Human resource planning (HRP) in construction is the process of planning ahead to ensure that the human resource requirements of the organization are able to meet the demand of the project pipeline. HRP also ensures the best fit employees are being assigned to the right projects at the right time and helps to optimize capacity planning by avoiding workforce shortages or surpluses.
Human resource planning is essentially responsible for identifying the workforce requirements for a contractor to meet organizational goals. While the major aspects of strategic human resource planning revolve around workforce supply and project demand, HRP is also tasked with tracking team member skills/experience and nurturing career development.
Human resource planning processes include, among many things, identifying the right employees to fill skill gaps that are preventing your organization from hitting its goals. This process helps to ensure your company is right-sized at the right time and can include:
For insight into using your data to reduce skill gaps, read this article.
Incentive programs can help to keep your team engaged with not only company goals, but also individual career development. The challenging part is deciding which incentives will work best for your team. Incentives can have a significant impact on your work culture and like any other programs, should be tracked for success. Some incentives you may want to consider include:
These are just a few simple incentives that can help keep your team engaged with their work. If you’re wondering why you can’t just pay your team members more, keep in mind that payroll is taxed twice. By using incentives, managers and owners can write them off as necessary business expenses, get more bang for their buck, and pass that on to their employees.
The human resource planning team has the responsibility of developing and implementing any workplace conflict policies and procedures. They will also be responsible for creating and managing team members through conflict-resolution programs.
Most HRP professionals will have gone through conflict-resolution training through their professional development and are capable of either conducting training or sourcing external training resources for managers and supervisors. HRP should initiate employee communications and be able to track the effectiveness and cost of their conflict-resolution program.
Some examples of workplace conflict include:
One of the human resource planning processes is terminating employees. While this is typically a negative experience for everyone involved, HR should play a significant role in every termination. HRP professionals can help influence the process and help guide the conversation to eliminate potential damage to the employee as well as the company.
HRP is involved in the process to ensure company policies and procedures are followed and that all actions conform to legal guidelines. However, it’s likely that a high performing human resource planning team will be involved much earlier in the process and will have proactive training for managers and employees to provide guidance and training to avoid a termination altogether.
Strategic human resource planning should have an in-depth understanding of organizational goals and where the company expects to be in the next 1-5 years or more. With this information, HRP can develop strategies to be successful with the current workforce and identify any skill gaps that could negatively impact your project outcomes.
Company goals will also help to inform a more effective training process for new hires. Once your human resource planning team identifies the capabilities required by the organization, they can define and create comprehensive training strategies for new employees. They can also develop workshops and seminars for existing team members to ensure that everyone is informed of company goals/objectives and how the company plans on hitting those goals.
Evaluating the current workforce involves creating a profile of the current workforce that includes staff performance levels, demographics, and competencies. This profile can exist at both a company level as well as an individual profile for each team member.
Once you have created your profiles, you can begin to establish measurable metrics related to your company strategies. These metrics can be used for further evaluations to track improvements over time and can include (but are not limited to):
Forecasting labor needs is the process of projecting what human resources will be needed to meet a contractor strategic goals. This will include having an understanding of the projects that will need to be staffed in the upcoming period as well as how many staff will be required to hit company goals. Strategic human resource planning will also use workforce utilization insights to identify skill gaps that need to be addressed with further training or external recruitment.
High level forecasting will also include understanding external forces that may affect your resource strategy. For example, how the construction community is expected to change in the coming months/years and understanding how the economy will affect future recruitment efforts.
Thanks to their forecasting efforts, human resource professionals can clearly see how many people they’ll be needing to hire and for which positions. The resulting action plan should align with company goals and objectives to ensure you have the right people in place and clearly define:
A HRP action plan should also determine compensation/benefits, performance review processes, and training programs for existing team members. It’s also important that an action plan link back to your company’s strategic goals and objectives.
Implementing an action plan can be broken down into a few key steps:
A great action plan can fall short if it isn’t being put into practice. Creating an action plan and making changes when necessary is a crucial step in making it a valuable asset for the business. An action plan should be a living, breathing document that evolves with the organization.
The best action plans will also discuss what success means in specific, measurable terms. Rather than “meet the recruitment needs,” goals should be discussed in a way that clearly defines how successful the plan was. For example, “based on forecasting data, hire five project managers and three engineers to meet this year’s project demand.”
It can be difficult to create an entire plan for the year/quarter ahead. HR professionals should expect their plans to be iterative and be willing to adapt their goals and metrics. You may wind up hiring too many people, so it’s important to understand how that happened based on the data at your disposal in relation to the action plan. By monitoring successes and errors it helps keep the plan adaptive.
Organizations can quickly start to lose money when the team is disengaged or dissatisfied at work. The best way to combat this challenge is to build a healthy organizational structure that promotes communication.
Human resource planning also enables contractors to meet current and future project demands, which helps to anticipate and nurture the skills most valuable to the company. HRP is about providing a balance of staff in terms of numbers as well as available skill sets while also providing a clear path for career development with a talent pool capable of moving into leadership roles.
Bridgit Bench is a workforce intelligence solution that provides insight to help accurately forecast future staffing needs and inform recruitment efforts. While operations teams are using Bridgit Bench to optimize their resource planning, HR professionals are using the data the solution provides to better understand how future projects will impact their workforce strategy and HR action plan.
Bridgit Bench provides insight into company utilization rates broken down by title, region, or department to help identify skill gaps and pinch points where project demand exceeds the supply of skilled workers.
“Bridgit Bench gives us a clearer picture of what projects are coming up, what’s ending, who is where and what position they are serving in. It houses everything in one area and gives us a point of reference,” said Grace Paladino, Director of HR at SKYGRiD Construction.
For more information about labor forecasting with Bridgit Bench, check out this page.
The two key components of human resource planning are:
While these are the two key components, high level HRP is the process of balancing those two components against each other.
The role of HRP in construction includes:
The major objectives of HRP are ensuring the best fit between employees and projects while avoiding any major workforce surpluses or shortages. Other major objectives will include:
It’s important to remember that human resource planning needs to be an agile process. Expect constant change. Company goals and objectives can shift and the plan will go out the window. That’s to be expected. HR professionals should be able to quickly regroup and make necessary adjustments. By using the right software that provides the right analytics, HRP can easily get back on track to help drive the organization’s progress. For more information about how resource planning software can improve HRP, read this article or check out our blog for all things construction related.