Human Resource Planning and Recruitment – Review Notes of Bernardin's Chapter

Human Resource Management Revision Article Series

Human resources decisions at aggregate level are strategic decisions. The size of human resource depends on the technology and capital employed. Human resource management scholars feel that HR figures in strategic planning only when layoffs are required.  They advocate that HR planning should be integral part of strategic planning and competitive strategy planning. The most effective approach to HR planning and staffing is to assess HR needs with a focus on meeting current customer requirements and projected expansion in the customer base. All associates of an organization have to be involved in these two activities: meeting current customer requirements and expanding customer base.

Steps in  Human Resource Planning (HRP)

  • Environmental scanning
  • Labor demand forecast
  • Labor supply forecast
  • Gap analysis
  • Action programming
  • Control and evaluation

1. Environmental scanning by HR department

Environmental scanning by HR department helps in identifying and anticipating opportunities that can be profitably used and threats and problems that have to be tackled by the organization in the area of human resources. These inputs are to be taken into account in developing organization’s strategic plans. This environmental scanning also provides information that supports decision making by HR managers. The scanning is to cover both external environment as well as internal environment.

2. Labor analysis

Labor demand analysis is to be made company level as well as industry level.

3. Labor Supply analysis

Labor supply analysis projects resource availability.

4. Gap Analysis

This analysis identies potential shortages or surpluses.

5. Action programming

Actions to be taken by HR department to structure the human resources to support the strategy.

6. Evaluation

This is done at periodical intervals to find out the actual results in comparison to anticipated results. This is basically the control function. The aim is to take tactical actions to still deliver the priority results of the strategic plan.

The Recruitment Function

The major responsibility for the recruitment process rests with the HRM department. But most of the tasks are shared with the line managers.

The steps and concepts are relevant for recruitment.

1. Job analysis 2. Time lapse data 3. Yield ratio

Both internal recruitment and external recruitment alternatives are available.

External recruitment sources

  • Un-solicited applications/walk-ins
  • Referrals
  • Advertising
  • Employment agencies
  • Search firms
  • Campus visits
  • Internet based recruitment options

Understanding the Recruits

Effective recruiting requires that the organization know the needs and desires of potential candidates regarding all major characteristics of the job. They need to know how candidates search for jobs. HR departments have not systematized this information gathering process. Most organizations are relying on hunches and research indicates that these “hunches” are not particularly accurate.


Chapter Learning Objectives

After reading this chapter, you should be able to

Understand the importance of HRP to the organization.

Identify the six steps in the HRP process.

Explain the methods by which an organization can develop forecasts of anticipated personnel demand and understand labor markets.

Understand how an organization can stay apprised of and evaluate its personnel supply and, if necessary, implement a downsizing program.

Determine which recruitment methods are best for given situations, including the role of the Internet.

Understand the pros and cons of internal versus external recruiting.

Know the most important features of recruitment advertising.

Know the legal implications of recruitment and planning.


Bernardin, H. John, Human Resource Management, 4th Edition, Mc-Graw Hill, 2007.

Updated on 3 September 2019, 2 May 2019