Headcount Alignment Executive Summary




Anaplan has had challenges getting our finance, human resources, and sales team on the same page of what our headcount is and what our headcount is forecasted to be in order to hit our revenue targets. We struggled to understand where requisitions were in the cycle and how many were currently open. We built a connected Anaplan dashboard to help transform conversations between teams to focus on understanding the different forecasts and strategic planning across those forecasts. The main problems we were trying to solve:

  1. Inconsistency in hitting hiring targets outlined in operating plans.
  2. Misalignment of roles and responsibilities between the stakeholder group and those closest to the requisition.
  3. Time-consuming and error-prone process in closing out requisition when converting a to-be-hired to an employee.
  4. Inconsistent data across enterprise systems.

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The Solution

By leveraging Anaplan’s uniquely customizable and user-friendly model building experience, we have brought the entire headcount planning, budgeting, and forecasting process into Anaplan. Each business function has a set of models serving their individual use cases (i.e., recruiting capacity, sales planning, financial planning, compensation modeling, etc.). These models share data about our to-be-hired requisitions (also created in Anaplan) throughout the headcount planning process. With each group planning directly in Anaplan, at each stop along the way an individual requisition is touched by the subject matter expert for each attribute tagged to it.

For example, the sales ops team directly tags requisitions with a territory, the hiring manager tags job profile information, and finance consolidates this data to refine their financial budgets and forecasts. This sharing of data increases transparency, reduces offline back-and-forth, and overall increases confidence in the entire process. Once the planning activities are done in Anaplan, we have integrations built between our human capital management (Workday), application tracking system (Greenhouse), and customer relationship management (Salesforce), creating a truly automated and seamless headcount-planning process, allowing us to operationalize headcount requisitions quicker and decrease time-to-hire.

Anaplan headcount planning data sources.Anaplan headcount planning data sources.

 Return on Investment

Increased speed to begin recruiting

When a requisition was released by finance, it would take over a week (if not weeks) to be created. Now with this new process created, our average time from when finance releases a requisition to when the recruiting team begins recruiting against it is less than six days. In fact, once recruiting gets the information from finance and the hiring manager, the average time to begin recruiting is less than a day! The decreased time allows recruiters to do what they do best: get a quality candidate hired. With more time to have a job posted, candidates interviewed, and offer negotiations completed, they can focus on hiring quality candidates while still hitting the company-wide hiring targets.

Increased transparency

Now that each stakeholder group has its own Anaplan model and dashboards, there is no ambiguity for whose court the ball is in (i.e., what part of the process is the requisition stuck in?). Hiring managers can quickly see where each of their hires is along the process, and recruiting can proactively reach out to stakeholders to guide them in filling out their information.

Automated conversion of to-be-hired to employee

With a single source of truth for requisition ID numbers and integrations automatically flowing data between systems, finance no longer has to spend hours reconciling which requisitions have been hired. In our planning models, a requisition is automatically “turned off” and converted to a full-time equivalent when a new hire fills an open requisition.

Refined forecasts and more accurate data (within Anaplan and across systems)

Prior to this process, a requisition could be released from finance, have its compensation profile drastically changed, or its sales territory altered, etc., without any indication or notification. Only after an offer approval came through to finance and sales ops did they find out that something was wrong, which led to last-minute scrambling and process hang-ups when they mattered most (trying to lock in a quality hire). Now that each group is responsible for and has visibility into the attributes they care about, those problems are brought to light and rectified early on, far before they become issues in crunch time.


Transforming Anaplan’s headcount planning process into the Anaplan platform had many clear benefits, and this was all made possible by the partnerships and hard work of the finance, talent acquisition, human resources, and sales teams. If you want to learn more about how Anaplan does headcount planning, check out the Headcount Alignment Playbook and reach out to your account representative for more information.