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Senior Professional in Human Resources Exam Prep: Workforce Planning and Employment

This chapter helps you prepare for the SPHR examination by covering concepts and strategies associated with workforce planning and employment. Sample questions are included to help you practice.
This chapter is from the book


This chapter helps you prepare for the SPHR examination by covering concepts and strategies associated with workforce planning and employment. This section composes 16% of the SPHR examination.

Gain a Strategic Understanding of Workforce Planning and Employment

  • Understand the importance of workforce planning and employment to organizational success

Gain an Understanding of Workforce Planning and Employment Law

  • Understand the implications of these laws, regulations, and precedent cases in the design of workforce planning and employment programs

Gain an Understanding of Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity

  • Understand affirmative action plans
  • Understand the EEO complaint process

Gain an Understanding of Gender Discrimination

  • Understand the two types of sexual discrimination
  • Understand the broad scope of hostile environment
  • Understand how to develop effective harassment prevention programs

Gain an Understanding of Workforce Planning

  • Understand how to forecast workforce needs
  • Understand how to forecast workforce supply

Gain an Understanding of Job Analysis

  • Understand the job analysis process
  • Understand how to collect data needed for job analysis
  • Understand how to write job descriptions and job specifications
  • Understand job analysis using competencies

Gain an Understanding of Recruitment

  • Understand internal recruitment methods
  • Understand external recruitment methods
  • Understand how to evaluate recruitment program effectiveness

Gain an Understanding of the Contingent Workforce

Gain an Understanding of Selection

  • Understand the development of selection criteria
  • Understand the selection process
  • Understand the evaluation of the selection process

Gain an Understanding of Post-Offer Employment Practices

  • Understand employment offers
  • Understand employment contracts
  • Under employer practices with respect to relocation benefits and requirements for medical tests

Gain an Understanding of Organizational Exit

  • Understand concepts associated with organizational exit such as layoffs, exit interviews, and wrongful terminations

Gain an Understanding of the Management of Employment Records

  • Understand legal requirements for the retention of employment and payroll related records


  • Introduction
  • Workforce Planning and Employment Law
    • Civil Rights Act of 1866
    • United States Constitution
    • Equal Pay Act (1963)
    • Civil Rights Act of 1964
    • Executive Orders 11246 (1965), 11375 (1967), and 11478 (1969)
    • Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
    • Consumer Credit Protection Act (1968)
    • Fair Credit Reporting Act (1970)
    • Rehabilitation Act of 1973
    • Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act (1974)
    • Privacy Act of 1974
    • Pregnancy Discrimination Act (1978)
    • Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures (1978)
      • No Disparate Impact
      • Internal Analysis of Employment Practices
      • Analysis of the Workforce Against the External Labor Market
      • Job Relatedness / Business Necessity
    • Immigration Reform and Control Act (1986)
    • Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (1988)
    • Employee Polygraph Protection Act (1988)
    • Americans with Disabilities Act (1990)
      • What Is a Disability?
      • What Is a Qualified Individual?
      • What Is Reasonable Accommodation?
    • Civil Rights Act of 1991
    • Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act (1994)
    • Congressional Accountability Act (1995)
    • Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (2003)
    • Precedent Case Law
      • Griggs v. Duke Power (1971)
      • McDonnell-Douglas Corp. v. Green (1973)
      • Abermarle Paper Company v. Moody (1975)
      • Chandler v. Roudebush (1976)
      • Washington v. Davis (1976)
      • Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978)
      • United Steelworkers v. Weber (1979)
      • Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson (1986)
      • Johnson v. Santa Clara County Transportation Agency (1987)
      • Martin v. Wilks (1988)
      • City of Richmond v. J. A. Croson Company (1989)
      • Taxman v. Board of Education of Piscataway (1993)
      • Harris v. Forklift Systems, Inc. (1993)
      • Hopwood v. State of Texas (1996)
      • Ocale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, Inc. (1998)
      • Faragher v. City of Boca Raton (1998)
      • Ellerth v. Burlington Northern (1998)
      • Grutter v. Bollinger et al. (2003)
      • Gratz et al. v. Bollinger et al. (2003)
      • General Dynamics Land Systems, Inc. v. Cline (2004)
  • Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity
    • Affirmative Action
      • Organizational Profile
      • Job Group Analysis
      • Availability Analysis
      • Utilization Analysis
      • Goals and Actions
      • Judicial Issues and Affirmative Action
    • EEOC Complaint Process
      • Employer Response to a Complaint
  • Gender Discrimination
    • Sexual Harassment
      • Quid Pro Quo
      • Hostile Environment
    • The Broad Scope of Hostile Environment
    • Harassment Prevention Programs and Affirmative Defense
    • Sexual Orientation Issues
  • Workforce Planning
    • Forecasting Workforce Needs
      • Trend Analysis
      • Ratio Analysis
      • Turnover
      • Nominal Group Technique
      • Delphi Technique
      • Managerial Judgment
      • Statistical Forecasts
      • Computer Modeling
      • Multiple Methods
    • Determining Internal and External Supply of Employees
      • Internal Supply
      • External Supply
    • Determination of Strategies
  • Job Analysis
    • The Job Analysis Process
    • Job Analysis Information Requirements
    • Data Collection Methods
    • Writing Job Descriptions and Job Specifications
    • Competencies and the Future of Job Analysis
      • Competencies
  • Recruitment
    • Internal Recruiting
      • Human Resource Management Information System
      • Job Posting
      • Job Bidding
      • Former Employees
      • Former Applicants
      • Employee Referrals
    • External Recruiting
      • Media Advertising
      • College and School Recruiting
      • Labor Unions
      • Employment Agencies
      • Temporary Employment Agencies
      • Customers
      • Suppliers and Competitors
      • Professional and Trade Associations
      • Walk-Ins
      • Job Fairs and Special Events
      • Internet
      • Outplacement Firms
    • Evaluating Recruitment Effectiveness
  • Contingent Workforce
  • Selection
    • Development of Selection Criteria
    • The Selection Process
      • Initial Applicant Contact
      • Prescreening
      • Application Forms
      • Applicant Testing
      • Interviews
      • Background Investigations
      • Conditional Job Offers, Medical Exams / Drug Testing, and Offers and Acceptance
    • Evaluation of the Selection Process
  • Post-Offer Employment Practices
    • Employment Offers
    • Employment Contracts
    • Medical Tests
    • Relocation
  • Organizational Exit
    • Layoffs
      • Strategies to Avoid Layoffs
      • Strategies to Minimize the Impact of Layoffs on Individuals
    • Exit Interviews
    • Wrongful Termination
      • Terminations That Violate Law
      • Constructive Discharge
      • Retaliatory Discharge
  • Management of Employment Records
  • Strategic Considerations for the SPHR
  • Chapter Summary
    • Key Terms
  • Apply Your Knowledge
    • Exercises
    • Review Questions
    • Exam Questions
    • Answers to Exercises
    • Answers to Review Questions
    • Answers to Exam Questions
    • Suggested Readings and Resources

