The purpose of Human Resource (HR) planning is to optimize the allocation, hiring, distribution and retention of staff and link human resources management directly to the company’s overall strategic vision. Effective human resource planning is largely dependant on a planner’s ability to analyze the company’s present conditions and project those conditions into the future. This is done to gauge and predict what human resources will be needed to avoid staff surpluses or shortages.

The larger overarching goal of human resource planning is to support organizational goals. In order to do this effectively and realistically, human resource managers must also analyze labor supply and HR capacity, forecast HR demand and requirements. Often, they’ll be tasked with performing a gap analysis on what is lacking, and then create strategies in order to fill those gaps. 

This can be a combination of restructuring, training, recruitment, policy, outsourcing, and of course, technology adoption. In order to determine which path to take, HR must analyze key drivers like workforce changes, turnover, overtime, contract and detailed employee-level variables, like salary, sick leave, bonus, benefits, new hires, transfers. They then must place these factors in context with the strategic plan, P&L, and cash position. Only with the ability to contextualize and project performance HR managers can bring their human resource planning to the next level.
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