Understand the Characteristics of Human Resource Planning


Have you observed the negative effects of poor human resource planning in your company? Could you recall a time you sensed a mismatch between applicants and skills or did your HR planners find it difficult to fill some positions in your organization? In this article we delve into the telltale characteristics of human resource planning and learn how to streamline this process for efficiency and efficacy.

You may not easily fathom that a poorly functional and incompetent human resources department reflects the overall uncompetitive state of your organization. It’s true though: the indifferent attitude of your top management and HR will trickle down across employee hierarchies and different organizational levels and the productivity of your team may dwindle.

In turn, your employees may become unproductive, lack enthusiasm and become disengaged with their duties. Therefore, your business strategy is as good as your human resource planning. So, what is human resource planning and why should you pay attention to your organization’s characteristics in human resources?

Definition of human resource planning

Human resource planning is the procedure by which members of the human resource department recognize the need for future training and hiring of employees. Every organization must have the right talent pool to meet organizational objectives. 

For example, businesses may struggle with organizing employees’ leave and holiday absences. HR planning needs to take this into account. With TimeTrack Leave Management, managers have a comprehensive overview of employee working schedules.

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The human resource management system is also designed to identify departments and units that lack effective human resources and develop strategic steps to meet these needs. One such solution is performance reviews of long-term talent and staff who seek more responsibilities.

Other functions include:

  1. Anticipation of job changes, skills development, over or under-staffing
  2. Facilitating business growth and operations
  3. Adapting the organization’s culture to its technological needs and powering product innovations
  4. Preparing organizations for cultural and generational shifts while adjusting to a globalized economy
  5. Mitigating risks and implementing successful onboarding operations
  6. Complying with state, local and federal regulations and laws



Why is human resource planning crucial?

A company is as good as its staff. So, human resource planning process involves reviewing the current workforce, job titles, shift planning and skills needs that will improve company operations.

Many companies can benefit from automating parts of the process, for example, with TimeTrack Duty Roster. Excellent HR planning will save money in the long term as only the right skills and capacity needs will be met, and they will realize a high return on investment through the advancement of employees’ professional capabilities through training.


Invest in HR planning

Through effective human resource planning, organizations can adapt to the changing needs in the talent pool and devise avenues to help the organization acclimate to industry changes for sustained productivity and profitability. This is important, especially where the company has identified new niches in new markets.

HR planning has evolved into a continuous process for making strategic hiring and training decisions, particularly for future needs. This is important because human resource management understands the needs of prospective employees, including work balance and other specific benefits.

Furthermore, effective human resource planning consolidates organizational efforts towards high productivity. HR planning promotes business continuity and productivity by determining future human resources and talent continuity.

Characteristics of human resource planning

To effectively implement the required strategic approach, you need to understand the characteristics of human resource planning. They are detailed below.

Continuous process

Human resource planning is a continuous process through which the abilities, skills and qualifications of the workforce are enhanced. Due to the shifting forces of the external environment, human resource planning must proffer solutions to such changing factors, human resource planning must continually develop to meet the needs of the moment.


Human resource planning is tasked with the responsibility of matching the right candidate to the right job at the right time for the attainment of the organizational goals with minimal risk. Illuminate the process further by comparing OKR vs smart goals.

Think of the HR management system as future-oriented to maintain the composition and size of resource needs.

Optimum use of human resources

Human resource planning focuses on the optimum use of human and material resources within an organization. It examines how employees keep their promise of productivity while identifying the capacities of employees to perform their current and future work.

Exact numbers and types of talents

The process determines the right talents who can perform the required job at the right time. One of the toughest challenges in human resource management is getting the appropriate candidate for the work at the right time.

Linked with a corporate plan

Human resource planning is an inseparable part of the general corporate plan. It is often planned at tactical, operational and strategic organizational levels.

Environmental influence

Environmental changes influence human resource planning. This explains why it is updated based on changes in the external environment. This aids resource efficiency by reducing wastage while boosting the confidence of the workforce.

Incorporate HR planning into a business plan

Organizational strategy analysis

The successful management of the workforce reflects a strong organizational strategy and effective utilization of human resource planning. Begin your human resource planning with an analysis of the company’s plans and goals, from which you craft the human resource mission statement and address employment relations, recruitment, retirement and benefits.

Human resource inventory

After the analysis, take stock of the current labor force, including performance reviews. This helps you to understand human capacity needs before forecasting.

Forecast future human resource needs

This stage entails planning, predicting and preparing for the demand and supply of a future workforce. With employee data, including employee time audits, line managers can carry out job analysis and forecast future human resources needs in the workplace

Gap analysis

Gaining insights from data on existing employees, you can estimate if gaps exist and if you will need more qualified employees. Your forecast will identify if you need redistribution or relocation of the current workforce.

Formulate an action plan

After gap estimation, formulate your action plan. This takes into consideration all the data and insight you have gained.

Then create a step-wise journey from where you are to where you want your business to be in the future. The action plan may include recruiting, training and transitioning the existing workforce.

Integrate decisions into company operations

With action plans, you can now integrate human resource planning into business operations. Funnel high-potential staff to various departments while integrating new employees gradually and pairing them with current staff to increase productivity.

The final stage involves observing new practices, assessing their effectiveness and making adjustments as needed. Cash in on performance and mid-year reviews to ask frontline workers about your human resource planning and seek feedback from employee self-evaluations.

This process is vital because it will give you insight into how procedures, policies and practices affect your entire workforce.

Tips for human resource planning

Be growth-oriented

No matter the stage of your workforce, you should always plan for future human resources needs. Change is inevitable. Make provisions for your future job needs. Create benchmarks for new positions and cross-train your employees to imbue staff with the capacity to meet more job needs.

Constantly evaluate the human resources

Conduct a regular assessment of your workforce’s capacity and industry standards. In this way, you can gain insights into how your workforce compares with your competitors and observe relevant trends.

Align the talent pool with the company’s vision

Identify your employees’ inherent talents and help develop them. According to a study on performance, manager training cut employee turnover in half and increased job satisfaction. This emphasizes the need to equip your workforce with new capabilities in line with your corporate strategy.

Plan for internal succession

Training with performance reviews will reveal staff with management and leadership capabilities, identify personal strengths and weaknesses, highlight career goals and define your promotion strategy.

Embrace analytics

Collect data regularly from every department in your workforce. You will need current and relevant insights on retention, shift scheduling, productivity, managerial effectiveness, training, recruitment, onboarding and departmental costs.


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