• Search Search Please fill out this field.
  • Building Your Business
  • Becoming an Owner
  • Business Plans

Management and Human Resources Business Plans

The management portion of your business plan, the hr portion of your business plan, frequently asked questions (faqs).

As a startup, it’s never easy to come up with a business plan, let alone the management and human resources sections of a business plan. Despite that, it’s important that you start your business plan for human resources as soon as possible. Doing so gives your management goals a plan that will guide you and keep your business on track as it grows. 

The key components of your human resources business plan should include your organizational structure, the philosophy and needs of your HR department, the number of employees you want to hire, how you plan to manage them, and all the estimated costs related with personnel.

You’ll want to start your HR business plan by outlining your own managerial experience and skills as well as those of your team. Highlight the roles of each member of your team, and any particular areas of strength or deficiency in your personnel lineup. For example, your HR team may be strong in compliance and conflict resolution but weak in hiring. 

Don't worry if you don’t have a complete team in place when you write your HR business plan. Simply use this section to outline the organizational structure along with job descriptions, how you plan to recruit key team members, and what their responsibilities will be.

This section should look like a pyramid with you at the top and will likely have lateral positions. Be as specific as possible when defining an employee's responsibilities because this is what will drive your business.

Do You Need an HR Manager?

If you’re a solo practitioner, you may not think of including an HR manager in your management business plan. However, if you expect to hire non-managerial employees (such as salespeople or clerical workers), you should consider recruiting a human resources manager.

If hiring a human resources manager can’t be done, consider a human resources consultant. Human resource management requires an immense amount of time and paperwork, and an experienced HR consultant will be able to quickly get your payroll and benefits program up and running, affording you more time to concentrate on growing the business. Human resource responsibilities should include:

  • Handling FICA and unemployment taxes and paperwork
  • Ensuring compliance with the Family and Medical Leave Act
  • Staying on top of IRS filings

There are plenty of companies that offer HR management platforms tailored to each business's needs. Research these companies and be sure to include their estimated cost in your HR business plan.

When you develop the HR portion of your business plan, begin by including a brief overview of your HR strategy. Investors may be curious about how your payroll will be handled and the associated costs of administering it, as well as the type of corporate culture you plan to create. Specific items to highlight in the HR section include:

  • Payscale: Show the salaries for managers and non-managers based on the market for those jobs.
  • Vacation time: Describe your vacation-time policy. How much time do employees get? How quickly does it accrue? Vacation time is not required by law, but most firms offer vacation time to stay competitive and keep employees refreshed. 
  • Insurance: Health insurance is a common staple benefit, although skyrocketing prices have forced many firms to cut back on this benefit. If you can’t afford a health plan, look into subsidizing one with employees paying the rest. Alternatively, inquire if a professional insurance representative can help you get a bulk rate.
  • Additional benefits: Other things to consider include life insurance, a 401(k) and matching funds, bereavement leave, religious and floating holidays, and a bonus structure, if applicable.

In addition to the key elements above, it helps to have a framework from which to build your HR business plan. Here’s a basic outline that can help you get started: 

  • Figure out what your human resources department would need. 
  • Determine a strategy for recruiting talent.
  • Formulate your hiring process. 
  • Develop a training program for new employees. 
  • Determine how much you want to pay your team (this is a good spot for payscale info)
  • Create performance standards

It may be overwhelming to contemplate these benefits and their costs in the early stages of setting up your business, but in a competitive labor market, your firm needs to offer enough to entice qualified people and, more importantly, to keep them happy.

Consider revisiting your management and HR business plans every couple of years to see if you need to create action steps to refine your processes.

What should be in an HR business plan?

An HR business plan should include a mix of the steps you plan to take to launch an effective HR department, as well as specifics about how you plan to handle time off, insurance, and other benefits you plan to offer.

How do I write a human resources plan?

It helps to start with a simple framework. Try to break the plan down into sections: HR needs, recruitment, hiring, training, pay, and performance reviews. From there, incorporate other aspects of HR, like benefits and promotions.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce. " Does Your Small Business Need an HR Department? "

 University of Minnesota. “ Human Resources Management: 2.2 Writing the HRM Plan .”

Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. “ FY 2020-2022 Strategic Business Plan: Human Resources .”

Finance Strategists Logo

  • Human Resource Planning (HRP)

what is human resources in business plan

Written by True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

Reviewed by subject matter experts.

Updated on July 12, 2023

Get Any Financial Question Answered

Table of contents, what is human resource planning (hrp).

Human Resource Planning (HRP) is the process of systematically analyzing and forecasting an organization's current and future human resource needs, and developing strategies to meet those needs.

This involves identifying the right number of employees with the appropriate skills, knowledge, and experience to effectively accomplish the organization's goals and objectives.

HRP is a crucial component of business planning and finance, as it ensures that an organization's workforce is aligned with its strategic direction and can adapt to changes in the business environment.

HRP directly impacts an organization's ability to achieve its goals and objectives by ensuring that the workforce is well-prepared, skilled, and motivated.

HRP also contributes to the financial health of a company by optimizing workforce productivity, minimizing costs associated with hiring and training, and reducing employee turnover.

Additionally, effective HRP enables businesses to respond more quickly and efficiently to changes in the external environment, such as technological advancements, economic fluctuations, and shifting market demands.

This adaptability is crucial for maintaining a competitive advantage and achieving long-term success.

The HRP Process

Environmental scanning.

The HRP process begins with environmental scanning, which involves collecting and analyzing information about the internal and external factors that may impact an organization's workforce.

This can include examining economic trends, technological advancements, demographic changes, industry competition, and government regulations, as well as assessing the company's internal strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT analysis).

By conducting a thorough environmental scan, organizations can gain valuable insights into the factors that may affect their workforce and identify potential opportunities and challenges that need to be addressed through HRP.


Forecasting is a critical step in the HRP process, as it involves estimating the future demand for and supply of human resources within the organization.

This includes predicting the number of employees needed, the types of skills and competencies required, and the availability of internal and external talent to meet these needs.

Forecasting can be accomplished through various methods, such as trend analysis, regression analysis, or expert judgment.

Accurate forecasting is essential for developing effective HRP strategies and ensuring that the organization has the right people in the right roles at the right time.

Job Analysis

Job analysis is the process of collecting, analyzing, and documenting information about the tasks, duties, and responsibilities of each job within an organization.

This information is used to create detailed job descriptions and specifications, which are essential for HRP as they provide a clear understanding of the skills, knowledge, and abilities required for each role.

A thorough job analysis helps organizations identify the competencies needed to perform each job effectively and serves as a foundation for workforce planning, recruitment, training, performance management, and career development initiatives.

Supply Analysis

Supply analysis involves assessing the current workforce's skills, knowledge, and abilities to determine whether the organization has the necessary human resources to meet its strategic objectives.

This includes evaluating the number of employees, their skills and competencies, and their potential for growth and development.

By conducting a supply analysis, organizations can identify existing talent gaps and develop targeted strategies to address them, such as training and development programs, succession planning , or external recruitment.

Demand Analysis

Demand analysis focuses on estimating the organization's future human resource requirements based on its strategic goals and objectives.

This involves projecting the number of employees needed, the skills and competencies required, and the anticipated changes in workforce composition due to factors such as turnover, retirements, and promotions.

A comprehensive demand analysis enables organizations to develop targeted HRP strategies that align their workforce with their strategic direction and ensure they have the right people in place to achieve their goals.

Gap Analysis

Gap analysis is the process of comparing the organization's current human resource supply with its future demand to identify any discrepancies.

This includes evaluating the differences in the number of employees, skills, and competencies required to meet the organization's strategic objectives.

By conducting a gap analysis, organizations can determine whether they have a surplus or shortage of human resources and develop appropriate strategies to address these gaps.

This can include recruitment and hiring initiatives, training and development programs, or workforce restructuring efforts.

Action Planning

Action planning is the final step in the HRP process, which involves developing and implementing strategies to address the identified gaps between the current workforce supply and future demand.

This can include initiatives such as recruiting new employees, providing training and development opportunities for existing staff, implementing succession planning, or adjusting organizational structures to better align with strategic objectives.

Effective action planning requires ongoing monitoring and evaluation to ensure that the HRP strategies are achieving the desired results and that the organization remains well-prepared to respond to changes in its internal and external environment.


Benefits of HRP

Improved workforce productivity.

By ensuring that the organization has the right number of employees with the appropriate skills and competencies, HRP helps to optimize the use of human resources and enables employees to work more efficiently and effectively.

This increased productivity can lead to higher levels of employee engagement, job satisfaction, and overall organizational performance, ultimately contributing to the company's bottom line.

Cost Savings

HRP can result in significant cost savings for organizations by helping to minimize expenses associated with hiring, training, and retaining employees.

Through effective workforce planning, companies can reduce the costs of recruiting and onboarding new staff, as well as the expenses associated with high employee turnover, such as lost productivity and the need for additional training.

Additionally, HRP can help organizations identify opportunities for streamlining their workforce and eliminating redundancies, leading to further cost savings and improved operational efficiency.

Reduced Employee Turnover

Effective HRP can contribute to reduced employee turnover by ensuring that the organization has the right people in the right roles and that employees are provided with the necessary support and development opportunities to succeed in their positions.

By fostering a positive work environment and promoting employee engagement, HRP can help to improve job satisfaction and employee retention, ultimately reducing the costs associated with high turnover rates.

Increased Flexibility and Adaptability

HRP enables organizations to be more flexible and adaptable in the face of changing market conditions, technological advancements, and other external factors.

Through effective workforce planning, companies can quickly adjust their human resource strategies to respond to emerging trends and capitalize on new opportunities.

This increased agility is essential for maintaining a competitive advantage and ensuring long-term success in today's rapidly evolving business environment.

Better Risk Management

HRP plays a crucial role in risk management by helping organizations identify and address potential workforce-related risks, such as skill gaps, labor shortages, or an aging workforce.

By proactively addressing these risks through targeted HRP strategies, companies can mitigate potential negative impacts and ensure the continued success of their operations.

Challenges of HRP


Uncertainty is a significant challenge in HRP, as organizations must make predictions about future workforce needs based on a variety of factors, such as economic trends, technological advancements, and competitive pressures.

These factors are often unpredictable and subject to change, making it difficult for companies to accurately forecast their human resource requirements.

To address this challenge, organizations can leverage scenario planning techniques and continually update their HRP strategies as new information becomes available.

Resistance to Change

Employees may be reluctant to embrace new organizational structures, job roles, or training programs, which can impede the organization's ability to achieve its workforce planning goals.

To overcome this challenge, organizations should involve employees in the HRP process, clearly communicate the reasons for change, and provide adequate support and resources to help staff adapt to new roles and responsibilities.

Lack of Resources

The lack of resources, including time, funding, and personnel, can pose a significant challenge to implementing effective HRP strategies.

Organizations may struggle to allocate the necessary resources for workforce planning initiatives, particularly in times of financial constraints or competing priorities.

To address this challenge, organizations should prioritize HRP as a critical component of their overall business strategy and invest in the necessary resources to ensure its successful execution.

Inaccurate Forecasting

Inaccurate forecasting can undermine the effectiveness of HRP efforts by leading to imprecise estimates of future workforce needs. This can result in talent shortages or surpluses, which can negatively impact organizational performance and employee satisfaction.

To improve the accuracy of their forecasting efforts, organizations can leverage a variety of forecasting techniques, such as trend analysis, regression analysis, or expert judgment, and continually update their projections based on the latest available data.

Inadequate Data Analysis

Inadequate data analysis can hinder the effectiveness of HRP efforts by preventing organizations from identifying and addressing critical workforce gaps and opportunities.

This can result in suboptimal HRP strategies that fail to align the workforce with the organization's strategic objectives.

To overcome this challenge, organizations should invest in robust data collection and analysis tools, as well as develop the necessary skills and expertise within their HR teams to effectively analyze and interpret workforce data.


Best Practices in HRP

Involvement of top management.

Gaining the commitment and support of senior leaders is essential for the successful implementation of HRP initiatives, as it helps to ensure that workforce planning is prioritized and integrated into the organization's overall business strategy.

Collaboration Between HR and Other Departments

By working together, HR professionals and departmental leaders can share insights, resources, and expertise to develop and implement targeted HRP strategies that align the workforce with the organization's strategic objectives.

Use of Technology

Leveraging technology is a best practice in HRP, as it enables organizations to streamline and automate various aspects of the workforce planning process, such as data collection, analysis, and reporting.

By utilizing advanced HR software and analytics tools, companies can gain valuable insights into their workforce and make more informed decisions regarding their HRP strategies.

Regular Review and Update of HRP

Regular review and update of HRP strategies are essential for ensuring their ongoing effectiveness in the face of changing business conditions and workforce dynamics.

Organizations should continually monitor and evaluate their HRP efforts, making adjustments as needed based on new information, emerging trends, and shifting priorities.

Integration With Overall Business Strategy

Finally, HRP should be fully integrated with the organization's overall business strategy. This helps to ensure that workforce planning initiatives are aligned with the company's strategic objectives and that the organization has the necessary human resources to achieve its goals.

The Bottom Line

Human Resource Planning (HRP) is the systematic process of analyzing and forecasting an organization's current and future human resource needs and developing strategies to meet those needs.

It plays a critical role in aligning the workforce with the organization's strategic objectives and ensuring its long-term success.

The HRP process involves several key steps, including environmental scanning, forecasting, job analysis, supply analysis, demand analysis, gap analysis, and action planning.

Each of these steps plays a crucial role in identifying the organization's workforce needs and developing targeted strategies to address them.

To ensure the success of HRP initiatives, organizations should adhere to best practices, such as involving top management, fostering collaboration between HR and other departments, leveraging technology, regularly reviewing and updating HRP strategies, and integrating HRP with the overall business strategy.

By understanding and effectively implementing the HRP process, organizations can optimize their workforce, manage risks, and ensure their long-term success in today's competitive business environment.

Human Resource Planning (HRP) FAQs

What is human resource planning (hrp).

Human Resource Planning (HRP) is the process of forecasting future human resource needs and developing strategies to meet them.

Why is HRP important for business planning?

HRP helps businesses ensure that they have the right people with the right skills in the right positions at the right time to achieve their strategic objectives.

What is the HRP process?

The HRP process typically involves environmental scanning, forecasting, job analysis, supply and demand analysis, gap analysis, and action planning.

What are the benefits of HRP?

The benefits of HRP include improved productivity, cost savings, reduced employee turnover, increased flexibility, and better risk management.

What are some challenges associated with HRP?

Some challenges associated with HRP include uncertainty, resistance to change, lack of resources, inaccurate forecasting, and inadequate data analysis.

About the Author

True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

True Tamplin is a published author, public speaker, CEO of UpDigital, and founder of Finance Strategists.

True is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®), author of The Handy Financial Ratios Guide , a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, contributes to his financial education site, Finance Strategists, and has spoken to various financial communities such as the CFA Institute, as well as university students like his Alma mater, Biola University , where he received a bachelor of science in business and data analytics.

To learn more about True, visit his personal website or view his author profiles on Amazon , Nasdaq and Forbes .

Related Topics

  • Business Continuity Planning (BCP)
  • Business Exit Strategies
  • Business-to-Business (B2B)
  • Business-to-Consumer (B2C)
  • Capital Planning
  • Change-In-Control Agreements
  • Corporate Giving Programs
  • Corporate Philanthropy
  • Cross-Purchase Agreements
  • Crowdfunding Platforms
  • Employee Retention and Compensation Planning
  • Employee Volunteer Programs (EVPs)
  • Endorsement & Sponsorship Management
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
  • Entity-Purchase Agreements
  • Equity Crowdfunding
  • Family Business Continuity
  • Family Business Governance
  • Family Business Transition Planning
  • Family Limited Partnerships (FLPs) and Buy-Sell Agreements
  • Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act
  • Request for Information (RFI)
  • Request for Proposal (RFP)
  • Revenue Sharing
  • SEC Regulation D
  • Sale of Business Contract
  • Security Token Offerings (STOs)
  • Shareholder Engagement and Proxy Voting
  • Social Engagements

Ask a Financial Professional Any Question

Meet top certified financial advisors near you, our recommended advisors.

what is human resources in business plan

Taylor Kovar, CFP®


Fee-Only Financial Advisor Show explanation

Certified financial planner™, 3x investopedia top 100 advisor, author of the 5 money personalities & keynote speaker.


Business Owners, Executives & Medical Professionals

Strategic Planning, Alternative Investments, Stock Options & Wealth Preservation

what is human resources in business plan

Claudia Valladares

Bilingual in english / spanish, founder of wisedollarmom.com, quoted in gobanking rates, yahoo finance & forbes.

Retirees, Immigrants & Sudden Wealth / Inheritance

Retirement Planning, Personal finance, Goals-based Planning & Community Impact

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it.

Fact Checked

At Finance Strategists, we partner with financial experts to ensure the accuracy of our financial content.

Our team of reviewers are established professionals with decades of experience in areas of personal finance and hold many advanced degrees and certifications.

They regularly contribute to top tier financial publications, such as The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report, Reuters, Morning Star, Yahoo Finance, Bloomberg, Marketwatch, Investopedia, TheStreet.com, Motley Fool, CNBC, and many others.

This team of experts helps Finance Strategists maintain the highest level of accuracy and professionalism possible.

Why You Can Trust Finance Strategists

Finance Strategists is a leading financial education organization that connects people with financial professionals, priding itself on providing accurate and reliable financial information to millions of readers each year.

We follow strict ethical journalism practices, which includes presenting unbiased information and citing reliable, attributed resources.

Our goal is to deliver the most understandable and comprehensive explanations of financial topics using simple writing complemented by helpful graphics and animation videos.

Our writing and editorial staff are a team of experts holding advanced financial designations and have written for most major financial media publications. Our work has been directly cited by organizations including Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Investopedia, Forbes, CNBC, and many others.

Our mission is to empower readers with the most factual and reliable financial information possible to help them make informed decisions for their individual needs.

How It Works

Step 1 of 3, ask any financial question.

Ask a question about your financial situation providing as much detail as possible. Your information is kept secure and not shared unless you specify.

what is human resources in business plan

Step 2 of 3

Our team will connect you with a vetted, trusted professional.

Someone on our team will connect you with a financial professional in our network holding the correct designation and expertise.

what is human resources in business plan

Step 3 of 3

Get your questions answered and book a free call if necessary.

A financial professional will offer guidance based on the information provided and offer a no-obligation call to better understand your situation.

what is human resources in business plan

Where Should We Send Your Answer?

what is human resources in business plan

Just a Few More Details

We need just a bit more info from you to direct your question to the right person.

Tell Us More About Yourself

Is there any other context you can provide.

Pro tip: Professionals are more likely to answer questions when background and context is given. The more details you provide, the faster and more thorough reply you'll receive.

What is your age?

Are you married, do you own your home.

  • Owned outright
  • Owned with a mortgage

Do you have any children under 18?

  • Yes, 3 or more

What is the approximate value of your cash savings and other investments?

  • $50k - $250k
  • $250k - $1m

Pro tip: A portfolio often becomes more complicated when it has more investable assets. Please answer this question to help us connect you with the right professional.

Would you prefer to work with a financial professional remotely or in-person?

  • I would prefer remote (video call, etc.)
  • I would prefer in-person
  • I don't mind, either are fine

What's your zip code?

  • I'm not in the U.S.

Submit to get your question answered.

A financial professional will be in touch to help you shortly.

what is human resources in business plan

Part 1: Tell Us More About Yourself

Do you own a business, which activity is most important to you during retirement.

  • Giving back / charity
  • Spending time with family and friends
  • Pursuing hobbies

Part 2: Your Current Nest Egg

Part 3: confidence going into retirement, how comfortable are you with investing.

  • Very comfortable
  • Somewhat comfortable
  • Not comfortable at all

How confident are you in your long term financial plan?

  • Very confident
  • Somewhat confident
  • Not confident / I don't have a plan

What is your risk tolerance?

How much are you saving for retirement each month.

  • None currently
  • Minimal: $50 - $200
  • Steady Saver: $200 - $500
  • Serious Planner: $500 - $1,000
  • Aggressive Saver: $1,000+

How much will you need each month during retirement?

  • Bare Necessities: $1,500 - $2,500
  • Moderate Comfort: $2,500 - $3,500
  • Comfortable Lifestyle: $3,500 - $5,500
  • Affluent Living: $5,500 - $8,000
  • Luxury Lifestyle: $8,000+

Part 4: Getting Your Retirement Ready

What is your current financial priority.

  • Getting out of debt
  • Growing my wealth
  • Protecting my wealth

Do you already work with a financial advisor?

Which of these is most important for your financial advisor to have.

  • Tax planning expertise
  • Investment management expertise
  • Estate planning expertise
  • None of the above

Where should we send your answer?

Submit to get your retirement-readiness report., get in touch with, great the financial professional will get back to you soon., where should we send the downloadable file, great hit “submit” and an advisor will send you the guide shortly., create a free account and ask any financial question, learn at your own pace with our free courses.

Take self-paced courses to master the fundamentals of finance and connect with like-minded individuals.

Get Started

Hey, did we answer your financial question.

We want to make sure that all of our readers get their questions answered.

Great, Want to Test Your Knowledge of This Lesson?

Create an Account to Test Your Knowledge of This Topic and Thousands of Others.

Get Your Question Answered by a Financial Professional

Create a free account and submit your question. We'll make sure a financial professional gets back to you shortly.

To Ensure One Vote Per Person, Please Include the Following Info

Great thank you for voting..


Productive Serves Makerstreet as a Single Source of Truth

Makerstreet is an Amsterdam-based collective of agencies with over 300 employees in four offices.

Agency Valuation Calculator Report

See the 2023 Global Agency Valuations Report

Book a Demo

Try Productive


{{minutes}} min read

Human Resource Planning: Definition & Top Strategies

Lucija Bakić

April 4, 2024

Human resource planning is a key strategy for ensuring long-term business sustainability and resilience.

In this guide, we’ll explore the essentials of human resource planning (HRP), why it’s so important, and the best practices to start your human resource planning process. To learn more about the broader process of resource management, read our guide to business resource planning . Key Takeaways

  • HRP is a process that ensures that companies have enough capacity to meet customer demands and business goals.
  • The main steps of the process include analyzing current availability, forecasting future demand, identifying capacity gaps, and developing and monitoring HRP strategies.
  • Some of the main challenges include ensuring the accuracy of your forecasting with reliable data, maintaining the balance between billable work and capacity building initiatives, and promoting collaboration and transparency. 
  • The right capacity planning solution can help you address the above with automation features, real-time data, and predictive analytics.

What Is Human Resource Planning (HRP)?

Human resource planning (HRP) is a process used to ensure that businesses have employees with the right skills, at the right time, and with the appropriate capacity to meet strategic goals.  Some practical examples of HRP workflows for various businesses include:

  • An e-commerce business forecasting the need for IT capacity increases according to seasonal trends and scaling their infrastructure and support team.
  • A design agency identifying higher demand for digital media through benchmarking and developing strategies to upskill and reskill its employee pool.
  • A law firm initiating a succession planning strategy for the impending employee retirements by developing internal leadership candidates and recruiting external talent.

Why Is HRP Important? Top 4 Benefits

According to research by the Work Institute, 78% of the reasons for voluntary turnover could have been prevented by the employer if identified and addressed on time.  Human resource planning helps businesses increase employee engagement and drive various improvements by:

1. Maintaining a Qualified Workforce

HRP aligns talent capabilities with organizational goals through talent acquisition, training, and development initiatives. Ensuring you have a skilled workforce to meet future workforce requirements reduces the risk of inefficient workflows and supports daily business operations (learn more about the best operations strategy examples ). Investing in employee talent and skills can also help increase employee engagement and satisfaction.

2. Improving Risk and Change Management

HRP is a proactive approach that focuses on identifying issues before they occur. Analyzing trends and forecasting future needs helps businesses create contingency plans for various scenarios. This can include high-impact external changes, such as technological advancements, or internal disruptions, like leadership transitions.

Optimize Your Human Resource Planning

Productive is the all-in-one software for workload balancing, scenario planning, and financial management, tailored to businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Start Free Trial

Book a demo

3. Ensuring Your Business Is Competitive

HRP keeps businesses competitive by helping them attract the right talent and ensuring that current employees are skilled and engaged in the workplace. It helps companies adapt to changes quickly and efficiently, fostering the agility and proactiveness needed to stay ahead of industry trends and competitors.

4. Optimizing Workforce Costs

HRP optimizes business costs by providing balanced employee utilization so that your agency isn’t spending excess money on non-productive labor costs. It also ensures that your business can do more work with adequate supply. Finally, HRP reduces the chance of unexpected resource gaps through effective forecasting, minimizing the need for last-minute hiring or overtime work. You can also check our guide to the capacity management process to learn more.


Utilization and forecasting in crisis times.

Learn all about leading your agency through uncertain times by tracking your utilization rate with Productive and The Agency Collective.

The Main Steps of Human Resources Planning

The key steps of HRP include:

  • Workforce analysis to determine your company’s current human resource capacity.
  • Demand forecasting to future resource demand based on industry trends and internal needs.
  • Gap analysis includes finding potential roadblocks in your HRP process and developing strategies to address them.
  • Implementation and monitoring of your human resource strategies, usually by tracking key performance indicators.

Analyzing Current Availability

Workforce analysis involves a comprehensive evaluation of the current workforce’s size, skills, and capabilities. It assesses aspects such as:

  • Employee productivity
  • Job satisfaction
  • Skill sets, including technical and soft skills
  • Turnover rates

These metrics are used to identify your organization’s strengths and weaknesses. This is the foundation on which you’ll develop actionable steps to improve your HRP processes.

The utilization rate is the key metric for visualizing productivity — use Productive for real-time insights

Projecting Future Demand

Projecting future demand involves estimating the human resource requirements needed for an organization to meet its future goals. This forecast considers factors such as business growth, market expansion, technological advancements, and changes in operational processes. Three tools that are used in this process are:

  • Ratio analysis , where historical data on the relationship between business metrics and workforce size is used to predict future staffing needs.
  • Trend analysis , which examines patterns in the organization’s workforce data over time.
  • Comparative analysis, whether by comparing internal resource planning practices across multiple projects or benchmarking your performance against competitors.

Another potential strategy is utilizing real-time data, such as forecasting charts that depict the impact of resource scheduling on agency analytics.

Productive’s forecasting charts let you predict your company’s revenue and profit margins

Gap Analysis

Gap analysis compares future human resource needs against the current workforce’s capabilities to identify discrepancies or gaps. A way to conduct gap analysis is to monitor where previous projects went wrong to pinpoint inefficiencies in your workflows, such as miscommunication or a deficit of specific skills. You can do this by checking estimated vs real completion times for various tasks — ERP solutions can deliver these insights with time tracking features.  Then, by examining your upcoming projects or initiatives, you can identify and forecast potential areas where similar imbalances may occur.

Developing and Implementing Strategies

The final step is developing and implementing HR strategies to cover your company’s specific needs and requirements. These strategies may include:

  • Creating a resource plan:  A resource plan is an in-depth document that contains information on your employees, their availability, and their scheduled time. It helps businesses follow strategic objectives and monitor their ongoing processes.

Get an in-depth overview of your business resources and their availability

  • Employee engagement and retention strategies:  For example, drafting career development plans, introducing new benefits packages and competitive compensation, and promoting a healthy organizational mindset.
  • Implementing modern software: Resource planning tools can support various steps of the HRP process, with features such as time off management, billable hours tracking, financial forecasting, real-time reporting, workflow automations, and more.

Best Practices for Effective HRP

Once you’ve pinpointed potential gaps and developed strategies to drive improvements, what are some best practices to ensure they stick?

Monitoring Your Progress

Whichever initiatives you decide to implement, monitoring them through capacity management metrics is necessary to assess their effectiveness. However, keep in mind that while business metrics are important, some benefits of HRP may be hard to quantify. This includes better work-life balance and improved working environment.

Regular Review

HRP can take a long time to provide results. Agility and flexibility are needed to make sure that your strategies can stay aligned with changing business needs and priorities. Regular review helps identify where your strategies have gone off track to implement timely changes.

Continuous Improvement

HRP is an ongoing process. As such, your strategies will need to evolve alongside your business goals and circumstances. Incremental improvements are always better than sudden, expansive changes — consistently seeking feedback and analyzing outcomes is a way to ensure your HRP strategies remain effective over time.

Types of HR Planning 

There are different types or techniques associated with HR planning. Here are some common terms and how you can differentiate them:

Hard vs Soft HR Planning

  • Hard HR Planning focuses on quantitative aspects of human resource management, such as headcount, costs, and labor allocation. This approach often involves in-depth data and forecasting for informed decision-making.
  • Soft HR Planning  considers qualitative factors of workforce management, such as engagement, development, and well-being. It’s less focused on data and more on fostering a committed and resilient workforce.

Short-Term vs Strategic HRP

  • Short-term HRP is more of a reactive approach that addresses immediate staffing needs and focuses on resolving urgent issues. It typically spans a timeframe of up to one year.
  • Strategic HRP is a long-term approach that aligns workforce planning with the organization’s future goals and strategies. It involves forecasting workforce requirements, sustainable talent management, and other proactive strategies for business success.

Employee Reskilling vs Upskilling

  • Reskilling involves training employees in new skills and capabilities to help them transition to different roles within the company.
  • Upskilling focuses on enhancing the current skills and competencies to improve performance, stay competitive, and meet job requirements.

To learn more, check out our article on the topic: what is capacity building and the best strategies for maintaining a skilled and satisfied workforce.

Future Trends in HR Planning

  • Remote work is here to stay. According to survey results, 63% of professionals are willing to take a pay cut to work remotely (FlexJobs). If possible, consider including it as one of your benefits to drive a competitive advantage.
  • In general, employee well-being initiatives are becoming more and more popular. This can include more flexible hours, hybrid or remote work, health insurance plans, as well as various fitness and wellness programs (learn more about workload management ).
  • 72% of professionals agree that all forms of skill-based hiring are more effective than resumes. While the resume is still used to filter the pool of applicants, work-related tasks and technical questions have proven to be the more efficient and cost-effective way of hiring candidates (Test Gorilla).
  • When it comes to daily workflows, 60% of professionals believe that automation helps them fight burnout and work-related stress. It allows for a more flexible work schedule, helps them be more organized at work, frees up their tasks for work they enjoy, and more (Zapier). Consider tools that can provide no-code automations to streamline day-to-day work.

