Many factors influencing a company are out of its control. A company’s internal policies, however, directly impact how a business staffs its workforce and are controllable. Human resources planning considers these internal factors to ensure that the business gets the most talented employees at the right time. Aligning planning decisions with strategic goals helps the company maintain productivity. Otherwise, HR planning reacts to external factors without understanding the internal impact.
A company’s mission summarizes its purpose, values and vision. The business sets a definitive direction by establishing clear goals and objectives. Then, when the HR department goes to fill staff positions, it can recruit, interview and hire individuals who possess similar values. For example, a company that wants to adopt sustainable business practices to protect the environment should seek individuals with similar interests.
Organizational culture defines how employees interact with each other. Small businesses with one location usually expect personnel to work in the office. Larger companies may permit employees to work at home. Therefore, new employees at this bigger business must be comfortable attending virtual meetings and dealing with co-workers over the telephone. In general, human resources planning needs to take into account the amount of flexibility in terms of hours, dress code and formality tolerated by the company. Additionally, it ensures staff coverage during all working hours defined by company operational policies. For example, if the company promises customer support 24 hours a day, human resources planning anticipates scheduling workers throughout the day.
Organizational structure impacts human resources planning. Functional, divisional or matrix structures require different staffing. In a functional structure, employees perform specialized tasks. In a divisional structure, each department has representation from each required function, such as sales, marketing, development and support. In a matrix structure, an employee reports to two different bosses, one representing her function and the other managing the division. In each case, effective HR planning ensures positions get filled to ensure productivity and adhere to company, local, state and federal regulations for safety and security.
HR planning must occur within the budget allowed to maximize profitability. Seasonal demands for additional staff may impact hiring plans, so a small business needs to anticipate this. The need for specialized skills may also impact planning. To meet short-term needs, companies may outsource non-core activities. Meeting long-term needs typically involves offering training and development opportunities to the workforce. Additionally, to maximize productivity, morale and loyalty, employers can plan events. If a small business lacks the financial resources to offer comprehensive HR programs, it can provide lists of free resources related to professional development, workforce wellness and team-building. Adjusting to funding levels may make human resources planning challenging for a small business.