Plan for Success With 11 Free Human Resource Planning Checklists

Human Resource Planning

The term planning is imbecilic; everything can change tomorrow

That was a quote made by a French manager, straight after the 1973 oil crisis.

He’s kind of right of course. Everything can, quite easily, change tomorrow. We’re living in a world where we see changes every day. Ground-breaking technology, product innovations, medical breakthroughs, economic globalization. Things change. I can’t argue with that.

But does that mean “planning is imbecilic” though?

Can planning be inflexible and slow to respond to change? Yes. Can it be reliant on poor, over-optimistic forecasting? Probably. Can it lead to bad business decisions? Definitely.

Planning can be ineffective and damaging if it’s done badly.

Good planning, on the other hand, can minimize the uncertainty brought on by change. It can reduce risk, promote reflection and encourage innovation. It forces rational, logical thinking and it helps inform good business decisions.

Don’t believe me?

Take the 1911 race to the South Pole. The race was between two explorers Roald Amundsen and Robert Falcon Scott. They each had a similar amount of experience and were the same age. Both faced 1,400 miles of gale-force winds, blizzards, and minus temperatures on their expeditions.

Amundsen meticulously planned his trip for several years. Scott didn’t.

Guess which expedition tragically failed?

Amundsen was already sailing back to Norway when Scott’s team finally gave up hope.

Failing to plan is planning to fail” – Benjamin Franklin

So, now we’ve established that planning is sensible, and not ‘imbecilic’, let’s find out why human resource planning is one of the most valuable processes a company can follow.

To do this, I will cover the following:

Without further ado, let’s get stuck in!

What is human resource planning?

Corporate leaders often say employees are their most valuable asset. In fact, employees are so valuable that over 23% of businesses fail because they don’t have the right team.

That’s why investing in Human Resource Planning (HRP) is one of the most important decisions a company can make and why 80% of companies do HRP on a regular basis.

In simple terms, HRP is a process that manages employees within an organization.

It’s used to estimate future human resource requirements, establish availability and formulate action plans to plug the gap between the required and the available human resources” – International Refereed Research Journal

Good HRP should link the human resource needs of an organization to its strategic plan to ensure that staffing is sufficient, qualified, and competent enough to achieve the organization’s objectives.

Over time, HR planning has developed from being reactive, administrative and prescriptive to being proactive, executive and descriptive” – Budhwar and Khatri

No organization can afford the risk of a critical skills shortage and without HRP, companies face expensive losses. This can be seen with 90% of the UK’s larger organizations, who have all restructured in the last five years – nearly always involving job losses.

Why is human resource planning important?

Human resource planning is the most important component of the entire human resource system” – Dr. Rajendra Mishra

We’ve established what human resource planning is, let’s talk about why it’s important.

The success of a business is directly linked to the performance of those who work for that business. It’s therefore critical to make sure that the business has the skills and competencies that it needs to succeed.

You can’t deliver business strategy without making sure you have the right human capital, in the right places, for the task at hand” – Darrin Murriner

The quality of human resources in an organization is solely dependent on the success of human resource planning. Look at Starbucks.

Starbucks has the lowest employee turnover rate among quick-service restaurants. Most quick-serve restaurants have between a 150 – 400% turnover rate. Starbucks’ rate is at 65%, and it’s all down to their human resources planning approach. Not only will their low turnover rate positively affect the culture, motivation, and morale amongst its staff, it will also massively help their profit margins. On average, companies spend 33% of an employee’s annual salary to replace them when they leave. This means that Starbucks’ projection of reaching $35 billion in sales by 2021, is a realistic one!

The 7 stages of human resource planning

We know that human resource planning is a continuous process of planning ahead to make optimum use of an organization’s most valuable asset – its employees. We also know that the process enables companies to maintain a steady supply of skilled employees to meet the company’s strategic objectives.

So we know what human resource planning is and why it’s important, now let’s look at how to do it.

There are seven steps to a good human resource planning process:

  • Human resource planning step 1: Understand business goals
  • Human resource planning step 2: Assess the current workforce
  • Human resource planning step 3: Forecast demand
  • Human resource planning step 4: Estimate gaps
  • Human resource planning step 5: Formulate a plan
  • Human resource planning step 6: Implement the plan
  • Human resource planning step 7: Monitor the plan

Let’s dive into the detail of each step.

Human resource planning step 1: Understand business goals

The first step in HRP involves analyzing the organizational strategy, goals, and objectives. It’s important to understand where the organization wants to go and how it wants to get there so that HR practices can be aligned with the company’s strategic objectives.

