Human Resource Planning

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Human Resource Planning (HRP) is a difficult topic to discuss, particularly at the time of increasingly disruptive business environments causing far more disturbance, which increase the tension between the need for planning and the difficulties of prediction. Although a difficult subject, the underlying purpose is straightforward, HRP is referring with having the right people at right place and with right skills.

The intensions of this document are to check the nature of, and to what extent companies are able to manage this complexity. For this document, different firms have been used in order to identify if there are any firm-specific differences regarding HRP traditions.

Results from our investigation of the studied firms shows that the degree of stability in their respective firms, in terms of employee turnover and economical fluctuations, clearly affects the way in which they approach HRP.


Human Resource Management, Strategic Planning, Human Resource Planning.

Organizations are under increasing pressure to find ways to implement their strategies in a fast changing business environment, in which planning lifecycles tend to shrink to reduce the ‘time-to-market’ intervals. At the same time, organizations are putting more and more emphasis on adjusting the organization and employees in their attempt to achieve business goals .

“HRP is usually seen as an essential feature of the ideal-type model of human resource management, even if it does not always appear to be given high priority in practice“(Rothwell, 1995).

The issue of efficient planning for people was brought up before the introduction of human resource management. One possible explanation was presented by Storey (1995), who presents that as the developing business environment forces organizations to plan effectively and efficiently for the people resources, the rapid changes in the business environment also makes it difficult for organizations to plan with accuracy. In the light of this we want to investigate to what extent organizations plan for HR in today’s business environment.

2.Human Resource Planning – Concept Clarification
As in many areas of personnel management, there is confusion about the precise meanings of the terms used to describe the human resource planning functions.

According to Taylor (1998),

“The main distinction is between those who see the term ‘human resource planning’ as having broadly the same meaning as the longer established terms ‘workforce planning’ and ‘manpower planning,’ and those who believe ‘human resource planning’ to represent something rather different.”

According to Bramham (1994),

“There is a big distinction between the two terms. He argues that ‘manpower planning’ is essentially quantitative in nature and is concerned with forecasting the demand and supply of labour, while ‘human resource planning’ has a far wider meaning, including plans made across the whole range of personnel and development activity. These activities include soft issues such as motivation, employee attitudes and organizational culture.”

The opposite opinion is that, the term ‘human resource planning’ is simply a more modern and gender-neutral term with essentially the same meaning as ‘manpower planning.’ Both are concerned with looking ahead and using systematic techniques to assess the extent to which an organization will be able to meet its requirements for labour in the future (Taylor, 1998). They are thus undertaken in order to assess whether an organization is likely to have ‘the right people, with the right skills, in the right places at the right time’ (Ibid). According to this definition, human resource planning is a relatively specialized sub-discipline within the general activity undertaken by personnel managers.

There are different views of the...
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