The Challenges of Human Resource Planning

Now that we’ve gone through the main steps of the HRP, it’s time to address some of its main challenges:

  • Accurate forecasting:  Predicting future needs accurately can be a challenge in itself. Not only does it require having an in-depth understanding of your business circumstances, but it’s also sensitive to changes in market demand and economic conditions.
  • Maintaining a flexible workforce: Maintaining a versatile and skilled workforce requires careful management of work hours. This ensures that profitability isn’t compromised, and at the same time, avoids situations where training is neglected entirely for billable work. This balance between billable vs non-billable time is crucial for sustainable organizational success.
  • Aligning HR Strategy with Business Goals : Keeping track of the overarching business strategy in HRP can be hard, especially in large or rapidly evolving organizations. It requires transparent communication, cross-functional collaboration, and a deep understanding of the organization’s long-term objectives and the role of the workforce in achieving them.

The Solution: Utilizing Software for Enhanced HR Planning

A way to address these potential challenges is using tools with HR and resource management capabilities .  Modern software provides a way to visualize and forecast employee hours, activities, and their impact on business financials for more informed decision-making. It also helps businesses view project progress in real time to streamline stakeholder collaboration.

Adapt your project management to your working preferences with Productive

An example of such a tool is Productive , with key HRP features including:

  • Time tracking
  • Resource scheduling
  • Workload balancing
  • Time off management
  • Financial forecasting

Book a demo today to discover how Productive can help drive efficient human resource management. You can also check this article to learn more about the benefits of ERP systems.

What is meant by human resource planning?

Human resource planning (HRP) is the strategic process of ensuring your business has the correct number of skilled employees to meet company goals. It involves talent management, employee performance and data analysis, needs forecasting, and more.

What are the 5 steps in human resource planning?

The five main steps of human resource planning include identifying current organizational availability, demand forecasting, capacity gap analysis, strategy development and implementation, and results monitoring and analysis.

What are the 3 key areas of human resources planning?

The 3 key areas of human resource planning (HRP) include workforce forecasting, talent management, and gap analysis. Workforce forecasting involves analyzing current availability and predicting the future needs of the workforce. Talent management encompasses various strategies, from recruitment, training, and development to succession planning. Gap analysis involves pinpointing areas of improvement by identifying where capacity fell short of meeting demand (skills, quantity, time, etc.).

Why is human resources planning important?

Human resource planning (HRP) is important because it ensures that the workforce is aligned with the organization’s strategic goals. It helps businesses get the most out of their human resources, both by improving acquisition strategies, developing current talent, and increasing retention. HRP also supports organization agility, flexibility, and resilience by building a well-skilled and satisfied workforce.

Connect With Agency Peers

Access agency-related Slack channels, exchange business insights, and join in on members-only live sessions.

Content Specialist

Related articles

Agency workflows 101: the best process for agencies.

Agency Management

Capacity Management: Best Practices for Agency Growth

Project resource management: the ultimate guide.

Questions not answered yet? Our sales is here to help

[email protected]

+1 (415) 287-3073



Permissions and User Access

Software Development

Marketing Agency

Business Consultancy

Design Studio

In-house Team

Customer Stories

End-to-end Agency Management

Agency Resource Management

Product Updates

Agency Valuation Calculator

The Bold Community

Building Productive

Brand Guidelines

Trust Center

© 2024 The Productive Company, Inc.

Privacy Policy

Terms & Conditions

We need your consent to continue

Necessary cookies

Cookies for the basic functionality of the Productive website.

Functional cookies

Cookies for additional functionality and increased website security.

Targeting cookies

Advertising and analytics service cookies that create day-to-day statistics and show ads on their site and on the advertiser’s partners websites.

Save changes

Manage cookies and help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies.

Try Productive for free

Free 14-day trial. No credit card required. Cancel any time.

Already using Productive? Sign in with an existing account

  • Search Search Please fill out this field.
  • Human Resource Planning (HRP)
  • Understanding HRP

What Is the Goal of Human Resource Planning (HRP)?

  • Human Resource Planning FAQs

The Bottom Line

  • Business Essentials

Human Resource Planning (HRP) Meaning, Process, and Examples

Adam Hayes, Ph.D., CFA, is a financial writer with 15+ years Wall Street experience as a derivatives trader. Besides his extensive derivative trading expertise, Adam is an expert in economics and behavioral finance. Adam received his master's in economics from The New School for Social Research and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in sociology. He is a CFA charterholder as well as holding FINRA Series 7, 55 & 63 licenses. He currently researches and teaches economic sociology and the social studies of finance at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

what is human resources in business plan

What Is Human Resource Planning (HRP)?

Human resource planning (HRP) is the continuous process of systematic planning to achieve optimum use of an organization's most valuable asset—quality employees. Human resources planning ensures the best fit between employees and jobs while avoiding manpower shortages or surpluses.

There are four key steps to the HRP process. They include analyzing present labor supply, forecasting labor demand, balancing projected labor demand with supply, and supporting organizational goals. HRP is an important investment for any business as it allows companies to remain both productive and profitable.

Key Takeaways

  • Human resource planning (HRP) is a strategy used by a company to maintain a steady stream of skilled employees while avoiding employee shortages or surpluses.
  • Having a good HRP strategy in place can mean productivity and profitability for a company.
  • There are four general steps in the HRP process: identifying the current supply of employees, determining the future of the workforce, balancing between labor supply and demand, and developing plans that support the company's goals.

Michela Buttignol

What Is Human Resource Planning (HRP) Used For?

Human resource planning allows companies to plan ahead so they can maintain a steady supply of skilled employees. The process is used to help companies evaluate their needs and to plan ahead to meet those needs.

Human resource planning needs to be flexible enough to meet short-term staffing challenges while adapting to changing conditions in the business environment over the longer term. HRP starts by assessing and auditing the current capacity of human resources.

Here, identifying a company's skill set and targeting the skills a company needs enables it to strategically reach business goals and be equipped for future challenges. To remain competitive, businesses may need advanced skills or to upskill their employees as the market environment evolves and changes.

To retain employees and remain competitive, HRP often looks at organizational design, employee motivation, succession planning, and increasing return on investment overall.

Challenges of Human Resource Planning (HRP)

The challenges to HRP include forces that are always changing. These include employees getting sick, getting promoted, going on vacation, or leaving for another job. HRP ensures there is the best fit between workers and jobs, avoiding shortages and surpluses in the employee pool.

To help prevent future roadblocks and satisfy their objectives, HR managers have to make plans to do the following:

  • Find and attract skilled employees.
  • Select, train, and reward the best candidates.
  • Cope with absences and deal with conflicts.
  • Promote employees or let some of them go.

Investing in HRP is one of the most important decisions a company can make. After all, a company is only as good as its employees, and a high level of employee engagement can be essential for a company's success. If a company has the best employees and the best practices in place, it can mean the difference between sluggishness and productivity, helping to lead a company to profitability.

What Are the Four Steps to Human Resource Planning (HRP)?

There are four general, broad steps involved in the human resource planning process. Each step needs to be taken in sequence in order to arrive at the end goal, which is to develop a strategy that enables the company to successfully find and retain enough qualified employees to meet the company's needs.

Analyzing labor supply

The first step of human resource planning is to identify the company's current human resources supply. In this step, the HR department studies the strength of the organization based on the number of employees, their skills, qualifications, positions, benefits, and performance levels.

Forecasting labor demand

The second step requires the company to outline the future of its workforce. Here, the HR department can consider certain issues like promotions, retirements, layoffs, and transfers—anything that factors into the future needs of a company. The HR department can also look at external conditions impacting labor demand , such as new technology that might increase or decrease the need for workers.

Balancing labor demand with supply

The third step in the HRP process is forecasting the employment demand. HR creates a gap analysis that lays out specific needs to narrow the supply of the company's labor versus future demand. This analysis will often generate a series of questions, such as:

  • Should employees learn new skills?
  • Does the company need more managers?
  • Do all employees play to their strengths in their current roles?

Developing and implementing a plan

The answers to questions from the gap analysis help HR determine how to proceed, which is the final phase of the HRP process. HR must now take practical steps to integrate its plan with the rest of the company. The department needs a budget , the ability to implement the plan, and a collaborative effort with all departments to execute that plan.

Common HR policies put in place after this fourth step may include policies regarding vacation, holidays, sick days, overtime compensation, and termination.

The goal of HR planning is to have the optimal number of staff to make the most money for the company. Because the goals and strategies of a company change over time, human resource planning must adapt accordingly. Additionally, as globalization increases, HR departments will face the need to implement new practices to accommodate government labor regulations that vary from country to country.

The increased use of remote workers by many corporations will also impact human resource planning and will require HR departments to use new methods and tools to recruit, train, and retain workers.

Why Is Human Resource Planning Important?

Human resource planning (HRP) allows a business to better maintain and target the right kind of talent to employ—having the right technical and soft skills to optimize their function within the company. It also allows managers to better train the workforce and help them develop the required skills.

What Is "Hard" vs. "Soft" Human Resource Planning?

Hard HRP evaluates various quantitative metrics to ensure that the right number of the right sort of people are available when needed by the company. Soft HRP focuses more on finding employees with the right corporate culture, motivation, and attitude. Often these are used in tandem.

What Are the Basic Steps in HRP?

HRP begins with an analysis of the available labor pool from which a company can draw. It then evaluates the firm's present and future demand for various types of labor and attempts to match that demand with the supply of job applicants.

Quality employees are a company's most valuable asset. Human resource planning involves the development of strategies to ensure that a business has an adequate supply of employees to meet its needs and can avoid either a surplus or a lack of workers.

There are four general steps in developing such a strategy: first, analyzing the company's current labor supply; second, determining the company's future labor needs; third, balancing the company's labor needs with its supply of employees; and fourth, developing and implementing the HR plan throughout the organization.

A solid HRP strategy can help a company be both productive and profitable.

International Journal of Business and Management Invention. " Human Resource Planning-An Analytical Study ," Page 64.

what is human resources in business plan

  • Terms of Service
  • Editorial Policy
  • Privacy Policy

Use Human Resources Planning to Forecast for (Less) Risky Business

By Becky Simon | October 18, 2017 (updated July 21, 2021)

  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on LinkedIn

Link copied

No organization can afford the risk of a critical skills shortage. Human resource planning (HRP) helps to ensure that you have the right people on your team - those with the skills to compete, innovate, or grow your company.

How do you anticipate workforce needs in a business environment where the rate of change is increasing while the number of people with the right skills is shrinking? The answer is human resource planning. In this article, five experts share their perspectives on what’s needed to operate comfortably in rapidly changing times. While human resources (HR) forecasting isn’t an exact science, you’ll find ideas and processes, examples, and templates that you can use to forecast more confidently, manage operations, and take control to increase current and future profitability.

What Is the Meaning of Human Resource Planning?

Human resource planning, also known as workforce planning , helps organizations recruit, retain, and optimize the deployment of people needed to meet strategic business objectives and to respond to changes in the external environment. In order to proactively avoid talent shortages or surpluses and achieve a balance of talent based on need, effective human resource planning is an ongoing, systematic process.

Darrin Murriner

Darrin Murriner is the author of Corporate Bravery , a field guide to eliminating fear-based decisions, and the Co-founder of Cloverleaf.me , a technology platform that helps business leaders and managers build thriving teams.

He says, “Human resource planning and organizational strategy connect at the hip. You can't deliver business strategy without making sure you have the right human capital you need in the right places for the task at hand.”

Smart companies get the human capital part right by implementing a tactical human resource plan that connects directly to organizational and human resource strategies.

Starbucks: Serving Up Human Resources Planning Derived from Mission and Strategy

Starbucks, the world’s largest coffee chain, recorded $21.3 billion in sales for 2016, ranking it at 131 on the 2017 Fortune 500. The company projects that it will reach $35 billion in sales by 2021 by opening 12,000 stores over the next five years , the majority of them in China. How do you plan human resources with such a massive growth goal? For Starbucks, their approach remains the same no matter where stores are located. Their human resource planning flows from its organizational strategy and its brand. People are Starbucks’ primary resource, as their mission clearly states: "Our mission: to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time." 

An important aspect of Starbucks’ human resource planning is its selection process, which uses specific interview techniques to determine if potential employees are ‘on brand’ and evaluate their skill sets. The company identifies capable company leaders and hires them using a program called "New Partner Orientation and Immersion." This human resources planning approach has led to the lowest employee turnover rate among quick-service restaurants. While most quick-serve restaurants range between 150 to 400 percent turnover, Starbucks’ rate is 65 percent . The company is always on the lookout for new employee perks and focuses energy on employee training, which includes an elaborate online portal that offers an instruction program imparting the necessary job knowledge.

The Difference Between Strategic Human Resources Planning and Human Resources Planning

“The war for talent around the world continues to grow.” says Matthew Burr, Moderator of the Upstate HR Podcast and Principal at Burr Consulting, LLC , a human resource consulting firm focused on small and medium organizations. To win the human capital competition, companies should use a strategic human resource plan as a roadmap to achieve three- to five-year goals. Strategic plans influence the development of tactical resource planning (Starbucks being a prime example). For example, a human resources strategic plan may include long-term aims to recruit and retain an excellent staff with a high-level of technical expertise. The tactical plan would include detailed action plans with completion due dates. For the strategic recruitment goals, the tactical program might consist of short-term goals, such as benchmarking salaries via survey data, or creating a social media campaign to identify and recruit technical professionals. The plan may also target filling IT positions through international recruiting.   

Human Resources Supports Organizational Strategy

Both strategic and tactical human resource plans support the overall organizational strategy. To learn more about strategic human resources management, read Welcome to the HR Revolution: Strategic Human Resources Management .

Why Is It Important to Plan Human Resources?

Our world is increasingly one of swift technological change, constant product innovation, economic globalization, and generational and cultural shifts. Correspondingly, the life cycles of business designs and products are shortening. Companies must adapt. More than physical or financial capital, human capital efficiently adapts to this new reality. Simultaneously, human capital is at most significant risk of depreciation or obsolescence within a business — and that’s a risk that organizations can’t afford if they’re going to survive and thrive. In fact, only 12% of firms that were on the Fortune 500 list in 1955 remain on the list in 2016.

Matthew Burr

​“Talented people will always have options; Knowing succession plans, training, leadership development will be a tremendous asset to a growing firm,” adds Burr. “HR planning is critical to organizational strategy: We need subject matter experts and leaders to drive the strategy forward in evolving industries. HR planning plays a significant part in supporting strategy, as human resources are the biggest investment for any organization. Evolving laws and regulations also impact strategy internationally.  Staffing levels, recruitment and retention programs support scalability of any firm or organization.” 

Laura Handrick

Handrick says it’s all about planning for future growth. “Small businesses that are planning to open a physical or second location also need to think through their HR strategy. Most small businesses begin as sole proprietorships. They need to know when it makes sense to bring on staff, where that staff will work, their compensation, and how to offer benefits, perhaps by partnering with a professional employer organization (PEO).” 

  • Improving Company Operations: Human capital management and resource planning is a driver for improved company operations and value creation. In July 2017, a group of institutional investors petitioned the Securities and Exchange Commission to disclose policies, practices, and performance of public companies’ human resources management . The petition signifies a move to use workforce analytics to measure the value of an organization’s most valuable asset in a knowledge-based economy .

Lou Adler

“You need to work systemically,” says Adler. “Part of the operating plan has to be a workforce plan. HR has to make sure they have a place at the strategy and decision-making table. In my experience, I’ve seen that HR usually doesn’t get involved until it’s late. In this environment, you need to be moving at the speed of light and not the speed of sound.”

  • The Talent Shortage and Demographic Change: In its 2016/2017 Talent Shortage Survey , the ManpowerGroup reported the highest worldwide talent shortage since 2007. Forty percent of employers are having difficulty filling positions, up from 38 percent in 2015. The Harvard Business Review article, Employers Aren’t Just Whining - the “Skills Gap” Is Real , states that “New technologies frequently require specific new skills that schools don’t teach and that labor markets don’t supply.”  At the same time, there’s a demographic change. In most developed economies, the ‘silver tsunami’ - the group of aging individuals that results from ebbing birth rates and graying baby boomers - is surging. The percentage of the U.S. workforce between the ages of 55 and 64 is growing faster than any other age group.
  • Technological Change and The New Generation: Millennials now make up more than 50 percent of the current workforce — and will be 75 percent of the global workforce by 2020 . Human resources need to ride this rising tide and learn to welcome technological advancements to meet talent’s expectations and business requirements. Talent and workplace analytics will become customary, and organizations using the data will be far more competitive.
  • Organizational Change: With technology driving change everywhere, organizations need to be nimble and often make significant changes in the way they do business. They also need to make changes with care. Research shows that change initiatives are more likely to fail because of poor communication, employee resistance, and failure to adequately prepare. Human resources are an integral part of change management , which is a systematic approach that applies tools, knowledge, and resources to deal with business transformation. The primary goal of change management is to successfully implement new processes, products, and business strategies while minimizing adverse outcomes. Effective change management includes and also goes beyond project management and involves leading the "people side" of the change equation. 
  • Government/Legislative Changes: Each state has regulations that affect everything from employee criminal records checks, labor relations, records retention, and mileage reimbursements. Additional federal laws impact human resource management, too. Consequently, human resource professionals need to be conversant in dynamic employment law to minimize company liability. Not being on top of legislation can pose a significant risk to companies and expose them to expensive lawsuits or damage their brand, which can also be off-putting for potential hires.

Seven Steps to Human Resource Planning

There are seven different steps in the human resource planning process, but the pivot point is forecasting demand. That means that today’s human resources professionals need to have a well-rounded picture of their own company and a grasp of multiple factors to put together a plan. “Understanding the three- to five-year business strategy provides what HR must have to forecast workforce needs within the firm,” says Burr. “But there’s also a need to understand the global economy and potential growth options, laws, and regulations to add value to any HR strategy and forecast.”  

The seven steps to creating a human resource plan provide a roadmap for companies, but one size does not fit all. The amount of detail and which factors to include are different for every organization. Startup sole proprietorships working in a single geographic area will need to create an entirely different plan than a multinational enterprise. 

Seven Steps to Human Resource Planning

Step One: Analyze Organizational Objectives

Aligning HR practices to strategic objectives is fundamental to an effective human resources plan. In a perfect world, human resources management works hand in hand with other top managers so there is a clear understanding of ultimate goals, and then they focus on the human capital needed to meet them. It’s vital that the human resources plan encompasses every part of the company from product development to sales and expansion plans. 

HR Strategic Plan Template

If your company hasn’t written a strategic human resource plan, this template will help you get started. Modify the template to suit your specific needs or to focus on target areas such as benefits or retirement. Stakeholders will appreciate the basic design when they want to review important aspects of your plan.

what is human resources in business plan

‌ ‌Download HR Strategic Plan Template

Need more strategic planning templates to clarify goals for your organization? You can find more free strategic planning templates here . 

Step Two: Inventory Current Human Resources

If you have one, use the updated human resource information storage (HRIS) sys­tem to analyze the number of people you currently employ, along with their skills, perfor­mance, and potential. Once you determine which jobs need to be filled based on your forecast, you can then decide whether you have enough internal candidates to fill the job requirements or if you need to go to external sources or strategies to add staff. 

Employee Evaluation Template

If you don’t have an HRIS system, you can use this performance evaluation template for performance reviews and as a first step in referencing your current human resource inventory.  Adapt this easy-to-use form to gain a better understanding of the duties for each position by identifying gaps in performance and staffing when you review information in the aggregate. This template documents performance against set goals, employee evaluation, and professional development plans for the upcoming year.

Employee Evaluation Template

Download Employee Evaluation Excel Template

Excel | Smartsheet

Step Three: Forecast Demand

Forecasting human resource demand involves estimating the number of future employees of the right quality and quantity, with a view to the company’s strategic plan over a given period of time. Forecasting demand is the most crucial part of human resource planning and the most daunting. It’s challenging for many reasons, and even more so because there are no absolute answers on how to accomplish it. 

There are two categories of forecasting methods: quantitative and qualitative. You can use both methods to track the work performance of the workforce as a whole, individuals, or business units. Qualitative reports contain anecdotal observations, while quantitative data is statistical or more data-driven. Select the methods that make the most sense in your environment. For example, in a non-manufacturing company, the work-study method which calculates the necessary working hours to produce units may not make sense. By gathering both quantitative and qualitative information, you can identify issues that are impacting your business's productivity, and then develop a well-rounded forecast to increase the company's efficiency, ensure you’re not over or understaffed, and understand future needs.

Qualitative HR Plan Forecasting Methods

SWOT Matrix Template

The classic SWOT layout provides a clear view of your compiled findings as they relate to your human resources plan. The template also includes a column for rating the importance of each item by category so you can have a clear understanding of how the analysis elements compare and which will need the most attention. You can add Excel worksheets to hold supporting data and clarify the basis of your findings. 

Basic SWOT Matrix Template

Download Basic SWOT Matrix Template

If you’re looking for different formats in Excel, PowerPoint, or Word, you can find free SWOT templates here . 

Step Four: Estimate Gaps

With your forecast completed, you’ll have an understanding of future needs and if you will need to fill them with external workers hired full-time, part-time, or as contractors. If you have the right number of employees that don’t have the right skills, you can use training and development to upgrade employee skills to fill the gaps, or you may need to deploy workers in another role.

Employee Training Plan Template

Training is relevant for both employee success and team member retention. Though training takes time and effort, it's essential to have a plan in place to ensure a productive ramp-up period for new employees or existing employees who are learning the tasks and responsibilities of a new role. With this adaptable employee training schedule template, you can create training activities lists, add details about which team members need help to complete each task, track status, and provide a way for the manager and employee to enter feedback.  

what is human resources in business plan

Download Employee Training Template

Transition Plan Template

Moving team members to fill different roles can be the ideal solution to filling workforce gaps. When making these changes, ensure that you maintain the information and knowledge the employee had in the initial role. An employee transition plan keeps the information accessible and easy to share. You can also use this transition plan template to assist the person previously in the role train any new team members. Input every aspect of the role that will be useful in the present and future.

Transition Plan Template

Download Transition Plan Excel Template

Step Five: Formulate the Human Resource Action Plan

The human resource plan relies on identifying deficits or surplus in the company. You’ll need to determine if you need to begin recruiting or training, transition, or develop voluntary retirement processes and redeployment in case of a surplus. Include priorities and critical planning issues in your plan.

Action Plan Template

This action plan template provides sections for goals, but you can add more sections to customize it to complete your human resources plan. Goals are translated into actionable steps that you can track to check progress. Assign start and end dates for each action, and take notes about each part of the plan. 

action plan template

Download Action Plan Template

Word  | Smartsheet

Step Six: Integrating/Implementing the Plan

This is the most challenging aspect of any human resources plan. The organization often invests time and money on plans that are shelved and not utilized. Company executives need to grant buy-in, embrace the plan, and bring the organization on board. Overcome any potential employee resistance to the process by rolling in one aspect of the plan at a time to help employees acclimate to changes.    Staffing or Recruiting Plan Recruitment is one of the top responsibilities of any human resources team. Searching for, vetting, and finding the right talent to join your team are all crucial steps to ensure the success of your organization. Having a staffing plan in place makes your team aware of the available recruitment sources, hiring goals, and budget. Use this staffing plan to organize all staffing details with columns for budgets, hiring goals, status, and comments. 

Staffing Plan Template

‌ ‌Download Staffing Plan Excel Template

Candidate Screening Tracker

If you don’t have an automated system, you can track and manage applicants’ cover letters,  resumes, applications, and details about job openings. Tracking this information can be a lot of work depending on the size of the company and current hiring plan. Use this candidate tracker template to organize candidate documentation and details, and ensure that you provide a positive experience for candidates and people involved in the interview process. Track candidate contact information, phone interview questions and answers, status, comments, next steps, and more using this template.

Candidate Tracker Template

Download Candidate Tracker Excel Template

Onboarding Plan Template

Onboarding ensures proper training and enculturation for new team members, and is also a powerful retention tool for any organization. Develop your own onboarding plan by using this template to plan activities at each stage of the process. Since a full year of onboarding is a best human resources practice, this spreadsheet shows tasks assigned to individual contacts over a twelve-month period. Add or remove columns to create a comprehensive onboarding plan.

Onboarding Plan Template

Download Onboarding Plan Template

For more best practice information and free templates to support your human resources planning, read Top Excel Templates for Human Resources . 

Step Seven: Monitoring, Control, and Feedback

Strictly monitoring progress helps identify sticking points in your plan and helps you avoid making changes too quickly. It’s essential to compare actions to how the plan is being implemented to ensure fidelity. The human resource plan is an evergreen document that takes changing circumstances into account. Ongoing measurement, reporting, and continuous improvement efforts will keep the company moving towards its stated strategic goals. 

Project Management Dashboard Template

Monitoring all the changes you need to while executing a complicated human resources plan can be time consuming. With this customizable project management dashboard, you can compile every aspect of the process, share status information with management and other team members, and view the big picture at a glance.

Project Management Dashboard Template

‌ Download Excel Project Management Dashboard

Forecasting Is an Ongoing Process

“HRP plans should be reviewed annually, just after the business completes its strategic planning and forecasting for the year,” says Handrick. “For example, if the business plans to open an additional manufacturing location, or offer additional services requiring tech skills not currently in place, then HR will come along and provide estimates as to how many FTEs, what roles, and what kind of skills will be needed. HRP helps with the budgeting for the next fiscal year, and once approved can get to work filling those roles. In a fast-moving environment, HRP may need to be updated with every major change. For example, let's say your organization is project based and you just won a huge contract. Right away your HRP team will need to work with project managers to estimate staffing needs, whether temp or permanent, contract or hire.”

Human Resource Planning Round-Up: Best Practices and Expert Insights

Our experts share their thoughts on some additional issues to keep in mind as you develop your own plan:

  • The Importance of Policy Planning: Company policy supports your human resources plan. Policies such as employment classification, benefits, compensation, performance, and improvement are designed to target not only the selection, training, and support of team members, but also to provide guidelines for conduct in and out of the work environment and many other aspects of employment.
  • Social Media as Friend and Foe: Social media sites like LinkedIn and Twitter can be powerful recruiting platforms and a friendly, fun way to communicate with team members. However, they can also potentially be an issue when disgruntled employees or competitors get into negative commentary. It’s important to be alert to your company’s social media profile and to take corrective action when the buzz may not be favorable to your goals. 

Sharon Margulies

Sharon Margules, MA, CPC, ACC and CEO of Margules Leadership Consulting says, “The ability of a business to achieve its strategy is largely based on the talent it has to execute. While market and competitive forces can significantly impact the capacity of an organization’s pursuit of its strategy, the explicit capabilities of those doing the work will determine if the result is a success or failure.”

  • The “New” Human Resources Professional: “Ultimately, a good HR person is a good business person,” says Adler. “The best HR professionals are system and integration project managers who understand deadlines and highly complex projects. A great candidate has business experience in something other than HR. In my consulting work, I’ve told CEOs that they should look for HR managers with a business background. I think it’s an important consideration, particularly for large firms.”
  • More About Markov Predictive Analysis Modeling: One of the most difficult analyses to execute and potentially one of the most valuable tools in forecasting is the Markov model. It’s not a quick fix, but for most mid-to-large companies, it’s worth the time investment to learn how to execute it. For a detailed explanation, read A Markov Model for Human Resources Supply Forecast Dividing the HR System into Subgroups . 
  • Leadership and Succession Planning: “HR plays a critical role in enabling leadership, in mature or scaling organizations, to anticipate and understand the talent capabilities that will be necessary to meet their strategic objectives,” says Margules. She lists four items: 
  • HR should have a seat at the table when the strategy is being conceived to align on what capabilities are needed, and by when, to realize the strategy.
  • HR needs to influence progressive and aggressive budgeting for resource acquisition, training, coaching, and development every year.
  • HR must institutionalize effective succession and talent planning practices at all levels, and build an adaptive organization that can flex its structure to optimize performance.
  • HR must use far-reaching ideas to retain its key talent and sustain a highly-engaged workforce in a diverse and driven culture. 
  • Plan Implementation: “HR plans should align with business strategy and annual plans and should be adaptive to a volatile and uncertain business climate,” says Margules. “While many organizations take a reactive, in-service approach to HR planning and determine their priorities and plans largely in support of annual plans, the most effective organizations are proactive: They anticipate needs and build plans that achieve short term and long term objectives. They adopt progressive practices such as allocating a portion of the staffing budget and resources to recruit and hire key talent for future-focused work. And, they have enough foresight to invest in high potential programs at multiple levels, entry-level accelerated development programs and coaching to build pools of qualified talent for future growth plans.”
  • Buy HR Planning Tools or Do It Yourself? “The problem with traditional human resource planning is that it often hasn't supported the scalability of a growing business,” says Burr. “This is precisely why we have to consider new models for talent management, organizational design, and learning and development to ensure that our human resource planning processes can be flexible to meet the scaling needs of the business. This is part of the reason why you have seen an explosion of people analytics tools in the HR marketplace. It is to fill the demand for flexible and scalable models that provide the needed tools for business leaders to plan their people needs as the business grows.”  Adler concurs and says: “I think a spreadsheet can often do a better job. Workforce planning has been around a long time. I think the main point is to be proactive and less reactive in the planning process.”

Five Challenges to Human Resources Planning and Implementation

“People are naturally change- and-risk-averse. Planning and proper support by HR and the people they hire need to happen 100 percent of the time,” says Adler. More often than not, there are some challenges involved in human resources planning and implementation. Here are the five main hurdles:

  • Forecasting Is an Imperfect Art: Human resource planning relies on forecasting and supply, which can never be a 100 percent accurate process. 
  • Resistant Workforce: Employees may feel that their workload will increase, so they resist the process, or they may be uncomfortable altering familiar patterns in their work life and tasks.
  • Ambiguity and Rapid Change: Uncertainties such as labor absenteeism, employee turnover, seasonal employment, technological changes and market fluctuations all affect planning.
  • Inefficient Information Systems: Human resource information systems need to be reliable, comprehensive, and up to date. It makes it difficult to plan without good data about current employees.
  • Cost and Time Factors: With all of the work hours involved in completing and repeating the seven steps, human resource planning is a time consuming and expensive process, so companies sometimes avoid it altogether, despite the benefits. 

