Human Capital Planning Framework

The University’s Human Capital Planning (HCP) Framework is comprised of a planning process, which supports the identification of priority workforce needs over a 3-5 year period, and actions plans that will specifically focus on strategic recruitment, succession planning and retention. The ultimate goal of the University’s Human Capital Planning Framework is to provide the right people, with the right competencies and experience, in the right place, at the right time in order to deliver on our reputation as a University of global significance, while continually developing our workforce through strong leadership. 

The planning process is driven by Senior Management, and supported by the HR Department. All Faculties and Management Units will prepare a local plan, which in turn will feed into the development of the overall University Human Capital Plan.

The HCP Framework will be reviewed annually and updated as appropriate, with regard to internal and external challenges/opportunities, financial constraints and resource requirements.



  • Aligned with the University’s Strategic and Constituent plans
  • Planning is long term oriented and adopts a rolling approach (reviewed regularly and updated as requirements change)
  • Values Staff diversity and Gender equality (moving towards a workforce that reflects the diversity of the community it serves)
  • Continuous development of Human Capital capabilities
  • Develops an on-going understanding of the current workforce and how it could look in the future
  • Shifts the approach to filling a vacancy – short term needs vs long term strategic direction
  • Contributes to better decision making (supported by data & analysis of workforce)
  • Provides a co-ordinated approach to resourcing solutions that support the strategic direction of DCU
  • Identifies training and development requirements for future skills needs
  • Feeds into the budgeting process by highlighting anticipated staffing costs and the cost of human capital action plans

The Human Capital Planning (HCP) Process shall take place annually at Faculty/Management Unit level, commencing end of quarter 1. 

The HR Director will announce the start of the HCP Cycle, to the Executive Deans and Directors of Management Units, and request  that the HCP Assessments and Action Plans are returned to HR during the end of quarter 2/start of quarter 3.  

The HCP process will coincide with the annual Financial/Budget preparation that occurs in April/May and may help prepare for the inclusion of immediate HC needs in local discussion between Faculty/Management Unit and Finance.   

Following completion of planning at Faculty/Management Unit level, a University level Human Capital Plan will be prepared in consultation with Senior Management, taking into consideration financial and Employment Control constraints. 

4 stages


Stage 1. Opportunities/Challenges
Consider internal and external opportunities/challenges that the University and specifically 
the Faculty/Unit are facing.  Obvious considerations will include:

  • Covid Pandemic and impact on society and education
  • DCU’s renewed & refocused strategic approach & priorities as outlined in the updated Strategic Plan
  • Re-alignment of Faculty/Department strategies with the University’s updated Strategic Plan
  • Higher Education funding restrictions and compliance with the Employment Control Framework
  • Internationalisation; Recruitment, Mobility, Partnerships and International Student Experience.
  • Engagement (link to constituent strategy)
  • DCU’s Research Priorities (link) and Teaching Priorities
  • New Technology e.g. SIS
  • HCI, SALI, 20% Professorships etc

Stage 2.   Imagine the Future Workforce

What future workforce is needed to achieve the Faculty’s/Units and University’s future ambitions - think in terms of skills, competencies, diversity and strengths as well as the critical roles that need to be in place.  
What funding (re-current and external funding streams) may be utilized to achieve the level of staffing needed?  
Consider the type of organization structure that is necessary to achieve and sustain an agile workforce. 

Stage 3.  Compare current with Future Workforce

Workforce Dashboards will provide information on current staff profiles in respect of age, gender, grade and potential retirements.

Use this data to help identify gaps in the current versus the future workforce e.g. not having sufficient talent in place to provide future leadership, skill shortages etc.  

Identify the critical roles that are essential to the success of the Faculty/Management Unit and if there is difficulty filling will present a risk to delivering on commitments and strategic priorities. 

Workforce Profile Analytics

Accurate and reliable workforce data is critical to Human Capital planning and decision-making. To provide Management with access to real-time workforce data, Human Resources has engaged with Makodata to introduce interactive Workforce Dashboards.

If you have a specific data requirement that is not currently met using the current interactive dashboards, please contact

Stage 4. Plan & Actions
Considering everything, what are the critical workforce issues that need to be addressed to reduce the identified gaps.?  These may involve, for example, existing HR activities such as Recruitment, Performance Related Development or the introduction of Succession Plans for your department.  
Identified actions may also help inform the development of future HR policies and procedures, and solutions at organizational level.

The HCP Template and Action Planning Tool

This tool will help with the collation of information at each stage of the process and the prioritisation of action plans.

The Assessment Tool

To assist in the prioritisation of action planning, the following 4 point score will apply.

1. Issues that require immediate attention; e.g. unexpected resignation of employee who occupies a critical role, risk to retaining key talent, unexpected budget issue arising from external event 
2. Issues that could cause problems if not addressed within next 12 months e.g planned retirement, staff upskilling
3. Issue that will cause problems if not monitored and addressed within the next 3 years e.g. pipeline of suitable staff for Headship role
4. No expected issues arising and no action required over the next 3-5 years