Human resources planning should serve as a link between human resources management and the overall strategic plan of an organisation.
Challenges associated with HR planning are as follows:
- HR Planning must incorporate all levels: central HR Planning is crucial to ensure senior management is engaged and supportive, proactively working with line managers to ensure accurate information is obtained and ensuring responsibilities are clearly assigned.
- Matching employee demand to supply: is difficult in today’s volatile market. This process involves understanding the strategic direction of the organisation, understanding the existing workforce and the labour market, manipulating data, presenting analyses and their implications clearly to the organisation, and helping to translate workforce plans and forecasts into action plans.
- Change management: in HR Planning is difficult to quantify due to absenteeism, labor turnover, changing technologies, competition and market volatility.
- Lack of alignment between workforce planning and strategic business objectives: lead to scarce resources where business turn to competitors to answer their needs. Inability to quickly quantify headcount and expense management of workforce due to “spreadsheet hell”.
- Failure to prioritise: Prioritising certain business units, customers, services or jobs is crucial in order to give more attention to areas of highest risk.
- Process is too complicated: many organisations get bogged down in specifics, such as the extent of skills audits and succession plans, resulting in incomplete HR plans.
- Lack of flexibility: in terms of employee number and budgetary constraints. Trying to accurately forecast or aim for a single number is impossible. Additionally, many plans fail to consider ‘negative’ scenarios.