What Is the Best Strategic Workforce Planning Software and Tools

Strategic workforce planning software can save you time and ensure that your organization optimally allocates its resources to fill its labor needs as it grows. 

But not all software is created equal - our list is intended to demonstrate these strategic workforce planning solutions’ strengths and weaknesses so you can better determine which one can deliver the highest ROI to your organization.

The Importance of Strategic Workforce Planning Solutions

Before we start digging into what makes one strategic workforce planning software superior to another, it’s important to first remind ourselves of the goal of strategic workforce planning.

Workforce planning is the process of managing your workforce demand and supply through:

  • Analyzing your financial data
  • Organizing your financial data
  • Forecasting future needs with real-time financial data

These processes can be immensely helpful to fast growing organizations, as it ensures that you are never understaffed or overstaffed. Instead, your staff planning is informed by analytics so that your workforce is optimally organized to yield the best results for your organization. 

While it may seem obvious to state that your organization can’t run without a qualified workforce, too often workforce planning is overlooked - with dire consequences. 

Consider that: 

Organizations like yours run the risk of falling behind in talent acquisition to the competition if you’re constantly being reactive to workforce planning needs. 

But the right workforce planning tools and/or workforce planning platform can help you be proactive to these demands and ensure that your staffing is one less thing you need to be worried about. 

To that end, we’ve compiled a list of some of the top strategic workforce planning software on the market so you can avoid these potential roadblocks to growth and profitability. 

How We Compare Different Strategic Workforce Planning Tools

Strategic workforce capacity planning tools and platforms offer you, the user, a variety of different benefits. Depending on your organization and industry, some of these capabilities may be more important than others. 

That said, we’ve ranked the software below based on the following criteria: 

Does the software offer comprehensive workforce forecasting tools? Is it a full-on workforce planning platform or simply an add-on to Excel? What tools does it feature (headcount planning tools, headcount management software, headcount tracking software, can it deliver a detailed workforce planning report, etc.)? 

You could have the best staff planning tool in the world - but it won’t do you much good if it’s too complicated to use. How user-friendly the workforce capacity planning tools are is critical, especially as you’ll want to be able to collaborate with teams across your organization. The more opaque and complex a workforce planning tool’s user-interface is, the more time will be spent on training/opportunity for error and misuse. 

Ideally, your strategic workforce planning solutions will be able to integrate with whatever your current ERP and HR management systems are. That makes the transition over that much more seamless and unlocks a variety of additional benefits. 

Is the workforce planning platform difficult to implement and leave room for errors? Does it take a long time to implement? The second question is especially important as each day you’re not using the right software is another day that you’re wasting time battling older systems or missing out on key insights and headcount tools that could make your staff planning that much more effective and accurate. 

Some headcount planning software is only effective in some industries, while others have more applicability across industries and use cases. To that end, the more versatile a strategic workforce planning software is, the higher it will rank in our list. 

Track Record
We looked at case studies and other examples of the software being used in real-world scenarios by their current or former clients. While metrics and analytical data are all fantastic informational assets that can inform your decision making, there’s nothing like seeing a company produce positive results in the real world as a vetting and review tool. 

Features We Look for in Strategic Workforce Planning Platforms and Tools

Each of the tools in our list offers a wide variety of features and applications. But the ones that we most value are:

The Ability to Model What-If Scenarios
Being able to test for what-if scenarios has never been more critical - just look at the last 15 years how many ‘black swan’ events we’ve encountered; being prepared to meet any challenge - predictable or unpredictable - is at a premium currently. What-if scenario planning allows your organization to project multiple future scenarios with a few tweaks, helping you prepare to meet these challenges head-on. 

The Ability to Automate 
Did you know that finance teams spend over 60% of their time on activities that can be fully automated? A huge part of staff planning is the numbers - especially as your organization grows, data can be prone to getting out of hand. Payroll for a few dozen employees is easy; payroll for a few hundred is a much more complicated task. Automating data collection and collation can be hugely beneficial in a number of ways, not the least of which is that you can save hundreds of hours of time. You’ll also be able to more reliably count on the data, leaving less room for human error (software has gotten really good at collecting data, as you’d imagine). 

The Ability to Provide Insights
Data tells a story. It can provide so, so, so much information to you and your team. But technical barriers often prevent these stories from being told. But the right software removes those barriers and makes it easy to leverage real-time information to power data-driven decision making.

The 5 Top Strategic Workforce Planning Software and Tools

1. Limelight FP&A Software

One of the leading FP&A software providers, workforce planning is made easier with Limelight’s cloud-based platform. 

With its suite of workforce capacity planning tools, it can help your organization:

  • Forecast more easily, unifying your data in a single, easy-to-use platform, providing increased clarity. That way, you can plan, budget, and forecast in ways that are resilient to business disruptions. Limelight can gather data from your ERP and HR seamlessly.
  • The headcount planning tool, headcount management software, and headcount tracking software are all optimized to ensure you get the most out of your workforce. You’ll be able to plan for labor costs well into the future account for what-if scenarios. You’ll also gain key insights into departmental metrics like productivity and attrition.
  • All the data gathered above can then be leveraged into actionable information that informs your key business decisions.