A Look to the Future of Human Resources Planning

Here are some of the themes experts think will influence human resources professionals, their companies, and the people they hire in the near future:

  • Going Global: Globalization, the export of U.S. jobs and the import of non-U.S. employees are already underway, as is offshoring (basing services or processes in different countries). “Globally planning can be complex for any HR professional,” says Burr. “It can be a stressful situation for offshoring and outsourcing of jobs within a firm. HR planning should involve a detailed assessment of the new location globally, the workforce demographics, industry competitors, laws and regulations and the potential impact on U.S. jobs. How do we communicate? How do we train? This will all vary by organization, but a strategic HR plan that communicates the information can lessen the impact. With a sound and detailed HR plan, recruiting, retaining and growing talent within the organization will be much easier.”   “Expect more offshore jobs, outsourcing and contract hiring because frankly they’re cheaper, and in many disciplines like finance, IT, marketing, can do the same work for less,” says Handrick. “Other than providing training for supervisors to manage off-site work teams, there's really no difference for HRP except where the line item goes on the plan. For instance, if you know you'll need 12 FTEs next year, and can get four of them offshore, that line item goes to 'expenses' rather than to 'salary' for the remaining eight.”
  • More Technology: Social media will likely be in higher use to reach potential workers, particularly millennials who use Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook in their job hunts. Telecommuting and the use of social collaboration tools and video conferencing apps will keep people working and in touch with company culture. Emerging platforms will further streamline basic human resources functions to make onboarding and professional development more cost-effective and accessible from anywhere in the world for a virtual workforce.
  • Big Data: Metrics and in-depth analysis of processes and people will become increasingly important in human resources as they are in other functional areas. Data- driven decision making is the future, as are metrics to show ROI in people and technology.  
  • Security Issues: All this new technology brings up security concerns for employers and employee. Data breaches are a fact of life, and the threat to personal data security, company security, and supply chain risks will likely continue. 
  • Health Care Costs: Costs are likely to continue increasing, since they have been rising steadily in the last several decades. New legislation will perhaps slow the costs of health care. In the meantime, strategies to lower employee healthcare costs will likely take the form of initiatives to improve employee health, and taking advantage of health reimbursement accounts (HRAs) that are consumer-driven or health savings accounts (HSAs).

Improve Human Resources Planning with Smartsheet

Empower your people to go above and beyond with a flexible platform designed to match the needs of your team — and adapt as those needs change. 

The Smartsheet platform makes it easy to plan, capture, manage, and report on work from anywhere, helping your team be more effective and get more done. Report on key metrics and get real-time visibility into work as it happens with roll-up reports, dashboards, and automated workflows built to keep your team connected and informed. 

When teams have clarity into the work getting done, there’s no telling how much more they can accomplish in the same amount of time.  Try Smartsheet for free, today.

Discover why over 90% of Fortune 100 companies trust Smartsheet to get work done.

what is human resources in business plan

How to Succeed with Human Resource Planning: A Step-By-Step Guide (+11 Free Templates)

what is human resources in business plan

“ The term planning is imbecilic; everything can change tomorrow. “

That was a quote made by a French manager , straight after the 1973 oil crisis.

He’s right, of course. Everything can change tomorrow. We’re living in a world where we see changes every day. Ground-breaking technology, product innovations, and medical breakthroughs.

But does that mean “ planning is imbecilic ” though?

The truth is that planning can be ineffective and damaging if it’s done badly.

Good planning, on the other hand, can minimize the uncertainty brought on by change.

Don’t believe me?

Take the 1911 race to the South Pole, for example. The race was between two explorers: Roald Amundsen and Robert Falcon Scott. They each had a similar amount of experience and were the same age. Both faced 1,400 miles of gale-force winds, blizzards, and minus temperatures on their expeditions.

Amundsen meticulously planned his trip for several years. Scott didn’t.

Guess which expedition tragically failed?

Amundsen was already sailing back to Norway when Scott’s team finally gave up hope.

So, now we’ve established that planning is sensible, and not ‘ imbecilic ’, let’s find out why human resource planning is one of the most valuable processes a company can follow.

To do this, I’ll cover:

What is human resource planning?

Why is human resource planning important, the 7 steps of human resource planning, how human resource planning is done, human resource planning in hrm.

Let’s get on with helping you to plan for success!

Corporate leaders often say employees are their most valuable asset . In fact, employees are so valuable that over 23% of businesses fail because they don’t have the right team.

That’s why investing in Human Resource Planning (HRP) is one of the most important decisions a company can make. It’s also why 80% of companies do HRP on a regular basis.

In simple terms, HRP is a process that manages employees within an organization .

No organization can afford the risk of a critical skills shortage and without HRP, companies face expensive losses. This can be seen with 90% of the UK’s larger organizations , which have all restructured in the last five years – nearly always involving job losses.

“ Human resource planning is the most important component of the entire human resource system. ” –  Dr. Rajendra Mishra

We’ve established what human resource planning is, let’s talk about why it’s important.

The success of a business is directly linked to the performance of those who work for that business. It’s therefore critical to make sure that the business has the skills and competencies that it needs to succeed.

The quality of human resources in an organization is solely dependent on the success of human resource planning.

Look at Starbucks.

Starbucks has the lowest employee turnover rate among quick-service restaurants. Most quick-serve restaurants have between a 150 to 400% turnover rate. Starbucks’ rate is at 65% , and it’s all down to their human resources planning approach.

Not only will its low turnover rate positively affect the culture, motivation, and morale of its staff , but it will also massively help its profit margins.

On average, companies spend 33% of an employee’s annual salary to replace them when they leave.

We know that human resource planning is a continuous process of planning ahead to make optimum use of an organization’s most valuable asset: its employees .

We also know that the process helps companies maintain a steady supply of skilled employees to meet their strategic objectives.

So we know what human resource planning is and why it’s important, now let’s look at how to do it.

There are seven steps to a good human resource planning process:

  • Understand business goals
  • Assess the current workforce
  • Forecast demand
  • Estimate gaps
  • Formulate a plan
  • Implement the plan
  • Monitor the plan

Let’s dive into the detail of each step.

Step 1: Understand business goals

The first step in HRP involves analyzing the organizational strategy, goals, and objectives.

It’s important to understand where the organization wants to go and how it wants to get there so that HR practices can be aligned with the company’s strategic objectives .

Step 2: Assess the current workforce

The next step is to take stock of the current employees in the organization to see if they fit the organizational needs.

The inventory of current employees should capture data concerning ages, locations, capabilities, and skills. This will determine what jobs are required and if you can use internal candidates or if you need to look elsewhere.

Step 3: Forecast demand

The third step in the process is to forecast future staffing needs based on the company goals.

This process will establish if the company needs to grow its workforce , or if it can improve its current staff through training.

Step 4: Estimate gaps

Once the future resource needs and the current capability of the workforce have been identified, step four requires you to highlight the gaps between the two .

These questions will help you find out where the gaps are:

  • Do you foresee a skill shortage in a specific occupational group?
  • Will changes in program delivery require the acquisition of new skills?
  • Do you have succession plans for critical positions?
  • Have you conducted a risk analysis of the elements of the scan critical to the success of your organization?

Step 5: Formulate a plan

Step 5 is all about formulating a plan to close the gaps you found in step 4.

The plan should identify the skill shortages and surpluses within the company. It should determine HR priorities and list actions to be taken around recruitment, training, internal role transitions, retirements, and lay-offs.

Step 6: Implement the plan

This step involves integrating the HR plan into the company . It will require support from different departments and teams.

Step 7: Monitor the plan

This step often gets missed, but is a fundamental part of the HR planning process.

Ongoing measurement, reporting, and continuous improvement will keep the company moving toward its strategic goals. If everything is running smoothly, continue with the plan . If there are roadblocks, change the plan to suit your company’s needs.

And there you have it. Seven steps to the efficient management of human resources in an organization.

What’s next?

Lucky for you, this isn’t where your human resource planning journey ends.

Process Street has created  eleven super-powered checklists to help you with your human resource planning:

  • Training plan template

Employee evaluation form

Employee transition plan.

  • Gap analysis template

HR strategic plan

  • Employee satisfaction survey

Workforce planning template

Employee development plan template, hipaa compliance checklist for hr, vacation request form, business needs assessment checklist.

These templates will enable you to:

  • Analyze your current workforce;
  • Establish future workforce requirements;
  • Formulate, implement, and monitor a formidable human resource plan.

Use the following Process Street templates to really smash your human resource planning!

Training plan

Training plan for human resource planning

The training plan aims to improve workforce competency to increase productivity and reach organizational goals. Preparing an annual, company-wide training plan is a detailed and complex process .

Our training plan template will make it easy for you. It will identify who needs to be trained, when they should be trained, and what they need to be trained in. It also ensures alignment with your organizational goals.

Click here to access our training plan template!

Employee evaluations exist to make sure there is clear communication between employers and employees about performance levels. The process boosts morale and identifies areas of weakness.  These can inform your HR strategy, gap analysis, and training plans.

Use this employee evaluation form to:

  • Capture performance metrics;
  • Analyze your workforce;
  • Make decisions about what future resources are needed.

Click here to access our employee evaluation form!

Performance review

Performance review in human resource planning

We also have this performance review template which you can use as an alternative.

Click here to access this performance review template!

This process is for the HR team to ensure that a transitioning employee moves into their new role, smoothly and at a minimal cost to the business. It’s important the employee, their current line manager and their new line manager are all clear about the transition arrangements.

Our employee transition plan will provide guidance on handover and orientation tasks. It will also minimize disruption and uncertainty for employees affected by the change.

Click here to access our employee transition plan!

Gap analysis

Gap analysis in human resource planning

Gap analysis involves you considering current skills in your workforce. As times change, skills will change to suit the modern business market. The below template gives you the foresight to keep your team and company up to date with current skill trends.

Use this gap analysis template to help your organization plan for growth. Use it to project the hiring needs for your future workforce. It can also help you to understand the skills and experience of your current workforce. You can also use it to develop strategies for overcoming the gap between the two.

Click here to access our gap analysis template!

An HR strategic plan is a tool to help businesses align their HR capabilities with their organizational goals . It establishes how human resources can make a direct impact on a company’s growth.

Our HR strategic plan will assess the needs of your organization. It can help to determine appropriate initiatives for the HR department to pursue and support the business in meeting its goals.

Click here to access our HR strategic plan!

Employee satisfaction

Employee satisfaction survey for human resource planning

An employee satisfaction survey is intended to understand how employees are feeling about the company.

Our employee satisfaction survey will help you understand the current dynamics of the workplace. Once completed, it will identify areas within the business that need to be improved to keep your employees satisfied.

Click here to access our employee satisfaction survey!

Workforce planning ensures that a business has the right staff in place with the right skill sets.

Our workforce planning template will highlight areas within the workforce that need attention .

Click here to access our workforce planning template!

The employee development plan template will help your employees improve in their current job. It will also help them acquire knowledge and skills for new roles and responsibilities within the organization.

Click here to access our employee development plan template!

HIPAA is a series of regulatory standards that health care organizations must implement in their business to protect the privacy, security, and integrity of protected health information .

The compliance program that healthcare organizations need to follow is complicated and can take a long time to complete. Use our HIPAA compliance checklist for HR to make sure you don’t miss any vital steps.

Click here to access our HIPAA compliance checklist for HR!

You can also use this HIPAA compliance checklist , which is specifically for hospitals.

Run this checklist to determine how compliant your hospital is with HIPAA standards and regulations.

Click here to access our HIPAA compliance checklist!

Our vacation request form is designed to make sure that the company doesn’t suffer as a result of the employee’s holiday .

Using this checklist, a line manager can approve or reject a holiday request and HR can keep track of the number of holiday days an employee has taken.

Click here to access our vacation request form!

Or, try this other holiday leave application form .

Click here to access our holiday leave application form!

Use our business needs assessment checklist to:

  • Determine priorities;
  • Make improvements;
  • Allocate resources.

Click here to access our business needs assessment checklist!

So you’ve done your HR planning, now you need to put your plans into action.

We have thousands of HR-related articles and functional checklists to help you implement your HR plans. From refining recruitment processes, and interview techniques, building a strong work culture, and improving employee engagement.

Take a look at this list of insightful gems:

  • The Essential Processes Your HR Team Needs Today (+60 Free Templates)
  • 12 HR Management Tips to Run an Effective Business (and Prevent Total Chaos)
  • A Beginner’s Guide to Setting up HR Software in the Cloud
  • How to Choose the Best HRIS (Human Resources Information System)
  • Why HRMS is Becoming a Must-Have & How to Get Started

And there we have it. Your complete guide to planning for success with human resource planning!

We’d love to hear what you think about human resource planning in the comments. Who knows? You may even get featured in an upcoming article!

Get our posts & product updates earlier by simply subscribing

what is human resources in business plan

Amanda Greenwood

Amanda is a content writer for Process Street. Her main mission in life is to write content that makes business processes fun, interesting, and easy to understand. Her background is in marketing and project management, so she has a wealth of experience to draw from, which adds a touch of reality and a whole heap of depth to the content she writes.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Take control of your workflows today

Sling is now Sling by Toast! Learn more

More Features

what is human resources in business plan

  • Restaurants
  • Get Started

Group of employees working on laptops

Human Resource Planning: Definition, Objectives, And Steps

  • Employee Management , Templates & Guides

Human resource planning is an essential part of every successful business. Unfortunately, many managers neglect this vital practice for other, easier tasks because they don’t understand what this type of planning requires.

Other times, managers may not understand how pivotal human resource planning is to their long-term corporate strategy  and the ultimate success of their business.

That’s where Sling  can help. In this article, we define human resource planning, outline its objectives, and provide a step-by-step guide to implementing this crucial practice in your business.

Table Of Contents

Human Resource Planning Defined

Human resource planning objectives, hrp vs. shrm, hrp and organizational strategy, steps in human resource planning, why human resource planning is important, challenges of human resource planning, scheduling and communication for effective hrp.

Human resource planning (or HRP for short) is the ongoing process of systematically planning ahead to optimize and maximize your business’s most valuable asset — high-quality employees .

When you incorporate HRP into every aspect of your strategy — functional , business , or organizational  — you streamline the process of creating the best fit between available jobs and available employees. All while avoiding a shortage or surplus in your workforce.

As simple as that may sound, there’s more to human resource planning than setting up a system and implementing it in your organization.

The objectives of HRP are very specific and can mean the difference between success or stagnation. We’ll discuss those objectives in the next section.

group of coworkers having a meeting

As we mentioned earlier, human resource planning is about matching the right employees with the right jobs in your business.

You can do this while interviewing  prospective employees, or even during the performance review  of a long-time team member who is reaching out for more responsibility.

While matching employees to jobs is a big part of human resource planning, the goals of HRP don’t stop there. Other HRP objectives include:

  • Adapting to rapid technology  changes
  • Powering product innovation
  • Adjusting to a more globalized economy
  • Preparing for generational and cultural  shifts
  • Anticipating job and skill changes
  • Facilitating growth
  • Improving business operations
  • Mitigating risk
  • Preventing talent shortage or surplus
  • Complying with local, state, and federal regulations
  • Implementing a successful onboarding process

As you can see, HRP is integral to the successful operation of your business and its growth over both the short- and long-term.

Because this process is connected to every aspect of your business , you may feel overwhelmed by the prospect of creating a new HRP strategy.

Don’t let this prevent you from implementing a system that can revolutionize the way your business operates — both now and in the future .

Keep in mind that human resource planning doesn’t have to address all of the objectives on this list from the moment it goes into effect. Start small and expand into different areas once you’ve addressed one or two objectives.

Later on in this article, we discuss a step-by-step method for producing a human resource planning strategy for your business.

But, first, let’s take a moment to discuss one of the most-confused aspects of human resource planning: how it differs from strategic human resource management.

Three employees in a meeting

Before we delve into the minutiae of human resources , let’s put the two relevant definitions side-by-side to see how they compare.

Human Resource Planning : HRP is the ongoing process of systematically planning ahead to optimize and maximize your business’s most valuable asset — high-quality employees.

Strategic Human Resource Management : SHRM is a holistic approach to assembling the best team for your business’s growth and success.

At first glance, it may appear that human resource planning is the same thing as strategic human resource management under a different name. They seem so similar because one is actually part of the other.

In this case, HRP is a small part of SHRM. Viewed from a different perspective, SHRM contains and governs HRP.

It’s very much like a set of nesting dolls: the smallest one (HRP) fits nicely into the next largest (SHRM), which, in turn, fits into the next largest, and so on.

For practical purposes, it helps to think about human resource planning as the frontline, boots-on-the-ground application, while strategic human resource management is the guiding principle behind those applications.

In other words, SHRM is the why to HRP’s what.

Another way to think about SHRM and HRP is to view your business as a large, complicated machine.

Human resource planning is one component (a gear, for example) that works with other similar components (e.g., production, logistics, shipping, management, etc.) to keep the machine running.

Strategic human resource management, on the other hand, takes a step back and analyzes the machine itself.

SHRM looks at the performance of each component (each department in your business), how they work together to make everything run smoothly, and what the business as a whole can do to improve.

human resource planning

Let’s return, for a moment, to the example of the nesting dolls mentioned earlier.

We established that human resource planning is the smallest doll and that strategic human resource management is the next largest doll. But what comes after that?

What’s the next largest doll in the series? Organizational strategy.

Organizational strategy , at its most basic, is a plan that specifies how your business will allocate resources to support infrastructure, production, marketing, inventory , and other business activities.

How does this affect human resource planning? Organizational strategy directs strategic human resource management directs human resource planning.

In many ways, the strategy side of your business mirrors the relationship between SHRM and HRP.

Organizational strategy is subdivided into three distinct categories: corporate strategy, business strategy, and functional strategy. Just like SHRM and HRP, each level is a part of the one above it.

Corporate level strategy is the main purpose of your business — it’s the destination toward which your business is moving.

Business level strategy is the bridge between corporate level strategy and much of the “boots-on-the-ground” activity that occurs in functional level strategy.

Functional level strategy is the specific actions and benchmarks you assign to departments and individuals that move your business toward the goals created by your corporate level strategy. They are a direct offshoot of your business level strategies.

With those categories in mind, we start to see the bigger picture of your business. SHRM is a component of your business level strategy, while HRP is a component of your functional level strategy.

Now that you understand the theory behind human resource planning, let’s focus our attention on the practice itself.

Business owners in a private office discussing human resource planning

1) Analyze Organizational Strategy

Any successful workforce-management  program — including human resource planning — is a direct offshoot of your business’s organizational strategy.

Therefore, you should always start your HRP process by analyzing the goals and plans of your organization. With those strategies in mind, you can then move on to crafting a general human resources mission statement.

From there, you can work your way through the various departments in your business to address issues such as:

  • Recruitment
  • Employee relations

When you have that information written down, you can craft a human resource plan to help your business reach and maintain its goals.

2) Inventory Current Human Resources

After analyzing your organizational strategy, it’s time to take stock of your business’s current human resources.

In the process, it’s beneficial to investigate such variables as:

  • Total number of team members you employ
  • Who works in what department
  • Skills of each employee
  • Performance reviews
  • Team and individual potential

With that data in hand, you then make sure that your existing workforce  is large enough and skilled enough to cover current demands before moving on to the next step in this guide.

3) Forecast The Future Of Your Workforce

Step three is all about planning, prediction, and preparing for the future.

Guided by your organizational strategy and your current employee data, do your best to forecast what the future of your workforce will look like. Be sure to incorporate any goals and plans into your forecast.

Examine variables such as:

  • New product offerings
  • New services
  • A second (or third) location
  • Labor costs
  • Vendor and supplier  relations
  • Cost of goods sold

A forecast of this type, coupled with the workforce data from step two, gives you an accurate picture of where your business is right now and where you want it to be five, 10, even 15 years down the road.

4) Estimate Gaps

Armed with the information you’ve produced so far, you can now estimate whether or not there are any gaps in your human resource strategy.

Will you need more employees to get your business from the present to where you want it to be in the future? If so, how many? Will you need fewer employees? If so, how many?

Does your forecast call for a reallocation or redistribution of current team members? If so, how would you go about doing this?

Once you’ve estimated the gaps between your current and future workforce numbers, you can move on to step five, where all the planning and brainstorming comes to fruition.

5) Formulate An Action Plan

Formulating an action plan is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak.

Your action plan should take into account all the analysis that came before it — organizational strategies, current HR inventory, HR forecast, and gaps between present and future — to create a step-by-step system for taking your business from point A to point B.

The action plan will be different for every business. Some businesses may need to begin recruiting  and training . Other businesses may need to promote  or transition their existing workforce.

Still other businesses may need to develop a retirement  program or a redeployment process to deal with surplus employees.

When crafting your plan, start with the theoretical — evolve from X to Y — and then move on to actionable steps that your HR department can take — hire and retain  two new team members every year, for example — to transform the theory into reality.

With these steps in mind, you can implement a successful human resource planning system into your business, no matter how many employees you have.

As you go about implementing your business’s HRP, don’t neglect the foundation of all good employer/employee relations: scheduling and communication. We’ll discuss this topic at the end of the article.

6) Integrate With The Rest Of The Company

Two Coworkers doing human resource planning

Now that you’ve got an action plan, your human resource planning efforts will start to yield results.

That said, the integration stage is the most difficult of the entire process, so be ready for some speed bumps.

Without proper preparation — and even with proper preparation, in some cases — both management and frontline employees may show resistance to the proposed changes.

In addition, all departments within your business work together in one way or another (even if it doesn’t at first appear so). This makes the integration phase challenging on many levels.

One of the best ways to integrate human resource planning into the rest of the company is to start with the recruitment , hiring , and training practices in your business.

Once you’ve brought in new, high-potential employees and have begun funneling them into the various departments, you can start to make other changes to accommodate these new hires.

Integrating slowly and pairing the changes with new employees who will further the goals and productivity of each department makes putting your new human resource planning into place much easier.

7) Monitor, Evaluate, And Adjust

The final step in human resource planning is to monitor the new practices, evaluate them for their effectiveness, and adjust as necessary.

In addition to monitoring each department and your business as a whole, it’s also beneficial to zoom in on how any changes made affect the individual employee.

To take the pulse of the front-line worker, include questions about your human resource planning during mid-year reviews and performance appraisals . You can even ask for their opinion when you have them complete an employee self-evaluation .

Monitoring and evaluating in this way will help you get a detailed view of how any new policies, procedures, and practices affect the men and women in the trenches.

Once you have all the information you need, you can then take steps to adjust your human resource planning accordingly.

For that, it’s best to return to the top of this list and start again at step one, incorporating what you learned from the previous run-through.

In essence, then, you can view this list as less of a straight line and more of a circle, with step seven leading directly back into step one. As such, your HRP should be in a constant state of development.

Management doing human resource planning

Your business can function without HRP, and, yes, it can be a challenge to get the plans in place, but the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.

Among other things, HRP can help your business:

  • Anticipate workforce needs in a changing market
  • Plan for short-term and long-term growth
  • Improve operations
  • Facilitate staffing changes
  • Avoid talent shortage
  • Stay ahead of the technology curve
  • Remain agile as the market evolves
  • Maintain compliance with government laws and regulations

Human capital management is one of the most important parts of your business. HRP helps you maximize that potential.

As beneficial and powerful as human resource planning is, it is not without its drawbacks and challenges.

For one thing, HRP relies on forecasting, which is an imperfect art and is never — and can never be — 100% accurate.

Similarly, you can never account for the ambiguity in the market and the rapid change that could come out of nowhere.

There may be some error when you forecast the future of your workforce. That error will affect the other steps on this list for the good or the bad (depending on how accurate your forecast is).

Realistically, though, that can’t be helped and all you can do is give it your best shot. If you discover errors in your forecasting, you can always return to step one and start the process over with the new information.

Other challenges of the human resource planning process include:

  • Resistant workforce
  • Inefficient information systems
  • Overall cost
  • Time and effort

That said, when you are aware of these challenges going in, you can take steps to overcome them right away so that you can get to the benefits sooner.

Sling tool for human resource planning

Scheduling and communication are key components of an effective human resource planning process.

Your team’s schedule is the cornerstone on which you build their work experience. If the schedule doesn’t satisfy all parties — employees and management alike — your business suffers.

Similarly, clear communication with all your employees fosters a strong team and keeps everyone in the loop about employee performance, inventory, standard operating procedures , customer satisfaction , and your business as a whole.

In the 21st century, the best schedules are created and the best communication maintained with help from dedicated software like Sling .

Whether your business has one shift  or three, offers flextime  or a compressed workweek , or works a 9-to-5 work schedule or a 9/80 work schedule , Sling can help simplify the schedule-creation process.

And with advanced communication features built in, Sling is the only tool you’ll ever need to keep your employees informed about your business and connected with each other.

In fact, we developed the Sling app  to streamline communication as well as make scheduling, tracking labor, finding substitutes, assigning tasks, and building employee engagement  extremely simple.

There are so many ways Sling can help improve your human resource planning that we don’t have room to talk about them here. So instead of reading about it, why not try it out?

Sign up for a free account and see for yourself how Sling can help you implement the necessary strategies  to make your team and your business successful.

For more free resources to help you manage your business better, organize and schedule your team, and track and calculate labor costs, visit GetSling.com  today.

See Here For Last Updated Dates: Link

This content is for informational purposes and is not intended as legal, tax, HR, or any other professional advice. Please contact an attorney or other professional for specific advice.

Find the article useful? Share with others:

New call-to-action

Related articles

Sign with the words info and strategy

Strategic Human Resource Management: What Is It And Why Is It Important?

Most businesses have some type of human resource management plan — even if it�...

human resource management meeting

Human Resource Management: What Is It And Why Is It Important?

Regardless of the size of your team, human resource management is crucial for th...

human resource management system

What Is a Human Resource Management System (HRMS)?

A human resource management system can help your business get ahead in the game....

Get started today

Schedule faster, communicate better, get things done.

Human Resource Planning (HRP): A Step-By-Step Guide

Human Resource Planning (HRP): A Step-By-Step Guide

In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, having a plan in place for managing your human capital is key — and that’s where human resource planning (HRP) comes in. Human resource planning plays a critical role in making sure that your organization is well-equipped with the right talent at the right time.

Today, we’re walking through the intricacies of HRP so you can implement this practice in your organization.

What Is Human Resource Planning?

Human resource planning, or HRP, stands out as a strategic and methodical process designed to ensure that your organization fully leverages its human capital . It is not a one-time event but rather a continuous journey toward operational excellence and strategic alignment.

At its core, HRP aims to establish a seamless alignment between your employees and their respective roles, meticulously crafting a workforce that is both skilled and adequately sized to meet your organizational demands.

This proactive approach goes a long way in safeguarding your business against potential manpower shortages or surpluses, ensuring that you are well-prepared for the future.

Why Is HRP Important?

HRP is crucial for syncing your current workforce with your future needs. It entails a rigorous analysis of your existing staff, evaluating their skills, competencies, and performance.

This is where metrics come into play, providing a quantitative backbone to your workforce planning efforts. By leveraging data-driven insights, you can make informed decisions, ensuring that your team is not only talented but also aligned with your business objectives.

HRP doesn’t stop there, though — it’s a comprehensive approach that intertwines various facets of human resource management. Staffing, forecasting , performance management, and employee retention all fall under its umbrella. Each of these elements is crucial in building and maintaining a robust workforce.

In terms of staffing, HRP helps you decipher not just the number of employees you need, but also the types of skills and competencies they should possess. Forecasting, on the other hand, empowers your HR department to anticipate future demand, aligning your human resources with your company’s strategic direction.

Performance management is another vital cog in the HRP machine. It ensures that your employees are not just present but also productive and engaged. This, in turn, enhances employee retention, fostering a company culture that values growth, stability, and satisfaction.

HRP even plays a role in shaping your company culture . By aligning your human resources with your company’s needs and values, you create an environment where employees feel valued and aligned with the organization’s goals.

What Are the Advantages of Human Resource Planning?

At its core, human resource planning places the right talent in the right place at the right time, ensuring that your organization’s objectives align with your workforce’s capabilities. Now, let’s talk about the advantages of HRP and how it can lay the foundation for organizational success.

Ensures Effective Management of Current Employees

Strategic workforce alignment is at the heart of HRP. With effective human resource management, HR professionals can ensure that the current workforce is in sync with the company’s overarching goals.

This alignment can translate to better resource allocation, more informed decision-making, and enhanced overall performance.

Reveals Knowledge Gaps in the Workforce

The ever-evolving business landscape means organizations need to be adept at forecasting and adapting — and human resource planning plays a role here.

By examining current employees’ skill sets and comparing them with future needs, knowledge gaps can become more apparent. Addressing these gaps, whether through hiring new talent or upskilling existing employees, helps you ensure that your business stays competitive.

Balances HR Costs

Cost-effectiveness is crucial for the HR planning process. By anticipating future human resource needs, last-minute external recruitments — which often come with high costs — can be avoided.

Plus, recognizing surplus areas within your current workforce allows for internal reassignments to take place, cutting down on recruitment and onboarding expenses.

Keeps Companies Adaptable to Change

Change is constant, especially in today’s fast-paced business world, and human resource planning positions organizations to seamlessly navigate these changes.

From staying updated with industry trends to adapting to regulatory shifts, an HR department’s proactive planning ensures businesses remain resilient and agile. With Mosey , you can more effectively track, manage, and stay on top of changing regulations and requirements, making HR compliance a breeze.

Helps Secure Long-Term Growth

Another key component of HRP is succession planning. Identifying roles and preparing a talent pipeline ensures that your organization isn’t caught off-guard if leadership positions open up.

This planning not only opens the door to future leaders, but also ensures that institutional knowledge is retained, fueling your business’s long-term growth and stability.

Contributes to Organizational Goals

The nexus between human resource planning and organizational goals is undeniable. By streamlining the hiring process, ensuring employee satisfaction , and fostering employee retention, HRP contributes directly to the achievement of business objectives.

When employees see clear growth trajectories and development avenues, their commitment to the company’s vision intensifies, driving the organization closer to its goals.

What Are the Steps for Human Resource Planning?

HRP ensures that businesses are well-equipped, both in terms of the quantity and quality of their workforce, to meet their evolving goals and challenges. So, how can you actually navigate the intricacies of HRP? Here’s a step-by-step walkthrough of the essential phases that make up the human resource planning process.

Analyze Employee Skills and Performance

Human resource planning centers around an understanding of your company’s current workforce.

