Competitive Exams: Human Resource Planning

Human resource planning is the process of determining future human resource needs relative to an organization's strategic plan and devising the steps necessary to meet those needs. It involves estimating the size and composition of the future work force, and helping the organization acquire the right number and the right kind of people when they are needed.


Though the term human resource management is frequently used for the managerial function of staffing, staffing is just a part of the HRM process and plays an important role. Staffing involves a set of activities aimed at attracting and selecting individuals for positions in a way that will facilitate the achievement of organizational goals. The two basic steps of staffing are recruitment and selection.

The staffing process is a systematic attempt to implement the human resource plan by recruiting, evaluating and selecting qualified candidates for job positions in the organization. Recruitment involves finding and attempting to attract job candidates who are suitable for filling job vacancies. Job analysis, job description, and job specification are important tools in the recruitment process. Once suitable candidates are attracted to the job position, the management needs to find qualified people to fill the positions through the selection process. Several methods are used in selecting prospective candidates. These include preliminary screening, application blank, selection test, comprehensive interviews, etc.

Training and Development

Although organizations often recruit fully qualified individuals who require little or no training, training is usually undertaken for new recruits as well as for existing manpower, who require improved skills in order to advance in the organization. Employees at all levels managerial, technical and operative will require some training at some point of time in their careers. Although the objectives, methods, and course or program contents often differ, the basic principles of teaching/learning are the same. Training is formally defined as a planned effort to improve the performance of the employee in his area of work. In other words, training denotes efforts to increase employee skills in their jobs. For instance, employees might be instructed in new decision-making techniques or the capabilities of data processing systems.

Development programs are designed to educate employees beyond the requirements of their present positions in order to prepare them for promotions. They also help them get accustomed to the organizational climate. Development is long-term in nature. It helps the employee fit into the organization.

Thus, the processes of training and development aim at increasing the ability of individuals and groups to contribute to organizational effectiveness.

Performance Appraisal

Performance appraisal compares an individual's job performance against standards or objectives developed for the individual's position. The process of performance appraisal involves defining the expectations for employee performance, measuring, evaluating and recording employee performance against these expectations, and providing the employee with feedback regarding his performance. The major purpose of performance appraisal is to influence employee performance and development in a positive way. When the performance is high, the individual is likely to be rewarded (by a hike in pay or a promotion). If performance is low, some corrective action (such as additional training and development) might be arranged to make the performance meet the desired standards.

Thus, effective performance appraisal as a control technique, requires standards, information and corrective action. Standards in performance evaluation are prior specifications of acceptable levels of job performance. Information must be available in order to measure the actual job performance against the standard job performance. Corrective action must be taken by managers to restore any imbalance between actual and standard job performance.


Compensation consists of the wages paid directly to the employees for the amount of time worked or the number of units produced. It also includes the monetary and non-monetary benefits that an employee receives as part of his employment relationship with the organization. Wages paid for time worked (or number of units produced) are typically payments made in the form of cash and reflect direct work-related remuneration such as basic pay, merit increases, or bonuses. Benefits, on the other hand, are forms of supplementary non-monetary payments over and above the wages paid. They include various protection plans (such as employee insurance), services (such as company cafeteria), pay for time not worked (such as during vacations or sick leave), and income supplements (such as stock ownership plans).

A sound compensation program enhances the organization's ability to attract and retain employees. The compensation program affects every member of the organization, and it is one of the most important and time-consuming tasks of the human resources department.