EconSys Blog

How to Build and Select the Right Workforce Planning Demand Scenario

Oct 02, 2018 | By: Drew Lessard | Category: Workforce Planning

Federal agencies rely on long term projections and workforce planning exercises to determine how best to adjust for both current and future needs. Workplace demand scenario

Because of the size of many agencies and the number of factors involved, this is a complicated process and requires careful analysis of several variables depending on specific scenarios.

Demand scenarios are used to dictate what happens to the total workforce as projections are made about how the workforce should change overtime. A workforce model will answer a simple question for each employee each year in the simulation: How likely is each individual to quit, be promoted, or retire?

The goal of these demand scenarios is to understand what the model should do when one of these events occur for an individual, and if the model should add more employees to the workforce each year beyond the initial pool of employees. Will the workforce will grow, contract, or stay the same? And what factors might influence the workforce over the next 3-5 years? Let’s look at three such demand scenarios and how they are built.

Hiring Freeze Scenario


Whether a hiring freeze lasts for a long time or is a short-term response to budget issues, it’s important to know what impact such a freeze might have on the workforce. After three or five years, this scenario will provide a detailed analysis of how many employees will remain in the workforce if no replacements are hired at each level or location in the agency 

In preparing a hiring freeze demand scenario, the existing workforce behavior is projected, and the model is told that no one who leaves the agency will be replaced. With no hires in the projection, the model will predict what will remain in the current workforce after five years.

Worker Replacement Scenario

In this scenario, the size of the workforce remains consistent over the course of five years. Every time a person leaves, transfers, or retires, the model replaces them with a new hire to maintain the workforce size.

The goal of this model is to provide a projection of the total number of hires that will be needed to maintain the same workforce size, while considering factors like the seniority of the people who leave, positions they hold, and the timeline for replacement. 

Market-Driven Demand Scenario

This scenario is more complex than the previous two but can be very useful because it simulates changes in demand for specific services in the market. It is designed to determine the number of employees that would be needed in various positions to meet the demand for those roles in the future. Projected over five years, the model outlines what is needed to address demand as it grows or contracts in the future. 

An example is VA Hospital Services. Because the number of Veterans who need services and the locations at which they will need services can be projected, it is possible to model the supply of the workforce to meet growing demand in specific hospitals. 

>>> Learn how EconSys delivered a workforce planning report to better  understand Orthotic and Prosthetic needs at the VHA.

The Importance of Effective Workforce Planning for Federal Agencies


There are many factors that can influence the growth or contraction of the workforce in federal agencies. By simulating scenarios to understand hiring needs, turnover expectations, and the movement of individuals within an organization, combined with specific demand scenarios, it’s possible to better prepare for the next five years. 

Learn more about how EconSys workforce gap predictor provides key insights for agencies in planning the future of their workforce here or by downloading our eBook, How Federal Agencies Can Leverage Technology Tools for Workforce Planning

 Download the Workforce Planning eBook