During this initial phase, the HR department dives into understanding the number of employees, their competencies, qualifications, positions, benefits, and performance levels. This skill inventory ensures that HR professionals have a clear picture of the strengths and areas for improvement in the present workforce.

Research Industry Trends and Forecasts

Effective human resource planning can also help you predict, and plan for, the future, so the next stage is to outline what your company will need in terms of human capital in the foreseeable future.

This forecasting phase requires the HR department to consider various factors, such as potential promotions, retirements, layoffs, and transfers. External conditions, like emerging technologies or industry shifts, can also have a significant impact on labor demand. Ensuring you stay ahead in terms of industry trends helps you align your staffing needs more effectively.

Conduct Demand Forecasting

Having a clear understanding of both the present workforce, potential employees, and future needs is vital to bridge the two through demand forecasting. This step in the HR planning process involves creating a gap analysis that points out discrepancies between the current workforce and future human resource demands.

This type of analysis leads to important questions like:

  • Should current employees learn new skills?
  • Is there a need for more managers?
  • Are all employees fully utilizing their competencies in their present roles?

Answering these questions is key to crafting a strategic human resource plan that aligns with both the present and the future.

Determine Future Human Resource Needs

Once your demand forecasting has highlighted the shortages or surpluses in terms of competencies or number of employees, the next step is to determine the specific future human resource needs.

Whether it’s upskilling the current employees, succession planning for key roles, or identifying the need for new hires, this phase ensures that your business is poised for future growth without any HR hiccups.

Align HR Needs With Organizational Strategy

Human resource planning is intertwined with your broader business goals and strategies. Once your HR needs are identified, it’s important to make sure those needs align with your organizational goals.

This strategic planning phase ensures that every hiring process, training initiative, or retention effort contributes directly to your company’s overarching objectives.

Plan for Employee Development and Training

Once your future human resource needs are aligned with your company strategy, it’s time to implement plans for employee development. This might involve setting up training programs, workshops, or certifications to upskill current employees.

Ensuring your workforce is equipped with the right skills enhances employee satisfaction and retention and gives your business a competitive advantage.

Implement Plan for Forecasted HR Needs

The culmination of the human resource planning process is the implementation of your action plan. Taking cues from the gap analysis and strategic alignment, HR can now roll out a well-thought-out plan.

This could involve tweaking job descriptions, initiating new hiring processes, onboarding new employees, or even revisiting HR policies such as vacation, sick days, or overtime compensation. Collaboration with all departments is key here to ensure the successful execution of your plan, ensuring the HR strategies benefit the organization as a whole.

Support HRP Efforts With Mosey

From identifying when and where to open payroll accounts to managing workers’ compensation and paid family medical leave, Mosey simplifies the complex web of compliance and regulatory demands.

Why not explore how Mosey can streamline your HR processes and compliance management ? Our platform is designed to provide clarity, guidance, and ease, allowing you to focus on what matters most — nurturing and growing your most valuable asset, your employees. Try Mosey today .

Read more from Mosey:

  • Compliance Automation: How It Works & Its Value
  • Sole Proprietorship vs. LLC: Key Differences
  • What Is a Foreign Corporation? FAQs Explained
  • What Is a C Corporation (C Corp)?
  • What Is Payroll? A Guide for Small Business Payroll
  • What Is a Legal Entity? Definition & Examples
  • What Is SUI? State Unemployment Insurance FAQs

Review your compliance risks, free.

Use our compliance checkup to learn more about what to do to be compliant in any state! It's free and takes less than five minutes.

Ready to get started?

Sign up now or schedule a free consultation to see how Mosey transforms business compliance.

what is human resources in business plan

Mosey has everything you need to get compliant in all 50 states in one, easy to use, platform.

  • HR department
  • Performance review
  • Recruitment
  • Free HR course
  • HR Software
  • HR Services
  • Compensation
  • Learning & development
  • Remote work
  • Blue Collar
  • Occupational health

what is human resources in business plan

How to create a human resources plan

what is human resources in business plan

Benjamin Franklin is often quoted as saying, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” We can’t deny that there are few instances in life in which the result turns out better without preparation, especially when we’re talking about business. As a central component of any company, the HR department is no exception to this rule, meaning the human resources plan must be given the importance it deserves. 

If you’re still not sure what the purpose of human resources planning is , then this article is for you. We’ll explain in detail how to translate your department’s strategic thinking onto paper and put it into practice. 

What is s trategic human resource planning ?

The human resources plan outlines the general strategy for this business area . It includes measures to adapt to current and future supply and demand requirements relating to the workforce, as well as pay policies, wellbeing, etc. 

Generally, the document considers the following topics: 

  • How many staff are required to fulfil the organisation’s needs . 
  • Staff management strategies .
  • Job descriptions for all posts.
  • Channels and sources for attracting candidates.
  • Recruitment and selection processes.
  • Growth and development planning.

The importance of a human resources plan

A company human resources plan is essential if the staff and organisation are to operate effectively . This document is also key to achieving a company’s business objectives. 

It also serves to:

  • Promote flexibility within the organisation : we are living in a constantly changing world. Effective planning helps companies adapt more easily to new situations and negotiate market volatility. 
  • Improve the distribution and use of internal talent : by analysing and organising the human capital, companies can make better use of internal talent and distribute employees more coherently. 
  • Facilitate growth for small to medium enterprises : HR planning is a fundamental aspect of growth strategies. It is important to know when to subcontract, how many people to hire, what benefits will it bring, etc.  

ebook CTA

The objectives of a human resources plan

Why do companies design human resources management plans ? The main goals are as follows:  

  • Supply information : the data acquired through a company’s human resources plan are hugely important to, for example, identify surplus, unused resources. Similarly, the information can also be used in other management functions.
  • Analyse the current workforce : the document should also determine the workforce’s strengths and existing skills. 
  • Use human resources effectively : Planning is the HR management’s primary responsibility, as their duty is to ensure efficient use of the current and future labour force. 
  • Identify salary gaps : the document will also examine any potential salary gaps and, in turn, create more equal policies. 
  • Ensure internal wellbeing : good planning and organisation almost automatically generate an improvement in the work environment, boosting productivity and employee satisfaction. 
  • Retain talent : this, in turn, has a direct impact on talent retention. Employees who are content in their job are less likely to accept offers from other companies.
  • Foresee potential department needs : all planning should include a forecasting section. Understanding when it will be necessary to incorporate new people into the team and what type of role is required is essential. 

6 steps to create a human resources plan

At this point you may be thinking, “but how do I do a human resources plan ?” If that’s the case, here are the steps you need to follow:

1. Define the plan’s objective

Any measures that are developed by a company must be aligned with the general business objectives. This goes for the human resources plan, too.  

Aside from this, the specific objectives of the plan will be targeted at a particular area: employee retention, attracting talent, promoting the business culture, etc. It is important to be clear and precise at this stage for the content to be useful and have a real impact on the organisation. 

2. Analyse the current human capital

The next key step is to analyse and evaluate the availability and resilience of the current resources. This will entail carrying out an exhaustive assessment of each member of the organisation in terms of skills, experience, performance, seniority, etc. 

3. Carry out a needs forecast

Analysing future labour requirements is an important step in human resources planning. Although there will always be fluctuations, it is critical to have a forecast in place of factors such as: redundancies, dismissals, retirements, promotions, etc.

4. Write the HR plan

Once you’ve gathered all the information, it’s time to create a solid plan that fulfils current needs and forecasted possibilities. For example, you will have to decide whether it is necessary to hire, train or subcontract labour to achieve the company’s objectives. 

In general, try to include the following information: 

  • Definition of targets and goals.
  • Required measures, expected results and resources used. 

5. Implement the plan 

Implementing the plan is probably the most challenging step. Many organisations, in fact, do not achieve what they have set out to do. To approach it successfully, trust your team and introduce changes gradually. Try to handle any incidents as they come along and make sure you are complying with the organisation’s general standards. 

6. Monitor and review the process

HR planning is an ongoing process. It is important to review the plan periodically to make sure the strategy is pointing in the right direction and achieving the objectives.

New call-to-action

Products For

  • Help Guides
  • Billing FAQs
  • Business Plan

HR Business Plan: What Is It and Why Do You Need It?

As a business owner, it is not enough to only have a business plan in place. In order to have a business run smoothly from top to bottom, every department must have a business plan. One of the first departments to focus on is the Human Resources (HR) department. This is because many of the compliance functions and hiring decisions are made from this department. It is the heart of any business in many ways and, as such, it should be treated with importance.

Table of Contents

Why does every business need an hr business plan, why is your standard business plan not enough, steps to take to develop your hr business plan, the importance of examination and revision of your plan.

Just like a business needs a plan for success , so does the HR department. Real success for a business comes in the form of ensuring that all of the departments are working toward a common goal. The common goal is something that is outlined in the overall business plan. The department plan will look different for every department because they should all be working toward different goals, but at the end of the day, they should all still be working toward the ultimate goal of bringing the business together and making it better. Every business is different, and the HR business plan that is developed for one business may not be the exact same as it is for another business. As part of this process, it is important to analyze the needs of the specific business at hand. Another key component of this is that the Human Resources department should benchmark industry standards and requirements. Due to the heavy compliance requirements, this department is a bit different than many others within a business.

Another reason why it is so important to have an HR business plan is because every business wants to ensure compliance in all areas that require attention. The importance of this is that if this does not happen, the business could have a lot more trouble later on in the form of government fines or other penalties. Compliance is a big part of any business and HR department. If there is not a plan in place for things such as verifying that employees can legally work in the United States, minimum wage rules are met, and more, the business will be open to a lot of potential for risk. One way or another it will find you, and you will have to deal with it as a business if it is not kept up with from the beginning. By failing to take into account both the business and the regulatory needs of the department, you could be setting yourself up for failure before you even begin making your business profitable and successful. Do not make this mistake, like many other businesses have done, as it could end up costing you your business.

A common question during the process is, why is there a need for a separate plan for the HR department? A business plan is designed to outline the goals and processes for the business as a whole. It does not take into account how things should be managed by various departments. It is still important to have a business plan , but it should be understood that it is not a document that can take into account all of these other factors that are important to the growth of the business. If you take a look at your business plan, you will find that, most likely, aspects such as compliance requirements and regulations have not been included. There are many different parts of HR that need to be a priority for the department, and there should also be a plan in place to determine how the department will serve the business and the employees. This should not be included in the overall business plan because it would be out of place and it would not be directly tied to the department and the goals of that department. This is why it makes the most sense to ensure the two are separate with ties that bind them, and that the HR department has ownership of their plan.

Once the business plan is created, it is time to develop the HR business plan. To do this, it is important to ensure that all areas are examined and that the goals of the business plan are in line with the business. Use these steps to develop your own HR business plan for your business:

  • Step One: Determine what is needed for the business from the HR department – It is imperative to know exactly what should come from the HR department. The following considerations should be outlined in your plan: the hiring needs for your employees, such as how many employees are needed at capacity and when to hire more people; onboarding schedules and orientation days to ensure employees are set up for success; employee performance reviews to document how employees are doing and when it is time to terminate (if applicable); payroll so everyone gets paid accurately and on time; and terminations. This is a good idea because there should not be a lot of time spent developing a plan for things that will not be handled by the HR department. As part of this process, it may be beneficial to develop a clear purpose and direction for the department. As part of the plan, there should be an outline for current requirements as well as a plan for future years and goals to work toward.
  • Step Two: Understand and review all of the detailed job descriptions that are in place for employees in this department – Whatever the staff make-up is for the department, like an HR Assistant or an HR Manager, it is best to line up their job descriptions with the expectations of the department. As part of this examination process, if there are components of their job descriptions that are not being performed or are being underperformed that would add value to your company, they should be included in the HR business plan. Put it in writing that these are the goals of the roles and the department. It is also important to detail why they should be a part of the process. To ensure that there is nothing missing from this component of your HR business plan, it is also smart to review an HR department audit book or program.
  • Step Three: Define specific HR functions – As part of this process, there may be some functions or action items that should be delegated to other departments because they make more sense. There may even be some that need to be added. Creating the right list of delegations within the department and the business helps to ensure that all departments are functioning to the best of their ability. If you have your HR department focusing on things such as providing the employee feedback, then you may want to delegate it to the department that makes more sense, such as management. There should not be any functions on the list that do not serve the needs of the business and the department.
  • Step Four: Determine how other departments view the HR department – HR is the heart of a business and, as such, there should be a desire to gain an honest assessment of satisfaction of the department. This information can be gathered from other executives in the company as well as other employees. Find out what their experience has been with the department and how they perceive the actions of the department. As part of this feedback, there could be some services that are wanted by employees that are not currently offered by the department. Try to find out how the HR department can better support the mission, vision, and goals of the business. Develop some questions to go in a survey to all employees and then hold a meeting to discuss the results and encourage open and honest feedback. This feedback from the outside looking in can be very valuable to the department and will provide the added perspective needed to truly grow the company as well as the department simultaneously.
  • Step Five: Get advice from other professionals in the field – While getting internal information and feedback is key, it can also be very beneficial to discuss the requirements of an HR department with other professionals in the field. There are entire organizations dedicated to HR and it can be easy to find recent published information from professional organizations in the field such as the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Consider going to some local association meetings and talking to other professionals if you do not have connections with any in the area already. By looking at these things, it should be easy to develop a good scope of what the HR department should look like in terms of what the norms are in the field and assist with developing planning priorities.
  • Step Six: Use the internal and external information to create an HR business plan that works for the business – Develop a list of priorities for the department and go into depth on some of these items. With everything laid out, the department can determine exactly what is a priority, what may need to be expanded in the department, and how to focus the efforts. With all of this information available there should be a lot to work with, but it is important to prioritize things so the plan is well organized and formulated. List the major functions, outline what is missing, and then go into detail. As part of the HR business plan, it is important to be very thorough in this process because there needs to be clear direction in all things that should be completed within the department.
  • Step Seven: Re-delegate tasks – Now you have your HR business plan in place, re-delegate tasks to all members of the team to ensure that all components are captured and that you are moving in the right direction. It may take some time to get all of this down to a science in the department, but you will be on the right path in terms of how you want to run the department and the direction that you plan to go in over the next few years.

Once there is an HR business plan in place, the work is not over. Just like with a business plan, it is important to continue to revisit the HR business plan on a regular basis. As the business grows and as goals are met, there will be some components of the HR business plan that will need to be updated. The plan should outline how things will be run for a successful HR department, but it is not meant to be a static document. It is one that will grow with the company, meaning that it will need to be examined at least every two years. Sometimes there may be no need to make any changes while other times a lot of changes will need to be made. It will depend on a variety of factors such as whether or not the department has implemented new technology, whether or not employment laws have changed, and even how much the business has grown. As there are many factors that can play into this, it is important to ensure it remains a living document that is updated as needed.

Click here to create your human resources documents now .

We use essential cookies to make Venngage work. By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.

Manage Cookies

Cookies and similar technologies collect certain information about how you’re using our website. Some of them are essential, and without them you wouldn’t be able to use Venngage. But others are optional, and you get to choose whether we use them or not.

Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are always on, as they’re essential for making Venngage work, and making it safe. Without these cookies, services you’ve asked for can’t be provided.

Show cookie providers

  • Google Login

Functionality Cookies

These cookies help us provide enhanced functionality and personalisation, and remember your settings. They may be set by us or by third party providers.

Performance Cookies

These cookies help us analyze how many people are using Venngage, where they come from and how they're using it. If you opt out of these cookies, we can’t get feedback to make Venngage better for you and all our users.

  • Google Analytics

Targeting Cookies

These cookies are set by our advertising partners to track your activity and show you relevant Venngage ads on other sites as you browse the internet.

  • Google Tag Manager
  • Infographics
  • Daily Infographics
  • Popular Templates
  • Accessibility
  • Graphic Design
  • Graphs and Charts
  • Data Visualization
  • Human Resources
  • Beginner Guides

Blog Human Resources 6 Steps to Create a Strategic HR Plan [With Templates]

6 Steps to Create a Strategic HR Plan [With Templates]

Written by: Jessie Strongitharm Aug 25, 2022

hr plan

The backbone of any successful business is the people and processes behind it — that’s why creating a human resources (HR) plan is key. This strategic document drives your business forward by evaluating where your workforce is at, and comparing it to future needs. 

Without an HR plan, organizations can suffer from issues that would have otherwise been avoided. From productivity pitfalls to costly employee turnover, there’s no shortage of risks you can sidestep if you do human resource planning in advance. 

Not sure where to start? No worries. I’ve outlined six steps you can take to create an effective HR plan that ensures your organization is well-staffed and well-served. You’ll also find a variety of  HR templates  that you can customize in just a few clicks — no design expertise required. 

Click to jump ahead:

What is human resource planning?

  • Assess employees’ current skill levels
  • Forecast your labor needs based on available information
  • Revisit your organizational design
  • Outline how you will manage, motivate and retain talent 
  • Align your workforce planning with your budget 
  • Establish KPIs for your human resource planning objectives

Human resource planning is the process of considering the current and future “people needs” of an organization.

This involves evaluating an organization’s workforce structure and protocols to ensure operational goals are met, productivity stays high and future demands for labor and talent can be fulfilled. 

The result of this process is the creation of an HR plan, which typically takes the form of a written document sometimes autogenerated using HR software . These documents tend to follow a similar structure to most  strategic business plans  and are created on an annual basis, by HR managers or company leaders.

Check out the template below for an example. 

hr plan

This eye-catching, one-page  HR Strategic Plan Template  offers a concise summary of your human resource planning efforts, so you can easily share info with colleagues. 

Just swap out the text and visual assets for those of your choosing in  Venngage’s editor , and you’re off to the races. 

6 steps to create a strategic HR plan

Ready to create a strategic plan for the human resources that power your business? Here are six steps to help you succeed at the human resource planning process.

1. Assess current employees’ skill levels

The first step to creating a future-forward HR plan is to assess employees’ current skill sets, and compare them to your operational needs moving forward. This will help you identify gaps and inform any hiring of new employees.

Employees’ skill levels can be assessed by reviewing their work history, hard and soft skills and professional growth over time. 

Using a matrix is a great way to understand where the skill gaps in your current workforce exist. Below is an example that describes the skills needed for different marketing roles. 

hr plan

Don’t need it for marketing specifically? No worries — you can fully customize this template by swapping in your own text to examine any human resource gaps. 

Another way to assess skills is by giving employees a questionnaire they can fill out. This  Employee Competency Assessment Template  does just that.

hr plan

Based on the information collected, you’ll get a sense of what positions best suit each individual, and whether any upskilling or hiring is required. 

2. Forecast your labor needs based on available information

Next in your strategic strategic HR management plan, you’ll want to consider the future. This involves accounting for any upcoming changes to your workforce, so operations can continue without error.

When forecasting labor needs, the following should be considered: 

  • Planned promotions
  • Upcoming retirements 
  • Layoffs 
  • Personnel transfers 
  • Extended leaves of absence (i.e. maternity/paternity leave) 

Beyond those, it’s a good idea to assess the impact of external conditions on your labor needs during your human resource planning. For example, new technological developments may decrease the amount of employees you require to operate your business. 

3. Revisit your organizational design

Organizational design is the process of structuring the way a business operates so it can best achieve its goals. This is hugely important when it comes to your human resource planning process! 

With a clear understanding of your organization’s strategic objectives in mind, reviewing your organizational design allows you to understand the staffing requirements you’ll need to succeed at them. This means taking into account your  organizational structure  and chains of command, as well as how work gets done and the way information flows.

 From there, you’ll be able to see which departments need more team members so it can accomplish the organization’s objectives. 

An easy way to get started is by using an organizational flow chart. 

hr plan

With its color coding and layout, even a new manager can quickly look at this chart to identify the people responsible for leading teams and making decisions. 

And if there are any changes, it’s easy to to reflect them in the chart itself. All you need to do is customize the text and visual assets in  Venngage’s Chart Maker  as desired. 

Not quite your style? There’s plenty of other  organizational chart templates  to choose from. 

hr plan

Here’s an organizational chart that’s perfect for small businesses that have limited employees. One quick look, and you’re good to go. 

The bottom line is, no matter how big or small your business may be, you should always revisit your organizational design to optimize your workforce management and business operations. 

Related:  Types of Organizational Structure [+ Visualization Tips]

4. Outline how you will manage, motivate and retain talent 

In this day and age, it’s a known fact that companies must provide more than just a paycheque to attract and retain talent, and encourage growth. 

It’s true —  studies have shown  employees are more engaged in their work when they feel it is meaningful, fulfilling and slightly challenging. So your human resource plan should consider how to inspire such feelings, and what actions you can take to motivate employees to stay. (Hint: a strong HR training and development program is key.)  

The  talent management infographic template  below is a great way to begin. 

hr plan

Using this  process chart , you can detail the steps you’ll take to retain the talent you have. Reference it as needed in your human resource planning.

 Another great way to keep staff motivated and geared towards their professional growth is by coming up with  ideas for employee development . Facilitating a company culture that champions continuous learning guarantees your team will feel supported and challenged in all the right ways.

The two employee development plan templates below will help you do just that. 

hr plan

Though both templates are geared towards healthcare organizations, it’s easy to customize their content in Venngage to promote the continuous learning and development of employees in any industry.

 As a result, your employees will be able to reach their full potential, while simultaneously supporting the long-term goals of your organization. 

Related:  6 Employee Development Ideas for Efficient Training

5. Align your workforce planning with your budget 

 Let’s face it, human resources ain’t cheap.

 Meaning, if you struggle at organizing and monitoring your HR budget, you’re bound to overspend on your initiatives —and no financially savvy business wants that. 

That’s why I recommend including financial information in your HR planning process, so you can reference your budget and expenses as needed. This includes not only hiring and training costs but also the complexities of managing a global payroll for diverse teams.

Ensuring this allows you to stay within range as you work towards achieving your strategic goals for human capital . Plus, you don’t need to use one that contains walls of text and wack-loads numbers. Check out the clean and cheery option below — it’s as easy to fill out as it is to understand. 

hr plan

And if you’re looking to compare a forecasted budget to previous annual spending when strategizing your HR budget, the  Budget Comparison Infographic Template  below will help. 

hr plan

The bar graph is a great  data visualization  of annual expenses, organized by category. Just add (or import) any values to Venngage’s editor, swap out the text, and you’re ready to compare with ease. 

Related:  10+ Expense Report Templates You Can Edit Easily

6. Establish KPIs for your human resource planning objectives

Measurable results are important when it comes to your HR planning processes, because they indicate whether your strategy is working or not. 

Keeping those metrics in mind, your company can make adjustments and improve upon any future plans — AKA strategize for future success in business. That’s why your human resource plan should include info re: the specific key performance indicators (KPI) you’ll be measuring. 

KPIs are established to help determine if HR strategies and plans are working. Much like those used for evaluating the performance of  marketing  or  sales plan , KPIs for human resources are measurable results that indicate an organization’s success at achieving predetermined goals.

These may take the form of headcounts, turnover rates, demographic information, time to hire and employee satisfaction scores. 

Here’s one employee satisfaction survey you can use to understand your workforce better. 

hr plan

When you’re ready to organize those HR KPIs in a document, the  recruiting template  below is perfect for keeping tabs at a glance. 

hr plan

Related:  10+ Customizable HR Report Templates & Examples

How do I make an HR plan? 

After you’ve collected the data you need, you’ll want to convey this info in an engaging, professional manner for easy referencing and sharing amongst colleagues. Given this, using Venngage is the best route to go. 

Here are the simple steps to help you bring an actionable HR plan to life: 

  • Outline the information you would like to include in your strategic hr plan
  • Pick the human resource planning templates that best suits your needs 
  • Customize the templates’ text and visual assets so they speak to your organization 
  • Apply your company’s brand guidelines with a few clicks using Venngage’s automated branding feature,  My Brand Kit
  • Download and share as desired

Note: sharing is available free-of-charge. However, the option to download your creations and access features like  My Brand Kit and Team Collaboration  are available with a  Business plan . 

FAQ about HR plans

How long should an hr plan be .

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to the length of an HR plan. That being said, if you’re going to share it with colleagues, you probably don’t want to create a 20+ page document. One to five pages should suffice. 

Try to be as concise as possible when relaying the facts, and use  data visualizations  wherever possible to save room.

Do I need an HR contingency plan?

In the same way creating an HR plan is a proactive move that helps your organization account for future needs, it’s a good idea to devise an HR contingency plan. This ensures there’s a back-up plan in place should your initiatives not go as expected. 

For example, if you’ve identified that you need five new hires to keep up with consumer demand, but the talent pool is lacking, a contingency plan could house suggestions for restructuring your workforce to mitigate this. 

In other words, it’s best-practice to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. 

Is an HR plan different from an employee development plan?

Yes. While an HR plan is a strategic document describing how an organization addresses its personnel-related needs at a high-level, an  employee development plan  outlines the processes needed to help an individual achieve their professional goals.

 Even though the human resource planning process may involve outlining some employee development tactics, it is not unique to each employee as in the case of an employee development plan.

Make your HR planning processes effortless 

You don’t need a crystal ball to feel confident about your people moving forward. With a solid HR plan and strategy in place, you’ll prime your workforce — and all business endeavors — to succeed in even the most competitive of markets. 

Just remember this: human resources planning, and creating strategic business plans in general, doesn’t have to be exhausting. 

With Venngage’s huge selection of  professionally-designed templates  and easy-to-use editor, all it takes is a few minutes to produce a polished document perfect for all your needs.  Sign up for free today ! 

Discover popular designs

what is human resources in business plan

Infographic maker

what is human resources in business plan

Brochure maker

what is human resources in business plan

White paper online

what is human resources in business plan

Newsletter creator

what is human resources in business plan

Flyer maker

what is human resources in business plan

Timeline maker

what is human resources in business plan

Letterhead maker

what is human resources in business plan

Mind map maker

what is human resources in business plan

Ebook maker

HR Business Plan Template: Everything You Need to Know

With an HR business plan template, you can help your company recruit new employees, retain existing employees, and guide the development of the workforce. 4 min read updated on February 01, 2023

With an HR business plan template, you can help your company recruit new employees, retain existing employees, and guide the development of the workforce so that you collectively meet your business objectives, regardless of any changes in the industry or economy.

When creating your HR business plan, you need to perform a needs analysis of your workplace to tailor the plan to your company's requirements. You'll also need to learn about the industry standards for your field to make sure you're competitive.

Without such a plan in place, your workers will feel unprepared and won't know how to work towards your company's overall goals.

Steps for Developing a Human Resources Department Business Plan

There are several steps to creating an HR business plan. They include:

  • Clarify the requirements . While you might be tempted to create a detailed plan that encompasses the entire company's next 10 years, hold off. Always talk with your boss to see how much detail he or she would like in the plan. This will save you time and help streamline the process. However, there's no harm in creating your own personalized strategic plan for your specific department.
  • Read through the HR job descriptions . The HR department typically has employees such as HR assistants, HR generalists, and an HR director . Read through the job descriptions for each worker in the department and see what kind of duties are missing. Brainstorm additional functions that each job role could provide to the company.
  • Curate your list . Take the different functions you've brainstormed and compare them to what each member of the HR department is already doing. Are there functions you could add or subtract from each employee for more productivity? You don't have to go into detail here, but just think about how you could improve each role.
  • Schedule a meeting with the executives . Before you make any changes, you'll obviously need to get input and approval from the company's executives. They may have more feedback on how the HR department can provide additional services and support the company's overall goals and mission.
  • Create a feedback form . Come up with a list of questions to ask leadership about HR's role in the company and provide it to them in advance of the meeting so they have time to think it over and talk with their staff. You may even want to provide a rating and ranking format for the questions, as this will make their responses easy to understand and implement. Overall, this is a key process to understanding what management and employees want and need from the HR department.
  • Look at external resources . While the internal information you're collecting is the most important, it also doesn't hurt to take a look at data from professional organizations and websites, such as the Society for Human Resource Management , The Balance , or HR Magazine . You can also ask colleagues from other local organizations for tips on creating your business plan.
  • Use this information to make a plan . With your ideas, feedback from executives, and tips from external resources, you should have a clear idea of what your plan should look like. The things that are missing from the HR department should now be clear, and this should guide you on what to focus on to improve HR's contribution to the company.
  • Identify goals for this year and next . While your plan can have long-term goals, keep the majority of them a little bit shorter in scope to see how things work out. This gives you the chance to reorganize and restructure if things aren't going right. Consider creating a list of accomplishments you can reach for the end of this year and into the next.

A Real Life Example

If you're seeking more guidance on how to create a successful HR business plan, look to Starbucks as an example.

As the world's largest coffee chain, Starbucks had $21.3 billion in sales in 2016.

Despite these massive numbers, Starbucks maintains the same approach to their human resources department. All of the HR planning is guided by the company's organizational strategy and brand.

Their strategy is to use specific interview techniques when hiring new employees. This lets them identify potential leaders and place them in a "New Partner Orientation and Immersion" training program. With this system, Starbucks has achieved the lowest employee turnover rate in the quick-service restaurant industry.

Starbucks also offers numerous employee perks and dedicates a lot of time to employee training through an online portal that teaches employees essential job skills.

If you need help with your HR business plan template, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.

Hire the top business lawyers and save up to 60% on legal fees

Content Approved by UpCounsel

  • HR Compliance
  • SPHR Certification
  • Human Resources Management
  • LLC Business Plan Template
  • Details of a Business Plan
  • Business Plan Management Structure: What You Need to Know
  • CCP Certification
  • Service Business Plan
  • Creating a Business Plan
  • By Job Titles
  • By College Majors
  • By Companies
  • By Location
  • Job Search Advice

HR Business Plan: What Is It And What Are Its Steps?

Every company that has an HR department needs an HR business plan. Without it, you will have inconsistencies when you deal with your employees.

Human resources manage the relationship between your company and its employees. Due to this, it is only natural for human resources to have their own plan of approach to their tasks.

Key Takeaways:

An HR business plan is the strategic approach of the human resources department.

The HR business plan should clarify responsibilities, organize its processes, and create performance standards in which to gauge its success.

First assess the current HR situation, then establish goals and strategies to enact those goals for the HR department.

Make sure your HR strategies comply with legal requirements.

What Is A HR Business Plan And What Are Its Steps?

What Is A HR Business Plan?

An HR business plan is a strategic approach your human resource department will follow to accomplish its goals.