Human resource planning step 2: Assess the current workforce

The next step is to take stock of the current employees in the organization to see if they fit the organizational needs. The inventory of current employees should capture data concerning ages, locations, capabilities, and skills. This will determine what jobs are required, and if you can use internal candidates to fill the positions, or if you need to look elsewhere.

Human resource planning step 3: Forecast demand

The third step in the process is to forecast future staffing needs based on the company goals. This process will establish if the company needs to grow its workforce, or if it can improve current staff through training.

Human resource planning step 4: Estimate gaps

Once the future resource needs and the current capability of the workforce have been identified, step four requires you to highlight the gaps between the two. These questions will help you find out where these gaps are:

  • Do you foresee a skill shortage in a specific occupational group?
  • Will changes in program delivery require the acquisition of new skills?
  • Do you have succession plans for critical positions?
  • Have you conducted a risk analysis of the elements of the scan critical to the success of your organization?

Human resource planning step 5: Formulate a plan

Step 5 is all about formulating a plan to close the gaps you found in step 4. The plan should identify the skill shortages and surpluses within the company, determine HR priorities and list actions to be taken around recruitment, training, internal role transitions, retirements, and lay-offs.

Human resource planning step 6: Implement the plan

This step involves integrating the HR plan into the company. It will require support from different departments and teams within the organization to help bring the plan to life.

Human resource planning step 7: Monitor the plan

This step often gets missed but is a fundamental part of the HR planning process. Ongoing measurement, reporting, and continuous improvement will keep the company moving towards its strategic goals. If everything is running smoothly, continue with the plan. If there are roadblocks, change the plan to suit your company’s needs.

And there you have it. Seven steps to the efficient management of human resources in an organization.

So, we understand what human resource planning is. We see why it’s important and we know how to create a successful human resource plan.

What’s next?

Where do I start with human resource planning?

Lucky for you, this isn’t where your human resource planning journey ends.

The team at Process Street has created the following eleven super-powered checklists to help you with your human resource planning:

These templates will enable you to analyze your current workforce, establish future workforce requirements, spot the gaps between the two, and formulate, implement and monitor a formidable human resource plan.

Use the following Process Street templates to really smash your human resource planning.

Training plan template

In a nutshell, training aims to improve workforce competency to increase productivity and reach organizational goals. Preparing an annual, company-wide training plan is, therefore, a detailed and complex process.

Our training plan template will make it easy for you. It will identify who, within the company, needs to be trained, when they should be trained, and what they need to be trained in, whilst ensuring alignment with your organizational goals.

Click to access our training plan template

Employee evaluation form

Employee evaluations exist to make sure there is clear communication between employers and employees about performance levels. The process boosts morale, and therefore performance, and identifies areas of weakness, which can inform your HR strategy, gap analysis, and training plans.

Companies that give regular employee feedback have a 14.9% lower turnover rate than those that don’t” – Survey Analytics

Use this employee evaluation form to capture performance metrics, analyze your workforce and make decisions about what future resource is needed.

Click to access our employee evaluation form

We also have this performance review template which you can use as an alternative.

Click to access this performance review template

Employee transition plan

This process is for the HR team to ensure that a transitioning employee moves into their new role, smoothly and at a minimal cost to the business. It’s important the employee, their current line manager and their new line manager are all clear about the transition arrangements.

Our employee transition plan will provide guidance on handover and orientation tasks and will minimize disruption and uncertainty for employees affected by the change.

Click to access our employee transition plan

Gap analysis template

Use this gap analysis template to help your organization plan for growth. Use it to project the hiring needs for your future workforce, understand the skills and experience of your current workforce, and develop strategies for overcoming the gap between the two.

Click to access our gap analysis template

HR strategic plan

An HR strategic plan is a tool, designed to help businesses align their HR capabilities with their organizational goals. It establishes how human resources can make a direct impact on a company’s growth.

Our HR strategic plan will assess the needs of your organization and determine appropriate initiatives for the HR department to pursue, to support the business in meeting its goals.

Click to access our HR strategic plan

Employee satisfaction survey

Research shows that 75% of employees would stay longer at an organization that listens to them and addresses their concerns“- Rise

An employee satisfaction survey is the best way to understand how employees’ are feeling about the company.

Our employee satisfaction survey will help you understand the current dynamics of the workplace. Once completed, it will identify areas within the business that need to be improved to keep your employees satisfied.

Click to access our employee satisfaction survey

Workforce planning template

Workforce planning ensures that a business has the right staff in place, at the right time, with the right skill sets.

Our workforce planning template will highlight areas within the workforce that need attention. It will provide solutions to support the future direction of the business and it will help inform good business decisions.