You can also check out their FP&A software demonstration to learn more about how Limelight can help your organization with its staff planning needs. 

Fact Sheet

  • Serves medium-sized businesses
  • FP&A software pricing can be found on website
  • 20 years experience in the industry
  • 100+ clients
  • 50 team members
  • Delivers personalized customer service via an in-house implementation team and dedicated client success and support teams

2. Deel

Deel makes it easy for organizations to manage their entire operation with its software, helping with hiring new employees, scheduling, payroll, etc. 

Deel simplifies HR teams’ tasks by allowing them to organize their teams’ workloads and provide an overview of which departments are in need of which resources. 

These headcount tracking software makes it easy to monitor employee performance and deliver insights to optimize human resource allocation. It can also support your organization in developing strategies to ensure that you meet your goals without running afoul of labor laws and regulations. 

Deel features an intuitive drag-and-drop interface that allows you to:

  • Assign tasks
  • Review reports

Create time-off requests

And more. 

Other features include:

  • Global payroll support
  • Automations for data collection
  • Contractor payment support
  • Invoice generation
  • Payslips
  • Taxation support
  • Accounting software integration capabilities
  • Compliance support

Deel can integrate with:

  • Quickbooks
  • Xero
  • Netsuite
  • Bamboo
  • HR
  • Ashby
  • Greenhouse
  • Bob

Fact Sheet

  • Serves businesses of all sizes
  • Valuation of over $5 billion
  • Fast-growing team
  • Deel costs from $49/user/month
  • See their website for a free demo

3. Planful

Planful allows your organization to collect your HR, finance, and operational data with a single platform. From there, you will be more able to leverage the data to make informed decisions. 

Planful focuses on automating manual, rote processes so you can save time and energy that would otherwise be wasted on something an algorithm is better at anyways. If you are encountering siloes during your workforce planning, then Planful can help break them up so you can better leverage your data. 

It also provides accurate and current data so you can align your HR’s forecasting efforts with current metrics, rather than relying on old data. 

It features automation functions like the ability to upload HR data like a workforce budget instantly into its platform, saving time for managers across your departments (finance, marketing, HR, etc.). 

Also features robust what-if scenario planning capabilities. 

Fact Sheet

  • Named a leader in the 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for cloud financial planning solutions.
  • 400+ employees
  • 800+ customers
  • For pricing and a demo, visit Planful’s website
  • Ideal for larger organizations

4. Workday

Designed for larger enterprises, Workday offers a robust set of human capital management features. 

Workday is a bit on the tougher side to implement, but once it’s in your system, it provides near endless scalability. What’s more, it has some of the best online cybersecurity designations in the industry, if you have security standards to comply with or simply want to ensure maximal protection. 

Workday also functions extremely well at connecting and facilitating collaboration between teams spread across the globe. 

Fact Sheet

  • Workday is in use by over 45% of the Fortune 500 companies
  • They support over 7,000 users
  • See website for pricing and a demonstration
  • Ideal for larger organizations

5. ActivTrak

ActivTrak is unique among our strategic workforce planning solutions in that it is more concerned with employee productivity compared to other workforce planning software on this list. 

ActivTrak allows you to track data points like the impact of remote and hybrid models to better determine key information like changes in work productivity and well-being.

ActivTrak leverages intuitive dashboards to help unlock your organization’s full productivity potential; these dashboards present data on productivity indicators and work habits. It also helps you determine which applications are the most effective and which ones are not pulling their weight, potentially saving you time and costs by removing underperforming applications from your workflow.

ActivTrak integrates well with:

  • Salesforce
  • Google Workspace
  • Zendesk
  • Slack
  • Monday
  • Jira
  • Workday
  • ADP

And more. 

Fact Sheet

  • 9,000+ customers
  • Operational in 94 countries
  • 550,000 users
  • ActivTrak costs $10/person/month
  • You can obtain a two-week free trial with no credit card required on its website

Limelight - the Right Strategic Workforce Planning Software for Your Organization


There are many strong strategic workforce planning solutions out there - but we’re confident that Limelight offers more value than our competitors. 

Our platform can manage all your budgeting, forecasting, planning, and analysis needs - and ensure they’re completed faster and more accurately than ever before. 

With our powerful platform backing your business, you will save thousands of hours and uncover hundreds of thousands in hidden costs, reduce budget reviews, and make collaboration across teams seamless.

We also specialize at servicing a variety of industries, including (but not limited to): 

Save money, get a more comprehensive picture of your business’s financial health, plan and forecast easier - do it all with Limelight. Book a demo to see the platform work - and see how it can help your business grow.