Human resources planning and management differ based on the fact that planning is strategic, while management is tactical. An example would be planning to eliminate overtime by recommending specific procedures, then managing the work of employees using those procedures to ensure workers get their work done during regular hours. As companies grow, they assign HR planning duties to a director-level executive, and management duties to a department person who assists the department executive.

Human Resources

Human resources includes functions that go well beyond hiring and firing. HR tasks include creating an organization chart, recruiting, interviewing and hiring, setting compensation levels, developing benefits packages, creating training programs, handling grievances, performing reviews, developing wellness programs, handling legal compliance issues and working with different departments to create optimal staffing levels.


Human resources planning activities include looking at where the company wants to be next year and several years into the future and developing an organization chart that ensures the business has the expert staff needed to reach its goals. Once it has developed an organization chart, the HR planning person creates written job descriptions for each position and sets compensation packages to be able to attract the best employees. HR reviews sales projections and production schedules to ensure proper staffing levels to avoid interruptions in the production process and to avoid the use of more expensive contractors or overtime workers. The planning process also includes creating a policies and procedures guide, which outlines areas such as expense report submissions, applying for vacation days, office dress, harassment polices, safety procedures and the employee review process.


Once HR has planned the company’s personnel needs, it takes steps to ensure they are fulfilled. This includes training managers how to supervise staff, making sure employees have the training and tools they need to do their jobs, communicating to staff the company’s hierarchy, policies and procedures and managing HR processes such as paying employees, enrolling them in benefits programs, answering staff questions, performing reviews, awarding bonuses and giving promotions. A key part of the management process is to analyze goals set during the planning process, such as reviewing payroll costs, productivity and retention levels.


Depending on the size of your business, you might consider outsourcing your strategic planning to an HR firm, then managing your employees internally. You might take the opposite course, developing your own HR plans and then hiring contractors to handle your payroll, benefits enrollment and management, wellness programs, recruitment and training. Some businesses combine the finance and HR departments because of their overlapping responsibilities, separating the two functions when the personnel duties interfere with the finance manager's other responsibilities.