Human resources planning is a proactive process used to identify the best way to allocate resources and adapt to employment changes. In general, the purpose is to align employment needs and recruitment to the goals of the organization. While effective HR planning is typically a good thing, this process does have some drawbacks.
HR planning is especially useful in organizations that deal with cyclical business, constant employee transition or turnover and variable workforce demand. With effective planning, you increase your ability to have the right number of workers in the right locations and jobs at any given point in time. Additionally, HR can spend time determining what skills and experiences qualify a candidate for each particular job.
Talent management is a big part of an HR planning process. This involves mapping out the employee needs for the organization based on strategic objectives. HR directors often sit on executive management teams to align recruiting and retention strategies with company goals and strategies. In the race for top talent, companies that use HR planning know what they need from employees and what workers expect in exchange for their abilities and performance, giving those businesses a talent management advantage.
A primary drawback of an HR planning system is the costs. It typically takes more human resources personnel or dedicated time to proactively plan for employment needs than to react to situations as they come about. Additionally, HR planning is often managed through human resources information systems. These programs aid in aligning talent to company job needs, but require investing in the necessary software and hardware.
Too Much Planning
One of the risks of proactive planning is that you may go too far and create worse problems. In HR planning, the risk is that you overestimate staffing needs and end up hiring more employees than you need for production. This explains the attraction behind HR involvement with strategic management. If you poorly define the competencies required for success in given jobs, you may end up aggressively pursuing employees and offer strong compensation with little potential for effective performance.
Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.