The Planning Process

Although it is beyond the intended scope of this Guide to provide a detailed outline of how companies should carry out corporate and business planning, there are certain aspects of the planning process that need to be identified because of their impact on the recruitment and orientation process.

External Demographics/Economics

A company looking to hire new employees is “in the marketplace.” Therefore, an understanding of what is going on in the market is crucial to being successful in recruiting and eventually hiring the kind of employee who will meet the objective of having a competent, customer-focused, committed and satisfied workforce. Due to relatively high levels of unemployment over the past two decades, it has been a “buyer’s market” and companies have not had to be overly concerned with being able to recruit large numbers of potential candidates. The current market situation is no longer what it has been, due to improved economic conditions and changing demographics. Traditional sources such as mothers with school-age children for school bus operations and truck drivers for intercity passenger carriers are drying up. Similarly, in the past, candidates who were once willing to consider part-time employment as a stepping stone to full-time work are now no longer prepared to consider this alternative because other more desirable options are available to them.

At the same time as traditional sources are changing, new ones are coming available. A growing proportion of the population wants to work on a contingency basis where they have greater flexibility in their work schedule and, therefore, freedom to pursue other interests. The coming retirement of the “baby boom” generation provides an opportunity for companies that want to tap a labour market of mature, work-experienced candidates who may want to supplement their pension income.

Internal Demographics

Internal demographics relate to what is happening to the company’s workforce. Specific information needs to be collected on driver turnover, promotions, transfers and attrition, as each represents the permanent reduction in the workforce and, therefore, a workforce/staffing requirement. Additionally, statistics should be gathered on vacation entitlements, absenteeism, lost-time injuries and disability claims as each of these impacts on the need for staffing.

Business/Operating Plans and Market Conditions

If there were no change to a company’s business or operating plan, the workforce/staffing plan would simply reflect changes that come about through shifts in internal demographics. However, very few companies operate at the same level and in the same way from year to year. Routes are added, frequencies change, new equipment is purchased and markets are developed and grown. Each of these changes will have an impact on the number of drivers a company needs. Similarly, market conditions and competition change. Each and all of these factors is going to have an impact on the company’s workforce/staffing plan both in terms of the number of drivers it needs to hire and the timing of the hiring.

 While Planning is done within an organization, don’t forget the results are felt outside the organization.


Government Policy and Legislation

As a regulated sector, the motor carrier passenger industry has to be aware of and sensitive to changes in government policy and legislation. These changes are not limited to policy and legislation governing operation requirements. Human Resource and Human Rights Legislation related to employment equity, employment standards, hours of work, occupational health and safety can, as well, impact on the development of a workforce/ staffing plan. Additionally, many companies in the industry are owned by the government or public agencies/institutions and are subject to changes in legislation and policy. Or, in the case of the school bus sector, the “customer” is the government and, therefore, government policy issues can potentially impact on operating and workforce plans.

Keep Your Eye on the Road

The development of a “plan” that clearly identifies how many new employees are needed and when they are needed allows everyone involved in the recruitment process to “keep his/her eye on the road”. Without a plan, the organization is “driving blind” and the opportunity for effective coordination of human resources with organizational needs is severely hampered. Furthermore, without a good plan, there is greater likelihood of conflict arising, not to mention the potential impact on customer service and the company’s image. Not only can effective planning lead to a better allocation and utilization of resources, but it can be used as an organization growth and development strategy if carried out in a participative and collaborative manner that involves key stakeholders such as the union.


Collective Agreements

Where there is a collective agreement between the company and the employees’ bargaining agent there will be provisions in that agreement that will impact on the way a workforce/staffing plan is developed. Clauses on vacation scheduling, allowed sick leave, mandatory training, use of part-time and/or contingent workers, to name a few, will all influence the development of the workforce plan. As well, if the agreement is up for renewal during the plan period, consideration has to be given to what changes there might be in a new agreement that could affect the plan. Finally, collective agreements are not always negotiated without disruption in the form of work-to-rule or slowdowns. These possibilities have to be considered in developing the manpower/staffing plan.




Motor Carrier Passenger Council of Canada (MCPCC),
Business number: BN# 877577427 RT0001