HR staff need to have different skills and abilities to succeed in a dynamic and strategic HR world. No longer can we afford HR staff who are "administrators of programs", who have no ability to think strategically. HR needs a seat at the executive table. CEO's need to both listen to, and include HR in the decision-making process, and that includes the strategic planning process. HUMAN RESOURCE PLANNINGAmerican companies must now operate in a rapidly changing business environment. These changes have important implications for HRM practices. To ensure that management practices support business needs, organizations must continually monitor changing environmental conditions and devise HRM strategies for dealing with them. The procedure used to tie human resource issues to the organization's business needs is called human resource planning. Also known as HR planning, this procedure is defined as the "process of identifying and responding to [organizational needs] … and charting new policies, systems, and programs that will assure effective human resource management under changing conditions."The purposes of HR planning are to enable organizations to anticipate their future HRM needs and to identify practices that will help them to meet those needs. HR planning may be done on a short- or long-term (three or more years) basis. Its aim is to ensure that people will be available with the appropriate characteristics and skills when and where the organization needs them. The use of HR planning enables companies to gain control of their future by preparing for likely events. That is, they can anticipate change and devise appropriate courses of action. When companies learn how to capitalize on future events, their own future improves.As valuable as HR planning is, many companies ignore this opportunity. Some see it as too difficult and frustrating, while others simply do not see the need for it. However, when failing to properly plan for their human resources, employers are forced to respond to events after they occur, rather than before; they become reactive, rather than proactive. When this outcome occurs, an organization may be unable to correctly anticipate an increase in its future demand for personnel. At best, such a company would be forced to recruit personnel at the last minute and may fail to find the best candidates. At worst, the company may become seriously understaffed.If a company remains understaffed for a prolonged period, it may ultimately suffer a variety ofExhibit 1 HR Trend Analysis for a Manufacturing Firm
Projected sales (thousands of dollars)
Number of employees
consequences. For instance, the understaffing could cause existing employees to experience a great deal of stress as they attempt to meet additional demand without adequate resources and assistance. If required work is not getting done, the firm...