Human Resource Planning Meaning, Definition and Nature

Table of Contents:-

Meaning of Human Resource Planning

Human Resource Planning (HRP) is a system of balancing the supply of people including the present and prospective employees with the potential job openings in the organization over a given period. HRP is the system of the organisation to ensure the availability of the right number of people at the right time and the right place for the achievement of the overall objectives of the organisation. HRP is also known as manpower planning, personal planning or workforce planning. It comes under the preview of organisational planning and future-oriented activity.

Inappropriate planning may result in the excess recruitment of the staff, a rise in expenses regarding direct costs and training costs and other amenities for employees except the cost of production. Inappropriate recruitment also results in an adverse impact on the production, morale and productivity of the employees. All these factors emphasize the importance of HRP in an organisation.

Definition of Human Resource Planning

According to James Walker, “Human resource planning is the process of analysing an organisation’s human resource needs under changing conditions and developing activities necessary to satisfy those needs”.

As per Dale S. Beach, “Human resource planning is the process of determination and assuming that the organisation will have an adequate number of qualified persons available at the proper times, performing jobs which meet the needs of the enterprise and which provide satisfaction for the individuals involved”.

According to Bulla and Scott, “Human resource planning is the process for ensuring that the human resource requirements of an organisation are identified and plans are made for satisfying those requirements”.

According to Geister, “Human resource planning is the process including forecasting, developing, and controlling by which a firm ensures that it has the right number of people and the right kind of people at the right places at the right time, doing work for which they are economically most useful”.

Nature of Human Resource Planning

To explain the nature of human resource planning, we present it as follows.

1) Specified Objectives

The operational and strategic planning of the organization can guide HRP objectives. The human resources requirements within the organisation are based on the company’s objectives. HRP also aims at developing human resources, sharpening the technical skills of resources, assisting them to plan career maps, retaining them and so on.

2) Assessing the Staff Requirements

Human resource planning focuses on the pre-planning of the needs and estimates regarding the human resources within the organisation. Planning encompasses all the proceedings related to the recruiting, selection, and training process.

3) Maintaining Inventory of Existing Human Resources

It consists of the up-to-date record of the organization’s present human resources. The manager should know the available manpower supply for fulfilling the higher positions in future.

4) Regulating Demand and Supply Equation

It is difficult to find the right candidates for the vacant job positions instantly. Examining the future perspective of personnel demand and supply should occur well ahead of time.

Nature of Human Resource Planning

5) Formulation of Policies

HRP helps in formulating the policies, programmes and procedures to obtain, expand, safeguard and exploit the organisation’s human resources.

6) Continuous Activity

It is an ongoing activity as the need for assessing the demand and supply of manpower resources within the organisation never comes to an end.

7) Developing a Positive Work Environment

The scope of Human Resource Planning (HRP) extends beyond the mere acquisition of human resources; it also encompasses the establishment and maintenance of optimal working conditions.

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Scope of Human Resource Planning

The scope of human resource planning includes the following:

1) Maintaining Current Manpower Inventory: This may require maintaining data about the employees relating to the different variables like potential, skills, work preferences etc.

2) Projecting Future Human Resource Requirements: Forecasting the demand for manpower in the organisation requires a lot of calculations, making accurate estimates, analysing the environment from different perspectives and formulating specific plans for the future.

3) Fulfilling Manpower Need: HRP can only satisfy the need of the human resources in the organisation when it carries out its functions of planning, recruitment and selection, training and development, induction and placement, promotion and transfer, motivation and compensation effectively.

4) Predicting Human Resources Issues: HRP tries to strike a balance between the existing resources and the expected future positions in the organisation. It helps to identify whether the workforce is adequate, both in terms of quantity and quality.

Objectives of Human Resource Planning

Objectives of HRP are as follows:

1) Evaluation of the Current Workforce: HRP mainly evaluates the existing workforce to know about its strengths and weaknesses.

