What Is Strategic HR Planning?

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  • Written By: Carrieanne Larmore
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 20 October 2019
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Strategic human resources (HR) planning is the link between management and the strategic plan of the business. The objective of strategic HR planning is to ensure that a business has adequate human resources in order for the business to achieve its goals. The strategic HR planning process includes conducting a situational analysis, assessing a business's human resources capacity, forecasting demand and developing an action plan.

The main objective of strategic HR planning is to meet the future needs of the organization. In order for this department to meet its objective, it has to clearly understand the current situation and what the plan requires. If the company wants to develop new products, reach new markets or expand operations, then it may need additional human capital to fulfill its goals. The human resources department may have to hire additional employees, provide additional benefits to those that will have more responsibilities or move employees to different locations.


Conducting a situational analysis typically is the first stage of strategic HR planning. This situational analysis takes into account the strategic plan of the business and its competitive environment. The human resources department will need to understand the goals of the business, along with time lines, benchmarks and specific needs. If the business will be inventing a product for a new market to be released in a year, for instance, it may need to hire a specialist for that market within the next couple of months in order to support the company's goals. The analysis should also include information about the business's competitors, such as the size of the workforces, education levels, advanced skills and performance expectations of employees.

Assessing its human resources capacity helps a business understand any current limitations in carrying out its strategic plan. It will need to create a list of employees along with their skills, abilities, experience and education. Including results from performance evaluations can also be useful in understanding the capabilities of each employee. This list can help the human resources department in its strategic HR planning to determine if additional employees will be needed, or if anyone can be promoted, moved, or given additional responsibilities.

Forecasting a company's demand for employees is needed in strategic HR planning in order to create an action plan. By using the business's strategic plan as a guide, it can determine the job types and skills sets that will be required to accomplish its goals as well as how many employees it will need for each position. This forecast should include a timeline for when these additional employees must be hired or if current employees will need to go through special training, especially if the business expects these employees to be ready at a specific time in the future.

Writing the action plan is the final step of strategic HR planning. This action plan includes a business's objectives, situational analysis, human resources capacity and forecasts. It also discusses the gap in the number of employees it currently has and the number it has forecasted. This action plan should also outline any constraints to fulfilling the objectives, such as if the office can only fit an additional 30 employees when 50 will be needed.


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