Human resources are an important corporate asset and the overall performance of companies depends upon the way it is used. In order to realize company objectives, it is essential to have a human resource plan. Human resources planning (also called employment or personnel planning) is essentially the process of getting the right number of qualified people into the right job at the right time so that an organization can meet its objectives. It is a system of matching the supply of people (existing employees and those to be hired or searched for) with openings the organization expects over a given time frame.
Human Resource Planning (HRP) is a forward looking function. It tries to assess human resources requirements in advance keeping the production schedules market fluctuations demand forecasts, etc. in the background. The Human resource plan is subject to revision, of course and is tuned to the requirements of an organization from time to time. It is an integral part of the overall corporate plan and reflects the broad thinking of management about manpower needs within the organization. The focus of the plan is always on getting the right number of qualified people into the organization at the right time, To this end human resource plans are prepared for varying time periods, i.e. short term plans covering a time frame of 2 years and long term plans encompassing a period of 5 or more years
The basic purpose of having a human resource plan is to have an accurate estimate of the number of employees required, with matching skill requirements to meet organizational objectives. It provides information about the manner in which existing personnel are employed, the kind of skills required for different categories of jobs and human resource requirements over a period of time in relation to organizational objectives, It would also give an indication of the lead time that is available to select and train the required number of additional manpower.
More specifically HR planning is required to meet the following objectives:
1) Forecast personnel requirements: HR planning is essential to determine the future manpower needs in an organization. In the absence of such a plan, it would be difficult to have the services of the right kind of people at the right time.
2) Cope with changes: HR planning is required to cope with changes in market conditions, technology products and government regulations in an effective way. These changes may often require the services of people with the requisite technical knowledge and training. In the absence of an HR plan, we may not be in a position to enlist their services in time.
3) Use existing manpower productively: By keeping an inventory of existing personnel in an enterprise by skill, level, training, educational qualifications, work experience it will be possible to utilize the existing resources more usefully in relation to the job requirements. This also helps in decreasing wage and salary costs in the long run,
4) Promote employees in a systematic manner: HR planning provides useful information on the basis of which management decides on the promotion of eligible personnel in the organization. In the absence of an HR plan, it may be difficult to ensure regular promotions to competent people on justifiable basis.
Human Resource Planning is a highly important and useful activity. If used properly it offers a number of benefits:
Reservoir of talent: The organization can have a reservoir of talent at any point of time. People with requisite skills are readily available to carry out the assigned tasks.
Prepare people for future: People can be trained, motivated and developed in advance and this helps in meeting future needs for high quality employees quite easily. Likewise, Human resources shortages can also be met comfortably (when people quit the organizations for various reasons ) through proper human resources planning.
Expand or contract: If the organizations want to expand its scale of operations it can go ahead easily. Advance planning ensures a continuous supply of people with requisite skills who can handle challenging jobs easily.