Human resource planning (HRP) is one aspect of strategic HRM. HRP aims to ensure the effective management of human resources, by securing the desired quantity and quality of employees where and when necessary. Definitions of HR planning such as this are fairly common and tend to suggest that HR planning is a straightforward task. In reality, this is far from true. The area of HR planning is very complex and can be fraught with difficulty. A key component of HR planning is forecasting, but anticipating what might happen in the future can be difficult. The world is changing rapidly. While some things such as demographics can be predicted reasonably well, in other areas it is often difficult to predict what will happen in the future. The processes of change are often not linear in nature and the effects of change may set up a chain reaction of events which may be costly and unpredictable. Human resource planning ensures an organisation’s strategic goals are met at the corporate, business and functional levels.
There are three main steps in the Human resource planning HRP process as outlined by Hartel et al. (2007):
Demand forecasting involves estimating the quantity and quality of employees required to meet organisational objectives through forecasting techniques, such as sophisticated computer simulations to simple trend models.
Supply forecasting is comprised of all employees currently employed with the company. The HR department can use these employees to fill current and future staffing vacancies through promotions or transfers.
Filling the gap between demand and supply to ensure skill optimisation. This is the final process of HR planning. To do this, managers need to analyse the supply and demand forecast effectively. For example, by comparing forecasted sales increase and whether the organisation currently has a sufficient amount of skilled employees to meet future demands.
Chapter 2 of your text discusses a wide variety of factors which impact on both planning and strategy, complete with the qualitative and quantitative methods which managers utilise when planning. Emphasis is also placed on the need to evaluate the HR planning to ensure it is meeting the needs of the organisation.
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