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Phase 2 - Gather and Analyze Departmental Data for the Workforce Plan

Determining current and future workforce gaps is essential to ensure departments meet strategic goals, customer expectations and maintain quality.  Identifying staffing and competency gaps requires you to develop a profile of the current workforce, determine what the current and future needs are and project what that profile will be in the future after expected impacts on each classification. This profile assumes no hiring to replace employees who leave. 


This phase provides the data-driven basis for the workforce plan using systematic analysis to reveal the department's workforce gaps.


A comprehensive analysis of the department's staffing and competency gaps and a list of the department's classifications in order of risk level.

Steps to Accomplish the Deliverable

  1. Perform a workforce supply analysis to understand your departments current workforce (in terms of right number of people with the right skills), and be able to project what your future workforce will look like. Develop a profile of your current workforce that includes both staffing (composition such as number of staff and demographics) and competencies (knowledge, skills and abilities).

    1. Gather and analyze staffing data via the personnel office or a Management Information Report System (MIRS) report,  Analyze three years of employee data to perform the trend analysis indicated in part c.   If three years of employee data has not been collected through MIRS and saved, older data can be requested through the State Controller’s Office Integrated Data Management System.
    2. Assess competency levels of current workforce, using an assessment process.  If competencies have not been developed, develop competencies for each level of the department.
    3. Project what your future workforce will look like based on trends by evaluating and forecasting the impact of separations and demographics on each classification. 
    4. Compare your workforce profile to statewide data to gain perspective on statewide trends.
  2. Use the results from the environmental factors analysis performed in Phase 1 to illustrate current needs and begin projecting future needs of the department.
    1. Enhance your understanding of current and future departmental needs by conducting an organizational scan to factor in input from division/program area leaders about their critical positions and whether their needs will increase or decrease for these positions over time. 
    2. Identify the workforce supply (staffing and competencies) needed to meet current and future demands.
  3. Perform a gap analysis to identify the number of staff and competencies needed now and in the future by comparing your current and future workforce supply (staffing and competencies) to the current and future demands of your department.  
  4. Develop a list of classifications by risk level to help you prioritize strategy development in Phase 3.  Leadership classifications in high risk categories are strong candidates for succession planning.

Tools to Assist with Steps

Detailed Information to Assist with Steps

Step 1: Perform A Workforce Supply Analysis

Step 1.1: Gather and Analyze Staffing Data

Your department's personnel office will have access to the employee data needed for workforce planning. Your personnel office can request a Management Information Report System (MIRS) report from the State Controller's Office which will contain all the information needed.  At minimum, request the following data:

  • Class Title
  • Employee Name
  • Position #
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • Seniority Service Months
  • Appointment Status
  • Tenure
  • Time Base
  • CBID
  • Transaction Code

The workforce analysis should include the following for each classification:

  • Number of employees.
  • Diversity: age, gender, ethnicity.  
  • Appointment status (permanent, temporary, etc.).
  • Key competencies.
  • Total vacancies and positions being recruited.
  • Total retirements, transfers, and voluntary separations from the classification in the last year.
  • Retirees' age and length of state service.

Step 1.2: Assess Competencies

Definition of Competencies

Organizational competencies are defined by the mission, vision and values of the organization that sets the requirements and/or context in which the work of the organization is carried out. Competencies are the knowledge, skills, abilities and personal attributes your staff must possess to successfully perform their work functions.  Competencies are observable behaviors that can be measured and developed. The types of competencies can be categorized as follows:

  • Foundational competencies are those needed across the department and by every job type. The CalHR Core Competency Model identifies the core competencies that are foundational to all employees regardless of their classification.              
  • Technical competencies are those required for effective performance in a specific job or to produce a set of work outputs within the department. Technical competencies are critical components of organizational competencies. If the technical competencies are not compatible with the organizational competencies, workforce planning will point out these gaps.
  • Leadership competencies are those critical behaviors necessary to be an effective leader.  The CalHR Leadership Competency Model identifies competencies for all supervisors, managers, and executives in the State of California.

