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Quiz: How Are Your (Employee Headcount) Forecasting Skills?

When it comes to employee headcount planning and forecasting, being too far off of the mark doesn’t just mean it rains on someone’s picnic; it can leave your organization either woefully understaffed or paying more for labor than it should.


Learning how to accurately and consistently predict what your organization’s true employee headcount needs are and fill empty seats with quality employees is a skill that must be honed and refined for the best results.


When you do your employee headcount forecasting and planning are critical. Wait too late to work on analysis and predictions and you’ll end up running around frantically looking for an umbrella because you didn’t realize it clouding over until the first raindrops fell.


By taking a good hard look at your current and future employee headcount needs before you run into an issue, you can set your organization up for success and meet all staffing needs without blowing your staffing budget.


How’s your timing?


+5 points: I’m planning well in advance so my organization can meet all staffing needs.

+1 point: I’m trying, but sometimes I do end up being reactive instead of proactive.

0 points: I’m the queen of realizing it’s raining after I’m already soaked to the bone!



All the predictions in the world won’t do you any good if you end up widely off the mark. There’s no one-size-fits-all algorithm you can use to plug numbers in and reach a conclusion. Instead, you need to be able to look at historical patterns and see where similar ones exist in the here and now.


By tracking your past employee headcount needs and taking external forces into account, you can improve your accuracy. It’s an incredible advantage when you know what factors can affect employee headcount in the future as your organization grows.


How’s your accuracy?


+5 points: Let’s just say math and meteorology were my two best subjects in school!

+1 point: I’m improving but sometimes the algorithm gets me when I least expect it.

0 points: I kept getting snow and sunshine confused, and now they won’t let me appear on Channel 2 anymore.


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Consistency in employee headcount forecasting is critical. If you don’t come up with consistent results, either your labor budget is going to run far over on a regular basis, or you’ll be caught out with less than the required staff to meet your needs.


A running analysis of actual production needs, the knowledge available to the existing staff, and where skills gaps exist that can affect productivity will help you improve your consistency and keep your company’s staffing needs appropriately met.


How’s your consistency?


+5 points: Let’s just say the city plans outdoor events around my forecast. I’m just that good.

+1 point: I’ve been known to flub once or twice and ruin a garden wedding. Whoops!

0 points: I’m all over the map and can’t seem to pin down even a prevailing wind.   


employee headcount


Planning & Predictions

Headcount planning is vital to operational efficiency. It’s not enough just to have enough staff; you need the right people in the right roles to run and peak efficiency. When you’ve done your planning correctly, achieving benchmarks for productivity should be a breeze.


Being able to accurately predict what your employee headcount will need to be in the six to twelve-month timespan just ahead is also a must. Without employee headcount forecasting, your company could end up in the unenviable position of having to either do mass layoffs or hire in a rush, potentially opening up the company to bad hires and overpaying for mediocre talent.


Are your planning and predictive skills sufficient?


+5 points: I’m so good at employee headcount forecasting no one in my company even owns an umbrella!

+1 point: When I forecast, I’m right on the money around half the time.

0 points: My organization looks like a tornado hit it after that last round of panicked hiring.


How’s the forecast?

15-20 points: Expert forecaster! You’re so accurate, no one ever makes plans without consulting you first.


9-14 points: Still stuck on a local channel… You’re doing well at predicting, but sometimes you run a little late.


0-8 points: Fair weather forecaster: It takes slipping in a puddle for you to even know it rained.


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How Crosschq Can Help

Like any other part of workforce planning, the best way to ensure smooth sailing is to get comfortable with your company’s data. Crosschq Analytics can help you track recruitment and workforce data points across the company over time.


This data can give you an edge when it comes to employee headcount forecasting and planning, from showing you which employee attributes signal high performance and productivity to identifying employees who are a flight risk. 


Crosschq TalentWall™ gives you greater visibility into your talent pipeline, helping you swiftly ramp up hiring when necessary and improving both speed to hire and quality of hire. This makes it easier to fill seats and meet current or anticipated headcount needs.


To learn more about how Crosschq supports employee headcount planning, forecasting, recruitment, and other workforce needs, contact our team for a free demonstration today.

Heather Miller

by Heather Miller

Staff Writer

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