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Just as companies must plan ahead to ensure a steady supply of raw materials, machinery and office space, they must also plan ahead to maintain a steady supply of quality employees. Human resource planning is a process used by organizations to evaluate their workforce needs, then plan ahead to meet those needs.

What makes human resource planning challenging is that the workforce is always changing. Employees have families and outside pursuits that affect their careers. People are promoted, get sick, go on vacation, change careers, or retire. Eventually, everyone must be replaced.

Two of the main objectives in human resource planning are ensuring the best fit between workers and jobs, and avoiding shortages and surpluses in the employee pool. To satisfy these objectives, human resource managers must develop plans to:

- find employees with special skills

- attract them to the company

- select the best candidates

- train them

- reward them competitively

- retain them

- help them stay healthy

- cope with their absences

- deal with their conflicts

- discourage their bad behavior

- promote them or

- let some of them go

Employees that have the right skills and attitude make a company more productive and profitable, so human resource planning is a worthwhile investment for a successful business.

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