Developing Competencies

While the statewide foundational competencies have already been established, you will want to identify a set or model of organizational competencies that describe the ideal workforce to accomplish the department's strategic plan. Establishing a set or model of technical competencies provides management and staff a common understanding of the skills and behaviors that are important to the department's future. Therefore, competency models act as a skill profile and play a key role in decisions on recruiting, professional development, personal development, and performance management.  When developing and/or identifying competencies reference competency guides (included but not limited to the CalHR Core and Leadership Models), job specifications and duty statements to determine the behaviors needed to effectively perform the job.  When developing competency sets or models consider the following:

  • Gain input from division/program area managers regarding the most critical knowledge, skills and abilities required to fulfill their area’s critical functions.
  • In addition to the CalHR Core Competency Model, decide, based on the scope, if your team will use organization competencies, technical competencies, and/or leadership competencies.
  • Identify the behavioral indicators associated with each competency identified or developed so that it is clear what the employee would demonstrate if they possess that competency.
  • Identify the proficiency level needed within each competency in order to be effective in the critical function it supports.

If you are not developing organizational, technical, and/or leadership competencies use the CalHR Core Competency Model, then interview or survey division/program area leads to record any additional critical knowledge, skills and abilities that their workforce requires now and in the future.  For a department that is unable to immediately develop competencies, CalHR recommends adding this task as a future workforce planning initiative.  

Assessing Competencies

Managers and their staff should assess current competencies and define what levels will be required for each job function. Staff should assess their own competency level, which will be compared to the manager’s assessment of competencies within each classification group or level.  Managers will not assess the competencies of each individual staff, but rather seek skill gaps within all like-classifications in aggregate. Consider the following to determine how you will assess competencies of your current staff:

  • What types of measurement tools will be needed to determine whether applicants/employees possess the desired level of competencies?
  • How might assessments  measure quality, speed, quantity, and completeness of function?
  • How might you ensure assessments are developed to reflect and align to the organizational competencies required by the mission, vision and values?

Step 1.3: Project Future Workforce Trend Analysis

Analyze trends within each metric that are compiled to create your department’s workforce profile.  Understanding the patterns of the past will help you forecast future changes. It can also help predict the supply of skills that may be available in the future. Trend data can be useful in determining hiring patterns (time required to fill vacancies, average number of vacancies in a year, etc.), retirement patterns, and turnover statistics.

It may be helpful to break down trend analysis by agency divisions or by occupational groups.  Trend information combined with the current workforce profile is an essential building block for forecasting workforce supply.


To determine the impact of separations on each classification,  perform a Trend Analysis (TA) of the three major separation types: retirements (attrition), transfers to a different department, and voluntary separations from state service (turnover). 

For detailed information about calculating the TA and other workforce analytics refer to the  CalHR Workforce Data Analysis Methodology | CalHR Workforce Data Analysis Methodology - Text Only (RTF).

The TA calculation is used to identify classifications which, on average, experience a relatively greater impact due to separations.  A relatively high TA is a signal that a high amount of separations can be expected from the classification, and should alert you to look more closely at the particular separation type(s) that are common in the classification and develop strategies to address the risks posed by those separation(s).

Based on the existing demographics and actual impact of separations by classification, determine the future composition of the workforce without factoring in any hiring.

Step 1.4: Compare Workforce Profile

Compare your department’s workforce profile to statewide statistics in order to identify if your department falls above or below statewide trends.  Understanding this comparison may help your department identify areas of risk. You may chose to utilize multiple comparisons for a well-rounded benchmarks, or establishing interim goals:

  • Recommended: State of California (workforce and non-workforce)
  • State of California public and private workforce
  • State of California civil service workforce

Step 2: Perform A Demand Analysis

Using workforce data analysis, division/program input, and project team/Steering Committeefeedback, determine variables that could impact your current and future workforce such as:

