Human Resource Planning

By John Dudovskiy

human resource planning Outline the main principles of human resource planning.

Human Resource Planning also called Manpower planning deals with the identifying the needs of the company for skills, knowledge and labour, and initiating programs and actions to satisfy those needs. It is the process of planning and implementing the movement of employees into, within or out of the company in order to achieve the correct number of workers with relevant skills needed for the company to achieve its objectives. In other words, the human resources planning has to ensure that the required amount of employees with required skills are available whenever needed by the company.

The objectives of Human Resource Planning are the following:

• Deciding Goals: Human Resource Planning helps to achieve individual and organizational goals

• Evaluating future organizational structure and human resource requirements

• Auditing Human Resources on a constant basis in order to prevent overstaffing and understaffing

• Undertaking Job Analysis through analysing the descriptions and responsibilities of specific jobs in order to hire the most suitable candidate for the position

The Human Resource Planning is essential for a company for following reasons:

•           To use the human resources of the company in a most efficient manner to gain maximum benefits. This task would be easier if information regarding the various aspects of human resources are collected and arranged in an organised manner by HR

•           To forecast future requirements for human resources numbers and skills. This is especially important for companies that are planning expansion of operations.

•           To help the companies to better adjust to changes in political, economic, social, and technological environment, where HR plays an important part in mergers, relocation of plants, downsizing, closing of some operations, etc.

•           To determine the levels and standards of recruitment and induction.

•           To devise training and development programs for floor workers and managers.

•           To know the cost of human resources which is especially important in occasions of operations expansion and staff redundancies

•           To assist in productivity bargaining. For instance, HR can offer great assistance to the company when a proposal is being reviewed whether to change some of the operations from using the workforce for this part of operation to installing fully automated technology for that purpose.


There Human Resource Planning has to take into account following four factors:

  1. Quantity. The number of employees needed by the company.
  2. Quality. What skills, knowledge and abilities employees need to possess.
  3. Space. The location where employees are needed
  4. Time. When employees are required and for how long.


There are numerous Human Resources Planning models containing planning stages and processes which do not differ from each other greatly. Following are the main stages of the Strategic Human Resources Planning process offered by many relevant models:

  1. Choosing the strategic direction
  2. Designing the Human Resource Management System
  3. Planning the total amount of workforce
  4. Employing the required amount of human resources
  5. Investing in Human Resource training and development
  6. Evaluating and sustaining organizational competence

Human Resources Planning need to be facilitated in an efficient manner. Inefficient use of Human Resources Planning or the lack of it can result in intangible costs for a company in forms of vacancies remaining unfilled, people without proper qualifications and knowledge being employed to fill the vacancies, vacancies being downsized and employees being laid off in one department of the company while jobs are being advertised for the same vacations in other departments, etc.


The main features of a Learning Organisation. 

Learning Organization is a type of a company which facilitates the continuous learning and development of its staff and continuously transforms itself for the better in order to stay ahead in the competition. There are five main features of learning organizations, which are also referred to as Senge’s five disciplines: systems thinking, personal mastery, mental models, shared vision and team learning.

1.  System thinking can be explained as understanding the interconnections and interrelationships which form the behavior of the system that the company operates in. System thinking states that the activities of a company consist of many elements and functions, and a change in one element or function can result in a change on the whole business practice. According to the system thinking all characteristics of a learning organization must be evident in order for a company to be a truly learning organization.

2.  Personal mastery is the ability and willingness of each individual member of the workforce to learn and develop themselves in order to do their job in a best manner, that is to achieve greater results with minimum resources. Companies whose staff have enhanced level of personal mastery have competitive advantage over companies whose staff have a low level of personal mastery. However, employee’s personal mastery cannot be increased by enforcement; employees have to be motivated in order to increase their ability to learn.

3.  Mental models are believes, attitudes and assumption held by employees which affect their behaviour, and consequently, the company as well. Companies have mental models as well which result in certain behaviour, attitude and believes which effect the workforce. In order to gain competitive edge, companies must develop such mental models in employees which accepts challenges, and encourages achieving greater results.

4.  Shared vision is an integral part of success for a company. All learning organizations develop shared vision, an image of the future which suits both the personal purposes of employees, and the objective of the company. Then, companies have to unite employees around that desired image of the future which will result in increased employee motivation, and gaining competitive edge through greater performance.

5.  Team learning implies gathering as a team and exercising collective thinking to solve existing problems and to ensure greater performance for the company. The advantage of the team learning is that the efficiency of the intelligence gained through team learning is much greater than the sum of the knowledge of each team participant. However, in order to archive this team members have to communicate with each-other openly with the focus on solving the problem, putting aside existing personal opinions about each other.

The efficiency of implementation of Strategic Human Resource Management in a company depends on in what extent the company is a learning organization. Especially it is important in organizing one of the main integral parts of SHRM, which is organizing the development of the workforce.

Staff training and development programs devised by SHRM will have greater positive impact in companies that can be classified as a learning organization due to the following three reasons:

Firstly, employees in learning organizations have an increased level of personal mastery, therefore, they will have an enthusiastic approach to any training and development programs offered by Human Resources Department

Secondly, employees in learning organizations practice team learning, meaning that it is considerably easier to teach them training and development programs, and also they share the knowledge with their colleagues expanding the scope of the programs

Thirdly, employees in learning organizations put their knowledge gained during training and development programs into practice more extensively compared to other organizations, and this increases the positive impact of the programs



Category: HRM