Human Resource Planning

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Human Resource Planning
^ Brian J. Smith, John W. Boroski, and George E. Davis -

INTRODUCTION Human Resource (HR) planning is the formal process of linking business strategy with human resource practices. Approaches to human resource planning can be arrayed along a continuum ranging from an "add-on" to business strategy to a separate planning process (Figure 1). At one end of the continuum, HR planning is little more than a postscript to a business planning process. After engaging in an extensive business planning process in which business product, market, and technological directions are defined, questions about HR practices are raised. These questions deal with the structure, competencies, accountabilities, organization, and leadership required to make the strategy work. At this end of the continuum, HR issues are an afterthought to business strategy. They receive relatively little attention and become an appendage to business planning. In the extreme, line managers consider the HR questions as an afterthought to "real" planning efforts. At the other end of the continuum, HR planning is a distinct and separate planning process. The HR department not only initiates the effort for HR planning, but executes and administers the plan. In this case the HR plan is more a process for shaping priorities for the HR function than for the business. In extreme cases, HR plans are created with little or no awareness or input by line managers. While the outcome may be an elegant document, these isolated HR plans add little value to the business because they are separate from the business planning process. The real challenge of HR planning is to integrate business strategy and HR practices. In these initiatives, HR planning is an integral part of a business planning process. HR planning is engaged in by HR professionals working with line managers to ensure that the HR…...

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