2) Forecasting Human Resource Requirements: HRP plays a very important role in assessing the requirements of human resources in the organisation with accuracy. If a well-planned HRP does not exist, then it would be hard for the firm to have the right kind of people at the right time.

3) Achieving Organisational Objectives: HRP specifically focuses on the needs relating to growth, expansion, diversification or any other strategy of growth in the organisation.

4) Effective Change Management: To manage the changes effectively in the business environment relating to the product, upgrades in technology or new policies framed by the government, HRP is required to take measures to meet these accordingly.

5) Optimum Utilisation of Human Resources: The first and foremost important responsibility of the HRP is to ensure the maximum utilisation of the existing and future resources within the organisation.

6) Analysing Manpower Gap: HRP tries to identify the gap between the existing resources and future requirements by imparting training and sharpening skills. 

7) Furnishing the Accurate Details: HRP provides detailed information about underutilised or idle human resources. It also assists in the decision-making of allied fields of management related to promotions and many more.

Need for Human Resource Planning

There are multiple reasons why human resource planning is essential.

1) Technological Upgradations

There have been continuous upgrades in the industry’s production technologies, marketing methods, and management techniques. It has also demanded modifications accordingly in the job profiles. HRP is necessary to plan human resource needs to avert problems with redundancy, re-training, or re-deployment.

2) Government Interference

Various legislative measures, such as provisions regarding the working conditions and hours of work, restrictions on women and child employment, casual and contract labour, etc., and government interference in the firm’s functioning have necessitated a more systemic HRP.

3) Balancing Employment- Unemployment Situation

HRP tries to strike a balance between the educated, unemployed, skilled youth of the nation and the skill requirements in the industry.

4) Changes in Organisational Environment

In the ever-changing and dynamic business environment, organisations are constantly subjected to variations and breaks in their working system. Therefore, organisations rely on HRP to strategically plan their human resource requirements.

5) Justified Recruitment

It is very natural in an organisation to get recommendations for recruitment from various groups such as trade unions, political groups, and personal recommendations. Rigorously implementing HRP in the system is essential to prevent such partial recruitment.

6) Diverse Workforce

In the present scenario of the business environment, the workforce consists of people of different ages, genders, cultures, and social backgrounds who have altogether different skills. Accurate planning of the organization’s workforce requires the implementation of effective HRP.

7) Skill Shortages

In this competitive era of business, the working system in organisations is becoming more complicated because of the unique and rare skills required within the firm to accomplish the task. Therefore, the HRP’s task is to attract and retain the needed potential in the organization.

8) Judicial Regulations

The organization has shifted away from the treatment of employees as objects. The various legislative measures have strengthened the employees’ positions in the organisation. Different labour laws have been implemented to ensure employees avoid retrenchment, unjustified lay-off, etc. HRP is responsible for forecasting the requirements after considering the fact.

9) Lead Time

As new employees are being trained for the latest job responsibilities and profiles, sufficient time is required for them and management to assess their worth and assign them tasks accordingly. HRP provides lead time for the issues mentioned above.

10) People Management Concept

As with the growth of the concept of people management, there has been a need to maintain transparency in the system, which can be fulfilled by the systematic and transparent recording by HRP.


1. What is the need of HRP?

There is a need of HRP within an organisation so that the right people with the necessary skills and qualifications may be placed at suitable jobs while avoiding manpower shortages or surpluses.

2. Explain the nature of HRP.

Understanding the nature of HRP enables organisations to develop a competitive advantage, which helps them to sustain in the business environment. The nature of HRP includes a long-term perspective. It is a future-oriented, strategic process, balancing activity, continuous monitoring and evaluation process, focus on value, and proactive versus reactive approaches.

3. What is human resource planning?

Human resource planning involves forecasting human resource needs and developing strategies to meet those needs. It ensures that the right people with suitable skills are placed in the right position to achieve organizational objectives.

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