  • Estimated demographic factors (e.g., age, diversity, etc.).
  • Historical patterns of separations from the classification or department overall.
  • Economy—A declining economy may bring more people to civil service. A thriving economy may increase recruitment difficulty.
  • Industry changes—A surge in demand for people in occupations you employ may make recruitment and retention very difficult.
  • Funding for critical positions - are they funded from the general fund or through grants or federal funding? Are there any anticipated changes in the funding stream?
  • Benefits—Do you have employees in classifications that may retire at 50 instead of 55?
  • Geography—Where positions are physically located may impact the ability to recruit and retain your workforce. 
  • Which work functions will remain unchanged?
  • Which work functions may be discontinued?
  • What are the potential new work functions?
  • Will changes result in an increase or decrease of work in any function?
  • How might existing services or processes be enhanced or changed and what effect will that have on the work and human resource needs?
  • Will any functions be consolidated, simplified, or made more complex?
  • How will divisions, work units, and jobs be redesigned?
  • How does work currently flow into each division/program? Will this change?
  • What new services will be offered?
  • What technology changes will be made or new technologies introduced?
  • Are any reorganizations planned or needed?
  • Are there any plans to open new offices, relocate offices, or close existing offices?
  • How soon will changes be needed?
  • What is driving the change?

Step 3: Perform A Gap Analysis

A gap analysis determines the gap between your workforce supply and demand.

  • Current Workforce Gap = Current Workforce Supply – Current Demand
  • Future Workforce Gap = Future Workforce Supply – Future Demand 
  • Workforce Supply = Number of employees and employee competencies
  • Demand = Current and future staffing and competency needs based on current and future department needs.

The result reveals any gaps and surpluses in staffing levels and competencies needed to perform your department’s functions. For example, you might find:

  • Excess staff performing obsolete or declining functions.
  • Inadequate supply of qualified personnel for positions in classifications that will likely remain the same.
  • Inadequate supply of personnel with needed competencies for positions described within an existing classification.

Once you measure the extent of any gaps for each classification and competency set, identify where candidates will come from to fill those gaps. Consider the following questions:

  • Is it possible to match competencies for declining functions to new functions or shortage areas?
  • For classifications that will be filled via promotion, what are the qualifying and possible qualifying classifications and competencies that feed into the promotional classifications?
  • What classifications are sources of transfer candidates?
  • What would occur if the gap is not addressed (i.e. what critical business outcomes will not be met?)

Use the answers to the questions above and below to analyze the gaps between work functions and workforce:

  • Is recruiting matching our priorities?
  • Is the exam schedule matching our priorities?
  • Do we have clear career paths into our critical gap areas?
  • Are there current eligible lists for the classification(s) involved? If so, when are they scheduled to expire?
  • Are the exams designed to rank the people with the most critical competencies highest?
  • If the present list will still be in effect for the planning horizon, how suitable are the available eligible candidates and how many are still likely to be on the list when they are needed?
  • Does the exam and interview process result in obtaining people with the right competencies to fill the mission critical gaps? When will the next exam be held? How will the exam cycle contribute or detract from the agency's ability to appoint qualified candidates?  For questions or assistance with exams contact CalHR’s Exams Unit at or by phone (866) 844-8671
  • Where there is no appropriate classification to provide the competencies needed, to what extent does the projected workforce provide these competencies? Determine the estimated number of qualified people, considering likely qualifying classifications, and the estimated number that would pass an appropriate exam. This assumes that the positions would be in the competitive class.
  • Are our knowledge transfer methods (i.e. training) working to teach or build capabilities in the critical competency areas?
  • Do we have training or knowledge transfer methods for our future competencies defined?  Examples of knowledge transfer strategies can be found on CalHR’s Workforce Planning Toolkit webpage.
  • For classifications tested on an open competitive basis, how many staff would need to be recruited externally? In what general occupations, industries, and locations are these staff needed?
  • How many staff, by classification, will no longer be needed to perform their current function(s)?
  • How is our retention program performing, especially in the critical competency/workforce areas?
  • Do we have underutilized classifications?
  • If people are leaving other than for retirement or promotion, why?

These questions will help guide strategy development in Phase 3. Prioritize larger workforce gaps when developing strategies.

Step 4: Develop A List of Classifications by Risk Level

The risk level of a classification is based on results from workforce data analysis and division/program area input. Factors that impact the risk level of a classification include:
  • Percentage of employees at or within five years of retirement age and/or length of state service.
  • Separation rates.
  • Vacancies and recruitment efforts.
  • Mission-critical and/or leadership positions.
  • Current strategies to capture and share employee knowledge.

The classification risk levels will help you focus your workforce strategies and limited resources toward your higher level risks.

See the Classification Risk Assessment Flowchart for more information about determining risk level.

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