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What is Human Resource Planning?

When a company says that their workers are the essential factors in the growth and success of the business, you need to take such words seriously. Have all the financial resources to run a business, without the right employees; the company might not survive for long.

However, human resource planning is crucial. It is also one aspect that organizations should not take lightly. The performance and survival of the business depend largely on the human resources or employees that run the organization.

Human Resource Planning

In this post, you will figure out the meaning of human resource planning, and the process it involves. Read on!

Understanding Human Resource Planning (HRP)

“Human resource planning is the strategy firms use to acquire, utilize, improve and preserve their workforce”. The sole aim is to fit job seekers or employees to the right position and also to use the available human resources at the company’s disposal optimally.

“Human resource planning deals with identifying the right talent that suits a position, at the right time and place. It also involves forecasting to know the company’s human resources demand and supply in the future”.

In addition to also fitting the right candidates in available positions, human resource planning also helps organizations to anticipate the job openings that a company may have due to several changes. These include retirement, transfer of workers, promotion, and termination of employee appointments.

So, through effective human resource planning, the organization will be better prepared for the emergencies above and hire the right people to fill in the void created by those who are no more with the company.

Human Resource Planning Process

With the definition of HRP, it is clear that the process is to ensure that human resources availability is the least of the problems a firm has to face. With issues of finding the right workforce out of the way, a company can focus on profit and expansion of the business.

HR Planning process simply involves the following four broad steps

1. Acknowledging the Objectives of Human Resource Planning

The first step is to know the reason or goal for conducting the human resource planning process in the first place.  With a clear objective, it will be easier to follow the process through to ensure that the ideal numbers of people are added to the company.

However, keep in mind that the objectives for carrying out the human resource planning process might not be the same across all departments. The thing is the human resources requirements in each department may vary; the same goes for the plan that will be enforced. The finance department, marketing, manufacturing, safety, etc. may have their separate requirements based on their modus operandi and roles.

2. Analyze Current HR Capacity

Once you are clear about the objectives of the human resource planning which is to ensure that every department has or won’t be short of staff, the next step should be to conduct an appraisal to know the talents or employees you have at your disposal.

The thing is you cannot start hiring when you don’t know the talents you already have. So this stage is very crucial in the human resource planning process. Also, your analysis can be in different areas. These include their proficiency, skills, and experiences among others, required for that particular role.

A skill inventory can also be developed to help analysis the current human resource capacity of the firm. You can generate a questionnaire and ask your employees to evaluate themselves. Through that, you can obtain whatever information you want regarding your employees.

Again, it is also essential to estimate or forecast the future workforce needs of the company. That would enable the management to plan for the future and ensure that the company does not suffer a shortage of workforce at any point in time.

3. Forecast of the Human Resource Requirements

After finding out the current workforce available at the company’s disposal, the next step is to determine the future human resources needs of the company. Questions like will the company be interested in growing its current human resources in the future? Or will the company depend on the current employees but draw out training programs to improve their skills and know-how?

There is also a need to figure out if the employees the company required are available in the market. So, keep in mind that the demand and supply of employees are essential. Once you are able to assess and understand the company’s need in terms of workforce and the kind of talents required, then you can figure out whether to source them from within or outside the company.

4. Analysis of the Workforce Gap

After completing the demand and supply forecast, the next step to take is to determine or evaluate the workforce gap. Here if the supply is higher than the demand, then it’s evident that human resources are in excess. At this point, some of the employees have to be relieved of their duties through transfer, retirement, layoff or termination of their contracts.

On the other hand, if the supply is less than the demand, then more employees will be hired to fill the deficit.

5. Talent Development Action Plan

Assuming you have successfully determined the HR requirements of the company, the next line of action would be to develop and add the right talents to your workforce.

Here is what the talent development plan entails:

  • Recruitment – The search for qualified candidates begins. At this point, firms can search social networks for candidates, post job vacancies on various platforms and task employees to recommend candidates.
  • Selection – The hundreds of applications submitted to the company would be reduced. During the selection process, only qualified candidates are invited for an interview or asked to take the company’s assessment test.
  • Hiring – The right candidate for the job is chosen, and the contract reached between the employer and employee newly hired.
  • Training and Development – Training and development programs are arranged for the new employees to get them to top speed. Firms also encourage their new employees to improve their skills from time to time.

6. Review of the Process

Once the human resource planning process is complete, the next step would be to now evaluate the success the program has recorded thus far. Has it helped to better the company in terms of factors like employee retention, job satisfaction, profit, and productivity?

If the process was a success, then you can continue using the same plan. But if there were challenges and an adverse outcome, then you need to make changes right away.


Human resource planning is essential to any company. It helps companies to address employee deficit or challenges before such problems emerge. And with a good understanding of the process, firms can implement the right strategy to put the best workforce together.

See also  Difference Between Recruitment and Selection

About Sonia Kukreja

I am a mother of a lovely kid, and an avid fan technology, computing and management related topics. I hold a degree in MBA from well known management college in India. After completing my post graduation I thought to start a website where I can share management related concepts with rest of the people.