools:
First, it’s important to plan with the needs and goals of other departments in mind. Second, any tool you use should be convenient and easy to use, mobile-friendly, and accessible. Third, make sure you take advantage of demos. Go into it knowing what integrations you need and the type of employee insights you're seeking.
You want to know things like:
- Is the tech right for your industry, company size, and type of employees?
- Do you need the whole software suite, or are there available integrations that are compatible with your current setup?
- Has this software been successful for other teams, and if so, how successful, and what kind of teams?
- What are the important features you want to know about?
- Does it fulfill the needs you want to meet?
- What is the implementation phase like?
Take workforce planning to new heights with AI-powered talent intelligence
Workforce planning tools are a must if you want to stay ahead of the game, and stay competitive in today’s market. But the biggest question still remains: which workforce planning tools and software are right for your company?
If you can only pick one tool, you can’t go wrong with an AI-powered talent intelligence platform like Praisidio.
Praisidio makes the most of AI and machine learning to give you accurate, on-demand insights about your workforce. Get real-time answers about productivity, talent acquisition, performance management, attrition risk and more.
Book a demo to see how Praisidio can help you maximize your workforce planning.