If your business is to succeed and grow, you need to ensure that you dedicate the time and effort required to develop a comprehensive human resources strategy. An important component of any successful human resources strategy is writing a detailed human resource plan.
If you are unsure how to write a human resource plan or unclear about the difference between human resource planning and a human resources strategy, you have come to the right place!
We start by clearly explaining what the difference is between HR planning and an HR strategy. From there, we describe how a business plan fits in with your overall business strategy and outline the items you should address when you write your own human resource plan.
What is the Difference Between an HR Strategy and an HR Plan?
A Human Resource Strategy:
A human resource strategy outlines the long-term direction of a business and how it will achieve those aims from a human resources perspective. It takes the long-term goals of that business and ensures that the business’s human resources are moving in the appropriate direction to achieve those same goals.
A proper human resources strategy addresses talent retention and acquisition, as well as the hierarchy for that organization, succession planning, and how your existing employees will progress through it. Your strategic human resource planning should outline how your business will react to industry changes appropriately. Every business must align its overarching goals with its human resource strategy to succeed and grow.
A Human Resource Plan:
Once a business has developed an overarching human resources strategy, it will need to write a human resources plan. Essentially, this document breaks down the various tasks and initiatives required to follow its human resources strategy.
Your human resource strategy is your overarching HR goals and aims. It explains how your business aligns its HR efforts to succeed overall. On the other hand, the human resource plan is a document that lists the tasks and initiatives required to achieve the human resources strategy. It also outlines how to link the human resources strategy together with your business strategy.
Simply put, your human resource plan is a document that you will follow to make the goals set out in your human resource strategy a reality.
How Do You Develop a Human Resource Plan?
After completing a human resources strategy, it is time to write up a document that outlines how your business will follow that strategy and stick to its goals.
The following are some of the areas your human resource plan should cover:
- A detailed description of how your business will achieve the objectives outlined in your human resources strategy. This section of your human resources plan should come first. It needs to be a specific action plan that will list timelines for certain goals and objectives. You also need to include accurate budget requirements in this section of your human resources plan. If your funding does not line up with the aims of your human resources strategy, it is unlikely that it will succeed. For example, if an organizational goal of your strategic HR plan is to acquire new talent who will stay with the business long-term, your strategic objectives should address how to attract the workforce you want to hire. How will you advertise new positions, and what can you offer qualified applicants that your competitors cannot?
- How to react to the growth of the business from a human resources perspective. When you acquire a greater number of clients or customers, how will your business react? Will you hire new employees to handle the increasing workload, or will you work towards automation and upskilling your current workforce so they can handle more responsibility?
- A thorough breakdown of your business’s current capabilities, as well as a detailed forecast of your anticipated needs. What skills do your current employees possess, and what skills do you anticipate needing in the future?
- Detailed descriptions of how your business will go about acquiring new talent. This plan should give a thorough breakdown of the company’s compensation structure, its training and development system, performance appraisal, and performance management. Remember, you will not be able to hire the new talent to keep up with demand if your human resources plan is vague and incomplete. Human resources planning should also outline what you are looking for from new hires, including what traits they should have to fit into your business’s existing work culture. Recent labour shortages have made acquiring new talent more difficult than ever before. Your human resources plan should clearly state what you are looking for from new employees and how you will position yourself as an attractive employer to desirable candidates. Employee retention is also critical! Human resource planning should outline initiatives you will follow to retain the current talent you employ.
- Detailed descriptions of potential contingencies for when things do not go according to plan. Will your business be able to fulfil its payroll responsibilities during periods of hardship, or will you have to turn to external funding and layoffs? Do you have a strategic plan for outsourcing or contracting out some of the current or future roles your business needs to fill?
The actual format your human resource plan follows does not have to be overly specific, but it is important that it is detailed and realistically describes how you will achieve the goals described within your human resources strategy.
For your business to succeed, you must consider human resources planning for every decision you make. Remember that human resource plans need to be updated regularly. While this plan should be comprehensive, you cannot be afraid to revisit it as your business grows and the market changes.
Once it is written, refer to your human resource plan regularly, as it will help ensure that your business is always moving in the right direction.