Like all business plans, an HR business plan needs to define its objectives, organize systems of measured success, and incorporate a flexible framework. A robust plan can adapt to new scenarios and still focus on its long-term aims.

Though this will vary by company, in general, every HR business plan will want to:

Clarify roles and responsibilities. Focus on the roles and responsibilities of the department and its members. You want to understand the job descriptions of each member of the human resource department. Then decide what the overall purpose of the department is and connect it back to each member. Be aware of any conflicting or contradictory agendas and seek to streamline.

Design and organize processes. Human resources helps hire, train, onboard, and terminate staff. There should be well-detailed plans for each process that keeps the human resources department prepared for any scenario.

Address compensation and benefits. Human resources manages the implementation of benefits and compensation. Therefore, the department’s plan must discuss how this will be handled.

Comply with legal requirements. The human resource department needs to be well-versed in the legal requirements and protections of the employees. The plan should provide a clear compliance with the law.

Create performance standards. A business plan is useless unless it can be evaluated against measures of success. It helps to provide metrics with results to be more objective in analysis.

Tie in to overall business plan. The HR business plan needs to complement the overarching business plan of the company. Avoid any policies or procedures that conflict with the overall business plan.

A human resource business plan will develop these points into a coherent strategy.

Steps To Develop A HR Business Plan

Assess current human resource situation. Before a plan is made, the human resources department and the company executives need to know what they have already. Your company should evaluate the roles and responsibilities of its human resource staff. You will want to see if anything is missing or if there is anything that is expendable.

Establish goals for human resource department. Now that you know what you’re working with, it is time now to think about what you want the human resource department to accomplish. Use the roles and responsibilities you just clarified to arrange practical benchmarks you want the department to make. Make sure goals do not interfere with one another but build toward an overall objective.

Create strategies to enact goals. Once you have your goals in place, it is time to build strategies to accomplish those goals. These strategies should work in tandem, so make sure each one has a logical progression. Like the goals, you do not want your strategies to interfere with one another but instead build towards an overall objective.

Evaluate business plan. Once you enact the plan, you need to make sure you accomplish your goals. Have a feedback system put in place where you can measure the success and failures of your plan. Come up with contingency plans in case your initial plans need to be re-evaluated.

Why Have A Human Resource Business Plan

An HR business plan is needed to establish long-term success with your employees.

Your plan gives focuses on the roles and responsibilities of the department. Human resources play a critical role in the hiring, training, and retention of staff. A business plan will clarify these procedures.

A HR business plan also provides consistency in the implementation of benefits and managing the welfare of the employees.

The human resource business plan empowers the department to perform at its best. In turn, it will help employees be equipped and compensated to perform at their best.

Without a HR business plan, your company is at risk conflicted and contradictory procedures that impede growth and success.

  • Guide to Customer Retention
  • Management Abbreviations
  • Innovation in the Workplace
  • Zappos Hiring Case Study
  • Why a Clean Workspace Is Good for Business
  • Tips for HR Magement Success
  • How to Achieve Better Results With Your Team
  • Working With a New Client
  • What Is Market Mapping
  • Managing Unprofessional Online Behavior
  • Morale-Boosting Activities
  • Understanding Your Team
  • Signs of a Bad Hire
  • How to Spot Leadership Potential
  • Quality Management Implementation
  • Goal Setting Tips for Business Owners
  • How To Create An Effective HR Business Plan
  • How To Avoid Nepotism
  • Safeguarding Procedures For HR Managers
  • How To Create A Productive Workplace
  • The Power Of Strategic Partnerships
  • Advice From Successful Business Leaders
  • Why You Should Network
  • How To Manage Up
  • Corporate Retreat Ideas
  • What Is An Employee ID?
  • What Is Employee Self-Service?
  • The 4 Ps Of The Marketing Mix
  • How To Be Flexible At Work
  • What Is Greenwashing?
  • What Does A Chamber Of Commerce Do For Businesses
  • How To Write A Sales Introduction Email
  • A Guide To The Critical Path Method
  • What Is A Change Agent?
  • How To Build Your Employer Brand
  • How To Have Effective Meetings

' src=

Conor McMahon is a writer for Zippia, with previous experience in the nonprofit, customer service, and technical support industries. He has a degree in Music Industry from Northeastern University and in his free time he plays guitar with his friends. Conor enjoys creative writing between his work doing professional content creation and technical documentation.

Find Your Next Hire Out Of Over 5 Million Candidates

Get connected with quality candidates whose resumes on Zippia best fit your job description.

Related posts

what is human resources in business plan

5 Personal Goal Setting Tips For Business Owners


8 Ways to Bring Innovation Into Your Organization

Zappos – Hiring for Culture and the Bizarre Things They Do

Zappos – Hiring for Culture and the Bizarre Things They Do

what is human resources in business plan

Power Dynamics In The Workplace

  • Zippia For Employers >
  • Hiring Hub >
  • Life At Work >
  • Become A Better Manager >
  • 5 Steps To Creating An Effective Hr Business Plan

You might be using an unsupported or outdated browser. To get the best possible experience please use the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Microsoft Edge to view this website.

Strategic Human Resource Management (2024 Guide)

Katherine Haan

Updated: Jun 8, 2024, 9:04am

Strategic Human Resource Management (2024 Guide)

Table of Contents

What is strategic human resources, why strategic human resources is important, 5 steps to strategic human resources, bottom line, frequently asked questions (faqs).

Strategic human resource management (SHRM) is a process that organizations use to manage their employees. It is a way to ensure that the organization’s HR are used in a way that supports the organization’s goals. Think of it as a bridge connecting human resources and the goals of the company. With SHRM, businesses can more effectively manage employee performance and development, as well as create programs and policies that support the company’s overall strategy.

Featured Partners

$35/month plus $8 PEPM


On Rippling's Website

$40 per month + $6 per user


On OnPay's Website

Paychex Flex

$39-plus per month, depending on company size and needs (6 month free offer)

Paychex Flex

On Paychex's Website

$40 per month plus $6 per user


On Gusto's Website

The goal of SHRM is to create policies and programs that align with the company’s business strategy. The main difference between human resources and strategic human resources is that human resources focus on the day-to-day management of employees, while strategic human resources focus on how employees can achieve the company’s overall goals. This means that SHRM must first understand the company’s business goals and then create programs and policies that support those goals.

Some common examples of SHRM programs and policies include:

  • Performance management: Creating systems to track and improve employee performance
  • Training and development: Identifying employees’ development needs and providing training and resources to help them improve
  • Compensation and benefits: Designing compensation and benefits programs that attract and retain employees
  • Employee relations: Managing employee relations to create a positive work environment

These are just a few examples of the types of programs and policies that can be part of SHRM. The specific programs and policies will vary depending on the company’s goals and the needs of its employees.

SHRM is important because it helps businesses achieve their goals. By aligning HR programs and policies with the company’s business strategy, SHRM can help businesses improve employee performance, develop the workforce and create a positive work environment. SHRM can also help businesses save money by reducing turnover and improving productivity.

  • Improve employee performance: SHRM can help businesses improve employee performance by creating systems to track and improve performance.
  • Develop the workforce: SHRM can help businesses develop the workforce by identifying employees’ development needs and providing training and resources to help them improve.
  • Create a positive work environment: SHRM can help businesses create a positive work environment by managing employee relations.
  • Reduce turnover: SHRM can help businesses reduce turnover by designing compensation and benefits programs that attract and retain employees.
  • Improve productivity: SHRM can help businesses improve productivity by improving employee performance and creating a positive work environment.

Now that you know what SHRM is and why it’s important, you may wonder how to get started. The process involves knowing the goals of your company, its abilities, future needs and resources. From there, you put your plan into action, then reassess and pivot if necessary.

Here are the five steps to strategic human resources plan:

1. Know your company’s goals and abilities

The first step to SHRM is understanding your company’s goals and abilities. When you know your company goals and can articulate them, you’ll have an easier time creating programs and policies that support those goals. You’ll also be able to more effectively measure the success of your SHRM programs and make changes as needed.

Consider the following questions:

  • What are your company’s long-term goals?
  • What are your company’s strengths and weaknesses?
  • What resources does your company have now?
  • What skills does your workforce currently have?
  • Are there any gaps in talent or skills?

Answering these questions will help you understand your company’s goals and abilities, and how SHRM can help you achieve those goals.

2. Forecast future needs

Now that you have an idea of your company’s goals and abilities, you need to forecast future needs. In order to ensure your company’s future success, you need to predict how many employees with the required skills will be necessary and measure it against your company’s current workforce. This will help you determine what skills your company will need in the future and how to develop those skills in your workforce.

  • What skills will your company need in the future?
  • How many employees with those skills will you need?
  • How does that compare to your current workforce?

By answering these questions, you will be able to comprehend what abilities your company will need in the future and how to cultivate a workforce with those required skills.

3. Determine the resources needed to achieve company goals

After you know your company’s goals and have forecasted future needs, you need to determine the resources needed to achieve those goals. This includes identifying the financial resources, human resources and physical resources required.

  • What financial resources will you need to achieve your company’s goals?
  • What human resources will you need to achieve your company’s goals?
  • What physical resources will you need to achieve your company’s goals?

To determine these, you’ve got to conduct an audit of both your internal and external resources. This will give you a sense of what types of resources you have available to achieve your goals and where you may need to supplement.

For example, if you’re looking to expand your workforce, you may need to invest in recruiting programs. Or, after conducting a needs assessment, you may find that your current workforce doesn’t have the necessary skills to achieve your company’s goals, so you’ll need to invest in training programs.

Another example is if you’re looking to launch a new product. In this case, you’ll need to consider the financial resources required to develop and market the product, as well as the physical resources required to produce it. You’ve also got to consider talent and skill set when launching a new product. Do you have the right people in place to bring your product to market? And do they have the necessary skills to do so?

4. Execute your plan

Now that you’ve set your company’s goals, forecasted its future needs and gathered the resources required to achieve those goals, it’s time to put your SHRM plan into action. Most companies start by recruiting the right candidates, training and development and then performance management. However, this will vary depending on your company’s specific needs.

If you already have a large talent pool to choose from, you may be better off cultivating skills of current employees before recruiting outside talent. After you’ve satisfied that resource, you may find you still need to hire. If so, you’ll need to have clear expectations and skill requirements before recruiting.

Once you’ve hired talent, it’s imperative to have a proper onboarding process. This will help ensure that your new hires are set up for success and understand what’s expected of them. After you’ve brought new talent into the fold, you need to focus on development. This includes training programs as well as opportunities for professional growth. By offering these opportunities, you’ll be able to retain top talent and keep them engaged in their work.

Last but not least is performance management. This includes setting clear expectations, providing feedback and conducting performance reviews. Performance management is a key part of SHRM as it helps ensure that your workforce is meeting expectations and contributing to your company’s bottom line.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when executing your SHRM plan:

  • Set realistic goals and timelines. Trying to accomplish too much in a short period of time can be overwhelming and lead to mistakes.
  • Get buy-in from upper management. If those at the top aren’t on board with your SHRM plan, it’s going to be difficult to get everyone else on board.
  • Communicate with your employees. Employees should be aware of the goals of the SHRM plan and how it will affect them. This will help get them on board and ensure that they’re working towards the same goals.
  • Be prepared to adjust your plan. As with any plan, things may not go as expected. Be prepared to make adjustments to ensure that you’re still on track to achieve your company’s goals. We’ll discuss this in detail in the next section.

5. Assess and pivot

After you’ve executed your SHRM plan, it’s important to assess how things are going. This includes looking at what’s working and what’s not. Based on your assessment, you may need to make adjustments to your plan. For example, if you’re not seeing the results you want, you may need to change your recruiting strategy. Or, if you’re finding that your training programs aren’t effective, you may need to make changes to those as well.

It’s also important to keep in mind that your SHRM plan is not a one-time thing. As your company grows and changes, so too will your SHRM needs. As such, it’s important to revisit your SHRM plan on a regular basis to ensure that it’s still relevant and effective.

Strategic human resource management is a process that helps companies achieve their goals by better managing their workforce. By taking the time to develop a SHRM plan, companies can ensure that they have the right people in place to achieve their goals. While developing a SHRM plan can be time-consuming, the benefits outweigh the costs. Not only will a well-executed SHRM plan help you achieve your company’s goals, but it will also help you retain top talent and keep your employees engaged in their work.

What is strategic human resource management (SHRM)?

Strategic human resource management is a process that helps companies manage their workforce in a way that aligns with their company’s goals.

Why is SHRM important?

SHRM is important because it helps companies ensure that they have the right people in place to achieve their company’s goals. Additionally, SHRM can help companies retain top talent and keep their employees engaged in their work.

What's the difference between human resources and strategic human resource management?

The difference between human resources and strategic human resource management is that human resources focuses on the day-to-day management of employees while SHRM takes a more strategic approach.

  • Best HR Software
  • Best HCM Software
  • Best HRIS Systems
  • Best Employee Management Software
  • Best Onboarding Software
  • Best Talent Management Software
  • Best HR Outsourcing Services
  • Best Workforce Management Software
  • Best Time And Attendance Software
  • Best Employee Scheduling Software
  • Best Employee Time Tracking Apps
  • Best Free Time Tracking Apps
  • Best Employee Training Software
  • Best Employee Monitoring Software
  • Best Enterprise Learning Management Systems
  • Best Time Clock Software
  • Best ERP Systems
  • Zenefits Review
  • Oracle HCM Review
  • UKG Pro Review
  • IntelliHR Review
  • ADP Workforce Now Review
  • ADP TotalSource Review
  • SuccessFactors Review
  • Connecteam Review
  • What is Human Resources?
  • Employee Benefits Guide
  • What is Workforce Management?
  • What is a PEO?
  • What is Human Capital Management?
  • HR Compliance Guide
  • Onboarding Checklist
  • Benefits Administration Guide
  • What Is Employee Training?
  • Employee Development Plan
  • 30-60-90 Day Plan Guide
  • How To Calculate Overtime
  • What Is Outplacement?
  • New Hire Orientation Checklist
  • HR Analytics Guide

Next Up In Business

  • Justworks Pricing
  • Calendly Review
  • 10 Management Styles Of Effective Leaders
  • Contact Center Workforce Management
  • What Is A Background Check?
  • What Is Lattice Software?

How To Start A Print On Demand Business In 2024

How To Start A Print On Demand Business In 2024

Katherine Haan

HR For Small Businesses: The Ultimate Guide

Anna Baluch

How One Company Is Using AI To Transform Manufacturing

Rae Hartley Beck

Not-For-Profit Vs. Nonprofit: What’s The Difference?

Natalie Cusson

How To Develop an SEO Strategy in 2024

Jennifer Simonson

How To Make Money On Social Media in 2024

Katherine Haan is a small business owner with nearly two decades of experience helping other business owners increase their incomes.

Logo for M Libraries Publishing

Want to create or adapt books like this? Learn more about how Pressbooks supports open publishing practices.

2.2 Writing the HRM Plan

Learning objective.

  • Describe the steps in the development of an HRM plan.

As addressed in Section 2.1 “Strategic Planning” , the writing of an HRM strategic plan should be based on the strategic plans of the organization and of the department. Once the strategic plan is written, the HR professional can begin work on the HR plan. This is different from the strategic plan in that it is more detailed and more focused on the short term. The six parts described here are addressed in more detail in Chapter 4 “Recruitment” , Chapter 5 “Selection” , Chapter 6 “Compensation and Benefits” , Chapter 7 “Retention and Motivation” , Chapter 8 “Training and Development” , Chapter 9 “Successful Employee Communication” , Chapter 10 “Managing Employee Performance” , and Chapter 11 “Employee Assessment” .

How Would You Handle This?

Compensation Is a Touchy Subject

As the HR manager, you have access to sensitive data, such as pay information. As you are looking at pay for each employee in the marketing department, you notice that two employees with the same job title and performing the same job are earning different amounts of money. As you dig deeper, you notice the employee who has been with the company for the least amount of time is actually getting paid more than the person with longer tenure. A brief look at the performance evaluations shows they are both star performers. You determine that two different managers hired the employees, and one manager is no longer with the organization. How would you handle this?

As you can see from this figure, the company strategic plan ties into the HRM strategic plan, and from the HRM strategic plan, the HR plan can be developed

As you can see from this figure, the company strategic plan ties into the HRM strategic plan, and from the HRM strategic plan, the HR plan can be developed.

The six parts of the HRM plan include the following:

  • Determine human resource needs. This part is heavily involved with the strategic plan. What growth or decline is expected in the organization? How will this impact your workforce? What is the economic situation? What are your forecasted sales for next year?
  • Determine recruiting strategy. Once you have a plan in place, it’s necessary to write down a strategy addressing how you will recruit the right people at the right time.
  • Select employees. The selection process consists of the interviewing and hiring process.
  • Develop training. Based on the strategic plan, what training needs are arising? Is there new software that everyone must learn? Are there problems in handling conflict? Whatever the training topics are, the HR manager should address plans to offer training in the HRM plan.
  • Determine compensation. In this aspect of the HRM plan, the manager must determine pay scales and other compensation such as health care, bonuses, and other perks.
  • Appraise performance. Sets of standards need to be developed so you know how to rate the performance of your employees and continue with their development.

Each chapter of this text addresses one area of the HR plan, but the next sections provide some basic knowledge of planning for each area.

Determine Human Resource Needs

The first part of an HR plan will consist of determining how many people are needed. This step involves looking at company operations over the last year and asking a lot of questions:

  • Were enough people hired?
  • Did you have to scramble to hire people at the last minute?
  • What are the skills your current employees possess?
  • What skills do your employees need to gain to keep up with technology?
  • Who is retiring soon? Do you have someone to replace them?
  • What are the sales forecasts? How might this affect your hiring?

These are the questions to answer in this first step of the HR plan process. As you can imagine, this cannot be done alone. Involvement of other departments, managers, and executives should take place to obtain an accurate estimate of staffing needs for now and in the future. We discuss staffing in greater detail in Chapter 4 “Recruitment” .

Many HR managers will prepare an inventory of all current employees, which includes their educational level and abilities. This gives the HR manager the big picture on what current employees can do. It can serve as a tool to develop employees’ skills and abilities, if you know where they are currently in their development. For example, by taking an inventory, you may find out that Richard is going to retire next year, but no one in his department has been identified or trained to take over his role. Keeping the inventory helps you know where gaps might exist and allows you to plan for these gaps. This topic is addressed further in Chapter 4 “Recruitment” .

HR managers will also look closely at all job components and will analyze each job. By doing this analysis, they can get a better picture of what kinds of skills are needed to perform a job successfully. Once the HR manager has performed the needs assessment and knows exactly how many people, and in what positions and time frame they need to be hired, he or she can get to work on recruiting, which is also called a staffing plan . This is addressed further in Chapter 4 “Recruitment” .

Recruitment is an important job of the HR manager. More detail is provided in Chapter 4 “Recruitment” . Knowing how many people to hire, what skills they should possess, and hiring them when the time is right are major challenges in the area of recruiting. Hiring individuals who have not only the skills to do the job but also the attitude, personality, and fit can be the biggest challenge in recruiting. Depending on the type of job you are hiring for, you might place traditional advertisements on the web or use social networking sites as an avenue. Some companies offer bonuses to employees who refer friends. No matter where you decide to recruit, it is important to keep in mind that the recruiting process should be fair and equitable and diversity should be considered. We discuss diversity in greater detail in Chapter 3 “Diversity and Multiculturalism” .

Depending on availability and time, some companies may choose to outsource their recruiting processes. For some types of high-level positions, a head hunter will be used to recruit people nationally and internationally. A head hunter is a person who specializes in matching jobs with people, and they usually work only with high-level positions. Another option is to use an agency that specializes in hiring people for a variety of positions, including temporary and permanent positions. Some companies decide to hire temporary employees because they anticipate only a short-term need, and it can be less expensive to hire someone for only a specified period of time.

No matter how it is done, recruitment is the process of obtaining résumés of people interested in the job. In our next step, we review those résumés, interview, and select the best person for the job.

After you have reviewed résumés for a position, now is the time to work toward selecting the right person for the job. Although we discuss selection in great detail in Chapter 6 “Compensation and Benefits” , it is worth a discussion here as well. Numerous studies have been done, and while they have various results, the majority of studies say it costs an average of $45,000 to hire a new manager (Herman, 1993). While this may seem exaggerated, consider the following items that contribute to the cost:

  • Time to review résumés
  • Time to interview candidates
  • Interview expenses for candidates
  • Possible travel expenses for new hire or recruiter
  • Possible relocation expenses for new hire
  • Additional bookkeeping, payroll, 401(k), and so forth
  • Additional record keeping for government agencies
  • Increased unemployment insurance costs
  • Costs related to lack of productivity while new employee gets up to speed

Because it is so expensive to hire, it is important to do it right. First, résumés are reviewed and people who closely match the right skills are selected for interviews. Many organizations perform phone interviews first so they can further narrow the field. The HR manager is generally responsible for setting up the interviews and determining the interview schedule for a particular candidate. Usually, the more senior the position is, the longer the interview process takes, even up to eight weeks (Crant, 2009). After the interviews are conducted, there may be reference checks, background checks, or testing that will need to be performed before an offer is made to the new employee. HR managers are generally responsible for this aspect. Once the applicant has met all criteria, the HR manager will offer the selected person the position. At this point, salary, benefits, and vacation time may be negotiated. Compensation is the next step in HR management.

Determine Compensation

What you decide to pay people is much more difficult than it seems. This issue is covered in greater detail in Chapter 6 “Compensation and Benefits” . Pay systems must be developed that motivate employees and embody fairness to everyone working at the organization. However, organizations cannot offer every benefit and perk because budgets always have constraints. Even governmental agencies need to be concerned with compensation as part of their HR plan. For example, in 2011, Illinois State University gave salary increases of 3 percent to all faculty, despite state budget cuts in other areas. They reasoned that the pay increase was needed because of the competitive nature of hiring and retaining faculty and staff. The university president said, “Our employees have had a very good year and hopefully this is a good shot in the arm that will keep our morale high” (Pawlowski, 2011).

Venice Beach Tightrope Walker

Determination of compensation systems is a balancing act. Compensation should be high enough to motivate current employees and attract new ones but not so high that it breaks the budget.

Nathan Rupert – Venice Beach Tightrope Walker – CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

The process in determining the right pay for the right job can have many variables, in addition to keeping morale high. First, as we have already discussed, the organization life cycle can determine the pay strategy for the organization. The supply and demand of those skills in the market, economy, region, or area in which the business is located is a determining factor in compensation strategy. For example, a company operating in Seattle may pay higher for the same job than their division in Missoula, Montana, because the cost of living is higher in Seattle. The HR manager is always researching to ensure the pay is fair and at market value. In Chapter 6 “Compensation and Benefits” , we get into greater detail about the variety of pay systems, perks, and bonuses that can be offered. For many organizations, training is a perk. Employees can develop their skills while getting paid for it. Training is the next step in the HR planning process.

Develop Training

Once we have planned our staffing, recruited people, selected employees, and then compensated them, we want to make sure our new employees are successful. Training is covered in more detail in Chapter 8. One way we can ensure success is by training our employees in three main areas:

  • Company culture. A company culture is the organization’s way of doing things. Every company does things a bit differently, and by understanding the corporate culture, the employee will be set up for success. Usually this type of training is performed at an orientation, when an employee is first hired. Topics might include how to request time off, dress codes, and processes.
  • Skills needed for the job. If you work for a retail store, your employees need to know how to use the register. If you have sales staff, they need to have product knowledge to do the job. If your company uses particular software, training is needed in this area.
  • Human relations skills. These are non-job-specific skills your employees need not only to do their jobs but also to make them all-around successful employees. Skills needed include communication skills and interviewing potential employees.

Perform a Performance Appraisal

The last thing an HR manager should plan is the performance appraisal. While we discuss performance appraisals in greater detail in Chapter 11 “Employee Assessment” , it is definitely worth a mention here, since it is part of the strategic plan. A performance appraisal is a method by which job performance is measured. The performance appraisal can be called many different things, such as the following:

  • Employee appraisal
  • Performance review
  • Career development review

No matter what the name, these appraisals can be very beneficial in motivating and rewarding employees. The performance evaluation includes metrics on which the employee is measured. These metrics should be based on the job description, both of which the HR manager develops. Various types of rating systems can be used, and it’s usually up to the HR manager to develop these as well as employee evaluation forms. The HR manager also usually ensures that every manager in the organization is trained on how to fill out the evaluation forms, but more importantly, how to discuss job performance with the employee. Then the HR manager tracks the due dates of performance appraisals and sends out e-mails to those managers letting them know it is almost time to write an evaluation.

Human Resource Recall

Have you ever been given a performance evaluation? What was the process and the outcome?

Communication Is Key in Performance Evaluations

(click to see video)

Communication is imperative in any workplace, but especially when giving and receiving a performance evaluation.

Key Takeaways

  • Human resource planning is a process that is part of the strategic plan. It involves addressing specific needs within the organization, based on the company’s strategic direction.
  • The first step in HR planning is determining current and future human resource needs. In this step, current employees, available employees in the market, and future needs are all analyzed and developed.
  • In the second step of the process, once we know how many people we will need to hire, we can begin to determine the best methods for recruiting the people we need. Sometimes an organization will use head hunters to find the best person for the job.
  • After the recruiting process is finished, the HR manager will begin the selection process. This involves setting up interviews and selecting the right person for the job. This can be an expensive process, so we always want to hire the right person from the beginning.
  • HR managers also need to work through compensation plans, including salary, bonus, and other benefits, such as health care. This aspect is important, since most organizations want to use compensation to attract and retain the best employees.
  • The HR manager also develops training programs to ensure the people hired have the tools to be able to do their jobs successfully.
  • Of the parts of HR planning, which do you think is most difficult, and why? Which would you enjoy the most, and why?
  • Why is it important to plan your staffing before you start to hire people?
  • What is the significance of training? Why do we need it in organizations?

Crant, J., “How Long Does an Interview Process Take?” Jobsinminneapolis.com, December 2, 2009, accessed October 28, 2010, http://www.jobsinminneapolis.com/articles/title/How-Long-Does-an-Interview-Process-Take/3500/422 .

Herman, S., Hiring Right: A Practical Guide (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1993), xv.

Pawlowski, S., “Illinois State University to Get Salary Bump,” WJBC Radio, July 11, 2011, accessed July 11, 2011, http://wjbc.com/illinois-state-university-faculty-to-get-salary-bump .

Human Resource Management Copyright © 2016 by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

10+ SAMPLE HR Business Plan in PDF

Hr business plan, 10+ sample hr business plan, what is a hr business plan, areas of human resources, tips to improve human resource management , how to create a hr business plan, what is a hr business plan, how do you write a human resources business plan, what are the 7 major hr activities.

HR Business Plan And Budget

HR Business Plan And Budget

7 Steps for HR Business Plan

7 Steps for HR Business Plan

HR Secretariat Business Plan

HR Secretariat Business Plan

HR Strategic Business Plan

HR Strategic Business Plan

Sampe HR Business Plan

Sample HR Business Plan

HR Business Plan Example

HR Business Plan Example

HR Department Business Plan

HR Department Business Plan

HR Approved Strategic Business Plan

HR Approved Strategic Business Plan

HR Business Plan Summary

HR Business Plan Summary

HR Business Plan

HR Budget and Business Plan

Step 1: establish the objectives, step 2: clarify the roles and job descriptions, step 3: assess the programs and resources, step 4: identify the strategies , share this post on your network, file formats, word templates, google docs templates, excel templates, powerpoint templates, google sheets templates, google slides templates, pdf templates, publisher templates, psd templates, indesign templates, illustrator templates, pages templates, keynote templates, numbers templates, outlook templates, you may also like these articles, 5+ sample investment company business plan in pdf.

sample investment company business plan

What do you do when you have tons of spare cash lying around your home or burning a hole in your wallet or expensive jeans pocket? For some people, the…

41+ SAMPLE Unit Plan Templates in PDF | MS Word

sample unit plan 1

As a teacher, you might know about every school policy, the steps to keep classrooms safe for intellectual development, how to set up an organized classroom, and the proposed…

browse by categories

  • Questionnaire
  • Description
  • Reconciliation
  • Certificate
  • Spreadsheet


  • privacy policy
  • Terms & Conditions
  • People Management
  • Human Resource Management

What is Human Resource Planning?

Human Resource Planning (HRP) is the process of forecasting the future human resource requirements of the organization and determining as to how the existing human resource capacity of the organization can be utilized to fulfill these requirements . It, thus, focuses on the basic economic concept of demand and supply in context to the human resource capacity of the organization.

It is the HRP process which helps the management of the organization in meeting the future demand of human resource in the organization with the supply of the appropriate people in appropriate numbers at the appropriate time and place.

Further, it is only after proper analysis of the HR requirements can the process of recruitment and selection be initiated by the management. Also, HRP is essential in successfully achieving the strategies and objectives of organization.

In fact, with the element of strategies and long term objectives of the organization being widely associated with human resource planning these days, HR Planning has now became Strategic HR Planning.

Though, HR Planning may sound quite simple a process of managing the numbers in terms of human resource requirement of the organization, yet, the actual activity may involve the HR manager to face many roadblocks owing to the effect of the current workforce in the organization, pressure to meet the business objectives and prevailing workforce market condition. HR Planning, thus, help the organization in many ways as follows:

It is, therefore, suitable on the part of the organization to opt for HR Planning to prevent any unnecessary hurdles in its workforce needs. An HR Consulting Firm can provide the organization with a comprehensive HR assessment and planning to meet its future requirements in the most cost-effective and timely manner.

An HR Planning process simply involves the following four broad steps:

It includes a comprehensive study of the human resource strength of the organization in terms of numbers, skills, talents, competencies, qualifications, experience, age, tenures, performance ratings, designations, grades, compensations, benefits, etc.

At this stage, the consultants may conduct extensive interviews with the managers to understand the critical HR issues they face and workforce capabilities they consider basic or crucial for various business processes.

All the known HR variables like attrition, lay-offs, foreseeable vacancies, retirements, promotions, pre-set transfers , etc. are taken into consideration while determining future HR demand.

Further, certain unknown workforce variables like competitive factors, resignations, abrupt transfers or dismissals are also included in the scope of analysis.

This may include conducting communication programs with employees, relocation, talent acquisition, recruitment and outsourcing, talent management, training and coaching, and revision of policies. The plans are, then, implemented taking into confidence the mangers so as to make the process of execution smooth and efficient.

