A company succeeds in large measure because of the skill, creativity and dedication of its managers and employees. Human resource planning is the process of making sure the company has the right people in the right positions – those who possess the skills, experience and spirit of teamwork required for the company to grow and effectively compete.

Assuring Adequate Staff Levels

A primary function of human resources planning is making certain that various company departments have sufficient staff to complete all the work required to meet the organization’s goals. The business owner also must make sure that the workload is balanced – no individual or department should be so overburdened with work that it is impossible to complete all assigned tasks on time. The results of this type of poor human resource planning include heightened stress levels for employees, burnout, missing deadlines and mistakes and errors. All of these outcomes negatively affect productivity and may result in higher employee turnover.

Matching Skills to Current Organizational Needs

As the company grows, the management function becomes more complex. Instead of everyone reporting to the owner, layers are added to the organization structure. The management team must supervise additional employees. Addressing these changing needs requires the business owner to determine if the current management team has the necessary experience and skills to succeed in a larger, more structured, more complex organization. If he identifies gaps, he creates new positions and hires new people.

Building an Ethical Business Culture

A business owner often creates a code of conduct for employees to follow which defines what is considered ethical conduct in dealing with customers, suppliers and co-workers. The aim of building an ethical culture can be furthered by bringing on new hires who have a track record of high ethical behavior. This may require a more in-depth interviewing process in which the hiring manager asks candidates how they have dealt with ethical dilemmas on the job. Just because a sales manager has a track record of meeting or exceeding quotas in past positions, he may not live up to the ethical standards the owner wants to set for his organization.

Finding Team Players

A critical but difficult aspect of human resource planning is determining whether prospective new hires will fit in with existing members of the team. The owner wants to foster a harmonious work environment characterized by open and honest communication, so the more specifically he can articulate the corporate culture he seeks to create, the better the chances that candidates for new positions can articulate why they believe they would fit in.

Identifying Employees Ready for Advancement

Human resource planning should include creating a path for advancement for each employee. The business owner must assess which employees are ready to move up in the organization and which might need more seasoning in their current positions. He wants to make sure his organization is developing its own in-house managerial talent, and he may provide education and training opportunities to move the employees down the path toward taking on additional responsibilities.