Human Resource Strategies

  • Created by: rebecca
  • Created on: 15-05-15 12:00

HR Objectives

Goals or tagets that must be achieved by the human resouce function to achieve corporate objectives.


  • makes use of the workforces full potential
  • minimisng labour costs
  • mantaining good employer/employee relations
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Internal infuences on HR objectives

  • corporate objectives
  • corporate strategy
  • corporate culture
  • marketing & operational objectives and stageties
  • financial position
  • size and strength of worker representation
  • nature of the product/service and workforce
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External influences on HR objectives

  • state of the market
  • level and nature of demand
  • competitors activities and competition for labour from other businesses
  • economic factors
  • political and legal factors
  • social and demograpic factors
  • technological developments
  • trade unions
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HR Strategies

HR Strategies: plans or courses of action decided upon to achieve the business's HR objectives

Hard HR Strategies: focus on tight control of employees in the pursuit of organisational objectives. They involve a systematic, rational approach to HR management - where quantitative factors take precedence over qulitative factors. The job to be done is seen to be far more important than the person doing it.

Soft HR Strategies: seek to fulfil the needs of the individual as well as organisational goals. Focus on nurturing & developing employees to maximise their potential. The take into account qualitative factors i.e emotions of the individual employees when making decisions, in order to gain the trust and long term commitment of employees.

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Hard HR Strategies


  • easier to maintain effective control
  • easier to implement measures
  • result in lower labour costs
  • essential in times of crisis & when theres a tight deadline


  • alienate employees
  • demotivation
  • result in ih labour turnover
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Sort HR Strategies


  • increased morale & job satisfaction
  • greater commitment to organisatonal goals
  • business gains a good reputation
  • more creative, multi-skilled, flexible workforce
  • better quality decisions & easier implementation of decisions


  • slower decision making
  • greater potential for conflict and loss of control of staff
  • costs of ongoing training and developement
  • greater risk of employees being poached by competitors
  • difficult to adapt the size of the workforce
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Components of workforce plans

Workforce plan: a report detailing a business's labour requirements over a certain period of time & the action required to ensure the right number & type of people are in the right place at the right time to enable activities to be carried out to fulfil objectives.

Key stages involved in workforce planing:

  • supply analysis - (of current labour, forecasting internal supply, assessing external supply)
  • demand analysis
  • undertakin gap analysing
  • solution analysis
  • implementation of solutions
  • evaluation, monitoring and review

Components of workforce plans:

  • workforce size, skills, & location needed to match business's needs
  • strategies
  • costing/budgets
  • timing
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Influences on workforce plans

Internal influences:

  • nature of product/service provided
  • corporate objectives and strategies
  • objectives and strategies of other funtional areas
  • finace available
  • labour productivity, absenteeism & labour turnover
  • size and strength of worker representation

External influences:

  • customer demand, market and economc factors
  • employment packages offered by other businesses
  • technological developments
  • demographic and social change
  • wage rates
  • government policy and legislation 
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Issues in implenting workforce plans

  • employer / employee relations
  • corporate image
  • training
  • cost
  • danger of treating the plan as a rigid document
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Benefits and limitations of workforce plans


  • help predict/anticipate labour shortages
  • a framework to guide operations and decision making
  • maximise productivity and profitability
  • provide targets which can be used to monitor performance and activities


  • dependent on the accuracy of the forecasts
  • skill shortages meaning harder to recruit staff
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Factors influencing choice of organisational struc

  • size of the business - larger the business means its more complicaed in terms of structure, harder communication with the manager
  • business environment - social, legal, economic, political & technological, can be stable (static & predictable) or dynamic (forever changing)
  • nature of the business activities & technology used
  • nature and expectations of the workforce - more highly skilled means mor fredon 
  • corporate objectives and strategies
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Centralisation (+/-)

The process of keeping the authoirity & responsibility for decision making in the upper levels of management


  • greater control
  • uniformality of decision making
  • economies of scale & staffing
  • more conistant (if multiple stores e.g. Premier Inn)


  • policy decisions made centrally might be too general
  • overload / pressure on senior managers
  • too much power given to too few individuals
  • slower decision making
  • poor motivation
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Decentraliation (+/-)

The process of passing authority and responsibility for decision making downwards from the upper levels of management to the lower end of the organisation.


  • reduced workload / pressure for managers
  • faster decision making
  • increased motivation and respect from employees
  • power is dispersed


  • loss of direction and control
  • lack of uniformalty and consistancy wth decision making
  • loss of economies of scale
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Delayering (+/-)

The removal of one or more managerial or supervisory layers.


  • speeds up communication & decision making
  •  improved motivation
  • lower supervision costs
  • respond more quickly to changes in the market


  • leads to redundancies
  • disrupts social responibilities
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Outsourcing (+/-)

The process of employing outside contractors to perform tasks.


  • cost reduction
  • improved efficiency
  • access to specialised expertised
  • minimises inventories & materials


  • need to protect business's intellectual property
  • possible loss of control
  • involves a lot of trust
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