Strategic Planning and HR Planning, Linking The Process

Strategic HR Planning

Strategic HR planning is an important component of strategic HR management. It links HR management directly to the strategic plan of your organization. Most mid- to large sized organizations have a strategic plan that guides them in successfully meeting their missions. Organizations routinely complete financial plans to ensure they achieve organizational goals and while workforce plans are not as common, they are just as important.

Even a small organization with as few as 10 staff can develop a strategic plan to guide decisions about the future. Based on the strategic plan, your organization can develop a strategic HR plan that will allow you to make HR management decisions now to support the future direction of the organization. Strategic HR planning is also important from a budgetary point of view so that you can factor the costs of recruitment, training, etc. into your organization’s operating budget.

Strategic HR management is defined as:

Integrating human resource management strategies and systems to achieve the overall mission, strategies, and success of the firm while meeting the needs of employees and other stakeholders.

Strategic HR planning

The overall purpose of strategic HR planning is to:

  • Ensure adequate human resources to meet the strategic goals and operational plans of your organization – the right people with the right skills at the right time
  • Keep up with social, economic, legislative and technological trends that impact on human resources in your area and in the sector
  • Remain flexible so that your organization can manage change if the future is different than anticipated

Strategic HR planning predicts the future HR management needs of the organization after analyzing the organization’s current human resources, the external labour market and the future HR environment that the organization will be operating in. The analysis of HR management issues external to the organization and developing scenarios about the future are what distinguishes strategic planning from operational planning.

The basic questions to be answered for strategic planning are:

  • Where are we going?
  • How will we develop HR strategies to successfully get there, given the circumstances?
  • What skill sets do we need?

The strategic HR planning process

  • The strategic HR planning process has four steps:
  • Assessing the current HR capacity
  • Forecasting HR requirements
  • Gap analysis
  • Developing HR strategies to support organizational strategies

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