Study Strategies

As with all chapters in this book, the objective is to understand the strategic implications of HR programmatic activities through grounding in the law, concepts, and practices associated with them. In this case, you should begin with the strategic plan of the organization and understand how the various employment practices facilitate its achievement. It is not enough to know the basics of recruitment or job analysis or workforce planning in isolation. The SPHR must approach the study of these and other concepts through an integrative approach understanding the interdependencies. You should attempt to understand how workforce planning, EEO strategies, recruitment, selection, organizational exit, and so forth are must be integrated into one comprehensive strategy that support the organizational goals and mission. You should also approach the study of this material by attempting to understand the interdependency of the various sections and the practices discussed in them. For example, how does workforce planning affect recruitment strategies, affirmative action plans, and exit strategies?


Objective: Gain a Strategic Understanding of Workforce Planning and Employment

There are a number of dynamics that increasingly make workforce planning and employment critical components of the organization’s strategic plan. The United States economy has transitioned from a manufacturing base to a service base and is in the process of transitioning to a knowledge base. As the economy moves along this continuum, the success of the organization is increasingly based on the quality of its human capital, which is defined as the total current and potential capabilities of the organization’s workforce. As this transition occurs, organizational strategies increasingly must be developed to develop the organization’s primary resource: people. The quality of its human capital will allow an organization to differentiate itself in the market place, much as innovative products and services now do. In fact, for many organizations, human capital will become their core competency—the unique capability that distinguishes them from their competitors. To create this competency, an organization must be able to attract the right kinds of people in the right place at the right time.

The nature of competition has changed and is global. Markets and environments are frequently dynamic and volatile, and organizations have been downsized and right-sized to improve cost efficiencies. Globalization requires the organization to understand multiple cultures and how to attract, retain, and motivate persons from those cultures. The dynamics of the environment often require flexibility and adaptation at the lower levels of the organization. All this affects the workforce planning and employment practices.

Technology has not only changed the way work is done, it has also changed the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to do the work. Organizations must plan to either attract those with the right skills to the organization or to develop those skills internally. The latter requires hiring individuals who have the capacity to learn and to grow.

Workforce demographics in the United States are changing. The workforce is aging and contains an increasing percentage of both women and members of minority groups. In addition, workers often come to the organization with deficient skill sets. The organization must plan how to replace the impending retirement of the "Baby Boomers" while developing the skills of those that follow.

The organization must be actively engaged in planning to determine how to react to the dynamics just discussed to develop an internal workforce that is capable of accomplishing the organization’s strategic goals. That is the essence of workforce planning and employment.

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