HR planning: what’s involved?

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Human resource planning involves developing a strategy aligned with the corporate mission, creating management systems, forecasting workforce requirements, and establishing performance measures. It includes assessing current workforce skills and needs, designing policies and practices, and forecasting workforce size and structure.

The Human Resources (HR) planning process includes strategy development, creation of management systems, forecast requirements, and established performance measures. To begin the human resource planning process, the company must create an HR strategy that aligns with the overall corporate strategy and mission. The company can then decide on the design, policies and practices that will need to be followed to execute the overall business strategy. For human resources to function properly, predictions must be made about workforce size and work structures. The final step in the human resource planning process should be to create benchmarks and measurements to ensure that the department meets performance expectations.

Developing a strategic plan aligned with corporate strategy accounts for a large segment of the human resource planning process. This strategic plan should discuss your current human resource capacity, needs and direction. It should include an inventory of the skills your current workforce has, along with what skill sets will be needed for the company to meet its objectives. Throughout the strategic plan, it should be clear what the purpose and outcomes of each recommendation are and how they support the organization’s overall strategic plan.

Building management systems involves deciding on the design, policies and practices to be implemented to execute the strategic plan. This includes whether the company will adopt outsourcing, flexible working hours and peer reviews. The cost savings of each policy or practice should be objectively weighed, and its benefits and risks described. If the company wants to consider adopting a work-from-home option, it may save on overheads but negatively impact its ability to develop the skills of its workforce. If the company’s strategy is to have the most experienced staff, then having this work-from-home policy could negatively affect your ability to achieve the company’s overall objective.

Forecasting workforce size and work structures is a necessary part of the human resource planning process that requires creating an inventory of what the company currently has. Employees should be segmented according to their abilities, skills, education and potential. If there is a gap between resources and workforce numbers, a forecast should be made to see how many employees will be needed for each position. Reviewing current employee inventory is also a useful method of determining whether future jobs can be filled by internal promotions, which can be a powerful motivational tool when facing company-wide change.

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