Human resource planning (H.R.P.) plays an eminent role in any organisation as a medium to achieve organisational goals through strategic human resource management.
It is characterised by a systematic process, undertaken through forecasting human resource needs under changing conditions so that strategic planning is implemented to attain the right human resources needed in the future in accordance with their long term goals and objectives of the organisation (De Cieri et al., 2003).
The process of H.R.P. is intended to match projected human resources demand with its anticipated supply, with explicit consideration of the skills mix that will be necessary throughout the firm (Huselid, 1993). Rather than a reactive and ad-hoc approach, H.R.P. apprehends a proactive slant whereby forecasts are made on labour surpluses or shortages using statistical or judgmental methods. Forecasting techniques are applied to certain areas within the organisation so that further goals and strategic planning can be advocated (Smith et al.,
1992). Such goals and planning involve changes to HR activities hence human resource planning is not undertaken in isolation. Consequently it will generate issues attributed with various HR activities particularly employee learning (development), recruitment, performance management and retention, which will be further examined with specific reference to succession planning.
The importance of HR planning has generally been overlooked by organisations. Its proactive approach allows it to be more strategic in its decisions rather than face obstacles when unprepared. It can enhance the success of an organisation through anticipation of labour shortages or surpluses and thus make decisions about the overall qualitative and quantitative balance of employees (Smith et al., 1992). For instance, without a plan, a shortage in labour may instigate desperate measures to hire only good candidates and not the best. This will have cost and productivity implications not only in terms on money but...