HR Planning for a business enterprise needs a conceptual outlay to enable business managers to identify, plan and implement planning for manpower. There is a need to appreciate basic definitions of planning as is understood and applied in commercial situations, the core strategy necessary for an organisation to embark upon the journey of recruiting, the methods and practices adopted by organisations in a current scenario and the inherent constraints built into the planning process.
Introduction and Definition
HR planning may be defined as an articulated business strategy based on current and future business forecast for the acquisition, utilization, development, and retention of an enterprise’s human resources.
The strategy articulates the need as it exists today and the plan necessitates formulation of the goals and action plan for achievement of the people plan. The process facilitates hiring and retaining the right profile of people at varying jobs, positions, places and time frames depending on the organisational need.
While considerable strategic time, competence and managerial inputs has been dedicated to the planning of corporate economic resources, such as investment, technology, systems, manufacturing capabilities, research and development, new product development, customer management, planning for resource requirement has been denied its priority, particularly at the company level. At the global level, manpower research are periodically organized more to determine employment potential, state of the unemployment rate, type, kind, demographics, rather than to identify, indicate and suggest on how the manpower requirements of the various priority areas and nations at large should be met, both qualitatively and quantitatively.
HR planning being a relatively contemporary activity is today an area of in depth study and research. Its importance and implications, given the critical need for funding micro and macro level growth a fast changing economy, have been realized at the corporate level in most countries of the world. At the macro level, however despite the realization of the advantages of HR planning, countries with well-established HR planning programs are still a relative minority, even among the large countries. The ability to predict, plan, search, resource and execute a well orchestrated HR Plan is still not a state of art activity. Needless to mention the growing population in several parts of the world makes this job several times more complex.
However on balance there is little evidence to claim, that with the rising state of unemployment, several economies stagnating or into recession, increasing cost of labour and the substantial portion that it forms of the total running costs of a company, many more firms- large, medium and small- will be persuaded to go in for some of scientific HR planning.
Fundamentally the market has changed. It is world of the knowledge worker. The rise of the intellect has been imminent. HR Planning no longer can confine itself to the traditional sources for hiring and retaining. The skill of yesterday is neither available and nor are not being sought after by the new generation. The human resources of today see their roles having changed from that of a doer to that of a thinker and in most occasions’ thinker doer. Organisations in contrast have continued to nurture and retain a set of human resource who have become more redundant than ever before.
HR Planning: Purpose and Goals
The purpose and goals of HR planning are mainly:
1. To ensure optimum and effective use of human resources currently employed;
2. To research and reconfigure new skill sets to cope with organisational needs given depleting relevant skills population
3. To assess the employability of the human resource given changing skills and competencies
4. To draw specific outlines of competencies as they differ from today
5. To assess or forecast future skills requirement if organisation’s overall objectives are to be achieved; and
6. To identify control standards to ensure that necessary resources are identified, available as and when required.
7. To fundamentally study the corporate strategy, the business mission and overall philosophy of recruiting VS systems, technology, outsourcing.
8. Analyze the people market environment and its changes as it affects the firm vis a vis competition.
Corporate goals for attaching importance to HR planning and forecasting exercises are:
1. to determine hiring pattern and specific action plans
2. to anticipate redundancies
3. to minimize downsizing, surpluses, early retirement;
4. to plan for optimum training levels;
5. to manage management development programs;
6. new project forecasting and recruitment planning
7. to cost the manpower in new project;
8. to assist productivity bargaining; and
9. To assess future accommodation requirements.
The basic Process of HR Planning (Planning ahead for recruitment)
1. Analyze the environment of the organisation and its past operations
2. Evaluate the environment for HR trends, patterns, educational changes, literacy levels, demographic transitions in people
3. Evaluate education patterns, school pass out rates, professional courses capacity, market liberalization for international opportunities, and availability of easy financing for college studies
4. Evaluate any major shift in people relocation, geographic movements, natural calamity constraints
5. Establish Corporate strategy, goals, objectives and action plans
6. Link the corporate strategy to the HR strategy and mission
7. Ensure connectivity of corporate plans to hr plans and targets
8. Determine the Organisation Structure, process flows, design details
9. Draw up a Demand Forecast for Manpower
10. Conduct a HR Inventory both at the micro and macro levels
11. Plan for an Attrition Process both desired and undesired
12. Design HR policies for retention and career planning of high performers
13. Integrate HR policies with changing aspirations of the employees and the potential population in the market place
14. Draw up a supply Forecast for Manpower evaluating source, actual availability, and possibility of attraction to the corporate
15. Study whether Demand is greater or less than Supply
16. Establish Manpower Objectives for short, medium and long term and keep flexibility on the profile and employee fit with the corporate culture
17. Start an Action program and make individuals and teams responsible for meeting the recruitment targets.
18. Update the Manpower records and make system data friendly.