Here, it is important to note that all the regulatory and legal compliances are being followed by the consultants to prevent any untoward situation coming from the employees.

Hence, a properly conducted process of HR Planning by an HR Consulting Firm helps the organization in meeting its goals and objectives in timely manner with the right HR strength in action.

  Related Articles

  • Importance of HRM
  • Scope of HRM
  • Various Processes in HRM
  • The HRM Function
  • Functions of a Human Resource Manager

View All Articles

Authorship/Referencing - About the Author(s)

The article is Written and Reviewed by Management Study Guide Content Team . MSG Content Team comprises experienced Faculty Member, Professionals and Subject Matter Experts. We are a ISO 2001:2015 Certified Education Provider . To Know more, click on About Us . The use of this material is free for learning and education purpose. Please reference authorship of content used, including link(s) to ManagementStudyGuide.com and the content page url.
  • H R Management - Introduction
  • What is Human Resource Planning ?
  • Staffing Role of the HR Manager
  • Role of HRM in Leadership Development
  • Role of HR in People Empowerment
  • Talent Management and HRM
  • Management of Contractors
  • Performance Management as a HR Management Concept
  • Successful Performance Management
  • Hiring Strategies
  • Social Media Profiles for Hiring Decisions
  • Importance of Background Checks
  • Retention Strategies
  • Strategic HRM
  • Personnel Management vs HRM
  • Managing Employee Performance
  • Performance Appraisal Process
  • Performance Appraisal Interview
  • Managing Employee Relations
  • Employee Rewards and Recognition
  • Variable Pay
  • Diversity in Organizations
  • Managing Workforce Diversity
  • Workplace Health and Safety
  • Workplace Safety Programs
  • OSHA Safety Manual
  • HR Challenges
  • Human Resource Audit
  • Hiring in Shadow of Stagnating Growth
  • The Challenges of Managing Attrition
  • Employee Separation Process
  • Tips for Pursuing a Career in HRM
  • Role of HRM in Recessionary Times
  • People Manager vs. Project Manager
  • Use of Contract Staff & Temp Workers
  • The Necessity of Drafting Proper and Foolproof Employment Contracts
  • Importance of Vacation Planning
  • Hiring & Firing of Workers: Perspectives
  • What to do if You are Laid Off from Job
  • Termination and Outplacement
  • Emotional Intelligence for Professionals
  • Assigning Key Responsibility Areas (KRAs) to Employees
  • Role of HR in Performance Appraisals
  • HR Policies and Procedures Manual and Employee Handbook
  • Managing Downsizing in Organizations
  • Managing Attrition in Organizations
  • Rise of the Temp Jobs and the Freelance/Sharing Economy
  • What is Blind Hiring and Its Implications for the HR Profession
  • How Human Resource Managers should Manage Ethical Issues and Ensure Compliance ?
  • Issues Related to Human Resource Management in the Hospitality Sector
  • Human Resource Management in the Times of Emerging Digital Economy
  • Human Resource Management in the Age of Acceleration
  • How to Manage Star Performers and High Achievers
  • Actualizing a High Trust Organization
  • HRM Strategies for an Increasingly Complex, Uncertain, and Volatile World
  • How Human Resource Managers can deal with Difficult Employees
  • Why Human Resource Management Must Change for the Coming Robotics Revolution
  • How Silicon Valley Firms are Implementing Innovative Human Resources Policies
  • Effective HRM Strategies to Smoothen and Sweeten the Downsizing and the Layoff Process
  • How HR (Human Resources) Function Can Save Time by Automating Routine Tasks
  • How HR Managers Can Help Employees Avoid Burnout and Manage Stress
  • Human Resource Management Strategies to Diversify the Workforce
  • What is an HR Scorecard and How it Helps Contemporary Organizations?
  • How Using the HR Scorecard Creates Long Term Value for Organizations
  • How Technology Can Help in Collection of Metrics for the HR Scorecard
  • HR Scorecard: Aligning People, Strategy, and Performance
  • How Using the HR Scorecard Can Address Organizational Dysfunction
  • Human Resource Management Best Practices in Contemporary Organizations
  • Using HR Scorecard with Analytics to Actualize Next Generation Performance
  • How the HR Scorecard Helps Actualize Cross Functional Excellence in Organizations
  • How the HR Scorecard can Help Gig Economy Firms to Manage Freelancers Better
  • How the HR Scorecard Helps Organizations to Actualize Change Management Initiatives
  • How Innovative HR Policies boost Employee Productivity and Organizational Effectiveness
  • Changing Recruitment Strategies of Corporates and Tips to Get Hired
  • What is Social Mirror and How it Determines Individual Success in Career and Life
  • What Do Hiring Managers Look for in Applicants when Making Hiring Decisions
  • Why the Future of Work is Virtual, Gig Based, and Cognitive and its implications for HR
  • Why HR Managers Must Enforce Data Security and Information Protection Policies
  • Why Corporates Must Have Wellness Managers as well as HR Managers
  • What is Employee Ghosting and How HR Managers and Organizations Can Deal with it
  • The Increasing Popularity of Corporate Wellness Programs and What HR Can Do
  • What Experienced HR Managers Watch Out For When Recruiting Candidates
  • The Importance of Data Driven Analytics and HR Scorecard Dashboards for Corporates
  • What Hiring Managers Look Out For During the Recruitment and Selection Process?
  • The Growing Popularity of Flex Work and HR Strategies to Deal with It
  • What the Case of Amazon�s AI Powered Recruitment Tool Means for Other Corporates
  • Pay Cuts vs. Lay-Offs
  • Game Changers or Slave Drivers? Human Resource Managers in the Gig Economy Firms
  • Preparing for the Workplace of Tomorrow: Some HRM Strategies for the Digital Age
  • The Managerial Challenge: Using Early Warning Systems to Spot Signs of Trouble
  • Top HR Trends for 2019: Technological Convergence and Smarter HR Management
  • How Should HR Managers Deal With Occupational Hazards at the Workplace?
  • How HR Managers Must Deal with Legal and Regulatory Challenges in Organizations
  • How HR Managers Must Address the Pay Disparities and Pay Gaps in Organizations
  • How HR Managers can Make the On-boarding Process more Pleasant and Effective
  • Why HR Managers Must Treat the Exit Interviews as Feedback and Learning Experiences
  • The Importance of Due Diligence in Human Resource Management Processes
  • The HRM Challenge: Managing the Millennials Entering the Workforce
  • The Future of Human Resource Management in an Agile Driven and Automated World
  • The What, Why, and How of the Difficult Decision to Fire Employees in Organizations
  • How Using Blockchain Can Transform the HR Function and Change the Way it Works
  • Corporate Corruption and the HRM Function: Legal, Ethical, and Moral Perspectives
  • How Predictive Analytics Helps HR Managers Make Better Hiring Decisions
  • Skills that the HR Professionals Need to have to be Successful in the Present Times
  • The HRM Challenge: Promoting Diversity and Inclusivity in Illiberal and Charged Times
  • Role and the Importance of Human Resource Managers in Recessionary Times
  • How Blockchain can Help Human Resource Managers in Efficient Management
  • HR Professionals and the Law: The What, Why, and How of Awareness of Laws
  • Is the European Model of HRM Better than the American Model? Some Perspectives
  • The Staffing Challenge in MNCs: Expatriates or Locals in Overseas Locations
  • The HRM Challenge: Managing Opinionated Employees in Polarized and Divisive Times
  • Why Auditing of the HR Function is Necessary and Important in the Present Times
  • The Role of the HR in How Corporates Can Win (and Lose) the Global Race for Talent
  • The Changing Nature of Employment and Impact on Professionals and Societies
  • Fixing Fraud and Biases in the Recruitment Process and Making it Fair and Transparent
  • HRM Strategies in Non Profits and How Similar and Different are They from Corporates
  • Organizational and HRM Strategies for Virtual Workplaces and Remote Workforces
  • The Role of Feedback in Enhancing Employee Performance and Productivity
  • The Role of Monetary and Non Monetary Incentives in Enhancing Employee Performance
  • Will Hire and Fire at Will Labour Laws Work in the Indian Socio-Economic Context?
  • How Insights from Behavioural Science Can Help Corporates in People Management
  • What is Ghosting and How it Disrupts the Hiring Process and Ways to Tackle this Menace
  • How Staffing Agencies Need Better Regulation in the Corporate Ecosystem
  • How Corporates Have to Let Go of Legacy Employees in an Empathic, Yet, Firm Manner
  • Designing an Effective Pay and Perks Package across the Organizational Hierarchy
  • Why Do Some Excel in the Interviews, But, Fail on the Job and How HR Can Fix This?
  • Why Technology Can Diminish the Role of HR Function, but, Not Eliminate It Altogether
  • The Challenges of Recruiting and Onboarding Remote Employees in Virtual Workplaces
  • The Importance of Values in Human Resource Management in the Post Pandemic World
  • Why We Need Employee Friendly Laws and HR Policies in the Post Pandemic World
  • What is Second Chance Hiring and Why It Matters in the Present Times of Distress?
  • Pandemic and Lay off: Putting People over Business
  • The Hype and Realities of Networking in an Interconnected World and Leveraging Them
  • What is Blind Hiring and How it Promotes Diversity and Inclusivity Efforts in Corporates
  • What is Great Resignation? What can be done to Address the Mass Attrition Trend
  • Why are American Millennials Burning Out and Quitting Jobs in Record Numbers?
  • As American Corporates Order Employees Back to Office, What Are the HR Challenges?
  • What Is Quiet Quitting, Why It Matters, And How Is It Impacting American Corporates?
  • As Tech Firms Layoff Thousands, Is the Party Over and What It Means For Indian IT
  • After Quiet Quitting Comes Quiet Hiring! What It Is, And Why It Would Be Trending In 2023!
  • Quiet Hiring vs. Traditional Hiring: A Comparative Analysis and What Works When and Why
  • White Collar American Workers are burning out More Than Ever! Here are the Reasons Why!
  • Who are Boomerang Employees?
  • Why is Everyone Talking About Artificial Intelligence Suddenly and How it Matters to All of Us?
  • Here’s Why Businesses in the United States are Finding it Hard to Hire Workers
  • HR Challenge: Both Ageism and Youngism are Forms of Discrimination at the Workplace!

what is human resources in business plan

  • Onsite training

3,000,000+ delegates

15,000+ clients

1,000+ locations

  • KnowledgePass
  • Log a ticket

01344203999 Available 24/7

What is HR? Key Functions and Responsibilities

Human Resources (HR) essential for recruiting talent, ensuring legal compliance, managing payroll, and fostering a supportive, diverse, and productive workplace environment. Explore the blog to get insights into What is HR with our guide and learn about its functions, roles, and significance in business. Keep reading to learn more.


Exclusive 40% OFF

Training Outcomes Within Your Budget!

We ensure quality, budget-alignment, and timely delivery by our expert instructors.

Share this Resource

  • Certified HR Advisor
  • Certified HR Manager
  • Certified Training and Development Manager
  • Certified Training Professional Course


Have you ever found yourself pondering, “What is Human Resources (HR)?” and why does it seem to be the backbone of every thriving company? Human Resources is more than just a department; it's the lifeblood of an organisation. What is HR if not the custodian of a company's greatest asset—its people? From recruitment to retirement, HR professionals play a pivotal role in fostering a positive work environment and ensuring compliance with employment laws.  

They are the architects of company culture, the mediators of conflict, and the champions of employee development. As the corporate world evolves, the importance of HR in shaping adaptable and resilient organisations cannot be overstated. Intrigued? Dive deeper into our blog to uncover the What is HR and the key functions and responsibilities that make HR indispensable in the corporate sphere. 

Table of Contents 

1) Human Resources (HR)- an overview 

2) Functions of Human Resources   

   a)Talent acquisition 

   b) Hiring employees 

   c) Handling payroll 

   d) Policy updates 

   e) Employee record-keeping 

   f) Benefit analysis 

  g) Benefit management 

  h) Disciplinary actions 

3) Conclusion 

Human Resources (HR)- an overview 

Human Resources (HR) takes a center stage in organisational success in the sense that the department provides invaluable support in all departments of management. The HR departments are playing a multifaceted role in the fast-moving business environment starting from the hiring and selection process. The HR professionals do have a highly important role in developing a highly efficient and productive workforce through continuous training and development programs. They are, in fact, responsible not only for different compensations, benefits, and performance programs for employees, but also act as advocates of employee interests in terms of organisational wellbeing and culture. 

An HR department is also the guardian of legal compliance; people who work therein are supposed to know the ever-occurring employment laws and regulations meant to ensure protection both for the company and its employees. Here, HR contributes to improved organisational performance and its competitiveness through the satisfaction, engagement, and retention of employees by creating inclusive and supportive workplaces.  

HR Courses 

Functions of Human Resources 

Here are some of the key functions perfumed by the HR explained in brief:  

Functions of Human Resources

Talent acquisition 

Hiring is more of a narrowed-down process to finally pick an applicant, monitored by Human Resource departments. It may involve the screening of the CVs and interviews to further know which among the applicants would be taken in. The HR professionals offer the job to the applicants and later negotiate the terms of service so that both the company and the applicant come to an agreement.  

The company conducts checks on credentials, employment history, and criminal records to validate the details declared by the new recruit. Besides, HR serves an integral role in guiding the on-boarding process by providing the required training, orientation, and support that enable the new staff members to settle down within the new working environment and function efficiently in the required new role. 

Hiring employees 

Human Resources (HR) departments are perceived as the entity that carries out recruitment, involving identification, attraction, and retention of excellent talent to be used in bringing success to the organisation. HR professionals, therefore, diagnose needs within the organisation, screen for the required qualifications and requirements, and lastly refine it to come up with the best candidates.  

They scour the market for talent, using all the recruitment means to get the best performers. In some cases, these headhunting efforts are even direct poaching of skilled professionals from competitors by HR professionals. In this, HR plays a part in recruitment practices that ensure the organisation has a competent and diverse workforce in order to help in supporting growth and the firm's objectives. 

Handling payroll 

HR professionals are expected to provide accurate calculations for employees' salaries, taxes, and deductions that meet all the regulatory and in-house policy requirements. They pay high attention to the payroll process of paying timely and accurately to all the employees to win their trust and satisfaction of the workforce.  

Any difference or dispute related to payroll is detected and reacted to promptly either through investigation or resolution to maintain the morale of the employee and the integrity of the organisation. HR, therefore, can pay attention to flawless payroll management and contribute effectively to the stability of the organisation with increased employee engagement and retention. 

Begin your HR journey today Join our Introduction to HR Course and unlock the essential skills for a successful career in Human Resources! 

Policy updates 

The HR function ensures the organisation complies with changes in labour laws, regulations, and even industry standards. Policies and procedures are reviewed regularly in compliance with legal requirements and to ensure that industry best practices are employed. HR has played its role in communicating new policies to employees effectively through different channels, bringing in complete awareness and compliance to the organisation.  

HR should be the part of actively seeking feedback from the stakeholders to ensure areas of improvement or changes in policy are updated by creating increased positivity at work, which is quintessential towards the satisfaction of employees and, by extension, organisational success. HR ensures organisational integrity with an ever-improving sense of organisational culture that is compliant, at all times remaining vigilant, watching over its shoulders, and rushing to respond to changes in regulations. 

Employee record-keeping 

HR maintains a confidential record of information that includes details such as personal information, service record, annual performance appraisal report, and training record of the employees. They guarantee the truth of the information, its availability, and compliance with organisational and information security laws and regulations, allowing an employee to be the owner of privacy and data controller.  

Human Resources will use secure systems and protocols in storage and retrieval of employees' information for effective service delivery, making the necessary decisions, and ensuring adherence to the set regulations. Comprehensive records enable HR to facilitate effective personnel management, support strategic workforce planning, and ensure the organisation's running has transparency and accountability. 

Benefit analysis 

Human Resources further conducts a comprehensive analysis of the benefit programs to determine their effectiveness and competitiveness for attracting and retaining talent. It elaborately collects feedback from employees and compares it with respective industry benchmarks. It also tracks the cost-effectiveness, again resulting in pinpointing those areas where betterment or realignment is required.  

Since HR exists to balance the benefits between employees' needs and organisational objectives, it has to offer at least market-competitive employee benefits in terms of their appeal. HR will have to continuously monitor and maintain the amounts of the offerings to ensure that it remains at levels that would provide for well-satisfied, engaged, and taken care of employees in all areas of well-being to remain successful and competitive in the marketplace. 

Benefit management 

Administration of the employee benefits program is all-inclusive and spans the life cycle of the benefit from enrollment to changes, including termination, managed by Human Resources (HR). HR serves as the main point of contact for employees when they have queries regarding benefits. HR liaises with benefit providers to negotiate contracts and amicably solve problems where needed.  

Additionally, HR effectively communicates the options of the benefits so that employees are informed of the available resources and opportunities. It also educates employees on how they can best utilise the benefits offered, thereby ensuring that the employees derive utmost benefit in terms of well-being and satisfaction. HR oversees Employee Benefit Programs with meticulous attention and active communication, all geared towards ensuring smooth administration that ultimately contributes to a healthy work environment and organisational success. 

Disciplinary actions 

Human Resources deals with disciplinary actions in a fair, consistent, and legally compliant way. They take appropriate action on any alleged misconduct or performance issues, which includes gathering evidence and determining the necessary course of action. HR conducts disciplinary meetings, issues warnings or corrective actions, and provides support and resources to help employees improve. All steps taken during the disciplinary process are documented to ensure transparency and accountability. 


In conclusion, the essence of HR lies in its ability to harmonise the aspirations of individuals with the organisation's objectives. It’s a dynamic field that continuously adapts to the changing corporate landscape. To fully grasp the multifaceted answer to What is HR, continue exploring our blogs for deeper insights. 

Frequently Asked Questions

The three biggest issues in HR today are diversity and inclusion, employee well-being and mental health, and remote work management. HR professionals are grappling with creating inclusive workplaces, supporting employee wellness, and effectively managing remote teams amidst evolving workplace dynamics. 

HR analysis involves examining data related to Human Resource s, such as employee performance, turnover rates, and compensation trends. By analy s ing this data, HR professionals gain insights into workforce dynamics, enabling informed decision-making and strategic planning to support organi s ational objectives .  

The highest title in HR is typically Chief Human Resource s Officer (CHRO) or Vice President of Human Resource s. These executives oversee HR strategy and operations at the highest level, guiding the organi s ation in talent management, workforce planning, and employee engagement initiatives.  

The Knowledge Academy takes global learning to new heights, offering over 30,000 online courses across 490+ locations in 220 countries. This expansive reach ensures accessibility and convenience for learners worldwide.  

Alongside our diverse Online Course Catalogue, encompassing 17 major categories, we go the extra mile by providing a plethora of free educational Online Resources like News updates, Blogs , videos, webinars, and interview questions. Tailoring learning experiences further, professionals can maximise value with customisable Course Bundles of TKA .  

The Knowledge Academy’s Knowledge Pass , a prepaid voucher, adds another layer of flexibility, allowing course bookings over a 12-month period. Join us on a journey where education knows no bounds.  

The Knowledge Academy offers various HR Courses , including the Certified HR Advisor Training, Certified HR Manager Course and Introduction to HR Course . These courses cater to different skill levels, providing comprehensive insights into People Management.   

Our Business Skills Blogs cover a range of topics related to Human Resources , offering valuable resources, best practices, and industry insights. Whether you are a beginner or looking to advance your HR skills, The Knowledge Academy's diverse courses and informati ve blogs have go t you covered.  

Upcoming Business Skills Resources Batches & Dates

Fri 14th Jun 2024

Fri 23rd Aug 2024

Fri 11th Oct 2024

Fri 13th Dec 2024

Fri 24th Jan 2025

Fri 28th Mar 2025

Fri 23rd May 2025

Fri 25th Jul 2025

Fri 26th Sep 2025

Fri 28th Nov 2025

Get A Quote


My employer

By submitting your details you agree to be contacted in order to respond to your enquiry

  • Business Analysis
  • Lean Six Sigma Certification

Share this course

Our biggest spring sale.


We cannot process your enquiry without contacting you, please tick to confirm your consent to us for contacting you about your enquiry.

By submitting your details you agree to be contacted in order to respond to your enquiry.

We may not have the course you’re looking for. If you enquire or give us a call on 01344203999 and speak to our training experts, we may still be able to help with your training requirements.

Or select from our popular topics

  • ITIL® Certification
  • Scrum Certification
  • Change Management Certification
  • Business Analysis Courses
  • Microsoft Azure Certification
  • Microsoft Excel Courses
  • Microsoft Project
  • Explore more courses

Press esc to close

Fill out your  contact details  below and our training experts will be in touch.

Fill out your   contact details   below

Thank you for your enquiry!

One of our training experts will be in touch shortly to go over your training requirements.

Back to Course Information

Fill out your contact details below so we can get in touch with you regarding your training requirements.


Preferred Contact Method

No preference

Back to course information

Fill out your  training details  below

Fill out your training details below so we have a better idea of what your training requirements are.



Online Instructor-led

Online Self-paced


Next 2 - 4 months


Looking for some information

Looking for a discount

I want to book but have questions

One of our training experts will be in touch shortly to go overy your training requirements.

Your privacy & cookies!

Like many websites we use cookies. We care about your data and experience, so to give you the best possible experience using our site, we store a very limited amount of your data. Continuing to use this site or clicking “Accept & close” means that you agree to our use of cookies. Learn more about our privacy policy and cookie policy cookie policy .

We use cookies that are essential for our site to work. Please visit our cookie policy for more information. To accept all cookies click 'Accept & close'.

Prepare Your Annual HR Plan for 2024

hr plan 2024

Each year, it is important to create an annual HR plan to guide your people team or human resources department. However, in 2024, it is even more important for HR departments to take into account recent changes , and develop a sound hr strategic plan to take their teams to the next level.

More important than the details of the plan itself is to make sure the company’s mission and vision are reflected within your annual HR plan for 2024. Without clear objectives and a path to achieve them, you may fall short in reaching your company’s goals.

A highly focused and clearly communicated annual HR plan helps to guarantee your HR objectives will be met.

In this article, we will cover the ins and outs of yearly HR planning and provide the key steps to reach your HR goals.

Table of Contents

What is Meant by HR Planning ?

The purpose of a human resources plan is to analyze and evaluate all the elements related to the human resources policy for the coming year.

Everything from staff dynamics, organizational structure , and working conditions to the hiring process and onboarding of new employees .

As there are many aspects of an HR annual work plan, it’s important to first understand the company environment within which you work, as this will greatly affect the HR plan you create. Once you evaluate the company environment, you can then move forward with creating a successful HR plan of action.

Prepare your annual business plan for HR in 2024 and reach all of your objectives.

Map Out Your Annual HR Plan: Evaluate the Company Environment

At the beginning of the year, companies establish a strategic plan, dependent heavily on the human resources department, where the key annual objectives are set.  In order to develop a successful annual HR plan, it’s important to take into consideration the company’s policies and procedures , as well as the employee handbook . That way, you can rest assured that the goals and plans of the company are aligned with those of HR.

To reach your HR objectives, you must first know the answers to the following questions:

What Can We Improve on From Last Year’s Annual HR Planning?

Success is simply the result of many failures and tried attempts, all put together. Identifying past struggles and using them as fuel to propel you forward is what leads to success and improvement.

What Expected Challenges Can I Include in My Yearly HR Plan?

When you know what’s coming, you can better adapt and take advantage of the changes, rather than let them take advantage of you. Consider learning about change management techniques to stay in control through the ups and downs. Analyzing the potential challenges is fundamental for preparing your team for what’s ahead. Also, knowing which changes, events and activities are taking place in the coming months, and how they will likely influence your team, allows you to better manage what lies ahead.

What Areas Within the Company Should I Plan to Improve?

Constant evaluation of the state of the company and its staff is crucial to coming up with solutions to improve. With Factorial, for example, you can create human resources reports that display a graphical vision of the company, outlining the required areas of improvement. If used correctly, these charts can also allow you to make visual conclusions about things such as the turnover rate or employee motivation.

Identifying key areas of improvement is one of the stepping stones to a successful large or small business HR plan.

As a result, reaching your yearly objectives is easy when you take the proper steps to first analyze the company’s environment and what you are working with . Clear communication between the human resources department and the company’s management is vital to creating a solid base for your annual human resources plan.

Define Your Annual HR Plan Goals & Objectives

The objectives of the company’s strategic plan are called long-term objectives . These types of objectives help measure the reach and success of the human resources plan.  Generally speaking, they can be divided into two categories:

  • Explicit Objectives : Focus on attracting and retaining talent, employee motivation, and improving employee engagement. To set explicit objectives in your annual HR operating plan you have to consider employee experience, the onboarding process, career plans, etc.
  • Implicit Objectives: Follow the company’s philosophy and help form the company culture. They show the power of the HR department and how it can help improve productivity. In addition, these objectives focus on the work environment and quality of life for the employees while maintaining all labor regulations.

New call-to-action

Organize Your Annual HR Planning: Set Team Responsibilities

Once the objectives are clear, both for the company and for the human resources department, it’s time to create your HR plan by reviewing the team responsibilities. Keep in mind, a thorough analysis of what each department will do in order to contribute to achieving the 2024 HR goals is necessary before moving forward.

Following this, the first step in the HR action plan 2024, is to assign a person who will be in charge of creating and implementing the HR plan . For smaller companies, this person will probably be the CEO. In slightly larger businesses, the person responsible is normally the same one who handles all of the human resources-related tasks. Medium-sized companies will look to their HR team; with every member delegated to a specific task, each corresponding with a goal.

Human resources organizational charts are a great way to visually see who is responsible for what, and who reports to who in the company. Using this type of chart is incredibly helpful for your staff planning.  They can be also useful to ensure that the HR management to HR employee ratio is in check. Try using a free organizational chart template to have a clear picture of your company’s structure.

These charts are great for displaying the following:

  • The structural hierarchy of the company : Directors, managers, intermediate profiles, employees, etc.
  • The departments within the company : Marketing, sales, product, human resources, etc.
  • Positions to fill : If there are any gaps in the company structure, the organizational chart will make them clear.

Annual HR Staff Planning: Identify Open Positions

Thanks to the organizational chart you can clearly see how many people you need to hire and for which positions. If you want to achieve your objectives for the coming year, you’ll need to have the right team in place.

In your HR plan you will define:

  • Which positions are open – Write a detailed description of all the positions to be filled, including the corresponding department, responsibilities, functions, where they fit in the hierarchy, and their workload.
  • Define the ideal profile – Here you’ll have to specify the profile of the candidate you are interested in hiring. Clearly outline the level of education you are looking for, the experience level, and the skills required. Based on this, you can decide whether to recruit from within the company if there is an employee that fits the desired profile.

Clearly defining the above details, are important steps to take in your HR plan. Therefore, allow yourself the time to study and analyze your company at each stage of the HR plan creation process.

Start Planning with a Defined HR Policy

Your updated human resources policy must meet the standards and demands of the general HR and strategic plan. The hr policy will also include guides for the HR department, including, but not limited to:

Hiring Guide

The main purpose of the hiring guide is to assist the HR manager in hiring and onboarding. This guide serves to outline the roles and responsibilities of the employees you are looking to hire. It should contain information on the types of contracts for each position as well. Also, including an HR annual training plan template in your hiring guide is beneficial.

Note: As an HR manager, you will need to decide whether the hiring process will be outsourced or handled within the company. If hiring is done from inside the company , a strategic onboarding process must be established to ensure successful recruitment and retention.

Compensation Guide

With every new contract you plan on offering, you need to state the details of each. For example, the salary amount, benefits, and economic bonuses. Make sure that what is offered in your compensation guide is in line with your overall Human Resources budget.

Workplace Satisfaction Guide Personal

Taking care of new hires is important, but don’t forget about your veteran employees. Long-term employees need to feel continually valued and supported as well. In your HR plan, you should invest part of your budget for the personal and professional development of each employee in the team.

Investing in employee wellbeing creates greater workplace satisfaction. Providing employees with the right personal development tools for success is key. Employees that feel supported display greater motivation for achieving their own goals and career aspirations.

Company Guide

Inside the HR policy, you should think about including a practical guide from the company. Contained in this guide, would be the company vision and mission, proper conduct guides, and conflict resolution codes

Build Your Annual HR Plan 2024

Now that you’ve gone through all the previous steps, you’re ready to build the best HR plan for 2024.

As you can see, creating the ideal HR plan for 2024 takes time and effort to compile . Unfortunately, a high percentage of small and medium-sized businesses simply don’t have the personnel to create a dynamic HR plan.

Save time creating your Annual HR plan with Factorial!

A solid HR plan is fundamental to achieving company goals. If you don’t have the correct tools to do the job, you’ll end up exhausting yourself creating a plan that will miss the mark in the end.

With Factorial, you can create your human resources plan for 2024 with ease. Build your organizational chart , fast and easy, and see who is in charge of what at a glance. Decide which departments need more assistance or restructuring.


Furthermore, Factorial gives you access to all kinds of human resources reports. These reports help you analyze the state of your company, allowing you to more effectively create the most successful HR plan for the coming year!

Are you looking for a little extra support to streamline your HR processes?

Simplify your HR processes with Factorial

Related posts

best hr podcast

The 10 Best HR Podcasts for 2024: Stay Informed and Inspired

what is human resources in business plan

A Millennium Forward: What HR will look like in 1000 years?

' src=

“Unfortunately, a high percentage of small and medium-sized businesses simply don’t have the personal to create a dynamic HR plan.”

‘personal’ should be ‘personnel’, unless I am mistaken?

A great article otherwise!

' src=

Thanks Trudy!

' src=

Post more! Seriously, I am really digging what you have written so far. I’ve scanned your blog right now for more things to read.

' src=

Thanks , this piece was indeed very useful.

Leave a Comment Cancel reply

  • Responsible: Everyday Software, S.L.
  • Contact information DPO: [email protected]
  • Purpose: manage your subscription to the newsletter.
  • Legal basis of the treatment: user consent.
  • Recipients: no data will be transferred to third parties, except legal obligation or except to national supplier companies and treatment managers.
  • Rights: access, rectification and deletion, among other rights detailed in the additional information.
  • Additional Information: you can check the additional and detailed information about data protection in: Privacy policy
  • Purpose: improve your experience in the blog.

what is human resources in business plan

Focus on your people, not paperwork

Get a quick demo of our HR software to see how Factorial can help your business grow.

