2022 Human Resources Planning: HR Consultant Services Guide
In its simplest form, a business strategy sets out how an organisation intends to achieve its goals and establishes a plan to grow in the short and long term. An effective Human Resources Plan (HRP) supports the business strategy by carefully crafting a tailored approach and defining the infrastructure required to best position the organisation to achieve its business goals and objectives by leveraging people, technology, processes, and culture. First and foremost, HRP plays a critical role in ensuring that businesses are adequately resourced to meet the business needs and clients’ demands. The overall people strategy that stems from HRP needs to encompass HR processes and initiatives which recognise that team members are an important factor in an organisation’s success, therefore human resources need to align their departmental objectives to those of the organisation. HRP is a continuous process that should constantly be re-evaluated and adjusted to achieve the best possible results for the organisation and is by no means a set and forget task undertaken once a year. A skilled HR consultant will be able to assist you with your planning needs if you lack the expertise internally.
In this article, we will outline 6 steps required in order to draft and implement a HR plan for 2022.
1. Analyse objectives
The human resources planning process starts with an analysis of the organisation’s key objectives and goals set by leadership. Human Resources is charged with the important task of identifying the different requirements and objectives that each department within the organisation has and in turn set forth on formulating a plan to fulfill these. Numerous objectives could be discovered during this process ranging from recruitment, learning & development, succession planning, or organisational restructures. Carefully analysing the individual needs of each department, enables the Human Resources team to clearly identify the changes required for the organisation to thrive and achieve its objectives. Without the crucial understanding of what is required by the organisation, Human Resources planning will not be as successful as it could be.
2. Workforce inventory
Equipped with the relevant changes required, the next step as part of the HRP is to undertake an inventory of the workforce. The workforce inventory should clarify the competencies, capabilities and skills available within the organisation along with the current number of team members available at that point in time. This will enable human resources to better understand the internal talent that can be either trained, promoted, or redeployed for upcoming job requirements. Furthermore, it enables human resources to estimate external recruitment that will be required. Formulating a skills inventory for each team member might prove helpful or reviewing past performance reviews could assist with the assessment of internal competencies, capabilities and skills. If you need a skills inventory template or assistance with workforce inventory, contact a HR consultant.
3. Forecast needs
Once you have completed your workforce inventory and understand the resources at your disposal, you need to start forecasting what the future needs of the organisation will be based on the analysis you completed in step 1. In order to achieve the objectives and goals each department and the organisation has, establish how this will impact the demand for resources and talent. Can learning and development help you fulfill the demand internally or do you need to look externally for talent? Furthermore, will the talent you seek be readily available in the marketplace? As part of the forecasting step, you need to evaluate the demand of your organisation and the supply of talent from the marketplace. The human resources plan should include a preferred method to source and attract candidates that can meet the needs not fulfilled by current team members. Factor historical hiring trends from your HR data and account for additional demand or specific skills required in the near future to ensure completeness.
4. Gap Analysis
The gap analysis is a continuation of the forecasting needs with an added level of analysis. The comparison between the forecasted demand and supply of resources in the marketplace will enable the human resources team to identify the gap that will emerge in the future. Consequently, the competencies, capabilities and skills needed to achieve business objectives will become apparent and in turn allow for strategies to be developed to overcome the gap between the current workforce and the workforce that you will need in the foreseeable future. Clearly understanding the gap will lead to a plan being formulated and could entail the development of internal capabilities, external talent sourcing, or reorganisation of workforce. A well-executed gap analysis will empower the organisation to strategically recruit team members and enable the efficient utilisation of internal talent. The gap analysis provides key insight for appropriate utilisation of the workforce and helps your HR consultant to create a plan of the journey ahead and how to get there.
5. Formulate and implement plan
After the gap analysis is completed, your human resources consultant needs to formulate a plan outlining how to retain, recruit, onboard, train and develop, restructure the workforce to best suit the organisation. Once the human resources plan is formulated, the human resources team needs to seek support and buy-in from the organisation. Implementation of the human resources plan relies heavily on buy-in from leaders and teams who have a crucial role in turning the strategy into reality. Ideally, engage with stakeholders to organise priorities, establish what is most important and identify quick wins before finalising a pathway towards achieving these objectives. It is advisable to agree on some measures to track progress and success over time.
6. Evaluate and adjust
Last but not least, ensure you constantly evaluate and adjust your human resources plan to the current state of the organisation and its’ environment. In step 5, we covered that KPIs’ should be established to measure progress and now you need to ensure that you report on that progress regularly. Monthly or quarterly reporting is preferred to avoid surprises. Focus on key data and take the time to understand what the data is demonstrating. Furthermore, put together actionable steps that stem from the review of the data. Plans need to be fluid and you will need to be able to adjust as circumstances change, therefore stay agile and be prepared to adapt your plan to the new opportunities or challenges that the organisation might face.
Do remember that a human resources plan formulates a framework and establishes a plan in order to achieve a set of goals. Follow the above steps to improve your chances of success with your Human Resources Planning and if you need assistance, contact a skilled HR consultant.