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Human resources (HR) planning refers to classic HR administrative functions, and the evaluation and identification of human resources requirements for meeting organizational goals. It also requires an assessment of the availability of the qualified resources that will be needed. To ensure their competitive advantage in the marketplace and anticipate staffing needs, organizations must implement innovative strategies that are designed to enhance their employee retention rate and recruit fresh talent into their companies. Human resources planning is one way to help a company develop strategies and predict company needs in order to keep their competitive edge.
Effective human resources planning strategies are those that include having sufficient staff, with the right mixture of talent, who are in the appropriate locations, performing their jobs when needed. It moves beyond the traditional role of human resources as primarily an administrative control function. In today’s corporate environment, HR planning is viewed as a valuable component for adding value to an organization. Both employees and the company will often realize many benefits of planning over the long-run.
In uncertain business settings, the significance of strategic human resources planning can become obvious very quickly. A company that reacts to circumstances by cutting staff as a measure to reduce short-term overhead can create unwanted repercussions. What initially looked like a smart and necessary move to economize in lean times can end up costing the company much more in the long-run. The resources that will be needed to subsequently recruit, hire, and train new employees may well exceed any short-term cost savings.
Forward-looking human resources planning typically anticipates future staffing requirements. It can help organizations avoid cost errors. Strategies are formulated to not only anticipate their needs over time, but to consider optimal solutions for the long-term and under challenging economic conditions. This approach minimizes the chance of short-sighted and reactive choices being implemented by decision-makers. Organizations with a plan in place, and a keen understanding of their long-range objectives, may instead decide to weather the economic storm and keep trained, talented, and dedicated staff in place for the inevitable business uptrend.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Linking human resources policies, systems, and processes with a company’s overall strategic planning and practices can have immediate advantages. Along with providing the company a road map for forecasting their staffing demand, effective human resources planning documents the talents and skills of the people who are in place. It also considers what current skill set and abilities are required to meet future needs and any new capabilities and talents the company may need to recruit and hire in the future.
Effective and worth-while human resources planning takes time, dedication, and organization. One disadvantage may be that if HR planning has not occurred regularly within a corporation, it may seem overwhelming to begin. Once regular planning takes place, it is necessary that items are updated and recorded to keep information current and organized.