Workforce planning

Workforce planning is the process of aligning the workforce with Charles Sturt's operational and strategic objectives. This means making sure we have the right number of people with the right skills and capabilities in place and available at the right time.

The importance of workforce planning

Effective workforce planning will help Charles Sturt:

  • achieve its strategic objectives and respond more quickly to change
  • better identify and management workforce risk
  • improve the link between people expenditure and business outcomes.

Workforce planning will help managers:

  • recruit and develop people to meet future needs
  • manage staffing levels and costs
  • identify staff development needs
  • identify and rectify skill imbalances early
  • identify future surplus capability, with early management of risk through natural attrition, retraining and redeployment
  • plan for new/emerging job roles.

The workforce planning process

Workforce planning typically involves:

  • clarifying future operational and/or strategic objectives
  • identifying the internal and external environmental factors that could impact delivery of identified objectives
  • assessing the impact of objectives and environmental factors on staffing requirements
  • analysing the current workforce
  • identifying any gaps between current workforce and future requirements
  • developing actions to address identified gaps/opportunities
  • implementing actions
  • regular review.


Generally, workforce planning will be aligned to your regular planning cycle and time horizon. However, there may be times where workforce planning is needed in response to a significant event.

Who's involved

Leaders and managers who do strategic or operational planning are responsible for making sure they have the right people in place to deliver objectives. Workforce planning is best undertaken with senior team members, with the aim of:

  • providing a broad range of insights
  • creating a sense of ownership
  • building sustainable planning capability.


Your Business Partner is available to provide advice and guidance in undertaking workforce planning and developing actions.

Job families

We currently segment the workforce in a variety of ways to help us with internal planning and as a requirement of external reporting.

These include, for example,segmentation by:

  • organisational unit
  • position classification levels
  • work function
  • research discipline
  • other employee demographic information.

To build our planning capability further, we are introducing the concept of job families. Our workforce is grouped into six job families.

Job familyDescription
OperationalRoles in this family are concerned with operating and maintaining facilities and plant, and delivering ancillary services. Roles typically involve direct or indirect service provision to students, customers and staff through:
  • operation and maintenance of grounds, facilities,plant and equipment
  • hospitality
  • retail
  • childcare
  • printing
  • postal
  • fleet
  • logistics services.
Roles often provide services as part of a team engaged in similar tasks. Typically, procedures and routines are well established.
AdministrativeRoles in this family provide administrative support services to University staff and students and sometimes to the wider public. Employees need to understand University systems and processes. At higher levels, they may play a substantial role in the management of administrative functions within the University.
TechnicalRoles in this family provide technical specialist or scientific technical support to the following services within the University:
  • research and teaching
  • laboratory, clinical and veterinary services.
At a higher level, roles involve either higher specialised expert advice and support, or line responsibility for a technical service team or unit.
Professional/specialistRoles in this family provide professional and/or specialist expertise to University staff and students and sometimes to the wider public. Employees generally need an understanding of the University's systems and processes. The work might involve:
  • development and/or implementation of policy and programs
  • the provision of professional specialist technical advice
  • delivery of professional support services.
At a higher level, these roles may involve higher specialised expert advice or line responsibility for a professional team or unit.
AcademicRoles in this family are wholly or mainly focused on research and teaching. Roles may combine elements of:
  • research
  • teaching
  • administration
  • management
  • community engagement.
However, the relative emphasis of these elements and the nature of the contribution will vary. Some roles will be more orientated towards research, while others will tend to concentrate on teaching, administration and/or management activities. In the higher levels there will be considerable reputation in Australia and internally and significant impact on the subject discipline and/or the profession and/or research income.
LeadershipRoles in this family have a substantial impact on both the development and delivery of the University's strategic and operational outcomes. Roles are likely to have significant responsibilities for the leadership of people and allocation of resources.

Refer to the Charles Sturt Capability Framework for information on the role-specific capabilities that underpin each job family.