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HR Strategy: What is Human Resources Planning and Why is it Essential?

March 13, 2019

Benjamin Franklin is arguably one of the most quotable of our Founding Fathers. He was a well-spoken man, an author and an orator with many accomplishments, including founding the University of Pennsylvania. His eloquent speeches helped inspire the American Revolution. Is it any wonder that he ended up on the $100 bill?

Many of Franklin’s sayings still have resonance in our society, but when it comes to American business, this one is particularly applicable: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail,”

Our lives are full of planning. We make a list before we go to the grocery store. We start talking about where we’re going to go on our next vacation months (and sometimes years) ahead of time. We begin planning and saving for retirement long before it is even on the horizon. Nevertheless, companies and businesses often fail to emphasize the importance of their HR strategies. This can result in a major loss of opportunity.

Definition of Human Resources Planning

Human resources planning is the process of projecting the upcoming personnel needs of your company. Many people think that HR planning is limited to mapping out your projected staffing needs, but that’s only part of it. Human resources planning can be the linchpin to the successful growth and development of your company. It involves not only projecting new hires, but developing developing and retaining your current talent in our competitive labor market. Human resources planning is one of the greatest HR solutions your company can implement.

Why should you Develop a Human Resources Plan?

A good human resources plan will help shape and guide your company into the future. The lack of a human resources plan can limit your company’s growth. For one thing, you could be left scrambling to find the right people once you realize you need them. A failure to develop a human resources plan can also affect company morale. When your employees feel there isn’t anything for them to do, they will become restless and more receptive to opportunities outside your company. If they’re underutilized for too long, they can become worried about the possibilities of layoffs. When you’re overstaffed, those concerns may prove to be more premonition than paranoia.

Having a human resources plan helps your company crystalize your marketing strategy and enables your human resources administration team to focus their training efforts and to better target recruiting. Additionally, you can use the information you gather to increase employee retention by improving your employee benefits and services offerings, and by using your increased profits for better employee bonuses.

How Do You Develop a Human Resources Plan?

At its heart, a human resources plan is a map to your company’s future. The ultimate goal is to match your future talent supply with your company needs. The forecasting period can be used for anticipating your staffing needs for the coming period, whether it’s a quarter, a financial year, or a longer period. Before you begin, though, you need to be aware of your starting point.

Your company runs on people – people who meet with clients and sell things, people who perform the work, and all of your administrative personnel, such as Human Resources and Payroll. You will need take stock of your staff in order to find their places of strength and opportunities for growth.  Don’t limit your talent audit to employees who meet and perform work for clients. Your talent includes your entire team, even people who aren’t normally in client-facing roles. You could have a business analyst who has experience in a particular industry, or someone in HR who has worked with an HRM package that you are considering.

After you complete an inventory of your talent, you will need to work with marketing and business development. You’ll need to talk about your current clients and their needs, as well as your future development plans. Once you know where you are, where you’re going, and what talent you have on hand, you’ll be able to develop an effective human resources plan. With such a plan in place, you can truly utilize HR to move confidently into the future.
For more information on how Commonwealth Payroll & HR can work with you on your strategic human resources planning, call us today at 877-245-1159.

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