Human Resource Planning Role in Aligning Skills with Jobs


Human Resource Planning (HRP) is a primary aspect of any organisation. HRP helps in the recruitment and retention of highly qualified personnel who can undertake crucial activities in an organisation. However, despite the current high unemployment levels in the United Kingdom and across the world, many corporations struggle to get qualified and skilled personnel for respective roles in various organisations. Indeed, McKinsey’s 2012 report titled The World at Work suggested that the situation was expected to be worse by 2020. A shortage of 40-45 million recruits will be witnessed for medium and high-skilled jobs, against a surplus of 90 million low-skilled people (Benko and Anderson 32). This paper discusses the role of human resource planning in the resourcing qualified personnel for organisations as a strategy for meeting the demand for extremely competent human resources.

The Role of HRP in Aligning Skills with Jobs

It is imperative to question whether the human resource arm and other stakeholders are doing enough to align skill development with jobs (Cappelli Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs 7). Such parties need to shape the jobs to meet the available skills. Thousands of graduates join the job market each year. However, the pace at which joblessness is rising has raised primary concerns about the status of the current education system. The system has had issues in terms of matching its contents with the skills that are needed in the contemporary business world (Parker 12). Concerns have been raised that the education system is increasingly providing knowledge and skills that do not match the actual skills that the corporate world demands (Jackson 206). In this case, the lack of skilled individuals to fill high-skill job opportunities that are available in the corporate world is a matter that needs crucial solutions.

Despite the above issues concerning the education system, the question of whether the human resource organ is doing enough to align skill development with jobs or to shape the positions to match the available talent. The witnessed speedy changing of business operations because of technology is influencing the roles of organisations and the fields in which they operate (Beechler and Woodward 273). Any agency must understand that it is likely to be rendered uncompetitive and consequently nonresponsive to the current needs of its clients (Benko and Anderson 34).

To avoid this situation, it has to develop the right measures to ensure that its labour force has the right skills to overcome the competition. Hence, organisations and their respective human resource management teams must put exercise due consideration of the role of training their employees to meet the changing demands in their respective fields (Levasseur 17).

The above discussion points to the fact that the mismatch between the available skills and the actual talents that are needed in organisations has become a censure game (Abraham 291). Learning institutions and corporate bodies are blaming each other for the predicament. For this reason, it is imperative to conclude that indeed, insignificant efforts are being put to remove or reduce the skill gap (Cappelli Skill Gaps 251). The problem needs a multifaceted approach where all stakeholders from academic institutions, employers, and the government come together to seek innovative and efficient skill development and education solutions (Wagner and Costanzo 3).

Such solutions should include advancing essential and lifelong learning, apprenticeship completions, and the establishment of employer-sponsored training. It is vital to guarantee that the government and the education sector collaborate in developing future programme development initiatives (Lowden et al. 18). This strategy will maintain the relevance of the undertaken skills and training to the current needs in the workplace environment. Such collaborative efforts will most consider the involvement of employers since they are the supreme consumers of labour (Jackson 207). Hence, they need to be involved to ensure that they can specify central information on the kind of skills that they demand in the workplace. Based on the current situation, the voice of the business sector has not been well enshrined into policy development towards the provision of solutions on skills and hence the need to revisit the policymaking process.

From the above discussion, it is evident that the business world may be blamed for not establishing elaborate measures to train personnel to ensure that they have the relevant skills for the available jobs (Sofranec 46; Hickox 43). However, it is also imperative to note that the problem is far deeper and that it needs the collaboration of various stakeholders such as the government, educators, and employers to ensure that the policymaking process will provide solutions to the current problem (Beechler and Woodward 274). Concisely, enough is not being done to align or shape jobs to meet the available skills.

Opportunities of Progress at the Company Level

One of the primary roles of the human resource organ in an organisation is to develop and nurture skills with the organisation to ensure that the labour force can meet the skills that are required in the organisation (Benko and Anderson 41). However, in most cases, agencies opt to recruit employees, rather than promoting those that are already in place, because of the existing mismatch between the skills of the available workers and the talents that need to be considered based on the available positions (Wagner and Costanzo 9). In this case, it is evident that many organisations are not doing enough to ensure that the present employees are adequately prepared to undertake senior roles.

The above problem can be linked to several reasons. Firstly, in the process of cutting the cost of training employees, the HR opts to recruit individuals who have the relevant skills to fill the vacant positions (Cappelli Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs 9). This approach is to the disadvantage of employees within the team who would have obtained an opportunity to advance in their careers if they had been offered the right training and development opportunities to gain the relevant skills (Lowden et al. 22).

The other major factor why organisations opt to hire is the lack of the necessary skills within the organisation to meet the needs of the emerging positions. In this case, while the organisations may be undertaking the right measures to train and develop their employees, they may fail to recognise the emerging trends. Consequently, this situation may lead to managers’ ignorance or failure to prioritise such emerging skills among the existing workforce (Wagner and Costanzo 10). In this case, once the new skills are identified, the organisation may be forced to recruit externally.

From the above expositions, the human resource management and planning function is not doing enough to provide opportunities that enhance in-house progress. The only way that organisations can ensure that they are providing productive opportunities is through gradual training and skill development for employees. Hence, once the opportunities arise within the agency, the existing employees can be given a chance to take such positions (Beechler and Woodward 274). Realising this goal calls for the establishment of an elaborate training and skill development programme. Such initiatives will enhance employees’ skills through training such that they can overcome the emerging organisational problems. The strategy will eliminate the necessity of recruiting externally.

