The Essence of the Human Resource Planning Essay


Human Resource Planning (HRP) is a key component of Human Resource Management (HRM). There is a need for organizations to embrace the HRP concept because doing so would allow them to evaluate their future human resource needs.For example, labor shortage or surplus labour would be a sign of lack of planning or poor planning within the organization. However, with HRP, the management can anticipate labor shortage or excess in advance and take corrective actions. This is because HRP allows an organization to employ the right type and number of human resources.Moreover, HRP acts as a good source of valuable information to the organization. This in formation could assist the HR manager in training and development, promotion, recruitment, selection, et cetera (Van Clieaf, 1992, p. 8). Besides, HRP is important when the organization wishes to diversify or expand its operations.In addition, HRP facilitates the smooth transition of change within the organization. The essay is an attempt to explore the HRP function as it affects the organization. To start with, a definition of HRP shall be provided. Thereafter, the essay shall identify the objectives of HRP. The importance of HRP shall also be discussed. Finally, the factors affecting HRP will be determined.


Human resource planning (HRP) is a term used in reference to the steps that an organization can use as it tries to determine the right procedure to use in order to improve the current quality of its human resources (Randhawa, 2007, p. 23).HRP allows the HR manager to predict the expected demand of an organization and, as a result, he/she can plan well so that these demands can be met fully (Senga & Keogh, 2001, p. 449). HRP may also refer to the act of examining and predicting the knowledge, labor requirements and skills of a firm and taking the necessary action so that these requirements are fulfilled.


The main objectives of HRP are to make full use of existing human resources with a view to predicting the future needs of the organization. Furthermore, HRP enables the HR manager to determine any shortages or surpluses in the human resource functions, and to provide the organization with the desirable control measures so that it can have access to the most suitable human resources as the need arises (Randhawa, 2007, p. 23).Moreover, HRP allows an organization to foresee the impact of technology on human resources and jobs and take corrective actions in advance. Consequently, the management is in a better position to verify the level of employee recruitment and training that it needs to adopt. Besides, a good HR plan enables an organization to achieve its diversification and expansion goals in an efficient and effective manner.


Human resource planning enables an organization to recruit employees based on the required competencies and skills. Consequently, it improves the chances of a business entity to succeed (Min-Huei, 2004, p. 290). For this reason, it is important to integrate one’s business plan with the HR plan so that one can establish the kind of resources that will be necessary to achieve organizational goals.A good human resource plan enables an organization to prepare for employee recruitment, staff turnover, and strategic hiring. In addition, it enables the management to reduce stress in case of emergency hiring. An emergency is also able to upgrade its workforce because HRP allows it to establish highly talented human resources.In addition, the emergency can reduce any resistance to change because HRP allows the HR manager to attend to the needs of its workforce. On the other hand, the HRP system enables a firm to adapt to change very fast as the different units of the firm are in alignment with the desirable change.Because HRP plays a crucial role in the operations of an organization, the human resource manager should endeavor to ensure that the emergency has put in place measures that will facilitate its implementation. However, there are a number of factors that impacts on HRP and it is important that the human resource manager is able to identify them.

Factors affecting HRP

Type and strategy adopted by the organisation

Based on the nature of organizational requirements, we can decide on the type and number of human resources at supervisory and management level. For instance, we can decide if a firm is involved in the provision of services, or in the production process (Randhawa, 2007, p. 24).In this case, organizations involved in the provision of services are by and large, simple, compared to manufacturing organisations. An emergency can decide to embrace a proactive or a reactive approach towards HRP.A reactive approach is whereby the firm takes action on a need-basis. In contrast, a proactive approach is whereby the firm anticipates the needs of its personnel first, and then plans the necessary action to take.

Organisational growth cycle and planning

The production process and the nature of employees in an emergency will be determined by the type of emergency. In addition, the human resource needs of an emergency are determined by the strategic plan adopted.As such, the growth cycle of a firm will affect its HRP and it is important, therefore, for a human resource manager to take appropriate steps to mitigate the negative consequences involved.According to the organizational lifecycle model, firms undergo a comparatively predictable phase of growth (Randhawa, 2007, p. 27).There is usually little or no growth during the start-up stage of a business because this is the time that the company is hiring its workforce.In addition, management is busy accumulating the necessary capital to facilitate growth and expansion. Also, the research and development department of an organization is busy trying to develop various products and services for the market.Once business opportunities begin to emerge, the firm is forced to increase its workforce to match its growth rate. It also has to increase its infrastructure and resources (Randhawa, 2007, p. 23). This then ushers in the growth stage where firms increase their workforces and resources significantly.After an organization reaches maturity stage, growth reduces (Senga & Keogh, 2001, p. 450). By this time, the firm shall have amassed a lot of profits and assets, having enjoyed significant growth in the market. It is important for the HR manger to recognize the growth stage of his/her organization so that he/she can adjust to the HRP strategy in line with the growth stage.

