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February 21, 2024

What is human resource planning?

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a business’ staff are its greatest asset.

And as a business adapts and grows, having the right people in the right job is fundamental to its success.

What is human resource planning? And why is it important?

Put simply, human resource planning is the continuous process of assessment and planning to make sure a business has the right employees in the right jobs both now and as the company evolves.

This involves assessing the staff and their individual skills, expertise and competencies to ensure they are being used to the best advantage.

Human resources planning also anticipates and addresses a business’ future workforce needs which can be affected by both internal forces – such as resignations, promotions and retirements – and external forces such as the introduction of new technology and the changing market landscape.

It means walking the fine line of ensuring the best fit between employees and jobs while also trying to avoid both staff shortages or surpluses.

Human resource planning is also intrinsically tied to a business’ ambitions and longer-term strategies including assessing future needs and making sure the demand is met.

A successful business never stands still and while directors set out its direction of travel, human resource planning ensures the talent is in place so these ambitions can be realised.

The firm’s objective may be to grow its market share, enter a new market as it emerges or simply to improve product quality.

To achieve this, however, it is important to get the right talent in the right place and that’s where human resource planning comes in.

To be able to do this, human resource teams have to understand the organisation’s aims.

Once these strategic goals are clear, the future planning process begins by evaluating the state of the workforce.

Human resource planners must identify potential problems and then recruit or retrain the workforce as necessary.

As part of the changes, the business may need to be restructured which can involve some difficult decisions such as laying off members of staff.

Some areas may have to be streamlined and the process of change can lead to uncertainty and concern.

It is the responsibility of the human resources team to ensure staff are supported during this period of change with lines of communication kept open and staff being given the support they need both practically and emotionally.

A successful business is good for everyone, not least the staff who work there.