Strategic HR Planning Process in an Organisation


If we fail to plan, then we are planning to fail, a saying we all have heard but seldom do we recognise the importance planning has in both our lives and the life of the organisation. Organisaton needs to make a plan for all its processes and activities. Since people oversee and implement the processes and activities, it is off utmost importance that Organisaton plans for people who would be entrusted with the job of making the organisaton an effective and efficient entity. Planning of Human Resource involve answering a few common questions, for instance:

How many people are required for the job

  • What Sort of people the organization must have
  • How could the business prepare present Human Resource to meet the changing micro and macro environment requirements

Answering the above questions is necessary function of Human Resource Management and is thus called Human Resource Planning or Workplace Planning.

Human Resource Planning/Workforce Planning Defined

Human Resource Planning is about striking a match/fit as defined by Bulla and Scott,1994

"The process for ensuring that the human resource requirements of an organization are identified and plans are made for satisfying those requirements".

Similar to the lines of Bulla and Scott, Reilly (2003) defined it as

"A process in which an organization attempts to estimate the demand for labor and evaluate the size, nature and sources of supply which will be required to meet the demand."

Hard and Soft HR Planning

Hard and Soft HR could be associated with the style of Human Resource Management, where the former more quantitative and asset oriented, involes dealing with people as something of a commodity just as land and machinery whose prime objective is to make maximum return on investment, The latter is a complete contrast where the focus is on Human aspect of employees ,and a need to be treated differently to other resource of the business. Humans need to be provided better work environment, culture where people belong, trust and collaboration and creating a network of knowledge sharing, a orgnisation where people are shown respect and are given all necessary opportunities to grow and perform.

HR Planning and Business Planning

HR and Business planning share a close relationship, were a successful business plan must be complemented by a solid HR plan. A business plan enlists the goals of the organisation and how they intend to achieve them, the important question for the business is WHO do they need to achieve those business goals, and here HR planning establishes its strong link with the business plan, HR planning sees the business plans with the lens of human resource requirements and tries to establish a fit where business plan is achived with the availability of right person at the right job at the right time with the right resources.

Quinn Mills (1983) indicated that human resource planning is: "a decision-making process that combines three important activities"

  • Selecting the right number of skills personnel.
  • Achieving the desired performance by motivating the human resource.
  • Establishing an interaction between business objectives and people-planning activities, thus their is a unity of direction.


Bulla, D N and Scott, P M., (1994). Manpower requirements forecasting: a case example, in (eds) D Ward, T P Bechet and R Tripp, Human Resource Forecasting and Modelling, The Human Resource Planning Society, New York.

Quinn Mills, D., (1983). Planning with people in mind, Harvard Business Review, November December, pp 97 105.

Reilly, P., (2003). Guide to Workforce Planning in Local Authorities, Employers’ Organization for Local Government, London.