Environmental uncertainty

Short planning period is characterized by fast changes in the economic and social conditions. On the other hand, the demand patterns for products and services tend to be unstable, while competitors are many and varied (Randhawa, 2007, p. 28).Also, the management practices are poor. In contrast, organization characterized by a long planning period enjoy a strong competitive position in the market. The demand patterns for the products and services offered by such organizations are relatively stable, while the political, social, and technological changes tend to be evolutionary as opposed to rapid.Furthermore, long planning period is associated with strong management practices (Randhawa, 2007, p. 28). Like the other processes in an organization, HRP is not immune to environmental factors like political, social, and economic environment.As such, the HR manager needs to make the necessary changes even as he/she endeavors to formulate training and development, recruitment, and selection programmes.

Time horizons

The nature of the HRP will also affect the future of the company. Plans tend to be short-term or long-term in nature. In this case, shorter plans are characterized by a higher level of uncertainly compared with the long-term plans.Because HRP is affected by time factor, human resource planning differs markedly when we are dealing with a long-term plan in comparison with a short-term plan (Randhawa, 2007, p. 29). In this case, a short-term plan lasts between 6 and 12 months while a long-term plan is between 3 and 10 years.The HR manager should distinguish between the long-term plans and the short-term plans of the organization so that the firm can cushion itself from potential negative outcomes.

Nature of forecasting information

HRP decisions are often affected by the general information and strategic decisions available to a firm (Christopher & Lee, 2001). Some of the specific information that could prove essential for the HRP function include information on skills inventories, job analysis, recruitment sources, retirement plans, turnover data, management inventories, and labor market analysis.

Nature of jobs

Positions in the organization may fall vacant due to promotion, retirement, demotion, transfer, and diversification and expansion decisions (Boyd, 2008). It is important, therefore, that the HR manager is informed in advance on the type of vacant jobs (Randhawa, 2007, p. 29). For instance, filling low-level employee positions is by far much easier in comparison with any managerial position.


There has been an increase in the number of organization off-loading part of their work to outside companies, in recent years (Randhawa, 2007, p. 30). This has been made possible thanks to the process of outsourcing that is slowly becoming a common feature in modern day business environment. Therefore, outsourcing affects such decisions as additional hiring, or giving incentives to surplus labor.


Human Resource Planning (HRP) is a key component of the human resource function within an organization. This is because it enables the Human Resource manager to recruit and select the right number of people in a timely manner, thereby, ensuring that the various tasks of an organization are completed efficiently and effectively.As a result, the organization is in a position to attain its overall objective as the HRP matches the plans and objectives of the organization with the number of employees required to fulfill the set objectives. There are a number of factors that affects HRP and it is important that the HR manager is aware of them so that he/she can implement proper measures in the shortest time possible.These factors include the type and strategy adopted by an organization, organizational growth cycle and planning, environmental certainly, time horizons, nature of jobs, outsourcing, and quality and nature of forecasting information.

Reference List

Boyd, M. (2008). Human Resources Planning: The Long and Short of it. Retrieved from

Christopher, M., & Lee, H. (2001). Supply Chain Confidence: The Key to Effective Supply Chains Through Improved Visibility and Reliability. Retrieved from

Min-Huei, C. (2004). A Study to Improve Organizational Performance: A View from SHRM. Journal of American Academy of Business, 4 (1&2): 289-291.

Randhawa, G. (2007). Human Resource Management. New Delhi: Atlantic Publishers Senga, B., & Keogh, W. (2001). Integrating human resource strategy and strategic planning to achieve business excellence. Total Quality Management, 10 (4&5): 447-453.

Van Clieaf, M. (1992). Human Resource Planning. The Human Resource Planning Society, 15 (1): 1-14

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