Planning is a basic management function involving formulation of one or more plans to achieve optimum balance of needs or demands with the available resources. The planning process identifies the goals or objectives to be achieved, formulates strategies to achieve them, arranges or creates the means required, and implements, directs, and monitors all steps in their proper sequence. The planning processes of most organizations therefore define what will be accomplished within a given time frame, along with the numbers and types of resources that will be needed to achieve the defined business goals.
Human Resource Planning is the process of systematically forecasting the future demand and supply for employees and the deployment of their skills within the strategic objectives of the organization. Human resources planning is a process that identifies current and future human resources needs for an organization to achieve its goals. It responds to the importance of business strategy and planning in order to ensure the availability and supply of people both in number and quality. Human resources planning serve as a link between human resources management and the overall strategic plan of an organization. The key points are;
- Identifying the organizational goals and competencies employees need to achieve those goals. Competency-based management supports the integration of human resources planning with business planning by allowing organizations to assess the current human resource capacity based on employees’ current skills and abilities. These skills and abilities are measured against those needed to achieve the vision, mission and business goals of the organization. If the available people lack necessary competencies, the organization plans how it will develop them.
- Making a plan either to develop necessary competencies from within the organization, or hire new people who have them. Targeted human resource strategies, plans, and programs to address gaps in the organization’s workforce are designed, developed and implemented to close the gaps. Plans and programs can include: targeted hiring/staffing, employee learning and education, career development, succession management
- Continually evaluating the plans and strategies for fulfilling Human Resource needs. These strategies and programs are monitored and evaluated on a regular basis to ensure that they are moving the organization in the desired direction, including closing employee competency gaps. Corrections are then made as needed.
Human Resources planning can also be defined as the process of assessing an organization’s human resources needs in the light of organizational goals and changing condition and making plans to ensure that a competent, stable workforce is employed. The actual planning process will vary a great deal from organization to organization.
Human resource planning aims at fulfilling the objectives of manpower requirement. It helps to mobilize the recruited resources for the productive activities. The human resource planning is and important process aiming to link business strategy and its operation. The importance of human resource planning is as follows: Future Manpower
Human resource planning ensures that people are available to provide the continued smooth operation of an organization. It means, human resource planning is regarded as a tool to assure the future availability of manpower to carry on the organizational activities. It determines the future needs of manpower in terms of number and kind.
Coping with Change
Human resource planning is important to cope with the change associated with the external environmental factors. It helps assess the current human resources through HR inventory and adapts it to changing technological, political, socio-cultural, and economic forces. Changes in political environment may include new governments taking over, new laws being introduced by government etc. economic changes may include changes in interest rates ,transport systems etc. while changes in social cultural environment may be inform of changes in customs, traditions, religion etc. technological changes may include changes in methods of production. A good Human Resource Planning must respond appropriately to the rapid changing in the society and must go beyond forecasting to all aspect of HR Management.
Recruitment of Talented Personnel
Another purpose of HR planning is to recruit and select the most capable personnel to fill job vacancies. It determines human resource needs, assesses the available HR inventory level and finally recruits the personnel needed to perform the job. It therefore helps the organization to tap efficiently talents which will help to integrate both the individual and organizational goal. This will consequently minimize some of the problem associated with low productivity absenteeism and labour turn over.
Human resource planning identifies the skill requirements for various levels of jobs. Then it organizes various training and development campaigns to impart the required skill and ability in employees to perform the task efficiently and effectively.
Proper Utilization of Human Resources
Human resource planning measures that the organization acquires and utilizes the manpower effectively to achieve objectives. Human resource planning helps in assessing and recruiting skilled human resource. It focuses on the optimum utilization of human resource to minimize the overall cost of production.
This is associated with reducing the impact of uncertainty which are brought by sudden changes in processes and procedures of human resource management in the organization which may lead to a labour crisis.
Human resource planning takes a proactive approach to meeting the company’s needs, an advantage to the organization. With a proactive approach, the company anticipates future needs, evaluates the company’s current workforce and determines what actions to take to prepare for the future. The human resource department enjoys the ability to consider all aspects and the potential implications of different actions before acting. Organizations without human resource planning react to employee needs without allowing enough time to consider all the options. Another advantage of human resource planning involves employee development. As the human resource department identifies potential employees to move into future management positions, it can implement actions that will develop those employees’ management skills. Human resource planning allows the company to review performance appraisals to see what skills an employee lacks and provide training opportunities to that employee.
An organization that does not plan may have labour shortages or may be forced to lay-off employees when there is a surplus. It may also suffer from management succession crises when some managers retire or resign from their positions. Hence HR planning helps an organization avoid such labour crisis. Another advantage of HR planning is that it enables an organization to achieve pre-determined corporate objectives in an ever changing business environment. This is because HR planning assists management to make appropriate HR decisions and efficiently and effectively utilizes the available human resources.
Human resource planning suffers from the following limitations:
- human resource planning relates to the current cultural thinking of the employees. Many employees work in the same manner they were originally trained. These employees learn to perform their work efficiently and take pride in their ability. When human resource management decides to take a new approach and implement human resource planning, these employees feel threatened and resist because they fear that their current skills may not transfer to the new processes and the employee would need to learn a new system.
- Reliable data and information about the economy, trends in human resources, industries, and labor market are not easily available and there are inadequacies of information system which is a disadvantage to the organization. Some plans are also made using unreliable records or poorly kept employee records which may make them irrelevant.
- It is very difficult to ascertain the future manpower requirements of an organization, as the future is always uncertain. As such the predictions are bound to go wrong.
- Human Resource Planning is more relevant in countries that face scarcity of human resource. In a country, Human Resource Planning is of little assistance since manpower is available in abundance.
- Human Resource planning is a time-consuming and costly process. The recruitment and selection process is time-consuming and requires the services of experts. This can all add to the cost.
- Human Resource Planning is beneficial in organizations that adopt a professional approach and at the same time are conscious about the changing environment. Traditional business houses often adopt very indifferent approaches towards environmental changes. This limits the scope of Human Resource Planning.
- Human Resource Planning are beneficial where adequate skilled manpower is available. In cases where skilled manpower is not easily available, Human Resource Planning serves no purpose.
- Human Resource Planning is also made difficult in organizations that have a very high labour turnover. In such organizations, estimating the manpower requirements is a Herculean task. While predicting the retirement is easier, it is difficult to determine voluntary quits, prolonged illness and death. This restricts the scope of Human Resource Planning.