Human resource planning is the anticipating of an organization’s current and future HR needs that will help to achieve the organization’s goals. It is a process which involves identifying the requirements of human resource management and laying down plans to satisfy them.

It involves finding the best fit between available jobs and workers while evading a situation where there would be labor surpluses or shortages.  Any plan by a company to estimate the labor requirements and look for possible sources of supply to meet the demand constitutes HR planning.

Steps of Human Resource Planning

Human resource planning can be divided into four key steps. These are examining present conditions, predicting demand, striking a balance between demand and supply and integrating the plan into the company’s goals.

Examining present labor conditions

The first step in HR planning is always to examine the current labor pool and determine the strengths and weak points. It requires the company to do an audit of each employee on skill, demographic, academic nous/ qualification and experience. The final results of the audit are compared to the company’s standards to meet company goals. Here, the HR determines whether the firm needs to hire more staff, replace staff with better-suited candidates or go more machine automation; less human labor for the company to stay competitive. If the status quo is not acceptable, plans are set in motion to steer the human resource in the right direction.

Predicting the demand

A company’s strategic goals play a big role in determining future labor demands. Market trends, changes in technological applications and industry analysis, as well as possible employee turnover rates due to retirements or otherwise, are considered. For instance, plans for company extension may need more staff to be employed while the incorporation of new technology may make it unnecessary to replace departing employees and so on.

Finding the balance between demand and supply

Striking the balance between demand and supply is a vital step in Human Resource Planning. A gap analysis is usually employed to map out the supply of labor versus anticipated demand. Employees are also examined to assess whether they are working at full potential in their current posts. For example, a company may decide that the solution is for employees to be trained on new skills instead of hiring new workers.

Integrating the plan into the company’s goals.

The last step involves the HR integrating its plan with that of the company. It involves bringing in the rest of the organization’s departments into the plans.