Click to access our workforce planning template

Employee development plan template

A whopping “78% of employees said they would remain with their employer if they saw a career path within the current organization” – Rise

Looking at that, I think it’s safe to say you need this employee development plan template.

Not only will it help your employees improve in their current job, but it will also help them acquire knowledge and skills for new roles and responsibilities within the organization.

Click to access our employee development plan template

HIPAA compliance checklist for HR

HIPAA is a series of regulatory standards that health care organizations must implement into their business to protect the privacy, security, and integrity of protected health information.

The compliance program that healthcare organizations need to follow is complicated and can take a long time to complete. Use our HIPAA compliance checklist for HR to make sure you don’t miss any vital steps.

Click to access our HIPAA compliance checklist for HR

You can also use this HIPAA compliance checklist, which is specifically for hospitals.

Run this checklist to determine how compliant your hospital is with HIPAA standards and regulations.

Click to access our HIPAA compliance checklist

Vacation request form

Our vacation request form is designed to make sure that the company doesn’t suffer as a result of the employee’s holiday.

Using this checklist, an employee can request time off, a line manager can approve or reject a holiday request and HR can keep track of the number of holiday days an employee has taken.

Click to access our vacation request form

Or, try this other holiday leave application form.

This simple checklist will allow an employee to apply for a period of holiday leave.

Click to access our holiday leave application form

Business needs assessment checklist

Use our business needs assessment checklist to determine priorities, make improvements, and allocate resources. It’s designed to find the gaps between where the organization is and where it sees itself in the future.

Click to access our business needs assessment checklist

Implementing your human resource plans

So you’ve done your HR planning, now you need to put your plans into action.

We have thousands of HR-related articles and functional checklists to help you implement your HR plans. From refining recruitment processes and interview techniques to building a strong work culture and improving employee engagement, take a look at this list of insightful gems:

To conclude…

A key goal of HR planning is to get the right number of people with the right skills, experience, and competencies in the right jobs at the right time at the right cost” – UK Essays

How to use Process Street for your human resource planning

We’ve given you the templates and the articles to nail your human resource planning, so it’s time to use Process Street to try them for yourself!

Process Street is super-powered checklists. It’s the easiest way to manage your recurring tasks, procedures, and workflows.

Introduce yourself to the world of business process management with Process Street by watching this video.

In summary, you can create templates and run individual checklists for each member of your team. Check tasks off as you work through them, set deadlines, assign tasks, and track each team member’s progress.

But on top of all that, Process Street also has these unique features, that will knock your socks off:

  • Stop tasks – if you’ve got an important task that needs to be completed, add a stop task. It will prevent people from moving forward with the checklist until they’ve completed the task. It’s a fantastic way of enforcing an order to your checklist and making sure people don’t skip crucial tasks.
  • Dynamic due dates – this feature will increase your productivity, tenfold. If you have a task that needs to be completed before or after another task, by a certain date, use the dynamic due dates feature. It will automatically set the due date for you. It’s incredible!
  • Task permissionstask permissions will allow you to hide specific tasks from different users. If you have confidential information in a task, that only certain people should see, use task permissions to make sure noone but those people can see it.
  • Conditional logic – I can’t tell you how useful conditional logic is. You can use if/then logic to build dynamic checklists that will show and hide tasks depending on answers given or actions taken. Try it yourself. It’s brilliant!
  • Approval tasks – I’ve saved the best until last. Use approval tasks if you have a task that needs authorization from another person. So, for example, if you have a proposal or a contract that needs approval by the CEO, upload your document and add an approval task. The CEO will be able to review the document and approve or reject it. Simple as that!

Watch this video. It will tell you everything you need to know about Approvals.

But wait, there’s even more! With Process Street, you can also connect to thousands of apps through Zapier for planning and creating automation ready processes.

If you really want to take your business automation to the next level with Zapier, check out this webinar, hosted by our very own Blake Bailey.

And there we have it. Your complete guide to planning for success with human resource planning.

We’d love to hear what you think about human resource planning in the comments. Who knows? You may even get featured in an upcoming article!

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Amanda Greenwood

Amanda is a content writer for Process Street. Her main mission in life is to write content that makes business processes fun, interesting, and easy to understand. Her background is in marketing and project management, so she has a wealth of experience to draw from, which adds a touch of reality and a whole heap of depth to the content she writes.


My recommendation would be to start in one of two ways:

Either begin with a strategy process – so you can better understand your pain points and then work on the other processes based on those identified priority needs…

Or, if you already know one of your key pain points as an organization, start working on that first and then you can think about the strategy angle once you’ve patched up that problem!

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