Book a free demo

Language benefits

Language resources

Language training

  • Other resources

Performance measurement

Success stories

Training and development

Book a Demo

  • Business blog for companies

9 steps to creating a Human Resource annual plan [2024]

Andreas Kyprianou

What is an HR annual plan (AHRP)?

Ensures the organization has the right people with the right skills in the right places, helps to identify and address any potential hr challenges, aligns hr efforts with the overall business goals of the organization, helps to improve employee engagement and productivity, helps to reduce employee turnover, 1. align the hr plan with the overall business strategy, 2. assess the current state of the workforce, 3. identify the future needs of the organization, 4. conduct a gap analysis, 5. develop strategic initiatives to address the gaps, 6. set metrics and evaluation criteria, 7. start planning with a defined human resources policy, 8. communicate the hr plan to stakeholders, 9. review and update the hr plan on an annual basis, final words.

A company’s human resources (HR) department co-pilots its journey to achieving its goals. HR plays a vital role in ensuring that a good business strategy works.

As a business strategy evolves with a changing market, HR keeps pace with the changes, driving the strategy by executing all  key people-related activities  successfully. For that to happen, HR creates an annual plan, which we have discussed in detail in this article.

An annual human resources plan (AHRP) outlines the goals and objectives of HR for the coming year. It is a strategic tool that assists the HR department in aligning its efforts with the company’s business goals.

A well-written AHRP has the following sections:

  • Business and HR objectives
  • Workforce profile
  • Talent acquisition strategy
  • Skill gap and solutions (with a skills matrix, organizational chart, or other visual aids)
  • Employee relations and talent management
  • Compensation and benefits strategy
  • Learning and development, including HR upskilling
  • Metrics and criteria for evaluating results
  • Company, training, personnel, and compensation guides

What are the key benefits of having an annual HR plan?

The HR department handles several people-related activities, each of which ties into the broader company strategy. An annual HR plan guides HR staff’s actions and decisions.

It helps them think about and execute their tasks strategically. The main benefits of a human resources strategy plan are as follows:

Strategic workforce planning is a core process of human resource management. Ensuring that the company has the right people in the right place with the right skills to meet short and long-term objectives requires insight and information.

The AHRP serves as a guide for planning recruitment and hiring to meet the company’s goals. It  helps HR staff plan talent acquisition  by considering the following:

Data:  The number of employees, demographic information, turnover rates, and other related data.

Information:  The productivity levels at all levels of the organization, bench strength for talent, and a comparison of the company’s employee benefits versus the competitors.

Intelligence:  HR uses the information collected to improve organizational effectiveness, shaping solutions to challenges and priorities such as new talent acquisition and global expansion.

Insight:  HR utilizes its workforce knowledge to anticipate the cultural and organizational development implications of the business strategy on employee engagement and leadership.

To be a strategic partner to their business, HR must have a plan to tackle the challenges they anticipate in the forthcoming year. The AHRP contains those challenges and their solutions.

It prepares HR staff for the activities and changes that will take place shortly and how they will impact the team and enable them to overcome the challenges.

All human resources departments face some constant challenges. In 2024,  HR leaders believe  they will face the biggest challenges around the increasing amounts of work they will undertake, limited budgets, a scarcity of resources, and a need for more skills in the HR team.

Planning suitable actions can help the HR team better manage its priorities and stay resilient in a changing landscape.

The annual human resources strategic plan depends on the company’s objectives. It must conform to the company’s policies and procedures and the HR policy.

The practices and policies lay down the employee code of conduct, help the company create a safe working environment, and create a practical foundation for the company to lead their employees toward progress.

The HR department is the first to know about employees’ issues and is able to anticipate them in advance so that measures can be taken to avoid them. Their proactive efforts are critical to prevent potential setbacks to the company’s strategy and goals.

The HR annual plan considers policies and procedures to align HR efforts with business goals, helping protect the business strategy against events in the company’s internal environment.

HR is deeply familiar with the factors that drive employee engagement and ways to improve it.

They articulate the benefits of employee engagement in a way that leaders take notice and invest in improving employee engagement, managers understand how investing in employee engagement will enhance their own performance, and employees understand what is expected of them and what they can expect from their company.

The AHRP sets objectives around improving employee engagement and productivity. It emphasizes how important it is for HR professionals themselves to be engaged, aware of happenings in teams, and align with staff even as they support management in executing the business strategy.

Employee turnover affects productivity, morale, and costs. It is a significant challenge for the HR department and is addressable with a proper HR planning process.

The HR yearly plan proposes ways to manage employee turnover, suggesting actions and tools to help reduce turnover. Measuring turnover is the first step, followed by estimating the need for future talent and the talent supply within the company.

To stem attrition, HR focuses on improving employee engagement and prepares a succession plan to manage the exit of key personnel effectively.

If your company has witnessed a higher-than-normal turnover rate, this can receive particular focus in your annual HRP planning. If your business strategy involves an increase in AI and automation tools, then your AHRP can consider its impact on employee morale, turnover, and reskilling costs.

Next, let’s look at the process of HR planning and the steps to build your AHRP.

Teacher sitting in front of her computer

9 Steps to building your annual Human Resources plan

The AHRP is a blueprint for the human resource planning process for the coming year. These are the steps that explain the process of HR planning:

The primary purpose of an HR yearly plan is to meet the company’s critical goals. Naturally, it must consider your business objectives, which can be broadly categorized into explicit and implicit objectives.

Explicit objectives

Explicit objectives are spelled out for HR staff. They highlight the priorities for HR staff, such as talent acquisition and retention and higher employee engagement levels.

Understanding the employee experience, engagement, career paths, and other information is necessary to create explicit objectives. This is possible through employee surveys and studying turnover trends.

Implicit objectives

Employees have implicit expectations from their company. They want a safe and secure working environment, career progression, and an improved quality of life.

Employers also have implicit expectations around professionalism, productivity, and punctuality. An AHRP considers what is left unsaid but understood by all.

Before an annual human resources plan can be created, a clear picture of the current state of the workforce is necessary. Such a workforce profile shows the data on the number of employees, their demographics and skill sets, and turnover rates so far to inform how they might affect the future workforce.

You can add more factors to the profile as needed. After that, predict potential scenarios and determine how workforce issues can be planned for and managed.

The organizational structure must evolve to keep pace with technological changes, customer preferences, and the competitive landscape. A critical aspect of HR resource planning is anticipating future skill needs and developing a talent pipeline.

So, your human resource strategic plan must identify your company’s future needs with the aid of an organizational chart that groups your organization by team, tenure, skill set, performance levels, and other aspects.

You can find tools that help create a visual map of your organizational structure and enable you to uncover helpful patterns and trends in planning HR actions.

A skills gap analysis is a breakdown of your workforce and its current skills compared to the future workforce you will need to meet your business goals. The organizational chart helps identify skills or experience gaps early so that HR can reduce skill deficiencies within your company.

skills gap analysis template

After taking a people inventory and performing a gap analysis, identify ways to close the skills gap. You may need to invest in an employee upskilling plan if considering in-sourcing.

If you have limited resources, you could focus on addressing, at a minimum, those skills that are needed critically in the future.

Measuring the results of your human resource planning process is important to know whether your strategy is working. Your AHRP sets out the metrics and evaluation criteria for capturing the outcomes of your strategic actions.

For example, you can use turnover and retention rates to determine the success of your employee engagement or revamped benefits package. You can establish a wide range of criteria around recruitment, training, development, remuneration, and innovation.

Your annual HR plan must set the guidelines for hiring, training, assessing, and rewarding employees. You can consider creating these guides:

Hiring guide

The hiring guide states the roles and responsibilities of employees, employee contracts, and training plans. It also specifies whether recruitment will be managed in-house or outsourced to a staffing agency.

The hiring guide will explain the strategic onboarding process if recruitment is kept in-house.

Compensation guide

When it comes to the pay and benefits for each employee contract, HR should be on the same page. The compensation guide states salary, bonus pay, overtime allowance, and bonuses.

For example, corporate language training for your sales team could become necessary as you gain foreign clients and enhance the perceived value of your benefits package.

Compensation planning is a strategic approach to balancing your company’s financial interests and business strategy while attracting, retaining, and rewarding employees.

New call-to-action

Workplace satisfaction guide

Employees’ well-being predicts whether they suffer, struggle, or thrive. It includes their career, social, financial, physical, and community well-being. Supporting employees is important to keep productivity, performance, and morale high, attrition low, and maintain a positive work environment.

nvesting in employees’ skill development is integral to the HR planning process. Your AHRP should set out how you’re investing in employees’ development, its impact on their well-being, and the company’s strategic goals.

Company guide

The AHRP can include a guide on the company’s code of ethics outlining the professional conduct and behavioral norms that employees must observe.

It clarifies and underscores the company’s commitment to upholding ethical standards and serves as a reference for decision-making, problem-solving, and conflict resolution.

Training and development guide

The training and development guide covers the training methods that your company will employ, how the programs will be implemented, and how their output will be evaluated.

It also sets out the specific goals and objectives of choosing those training programs, specifically with regard to the company’s strategic vision.

Human resource planning is done with all decks on board. For a small company, this is the person who heads all employee-related tasks and those who work under the individual.

At a large company, the HR Director may lead HR resource planning, with inputs from administrative directors and managers handling compensation, employee relations, and employment services.

CEOs depend on their human resources department to drive strategy and succeed. Therefore, the human resources strategic plan should also be shared with the CEO.

Change is the only constant. The HR plan you create for 2024 may need to be revised for the following year. As circumstances change, so should your HR plan. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel – revisit the previous year’s plan and make the necessary adjustments.

A well-thought-out Human Resources annual strategic plan is a cornerstone for any organization looking to thrive in today’s fast-paced business environment. It not only provides a clear direction for the HR team but also ensures alignment of HR objectives with the broader organizational goals.

Implementing such a plan can help streamline operations, enhance productivity, and foster a positive work culture, thereby contributing to overall business success.

However, it’s important to remember that the effectiveness of an HR strategic plan is largely dependent on its execution. Proper communication, regular monitoring, and timely adjustments are key to ensuring its success.

Furthermore, involving employees in the planning process can boost engagement and commitment. In essence, a well-executed HR strategic plan can be a powerful tool in driving organizational growth and sustainability.

Share this article:

Andreas Kyprianou

Andreas is currently leading people operations and a Global Centre of People Excellence for a rapidly growing EdTech scale up (450+ employees). In his role he is responsible for people operations, admin, IT, HR technology and all employee experience processes including compensation, performance management, engagement, onboarding and offboarding, career development and learning. Previously Andreas held a number of roles in data and analytics both in HR and for the wider business. He spent 2 years as the Global Head of People Reporting and Analytics for Upfield – a KKR company (formerly part of Unilever). In his role he was responsible for all organizational aspects of data management, including operational reporting, advanced insights projects, data protection/ethics and workforce planning. Prior to this, Andreas had spent time building high performance analytics teams and providing data insights to senior leaders at technology (Facebook/Meta) and financial services (Bank of America) companies. At Bank of America, he ran a talent practice team, across talent analytics, learning, talent management and internal mobility. Andreas holds an MSc in Organizational Psychology from the University of Nottingham and an MBA from Durham University. His areas of expertise include assessment and selection, data visualization best practices and HR systems implementation. He frequently publishes articles on the importance of data analytics as well as systems thinking in HR.

Next article

what is human resources in business plan

  • June 5, 2024

A guide to francization & the language laws for doing business in Quebec

Learn how Québec’s Bill 96 affects your day-to-day business and get tips for successful francization of your teams to comply with the French language law.

Previous article

what is human resources in business plan

Unveiling the top 11 HR trends for 2024

Discover the top 11 HR trends for 2024 by Preply Business. Get insights into the latest Human Resources priorities and stay in tune with the key shifts that are redefining the workplace.

Related articles

what is human resources in business plan

A guide to quiet hiring in the workplace

Learn about the new quiet hiring trend, what benefits it brings to both employees and employers and how you can implement it successfully in your workplace.

what is human resources in business plan

Ranked: Countries where retirees are most likely to return to work

Discover the Preply study revealing the countries where, due in part to the cost of living crisis, retirees are most or least likely to return to work.

what is human resources in business plan

  • June 10, 2024

8 ways to start using AI in Human Resources (HR) management

For Human Resources, efficiency is incredibly important. Discover how HR professionals can leverage Artificial Intelligence to organize & automate operations in their company.

what is human resources in business plan

Inclusive teams: everything you need to know to build them

Learn more about the importance of creating diverse and inclusive teams and the skills required for inclusive leadership.

what is human resources in business plan

Top 7 strategies to boost employee retention

Discover the top 7 proven strategies to improve employee retention and learn how to keep your best talent engaged, motivated, and committed to your company's success.

what is human resources in business plan

How to build a high-performance team in your company

Read on to discover the 7 practical steps you can take today to transform your workforce into a high performance team.

14 Reasons Why You Need a Business Plan

Female entrepreneur holding a pen and pointing to multiple sticky notes on the wall. Presenting the many ways having a business plan will benefit you as a business owner.

10 min. read

Updated May 10, 2024

There’s no question that starting and running a business is hard work. But it’s also incredibly rewarding. And, one of the most important things you can do to increase your chances of success is to have a business plan.

A business plan is a foundational document that is essential for any company, no matter the size or age. From attracting potential investors to keeping your business on track—a business plan helps you achieve important milestones and grow in the right direction.

YouTube video

A business plan isn’t just a document you put together once when starting your business. It’s a living, breathing guide for existing businesses – one that business owners should revisit and update regularly.

Unfortunately, writing a business plan is often a daunting task for potential entrepreneurs. So, do you really need a business plan? Is it really worth the investment of time and resources? Can’t you just wing it and skip the whole planning process?

Good questions. Here’s every reason why you need a business plan.

  • 1. Business planning is proven to help you grow 30 percent faster

Writing a business plan isn’t about producing a document that accurately predicts the future of your company. The  process  of writing your plan is what’s important. Writing your plan and reviewing it regularly gives you a better window into what you need to do to achieve your goals and succeed. 

You don’t have to just take our word for it. Studies have  proven that companies that plan  and review their results regularly grow 30 percent faster. Beyond faster growth, research also shows that companies that plan actually perform better. They’re less likely to become one of those woeful failure statistics, or experience  cash flow crises  that threaten to close them down. 

  • 2. Planning is a necessary part of the fundraising process

One of the top reasons to have a business plan is to make it easier to raise money for your business. Without a business plan, it’s difficult to know how much money you need to raise, how you will spend the money once you raise it, and what your budget should be.

Investors want to know that you have a solid plan in place – that your business is headed in the right direction and that there is long-term potential in your venture. 

A business plan shows that your business is serious and that there are clearly defined steps on how it aims to become successful. It also demonstrates that you have the necessary competence to make that vision a reality. 

Investors, partners, and creditors will want to see detailed financial forecasts for your business that shows how you plan to grow and how you plan on spending their money. 

  • 3. Having a business plan minimizes your risk

When you’re just starting out, there’s so much you don’t know—about your customers, your competition, and even about operations. 

As a business owner, you signed up for some of that uncertainty when you started your business, but there’s a lot you can  do to reduce your risk . Creating and reviewing your business plan regularly is a great way to uncover your weak spots—the flaws, gaps, and assumptions you’ve made—and develop contingency plans. 

Your business plan will also help you define budgets and revenue goals. And, if you’re not meeting your goals, you can quickly adjust spending plans and create more realistic budgets to keep your business healthy.

Brought to you by

LivePlan Logo

Create a professional business plan

Using ai and step-by-step instructions.

Secure funding

Validate ideas

Build a strategy

  • 4. Crafts a roadmap to achieve important milestones

A business plan is like a roadmap for your business. It helps you set, track and reach business milestones. 

For your plan to function in this way, your business plan should first outline your company’s short- and long-term goals. You can then fill in the specific steps necessary to reach those goals. This ensures that you measure your progress (or lack thereof) and make necessary adjustments along the way to stay on track while avoiding costly detours.

In fact, one of the top reasons why new businesses fail is due to bad business planning. Combine this with inflexibility and you have a recipe for disaster.

And planning is not just for startups. Established businesses benefit greatly from revisiting their business plan. It keeps them on track, even when the global market rapidly shifts as we’ve seen in recent years.

  • 5. A plan helps you figure out if your idea can become a business

To turn your idea into reality, you need to accurately assess the feasibility of your business idea.

You need to verify:

  • If there is a market for your product or service
  • Who your target audience is
  • How you will gain an edge over the current competition
  • If your business can run profitably

A business plan forces you to take a step back and look at your business objectively, which makes it far easier to make tough decisions down the road. Additionally, a business plan helps you to identify risks and opportunities early on, providing you with the necessary time to come up with strategies to address them properly.

Finally, a business plan helps you work through the nuts and bolts of how your business will work financially and if it can become sustainable over time.

6. You’ll make big spending decisions with confidence

As your business grows, you’ll have to figure out when to hire new employees, when to expand to a new location, or whether you can afford a major purchase. 

These are always major spending decisions, and if you’re regularly reviewing the forecasts you mapped out in your business plan, you’re going to have better information to use to make your decisions.

7. You’re more likely to catch critical cash flow challenges early

The other side of those major spending decisions is understanding and monitoring your business’s cash flow. Your  cash flow statement  is one of the three key financial statements you’ll put together for your business plan. (The other two are your  balance sheet  and your  income statement  (P&L). 

Reviewing your cash flow statement regularly as part of your regular business plan review will help you see potential cash flow challenges earlier so you can take action to avoid a cash crisis where you can’t pay your bills. 

  • 8. Position your brand against the competition

Competitors are one of the factors that you need to take into account when starting a business. Luckily, competitive research is an integral part of writing a business plan. It encourages you to ask questions like:

  • What is your competition doing well? What are they doing poorly?
  • What can you do to set yourself apart?
  • What can you learn from them?
  • How can you make your business stand out?
  • What key business areas can you outcompete?
  • How can you identify your target market?

Finding answers to these questions helps you solidify a strategic market position and identify ways to differentiate yourself. It also proves to potential investors that you’ve done your homework and understand how to compete. 

  • 9. Determines financial needs and revenue models

A vital part of starting a business is understanding what your expenses will be and how you will generate revenue to cover those expenses. Creating a business plan helps you do just that while also defining ongoing financial needs to keep in mind. 

Without a business model, it’s difficult to know whether your business idea will generate revenue. By detailing how you plan to make money, you can effectively assess the viability and scalability of your business. 

Understanding this early on can help you avoid unnecessary risks and start with the confidence that your business is set up to succeed.

  • 10. Helps you think through your marketing strategy

A business plan is a great way to document your marketing plan. This will ensure that all of your marketing activities are aligned with your overall goals. After all, a business can’t grow without customers and you’ll need a strategy for acquiring those customers. 

Your business plan should include information about your target market, your marketing strategy, and your marketing budget. Detail things like how you plan to attract and retain customers, acquire new leads, how the digital marketing funnel will work, etc. 

Having a documented marketing plan will help you to automate business operations, stay on track and ensure that you’re making the most of your marketing dollars.

  • 11. Clarifies your vision and ensures everyone is on the same page

In order to create a successful business, you need a clear vision and a plan for how you’re going to achieve it. This is all detailed with your mission statement, which defines the purpose of your business, and your personnel plan, which outlines the roles and responsibilities of current and future employees. Together, they establish the long-term vision you have in mind and who will need to be involved to get there. 

Additionally, your business plan is a great tool for getting your team in sync. Through consistent plan reviews, you can easily get everyone in your company on the same page and direct your workforce toward tasks that truly move the needle.

  • 12. Future-proof your business

A business plan helps you to evaluate your current situation and make realistic projections for the future.

This is an essential step in growing your business, and it’s one that’s often overlooked. When you have a business plan in place, it’s easier to identify opportunities and make informed decisions based on data.

Therefore, it requires you to outline goals, strategies, and tactics to help the organization stay focused on what’s important.

By regularly revisiting your business plan, especially when the global market changes, you’ll be better equipped to handle whatever challenges come your way, and pivot faster.

You’ll also be in a better position to seize opportunities as they arise.

Further Reading: 5 fundamental principles of business planning

  • 13. Tracks your progress and measures success

An often overlooked purpose of a business plan is as a tool to define success metrics. A key part of writing your plan involves pulling together a viable financial plan. This includes financial statements such as your profit and loss, cash flow, balance sheet, and sales forecast.

By housing these financial metrics within your business plan, you suddenly have an easy way to relate your strategy to actual performance. You can track progress, measure results, and follow up on how the company is progressing. Without a plan, it’s almost impossible to gauge whether you’re on track or not.  

Additionally, by evaluating your successes and failures, you learn what works and what doesn’t and you can make necessary changes to your plan. In short, having a business plan gives you a framework for measuring your success. It also helps with building up a “lessons learned” knowledge database to avoid costly mistakes in the future.

  • 14. Your business plan is an asset if you ever want to sell

Down the road, you might decide that you want to sell your business or position yourself for acquisition. Having a solid business plan is going to help you make the case for a higher valuation. Your business is likely to be worth more to a buyer if it’s easy for them to understand your business model, your target market, and your overall potential to grow and scale. 

what is human resources in business plan

Free business plan template

Join over 1-million businesses and make planning easy with our simple, modern, investor-approved business plan template.

Download Template

  • Writing your business plan

By taking the time to create a business plan, you ensure that your business is heading in the right direction and that you have a roadmap to get there. We hope that this post has shown you just how important and valuable a business plan can be. While it may still seem daunting, the benefits far outweigh the time investment and learning curve for writing one. 

Luckily, you can write a plan in as little as 30 minutes. And there are plenty of excellent planning tools and business plan templates out there if you’re looking for more step-by-step guidance. Whatever it takes, write your plan and you’ll quickly see how useful it can be.

Content Author: Tim Berry

Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software , a co-founder of Borland International, and a recognized expert in business planning. He has an MBA from Stanford and degrees with honors from the University of Oregon and the University of Notre Dame. Today, Tim dedicates most of his time to blogging, teaching and evangelizing for business planning.

Check out LivePlan

Table of Contents

  • 6. You’ll make big spending decisions with confidence
  • 7. You’re more likely to catch critical cash flow challenges early

Related Articles

5 Consequences of Skipping a Business Plan

7 Min. Read

5 Consequences of Skipping a Business Plan

Male and female entrepreneur sitting at a table with two other team members. Reviewing a business plan outline to discuss the main components they need to cover.

10 Min. Read

Use This Simple Business Plan Outline to Organize Your Plan

5 Consequences of Skipping a Business Plan

5 Min. Read

How to Run a Productive Monthly Business Plan Review Meeting

5 Consequences of Skipping a Business Plan

8 Business Plan Templates You Can Get for Free

The Bplans Newsletter

The Bplans Weekly

Subscribe now for weekly advice and free downloadable resources to help start and grow your business.

We care about your privacy. See our privacy policy .

Garrett's Bike Shop

The quickest way to turn a business idea into a business plan

Fill-in-the-blanks and automatic financials make it easy.

No thanks, I prefer writing 40-page documents.

LivePlan pitch example

Discover the world’s #1 plan building software

what is human resources in business plan

  • Start free trial

Start selling with Shopify today

Start your free trial with Shopify today—then use these resources to guide you through every step of the process.

what is human resources in business plan

Free Business Plan Template for Small Businesses (2024)

Use this free business plan template to write your business plan quickly and efficiently.

A stack of books against a gradient background

A good business plan is essential to successfully starting your business —  and the easiest way to simplify the work of writing a business plan is to start with a business plan template.

You’re already investing time and energy in refining your business model and planning your launch—there’s no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to writing a business plan. Instead, to help build a complete and effective plan, lean on time-tested structures created by other  entrepreneurs and startups. 

Ahead, learn what it takes to create a solid business plan and download Shopify's free business plan template to get started on your dream today. 

What this free business plan template includes

  • Executive summary
  • Company overview
  • Products or services offered
  • Market analysis
  • Marketing plan
  • Logistics and operations plan
  • Financial plan

This business plan outline is designed to ensure you’re thinking through all of the important facets of starting a new business. It’s intended to help new business owners and entrepreneurs consider the full scope of running a business and identify functional areas they may not have considered or where they may need to level up their skills as they grow.

That said, it may not include the specific details or structure preferred by a potential investor or lender. If your goal with a business plan is to secure funding , check with your target organizations—typically banks or investors—to see if they have business plan templates you can follow to maximize your chances of success.

Our free business plan template includes seven key elements typically found in the traditional business plan format:

1. Executive summary

This is a one-page summary of your whole plan, typically written after the rest of the plan is completed. The description section of your executive summary will also cover your management team, business objectives and strategy, and other background information about the brand. 

2. Company overview

This section of your business plan will answer two fundamental questions: “Who are you?” and “What do you plan to do?” Answering these questions clarifies why your company exists, what sets it apart from others, and why it’s a good investment opportunity. This section will detail the reasons for your business’s existence, its goals, and its guiding principles.

3. Products or services offered

What you sell and the most important features of your products or services. It also includes any plans for intellectual property, like patent filings or copyright. If you do market research for new product lines, it will show up in this section of your business plan.

4. Market analysis

This section includes everything from estimated market size to your target markets and competitive advantage. It’ll include a competitive analysis of your industry to address competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. Market research is an important part of ensuring you have a viable idea.

5. Marketing plan

How you intend to get the word out about your business, and what strategic decisions you’ve made about things like your pricing strategy. It also covers potential customers’ demographics, your sales plan, and your metrics and milestones for success.

6. Logistics and operations plan

Everything that needs to happen to turn your raw materials into products and get them into the hands of your customers.

7. Financial plan

It’s important to include a look at your financial projections, including both revenue and expense projections. This section includes templates for three key financial statements: an income statement, a balance sheet, and a cash-flow statement . You can also include whether or not you need a business loan and how much you’ll need.

Business plan examples

What do financial projections look like on paper? How do you write an executive summary? What should your company description include?  Business plan examples  can help answer some of these questions and transform your business idea into an actionable plan.

Professional business plan example

Inside our template, we’ve filled out a sample business plan featuring a fictional ecommerce business . 

The sample is set up to help you get a sense of each section and understand how they apply to the planning and evaluation stages of a business plan. If you’re looking for funding, this example won’t be a complete or formal look at business plans, but it will give you a great place to start and notes about where to expand.

Example text in a business plan company overview section

Lean business plan example

A lean business plan format is a shortened version of your more detailed business plan. It’s helpful when modifying your plan for a specific audience, like investors or new hires. 

Also known as a one-page business plan, it includes only the most important, need-to-know information, such as:

  • Company description
  • Key members of your team
  • Customer segments

💡 Tip: For a step-by-step guide to creating a lean business plan (including a sample business plan), read our guide on how to create a lean business plan .

Example text in a business plan's marketing plan section

Benefits of writing a solid business plan

It’s tempting to dive right into execution when you’re excited about a new business or side project, but taking the time to write a thorough business plan and get your thoughts on paper allows you to do a number of beneficial things:

  • Test the viability of your business idea. Whether you’ve got one business idea or many, business plans can make an idea more tangible, helping you see if it’s truly viable and ensure you’ve found a target market. 
  • Plan for your next phase. Whether your goal is to start a new business or scale an existing business to the next level, a business plan can help you understand what needs to happen and identify gaps to address.
  • Clarify marketing strategy, goals, and tactics. Writing a business plan can show you the actionable next steps to take on a big, abstract idea. It can also help you narrow your strategy and identify clear-cut tactics that will support it.
  • Scope the necessary work. Without a concrete plan, cost overruns and delays are all but certain. A business plan can help you see the full scope of work to be done and adjust your investment of time and money accordingly.
  • Hire and build partnerships. When you need buy-in from potential employees and business partners, especially in the early stages of your business, a clearly written business plan is one of the best tools at your disposal. A business plan provides a refined look at your goals for the business, letting partners judge for themselves whether or not they agree with your vision.
  • Secure funds. Seeking financing for your business—whether from venture capital, financial institutions, or Shopify Capital —is one of the most common reasons to create a business plan.

Why you should you use a template for a business plan

A business plan can be as informal or formal as your situation calls for, but even if you’re a fan of the back-of-the-napkin approach to planning, there are some key benefits to starting your plan from an existing outline or simple business plan template.

No blank-page paralysis

A blank page can be intimidating to even the most seasoned writers. Using an established business planning process and template can help you get past the inertia of starting your business plan, and it allows you to skip the work of building an outline from scratch. You can always adjust a template to suit your needs.

Guidance on what to include in each section

If you’ve never sat through a business class, you might never have created a SWOT analysis or financial projections. Templates that offer guidance—in plain language—about how to fill in each section can help you navigate sometimes-daunting business jargon and create a complete and effective plan.

Knowing you’ve considered every section

In some cases, you may not need to complete every section of a startup business plan template, but its initial structure shows you you’re choosing to omit a section as opposed to forgetting to include it in the first place.

Tips for creating a successful business plan

There are some high-level strategic guidelines beyond the advice included in this free business plan template that can help you write an effective, complete plan while minimizing busywork.

Understand the audience for your plan

If you’re writing a business plan for yourself in order to get clarity on your ideas and your industry as a whole, you may not need to include the same level of detail or polish you would with a business plan you want to send to potential investors. Knowing who will read your plan will help you decide how much time to spend on it.

Know your goals

Understanding the goals of your plan can help you set the right scope. If your goal is to use the plan as a roadmap for growth, you may invest more time in it than if your goal is to understand the competitive landscape of a new industry.

Take it step by step

Writing a 10- to 15-page document can feel daunting, so try to tackle one section at a time. Select a couple of sections you feel most confident writing and start there—you can start on the next few sections once those are complete. Jot down bullet-point notes in each section before you start writing to organize your thoughts and streamline the writing process.

Maximize your business planning efforts

Planning is key to the financial success of any type of business , whether you’re a startup, non-profit, or corporation.

To make sure your efforts are focused on the highest-value parts of your own business planning, like clarifying your goals, setting a strategy, and understanding the target market and competitive landscape, lean on a business plan outline to handle the structure and format for you. Even if you eventually omit sections, you’ll save yourself time and energy by starting with a framework already in place.

