Planning of human resources


The subject of this section is staff planning, the process that deals with the unity and the quality of human resources consistent with the vision and mission of the company. Planning needs to be carried out according to company objectives and guidelines, in the specific context of business planning. The performance of personnel planning largely depends on the planner’s ability to analyse the current situation of the company and project it into the future.

Human Resources Planning, as a specific element of business planning, is an integral part of the company’s budgets, which is why it should be checked to ensure compliance with the expected results with the same periodicity as the audits provided for other company budgets. This process will allow you to use a workforce qualitatively and quantitatively prepared to achieve the most important business results within the set spending limits.

In order to properly plan the human resources needed to achieve the company’s objectives, planning should be oriented towards defining:

  1. the necessary number and quality of staff. This element takes into account transfers to different locations and reorganisations. It also defines the necessary recruitment or other actions. The definition of the resulting staffing needs is the main output of this activity;
  2. the labour costs to be borne by the holding and its impact on total costs. It should be borne in mind that in some types of companies, such as services, personnel costs are a significant component of total costs, to which due attention should be paid;
  3. work time: this data will be closely related to the workload defined in the preventive phase, in order to match the production needs with the actual potential.

In order to calculate the size of the optimal staff, that is quantitatively and qualitatively in line with the necessary staff, and to equip the company with the suitable organisational structure, it will be necessary to consider:

  1. quantity of products or services to be produced or provided during the period considered (production target);
  2. quantity and quality of the workforce (organic equipment);
  3. level of technology present in the production system and its possible evolution (efficiency objective);
  4. available working time considering the legal and contractual constraints and the various forms of flexibility permitted by law and collective bargaining (time target);
  5. level of saturation of the workforce (degree of utilization of the available workforce);
  6. quality level of goods and services provided (customer satisfaction);
  7. organisational model and distribution of tasks or tasks in a more or less structured manner;
  8. choices of productive politics focusing on the inner or external ability to the company (insourcing or outsourcing).

It is important that the organisational structure is flexible to allow for greater speed and adaptability to changes in external conditions.

By defining objectives through the planning process, the organisation will select and structure the means used to achieve these objectives. The more accurate the organisational form, the more it will be able to facilitate the achievement of objectives, adapting to the context in which the company operates.

The elements that influence the company structure are:

  1. bureaucracy;
  2. the maturity of the sector in which the holding operates;
  3. the size and complexity of the holding;
  4. the external and internal environment which may affect flexibility, centralisation of power and hierarchy;
  5. the distribution of power.

Once you have drawn up the production plans and determined the quantities to be produced, you can compare them with the standard production levels and identify the needs as number and quality of the work units to be used, thus achieving the development that the staff allocation may have during the plan period. In the process of defining your needs, you can follow a path that goes from top to bottom (top-down) or from bottom to top (bottom-up).

In the top-down path, you will be the one to analyse and subsequently decide autonomously, as a company decision-making body, how many work units per single department or processing phase to equip the company.

In the bottom-up path, you will involve in advance the heads of departments or processes to examine the activities to be developed and, downstream of this assessment, the staff will be given by the sum of all the needs emerged.

It is very important to provide your company with an information system that can collect, process and make available information about your staff in a structured and timely manner. This is a choice of personnel management to be evaluated immediately, to keep up with the evolution of the company.

Once you have identified the workforce required and organised from the point of view of the structure in which it will operate, you are requested to assign the tasks to individual workers who will contribute to the realization of the products or services of your company. Each employee will be placed in an organised context of tasks, qualifications and categories, where:

  • the tasks are the tasks to be performed in order to fulfil the contractual obligation, which is the subject of the employee’s work;
  • the qualification, this represents the occupational status of the worker, that is the body of knowledge, skills and competences of a specific professional figure. In a certain sense, qualification is also the whole of the tasks entrusted to it;
  • the categories divide the providers of paid employment. The legal category is the first crossroads to address for a correct classification of personnel. They are called "legal" because it is the civil code that identifies them (art. 2095), there are four:
  1. workers;
  2. employees;
  3. corporate executives;
  4. managers.

For further information, please visit the following websites:

National Labour Inspectorate

Ministry of Labour and Social Policy

Updated on 22/10/2020