Selected strategic Options and HRP implications23rd February 2021
Human resource planning is a process that identifies current and future human resources needs for an organization to achieve its goals. Human resource planning should serve as a link between human resource management and the overall strategic plan of an organization. Ageing workers population in most western countries and growing demands for qualified workers in developing economies have underscored the importance of effective human resource planning.
As defined by Bulla and Scott, human resource planning is ‘the process for ensuring that the human resource requirements of an organization are identified and plans are made for satisfying those requirements’. Reilly defined (workforce planning) as: ‘A process in which an organization attempts to estimate the demand for labour and evaluate the size, nature and sources of supply which will be required to meet the demand. ‘ Human resource planning includes creating an employer brand, retention strategy, absence management strategy, flexibility strategy, (talent management) strategy, (recruitment) and selection strategy.
Businesses typically look three to five years ahead when formulating a strategic plan, and the process results in a document that articulates the company’s vision, mission, big-picture goals and the broad strategies it will use to reach those goals. This planning document is intended to guide leadership in its decision-making.
A key part of strategic planning is assessing the company’s resources. It’s easy for any company to dream big and have stratospheric ambitions, but what the company can realistically achieve is limited by the number and type of resources it has at its disposal. For most businesses, those resources fall into three main categories:
Technology resources: This includes all the equipment, processes and infrastructure the business uses to create the products and services that it brings to market.
Financial resources: Finance comprises all the liquid resources the company can use to carry out its business operations namely cash in hand, short-term and long-term bank deposits, liquid financial investments like stocks and bonds, and approved bank loans.
Human resources: This resource comprises the people whose talents, skills and personal characteristics the business can use to accomplish its strategic goals. While technology and money are important assets, human resources are the most important, because technology and money need people to manage them.
- Assessing the current HR capacity
Develop a skills catalog for your employees so that you have a clear understanding of what your staff currently holds. This employee catalog should include everything from volunteer activities to certifications, of all degrees not just topics pertaining to their particular position. These catalogs can be assessed to deem whether or not an employee is ready to add more responsibility, or to forecast the employee’s future development plans.
- Forecasting HR requirements
This step includes projecting what the HR needs for the future will be based on the strategic goals of the organization. Keep in mind you will need to also accommodate for external challenges that can affect your organization.
- Gap Analysis
During this step you will observe where your organization is currently, and where you want to be in the future. You will identify things such as, the employee count, and the skills evaluation and compare it to what will be needed to achieve your future goal. During this phase you should also review your current HR practices and identify what you are doing that is useful and what you can add, that will help you achieve your goal.
- Developing HR strategies to support the strategies of the organization.
There are 5 HR strategies that you can follow to meet your organizational goals.
- Restructuring strategies: This includes reducing staff, regrouping tasks to create well-designed jobs, and reorganizing work groups to perform more efficiently.
- Training and development strategies: This includes providing the current staff with training and development opportunities to encompass new roles in the organization
- Recruitment strategies: This includes recruiting new hires that already have the skills the organization will need in the future.
- Outsourcing strategies: This includes outreaching to external individuals or organizations to complete certain tasks.
- Collaboration strategies: This includes collaborating with other organizations to learn from how others do things, allow employees to gain skills and knowledge not previously available in their own organization.
Strategic human resource management
Strategic human resource management is “critical importance of human resources to strategy, organizational capability to adapt to change and the goals of the organization”. In other words, this is a strategy that intends to adapt the goals of an organization and is built off of other theories such as the contingency theory as well as institutional theory which fit under the umbrella of organizational theory. These theories look at the universalize, contingency and configuration perspectives to see the effect of human resource practices in organizations.
The universalize perspective says that there are better human resource practices than others and those should be adopted within organization while contingency says that human resource practices need to align with other organization practices or the organizations mission, and configuration perspective is based on how to combine multiple aspects of human resource practices with effectiveness or performance. This can also be viewed as how human resource practices fit vertically or horizontally in an organization. This theory also involves looking at the value of human capital as well as social capital both in and outside of organizations and how this affects human resource practices. Human capital being knowledge and skills of individuals working for the organization and social capital is based on the character and value of relationships in and out of the organization. “Colbert suggests that SHRM should focus on the interactions and processes of the organization’s social system the intentions, choices and actions of people in the system and on HR systems as a coherent whole.”
Resource dependency theory
Resource dependence theory which is the theory that organizations are not self-sustaining there they must depend on outside resources to stay functioning. “Resources and dependence could help to explain how HR practices evolve from the interaction between nonprofits and their environment, how they deploy employee skills, behaviors and how HR systems are managed.”