  • How to Start an Online Boutique- A Complete Playbook
  • How To Source Products To Sell Online
  • The Ultimate Guide To Dropshipping (2024)
  • How to Start a Dropshipping Business- A Complete Playbook for 2024
  • 6 Creative Ways to Start a Business With No Money in 2024
  • What is Shopify and How Does it Work?
  • What Is Affiliate Marketing and How to Get Started
  • How to Price Your Products in 3 Simple Steps
  • 10 Common Small Business Mistakes to Avoid
  • How to Turn a Hobby into a Business in 8 Steps

Business plan template FAQ

What is the purpose of a business plan.

The purpose of your business plan is to describe a new business opportunity or an existing one. It clarifies the business strategy, marketing plan, financial forecasts, potential providers, and more information about the company.

How do I write a simple business plan?

  • Choose a business plan format, such as a traditional or a one-page business plan. 
  • Find a business plan template.
  • Read through a business plan sample.
  • Fill in the sections of your business plan.

What is the best business plan template?

If you need help writing a business plan, Shopify’s template is one of the most beginner-friendly options you’ll find. It’s comprehensive, well-written, and helps you fill out every section.

What are the 5 essential parts of a business plan?

The five essential parts of a traditional business plan include:

  • Executive summary: This is a brief overview of the business plan, summarizing the key points and highlighting the main points of the plan.
  • Business description: This section outlines the business concept and how it will be executed.
  • Market analysis: This section provides an in-depth look at the target market and how the business will compete in the marketplace.
  • Financial plan: This section details the financial projections for the business, including sales forecasts, capital requirements, and a break-even analysis.
  • Management and organization: This section describes the management team and the organizational structure of the business.

Are there any free business plan templates?

There are several free templates for business plans for small business owners available online, including Shopify’s own version. Download a copy for your business.

Keep up with the latest from Shopify

Get free ecommerce tips, inspiration, and resources delivered directly to your inbox.

By entering your email, you agree to receive marketing emails from Shopify.

popular posts


The point of sale for every sale.

Graphic of a mobile phone with heart shapes bubbles floating around it

Subscribe to our blog and get free ecommerce tips, inspiration, and resources delivered directly to your inbox.

Unsubscribe anytime. By entering your email, you agree to receive marketing emails from Shopify.

Latest from Shopify

Jun 11, 2024

Learn on the go. Try Shopify for free, and explore all the tools you need to start, run, and grow your business.

Try Shopify for free, no credit card required.

  • All Products
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

What is ERP?

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is a software system that helps you run your entire business, supporting automation and processes in finance, human resources, manufacturing, supply chain, services, procurement, and more.

  • ERP definition in detail

ERP stands for enterprise resource planning, but what does ERP mean? The simplest way to define ERP is to think about all the core business processes needed to run a company: finance, HR, manufacturing, supply chain, services, procurement, and others. At its most basic level, ERP helps to efficiently manage all these processes in an integrated system. It is often referred to as the system of record of the organization.

Yet today’s ERP systems are anything but basic and have little resemblance to the ERP of decades ago. They are now delivered via the cloud and use the latest technologies – such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning – to provide intelligent automation, greater efficiency, and instant insight across the business. Modern cloud ERP software also connects internal operations with business partners and networks around the world, giving companies the collaboration , agility, and speed they need to be competitive today.

Table of Contents

Why is erp important.

  • Benefits of ERP

ERP examples in different industries

How do erp systems work, common erp modules.

Types of ERP deployment

ERP integration

The total cost of erp.

  • History and the future of ERP

10 things to look for in an ERP system

Erp at any size: what are my options.

Sometimes described as “the central nervous system of an enterprise,” an ERP software system provides the automation, integration, and intelligence that is essential to efficiently run all day-to-day business operations. Most or all of an organization’s data should reside in the ERP system to provide a single source of truth across the business.

Finance requires an ERP to quickly close the books. Sales needs ERP to manage all customer orders. Logistics relies on well-running ERP software to deliver the right products and services to customers on time. Accounts payable needs ERP to pay suppliers correctly and on time. Management needs instant visibility into the company’s performance to make timely decisions. And banks and shareholders require accurate financial records, so they count on reliable data and analysis made possible by the ERP system.

The importance of ERP software to businesses is illustrated by the growing adoption rate. According to G2 , “The global ERP software market is projected to reach US$78.40 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 10.2% from 2019 to 2026.”

Discover why an ERP system is so important.

Six key benefits of ERP

A good ERP system offers many advantages — which can vary depending on how the system is deployed. The benefits of cloud ERP , for example, are different than on premise. That said, there are six major benefits that apply to all modern ERP solutions:

  • Higher productivity: Streamline and automate your core business processes to help everyone in your organization do more with fewer resources.
  • Deeper insights: Eliminate information silos, gain a single source of truth, and get fast answers to mission-critical business questions.
  • Accelerated reporting: Fast-track business and financial reporting and easily share results. Act on insights and improve performance in real time.
  • Lower risk: Maximize business visibility and control, ensure compliance with regulatory requirements, and predict and prevent risk.
  • Simpler IT: By using integrated ERP applications that share a database, you can simplify IT and give everyone an easier way to work.
  • Improved agility: With efficient operations and ready access to real-time data, you can quickly identify and react to new opportunities.

Businesses in every industry – from automotive to wholesale distribution – need accurate, real-time information and effective business processes to compete and thrive. Different industries rely on their ERP software for quite different reasons, however. Here are just a few examples:

  • Utilities need to constantly review their capital assets, not only to meet demand for future services but also for the replacement of aging assets. Without ERP, the effort to prioritize these major asset investments would be difficult and error prone. ERP also helps solve another critical utility company issue: forecasting of spare parts. Not having the right parts during an outage can create a significant customer service issue. On the other hand, having too many spare parts means excessive costs and out-of-date stock.
  • For wholesalers , importers, direct store delivery, and 3PL/4PL firms, on-time delivery is key. All of these organizations want to reduce distribution costs, increase inventory turns, and shorten order-to-cash time. To achieve these goals, they need integration of inventory management, purchasing, and logistics functionality, as well as automated processes that are customized to their needs.
  • Discrete, batch, and continuous process manufacturers all rely on ERP and supply chain systems to meet product quality goals, manage asset utilization, control overtime costs, handle customer returns and more. Manufacturers can also gain end-to-end inventory control by monitoring stock movements, pinpointing top and underperforming products, and managing procurement more efficiently.
  • Service companies – including accounting, tax, engineering, IT, legal, and other professional services firms – require powerful, real-time mobile ERP technology to balance service delivery commitments with financial health. Key to professional service success is the ability to stay on schedule while managing project profitability, resource utilization, revenue recognition, recurring revenue objectives, and growth opportunities.
  • Retail has undergone a significant transformation now that e-commerce has merged with other sales channels as well as brick-and-mortar operations. The ability to provide self-service options for identifying, configuring, purchasing, and shipping products is dependent on integrated data. A modern ERP also helps retailers reduce cart abandonments, improve Web site conversions, boost average order value, and increase customer lifetime value.

An ERP system – also called an ERP suite – is made up of integrated modules or business applications that talk to each other and share common a database.

Each ERP module typically focuses on one business area, but they work together using the same data to meet the company’s needs. Finance , accounting, human resources , sales, procurement , logistics , and supply chain are popular starting points. Companies can pick and choose the module they want and can add on and scale as needed.

ERP systems also support industry-specific requirements, either as part of the system’s core functionality or through application extensions that seamlessly integrate with the suite.

ERP software can be bought using a cloud subscription model (software-as-a-service) or a licensing model (on premise).

The ERP software system shown here illustrates enterprise resource planning use cases for sourcing and procurement, as well as sales. Typical ERP modules also address finance, manufacturing, and supply chain, among other applications.

Enterprise resource planning systems include a variety of different modules. Each ERP module supports specific business processes – like finance, procurement, or manufacturing – and provides employees in that department with the transactions and insight they need do their jobs. Every module connects to the ERP system, which delivers a single source of truth and accurate, shared data across departments.

Components of an enterprise resource planning system

The most widely used ERP modules include:

  • Finance:  The finance and accounting module is the backbone of most ERP systems. In addition to managing the general ledger and automating key financial tasks, it helps businesses track accounts payable (AP) and receivable (AR), close the books efficiently, generate financial reports, comply with revenue recognition standards, mitigate financial risk, and more.
  • Human resources management:  Most ERP systems include an HR module that provides core capabilities such as time and attendance and payroll. Add-ons, or even entire human capital management (HCM) suites, can connect to the ERP and deliver more robust HR functionality – everything from workforce analytics to employee experience management.
  • Sourcing and procurement:  The sourcing and procurement module helps businesses procure the materials and services they need to manufacture their goods – or the items they want to resell. The module centralizes and automates purchasing, including requests for quotes, contract creation, and approvals. It can minimize underbuying and overbuying, improve supplier negotiations with AI-powered analytics, and even seamlessly connect with buyer networks.
  • Sales:  The sales module keeps track of communications with prospects and customers – and helps reps use data-driven insights to increase sales and target leads with the right promotions and upsell opportunities. It includes functionality for the order-to-cash process, including order management, contracts, billing, sales performance management, and sales force support.
  • Manufacturing:  The manufacturing module is a key planning and execution component of ERP software. It helps companies simplify complex manufacturing processes and ensure production is in line with demand. This module typically includes functionality for material requirements planning (MRP), production scheduling, manufacturing execution, quality management, and more.
  • Logistics and supply chain management:  Another key component of ERP systems, the supply chain module tracks the movement of goods and supplies throughout an organization’s supply chain. The module provides tools for real-time inventory management, warehousing operations, transportation, and logistics – and can help increase supply chain visibility and resilience.
  • Service:  In an ERP, the service module helps companies deliver the reliable, personalized service customers have come to expect. The module can include tools for in-house repairs, spare parts, field service management, and service-based revenue streams. It also provides analytics to help service reps and technicians rapidly solve customer issues and improve loyalty.
  • R&D and engineering:  Feature-rich ERP systems include an R&D and engineering module . This module provides tools for product design and development, product lifecycle management (PLM), product compliance, and more – so companies can quickly and cost-effectively create new innovations.
  • Enterprise asset management: Robust ERP systems can include an EAM module – which helps asset-intensive businesses minimize downtime and keep their machines and equipment running at peak efficiency. This module includes functionality for predictive maintenance, scheduling, asset operations and planning, environment, health and safety (EHS), and more.

Modern ERP systems can be deployed in a number of ways: in a public or private cloud, on premise, or in various hybrid scenarios that combine environments. Here are some of the high-level benefits of each to help you identify the ERP deployment option that makes the most sense for your business.

With cloud ERP , the software is hosted in the cloud and delivered over the Internet as a service that you subscribe to. The software provider generally takes care of regular maintenance, updates, and security on your behalf. Today, cloud ERP is the most popular deployment method for many reasons – including lower upfront costs, greater scalability and agility, easier integration, and much more.

On-Premise ERP

This is the traditional model for deploying software where you control everything. The ERP software is typically installed in your data center at the locations of your choice. The installation and maintenance of the hardware and software is your staff’s responsibility.

Many companies are modernizing and upgrading their on-premise ERP systems to cloud deployments. This requires careful planning of your ERP upgrade as well as a thoughtful process of evaluating ERP software and deployment options .

For companies that want a mixture of both to meet their business requirements, there is the hybrid cloud ERP model. This is where some of your ERP applications and data will be in the cloud and some on premise. Sometimes this is referred to as two-tier ERP .

ERP for finance can help you manage your daily accounting and financial close processes securely, regardless of your deployment approach.

Today’s ERP systems provide an enormous range of business functionality, but they still need to connect to and synchronize with other applications and data sources – such as CRM and HCM software, e-commerce platforms, industry-specific solutions, and even other ERPs. With ERP integration , companies can gain a unified view of information from different systems, increase business process efficiency, improve customer experiences, and facilitate collaboration across teams and business partners.

Modern ERP systems are open and flexible – and can easily integrate with a wide range of software products using connectors or customized adaptors, such as application programming interfaces (APIs). Other methods for ERP integration include ESB (enterprise service bus) and iPaaS (integration platform-as-a-service). iPaaS, which offers a cloud-based approach, is a very popular option for modern businesses. iPaaS platforms can rapidly sync on-premise or cloud-based ERP with SaaS applications from the same vendor or third-parties. They typically require little-to-no coding, they’re flexible and relatively inexpensive, and they offer a whole host of other uses – such as automatic API generation, machine learning data integration, Internet of Things (IoT) network integration, prebuilt content, and more.

The cost of ERP depends on the software vendor, the modules selected, and the deployment method. Generally speaking, cloud-based ERP has lower costs than on-premise ERP because there is no hardware that needs to be purchased – and no expensive in-house IT experts that need to be hired. The vendor handles the maintenance and charges the customer an annual or monthly subscription fee, usually based on the number of users.

When calculating the return on investment (ROI) and total cost of ownership (TCO) of a new ERP implementation, the initial and ongoing workforce costs are just as important as the software selection and deployment costs. With cloud and hybrid options, new factors must be evaluated. For example, software maintenance, facility, computer capacity, downtime, recovery, security, privacy, and IT staff costs are all important considerations. As mentioned, cloud options significantly reduce both capital and operating costs – improving both ROI and TCO.

ERP history: The rapid evolution of ERP

Computerized business applications were born in the accounting and finance world in the 1960’s using mainframe computers. These pioneering applications were faster and more accurate than manual processes – but were expensive, limited in functionality, and still slow. Before long, these applications spawned the development of dedicated, standalone solutions such as sales order processing and manufacturing requirements planning ( MRP ).

In the mid 1980’s, competition in the manufacturing sector was exploding and new tools were required. New MRP II software integrated accounting and finance, sales, purchasing, inventory, and manufacturing planning and scheduling – providing the manufacturer with an integrated system.

Near the end of the 1990’s, ERP was introduced. ERP transformed the technology sector by serving a broader range of industries and by combining MRP II, human resources, project accounting, and end-user reporting.

In the short span of the 21st century, faster Internet speeds and new development tools have again revolutionized ERP suites. The introduction of browser-based software paved the way for cloud ERP software , a breakthrough that has expanded both the reach and the functionality of ERP solutions.

Today – in the era of digital transformation – modern ERP systems are increasingly taking advantage of new intelligent technologies such as AI, machine learning, robotic process automation (RPA), the IoT, natural language processing (NLP), and in-memory databases. They provide businesses with the ability to run even more efficient processes, leverage up-to-the-minute insights from both transactional and unstructured data, and ultimately remain competitive in a time of unprecedented change.

The future of ERP

Digital transformation is speeding up – and ERP is at the core. As enterprises adopt digital technologies in every part of the business, they are fundamentally changing the way they operate.

According to Gartner , one of the core digital business accelerators is to “banish drags” – in other words, eliminate any negative force that slows the business down, including outdated processes and systems. So, it’s not surprising that companies are already demanding more robust ERP systems.

Following are three major trends that build on the momentum we see today:

  • Cloud, cloud, cloud: Preference for cloud ERP will continue to intensify as more and more companies discover the benefits – including “anywhere” access, reduced cost of hardware and technical support, greater security, and integration with other systems, to name just a few. According to Panorama Research in their 2020 ERP Report , “More than half of organizations are selecting cloud software (63%) instead of on-premises software (37%).” As the speed of business continues to accelerate, cloud becomes even more essential.
  • Vertical integration: The tug of war between best-of-breed solutions and integrated ERP is officially over. Going forward, we believe that companies will demand the best of both worlds – a fully integrated ERP system with vertical extensions. This allows companies to get the specific functionality they need, without painful integration issues or data locked in information silos. We also see the shift toward ever greater flexibility, as business processes are tailored to individual company needs.
  • User personalization: Staff, customers, and suppliers all want content and functionality that matches their specific needs or interests and makes them more productive. The changing demographics of the workforce, particularly in industries such as manufacturing, are also driving interest in low-code, no-code platforms. These platforms allow users to get the experience they want, rather than having to adapt to the software. Users can also expect customized dashboards, AI-driven search, personalized chat, and personalized workflows across devices.

Explore more ERP technology trends – and learn how to systematically evaluate your options, avoid pitfalls, and get started with the right innovations for your business.

Any modern ERP system will have a long list of capabilities based on the industry they serve and the modules they offer. However, there are 10 fundamental features that all enterprise resource management systems should have:

  • A common database: Centralized information and single version of the truth – providing consistent, shared data and a cross-functional view of the company.
  • Embedded analytics: Built-in analytics, self-service BI, reporting, and compliance tools that can deliver intelligent insight for any area of the business.
  • Data visualization: Visual presentation of key information with dashboards, KPIs, and point-and-click analytics to assist in quick and informed decision-making.
  • Automation. Automation of repetitive tasks as well as advanced RPA powered by AI and machine learning .
  • Consistent UI/UX: The same look and feel across modules – as well as easy-to-use configuration and personalization tools for processes, users (including customers and suppliers), business units, locations, and product lines, for example.
  • Integration: Seamless integration of business processes and workflows – as well as open and easy integration with other software solutions and data sources, including from third parties.
  • New technologies: Support for AI and machine learning, digital assistants, the IoT , RPA , security and privacy, and mobile.
  • Technology platform: A fast, proven, and stable technology stack for this long-term investment – including a low-code/no-code platform , iPaaS, data management, and more.
  • Multinational support: Including for languages, currencies, and local business practices and regulations – as well as technical support for cloud services, training, help desk, and implementation.
  • Choice of deployment: Cloud, on-premise, or hybrid.

ERP isn’t just for global enterprises. ERP solutions are designed for businesses of all sizes – small, midsize, and large. You can also get industry- and company-specific functionality to meet unique business needs. Regardless of your business sector and size, you’ll want to plan your ERP implementation project carefully, following best practices.

Small business ERP

ERP software for small businesses can help you move beyond spreadsheets and efficiently manage every aspect of your growing company – from sales and customer relationships to financials and operations. Small business ERP tools are typically in the cloud, quick to install, and designed to grow with you.

Mid-Market ERP

Today, ERP software designed for mid-market companies and subsidiaries benefit from built-in analytics, rapid deployment, and best practices for dozens of different business processes – financials, HR, supply chain management, and more. Midsize ERP tools help growing businesses scale and compete, even with limited resources. Modular, cloud-based enterprise ERP systems are also a popular choice for midmarket companies with complex processes or plans for rapid growth.

Enterprise ERP

Large companies with global or subsidiary operations need a robust, market-leading ERP system with embedded AI, machine learning, and analytics – and intelligent automation to transform business models and processes. ERP systems can be deployed on premise, in the cloud, or in a hybrid scenario depending on business need. They can integrate with existing databases or, ideally, run on newer, powerful in-memory databases .

Many companies are modernizing and upgrading their on-premise ERP systems to cloud deployments. This requires careful planning of your ERP upgrade , as well as an ERP evaluation and review of your deployment options .

What is an ERP software system?

An ERP software system is a set of integrated applications or modules for managing a company’s core business processes – including finance and accounting , supply chain , HR , procurement , sales, inventory management, and more. ERP modules are integrated into one complete system and share a common database to streamline processes and information across the enterprise. Businesses can expand the scope of their ERP as they grow.

What is ERP cloud software?

Cloud ERP is the deployment of ERP in the cloud rather than on premise. The cloud provides an ideal environment for ERP as it is an accessible, reliable, secure, and highly scalable platform for mission-critical software. True cloud ERP software is developed specifically for cloud deployment and takes full advantage of the cloud environment. Learn more about cloud ERP and ERP deployment options .

What is ERP in accounting?

In accounting, the acronym ERP stands for enterprise resource planning – which is a type of business management software. ERP finance modules offer many of the same features as accounting software, such as tools for accounts receivable and payable, general ledger, expense management, reporting and analysis, and more. In addition to finance, ERP includes modules for different lines of business, such as supply chain and HR, and integrates everything together in a single system.

How do I know I'm ready for an ERP system?

Most businesses start out using a variety of simple, standalone tools to manage different business processes – such as QuickBooks or Excel spreadsheets. Here are five signs you’ve outgrown them and need a modern ERP system .

  • You’re spending more time on daily activities. If it’s taking longer to manage key activities, like closing the books, too many disparate applications may be to blame. ERP software integrates solutions and data into one system with a common interface, making it easier for business units to communicate and do their jobs effectively.
  • You have many unanswered business questions. Can you easily answer important questions about your business, such as revenue per product line or number of returns? If not, segregated systems and a lack of access to metrics and KPIs may be holding you back. Enterprise resource planning software is designed to address these challenges.
  • You have runaway business processes. Are there areas where your processes are getting away from you? Maybe it’s harder for you to manage inventory, satisfy customers, or keep costs in check. If so, your business processes may need to be restructured to accommodate growth or changing priorities – a natural fit for ERP software.
  • You have manual processes with multiple data sets. Are most of your departments using their own applications and processes to get things done? If so, chances are you’re spending too much time on duplicate data entry. When information can’t flow between systems, reporting takes longer, errors happen often, and decision-making is hampered.
  • You’re missing out on fast-moving opportunities. Are you spending so much time running your business that you can’t pursue exciting new opportunities? Newer ERP systems include advanced, intelligent capabilities, like machine learning and predictive analytics, that make it easier to identify and capitalize on profitable new ventures.

Explore ERP software

No matter what your size, SAP has an ERP solution for your business needs.

Essential ERP for growing companies

Explore trends, user guides, and expert advice in this three-part ERP miniseries.


  1. Human Resources: What It Is and Why It's a Critical Business Function

    what is human resources in business plan

  2. Human Resource Planning Guide and Templates Every HR Team Needs

    what is human resources in business plan

  3. How To Develop A Human Resource Plan

    what is human resources in business plan

  4. What is Human Resource Planning Process? Business Jargons

    what is human resources in business plan

  5. Human Resource Planning Process: A Practitioner’s Guide

    what is human resources in business plan

  6. Human Resources Planning Guide

    what is human resources in business plan


  1. Career Spotlight- Human Resources Business Partner, Lenovo

  2. Entrepreneurship Development#24_SPPU Unit#5 Lecture 24, #entrepreneur #entrepreneurship #sppu

  3. ISD 709 Human Resources/Business Committee Meetings July 10, 2017

  4. Human Resources Specialists

  5. Interview "3" : Human Resources Business Partner

  6. Human Resources–Business–Transfer to OnTech University Bachelor of Commerce (Hons). 15sec. #shorts


  1. Management and Human Resources Business Plans

    Management and Human Resources Business Plans. By. Daniel Richards. Updated on September 13, 2022. Fact checked by J.R. Duren. In This Article. Photo: Georgijevic / Getty Images. A business plan should include plans for your company's management and human resources departments. Learn what each section should include and how to write them.

  2. Human Resource Planning (HRP)

    The Bottom Line. Human Resource Planning (HRP) is the systematic process of analyzing and forecasting an organization's current and future human resource needs and developing strategies to meet those needs. It plays a critical role in aligning the workforce with the organization's strategic objectives and ensuring its long-term success.

  3. Human Resource Planning: Definition & Top Strategies

    Human resource planning is a key strategy for ensuring long-term business sustainability and resilience. In this guide, we'll explore the essentials of human resource planning (HRP), why it's so important, and the best practices to start your human resource planning process.

  4. Human Resource Planning (HRP) Meaning, Process, and Examples

    Human Resource Planning - HRP: Human resource planning, or HRP, is the ongoing, continuous process of systematic planning to achieve optimum use of an organization's most valuable asset — its ...

  5. Human Resource Planning Done Right: A Step-by-Step Guide

    Human resource planning (HRP) is at the core of efficient operations in any company selling people's time and expertise. A resource plan is key to being able to maximize the efficiency of your team members, and therefore the business as a whole. In fact, 72% of managers practicing human resource planning are certain that it improves ...

  6. Human Resources Planning Guide

    Human resources are an integral part of change management, which is a systematic approach that applies tools, knowledge, and resources to deal with business transformation. The primary goal of change management is to successfully implement new processes, products, and business strategies while minimizing adverse outcomes.

  7. How to Succeed with Human Resource Planning: A Step-By-Step Guide (+11

    The success of a business is directly linked to the performance of those who work for that business. It's therefore critical to make sure that the business has the skills and competencies that it needs to succeed. ... Formulate, implement, and monitor a formidable human resource plan. Use the following Process Street templates to really smash ...

  8. Human Resource Planning: Definition, Objectives, And Steps

    Strategic Human Resource Management: SHRM is a holistic approach to assembling the best team for your business's growth and success. At first glance, it may appear that human resource planning is the same thing as strategic human resource management under a different name. They seem so similar because one is actually part of the other.

  9. Human Resource Planning (HRP): A Step-By-Step Guide

    In today's rapidly evolving business landscape, having a plan in place for managing your human capital is key — and that's where human resource planning (HRP) comes in. Human resource planning plays a critical role in making sure that your organization is well-equipped with the right talent at the right time.

  10. How to create a human resources plan

    The importance of a human resources plan . A company human resources plan is essential if the staff and organisation are to operate effectively. This document is also key to achieving a company's business objectives. It also serves to: Promote flexibility within the organisation: we are living in a constantly changing world. Effective ...

  11. HR Business Plan: What Is It and Why Do You Need It?

    As a business owner, it is not enough to only have a business plan in place. In order to have a business run smoothly from top to bottom, every department must have a business plan. ... One of the first departments to focus on is the Human Resources (HR) department. This is because many of the compliance functions and hiring decisions are made ...

  12. Human Resource Planning: Definition, Steps and Tools

    Human resource planning steps. Here are some of the steps you can take for effective human resource planning: 1. Analyze the company's current employees and their offerings. Analyzing a company's current offerings, staff skills and business goals are essential to planning. This helps you understand what you might need to improve or what works well.

  13. 6 Steps to Create a Strategic HR Plan [With Templates]

    Here are six steps to help you succeed at the human resource planning process. 1. Assess current employees' skill levels. The first step to creating a future-forward HR plan is to assess employees' current skill sets, and compare them to your operational needs moving forward.

  14. HR Business Plan Template: Everything You Need to Know

    Without such a plan in place, your workers will feel unprepared and won't know how to work towards your company's overall goals. Steps for Developing a Human Resources Department Business Plan. There are several steps to creating an HR business plan. They include: Clarify the requirements. While you might be tempted to create a detailed plan ...

  15. HR Strategy: What is it and How to Create One

    To drive HR strategic planning and any HR transformation initiatives, follow these five steps to create an effective human resources strategy that supports enterprise business goals:. Understand your organization's mission, strategy and business goals.; Identify the critical capabilities and skills.; Evaluate the current capabilities and skills of your talent and the HR function, and ...

  16. 5 Steps to Creating an Effective HR Business Plan

    A human resource business plan will develop these points into a coherent strategy. Get Started Hiring Now. Post A Job. Steps To Develop A HR Business Plan. Assess current human resource situation. Before a plan is made, the human resources department and the company executives need to know what they have already. Your company should evaluate ...

  17. Strategic Human Resource Management Guide

    Strategic human resource management (SHRM) is a process that organizations use to manage their employees. It is a way to ensure that the organization's HR are used in a way that supports the ...

  18. 2.2 Writing the HRM Plan

    Describe the steps in the development of an HRM plan. As addressed in Section 2.1 "Strategic Planning", the writing of an HRM strategic plan should be based on the strategic plans of the organization and of the department. Once the strategic plan is written, the HR professional can begin work on the HR plan. This is different from the ...

  19. What Is The Role Of HR In Business Planning?

    This is part of HR business planning and will provide input to help the business achieve its goals effectively. The HR professional, with access to objective data, is best placed to offer insightful ideas and plans on how to support the people aspect of the business plan. If HR is allowed to be a key influencer in the business, they can solicit ...

  20. 10+ SAMPLE HR Business Plan in PDF

    What Is a HR Business Plan? A HR business plan is a targeted and comprehensive plan that is geared towards achieving an organization's human resource objectives. The broader plan may cover the more specific areas of HR. According to an article published by the University of Minnesota, a Human Resource Management (HRM) strategic plan must consist of six main parts.

  21. What is Human Resource Planning?

    Human Resource Planning or HRP is the process of forecasting the future human resource requirements of the organization. The article discusses the need for HR Planning and the various steps involved in HRP process. ... Prevent the business from falling into the trap of shifting workforce market, a common concern among all industries and sectors.

  22. What is HR (Human Resources)? Meaning and Functions

    Eliza Taylor 05 June 2024. Human Resources (HR) essential for recruiting talent, ensuring legal compliance, managing payroll, and fostering a supportive, diverse, and productive workplace environment. Explore the blog to get insights into What is HR with our guide and learn about its functions, roles, and significance in business.

  23. Create & Prepare Your Annual HR Plan for 2024

    Following this, the first step in the HR action plan 2024, is to assign a person who will be in charge of creating and implementing the HR plan. For smaller companies, this person will probably be the CEO. In slightly larger businesses, the person responsible is normally the same one who handles all of the human resources-related tasks.

  24. 9 steps to creating a Human Resource annual plan [2024]

    The AHRP is a blueprint for the human resource planning process for the coming year. These are the steps that explain the process of HR planning: 1. Align the HR plan with the overall business strategy. The primary purpose of an HR yearly plan is to meet the company's critical goals. Naturally, it must consider your business objectives, which ...

  25. Understand the Role HRM Has in Strategic Planning With UWF

    A human resource strategic plan provides a long-term roadmap for meeting an organization's future HR needs. It involves in-depth analysis of current human resources to predict the upcoming talent landscape and ensure the right people, roles and skill sets are in place to reach operational goals. An HR strategic plan also monitors social ...

  26. 14 Critical Reasons Why You Need a Business Plan

    Build a strategy. 4. Crafts a roadmap to achieve important milestones. A business plan is like a roadmap for your business. It helps you set, track and reach business milestones. For your plan to function in this way, your business plan should first outline your company's short- and long-term goals.

  27. Free Business Plan Template for Small Businesses (2024)

    Our free business plan template includes seven key elements typically found in the traditional business plan format: 1. Executive summary. This is a one-page summary of your whole plan, typically written after the rest of the plan is completed. The description section of your executive summary will also cover your management team, business ...

  28. What Is Human Capital Management? A Career Guide

    Human capital management (HCM) refers to business processes that empower workers, connect workflows, and streamline daily operations within an organisation. It encompasses employee productivity strategies and HCM teams' technology to organise data. An HCM team or manager can benefit an organisation in several ways, including: Increasing ...

  29. What is ERP? The Essential Guide

    Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is a software system that helps you run your entire business, supporting automation and processes in finance, human resources, manufacturing, supply chain, services, procurement, and more. Discover how we can drive business innovation together, June 4-5. Register for the virtual event.