The Role of HR in Delivering a Flexible and Diverse Workforce

The human resource body plays a crucial role in any organisation. The department is the most central resource in any organisation. However, recruiting and maintaining the right personnel poses enormous challenges to institutions (Almeida, Behrman, and Robalino 6). In ensuring that the organisation has the right personnel, the HR carries different activities.

Job analysis is the first activity of the HR organ. In this case, the human resource department ensures that the job requirements are scrutinised thoroughly to attract the relevant applicants for a particular job advert (Cappelli Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs 11). If the HR cannot define the roles that are required for a given job, the likelihood of attracting the wrong people is high (Wagner and Costanzo 10). Hence, the HR must establish elaborate measures to ensure that all jobs and the respective requirements are analysed to reflect the actual skills that job applicants should demonstrate in their job application processes.

The second essential role that the HR plays is the recruitment and selection of workers in the process of resourcing. After advertising a given job, the number of applicants is often very high. Consequently, the HR has to scrutinise and identify the most eligible individuals from the pool of applicants (Almeida, Behrman, and Robalino 6). The process of recruitment and selection should involve the use of various short listing activities and approaches to ensuring that the most competent individuals are shortlisted for further scrutiny (Lowden et al. 24). Through elaborate recruitment and selection strategies, an organisation can be assured of qualified and relevant personnel for its available positions.

The third important role of the HR is providing training opportunities for employees to ensure that their skills can be aligned with the needs of the organisation. For instance, once new employees are recruited, many employers have elaborate orientation programmes that allow the employees to be trained based on their role and activities of the organisation (Cappelli Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs 14). However, it is crucial for the HR to revisit its orientation programmes and activities occasionally to ensure that they reflect the changing skills and demands of the organisation and the respective positions (Almeida, Behrman, and Robalino 3).

Training activities should never end at the orientation period of new employees. Training should be a continuous process where employees are provided with new skills and opportunities for growth and development for their personal gains and the overall benefit of the organisation (Beechler and Woodward 274). Such opportunities should involve in-house or external training activities. The agency can decide to sponsor such activities.

The other most important function of the HR is the retention of employees. While the recruitment and selection processes in an organisation are crucial to ensuring that the right skills are recruited, retaining such talent in the end is equally important. Maintaining the recruits requires institutions to have a healthy and safe working environment where employees are highly motivated. This goal can be achieved by offering various benefits such as health insurance, many training opportunities, and professional growth (Jackson 210).

Further, proper remuneration, which is in line with the industry trends, is also a significant factor for ensuring that employees can stay at the workplace for long. For instance, the tourism sector is highly unpredictable, yet it depends highly on its employees to offer essential services that relate to hospitality (Lowden et al. 24). In this industry, workers require occasional training to get skills that relate to hospitality. In this case, losing one employee can be a significant blow to an organisation in the tourism sector. Therefore, it is imperative for organisations in this industry to establish the right measures towards recruitment and retention of the right employees.


The above discussion has revealed crucial trends concerning the skill gap that exists in the contemporary world. Many organisations are struggling to fill in positions that are available with the relevant skills. The situation reveals the need for a multi-sectoral approach where stakeholders such as the government, employers, and academic institutions can work together to reduce the gap between the available skills and needed talent. It is also evident that many HR departments are not doing enough to ensure that their organisations can get and/or maintain the right skills in the end.

Therefore, the HR should dedicate more effort to the recruitment and retention of skilled employees through various essential approaches such as availing of growth opportunities to employees, as well as remuneration plans that suit the skills of the employees. It will be disappointing for academic institutions to keep on instilling knowledge and skills to learners only to realise that their efforts were futile when such students never secure any jobs in the contemporary competitive business world. Hence, academic institutions should work closely with others business stakeholders to know the various skills that they need to impart to students who form the future employees or employers.

Works Cited

Abraham, Katharine. “Is Skill Mismatch Impeding U.S. Economic Recovery?” Industrial & Labor Relations Review 68.2(2015): 291-313. Print.

Almeida, Rita, Jere Behrman, and David Robalino. The Right Skills For The Job?: Rethinking Training Policies For Workers, Washington, DC: World Bank Publications, 2012. Print.

Beechler, Schon, and Ian Woodward. “The Global War for Talent”. Journal of international management 15.3(2009): 273-285. Print.

Benko, Cathleen, and Molly Anderson. The Corporate Lattice: Achieving High Performance in the Changing World of Work, Watertown, MA: Harvard Business Press, 2013. Print.

Cappelli, Peter. “Skill Gaps, Skill Shortages, and Skill Mismatches: Evidence and Arguments for the United States.” Industrial & Labor Relations Review 68.2(2015): 251-290. Print.

Cappelli, Peter. Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs: The Skills Gap and What Companies Can Do about It, Philadelphia, PA: Wharton Digital Press, 2012. Print.

Hickox, Stacy. “The Job-Relatedness and Business Necessity of the “New and Improved” High School Diploma.” Berkeley Journal of Employment & Labor Law 36.1(2015): 43-121. Print

Jackson, Denise. “Undergraduate Management Education: Its Place, Purpose and Efforts to Bridge the Skills Gap.” Journal of Management & Organisation 15.2(2009): 206-223. Print.

Levasseur, Mike. “Matching job duties to skills: you not only have to find the right people but get them in the right place.” Auto Body Repair Network 54.1(2015): 17-18. Print.

Lowden, Kevin, Stuart Hall, Dely Elliot, and Jon Lewin. Employers’ Perceptions of the Employability Skills of New Graduates, London: Edge Foundation, 2011. Print.

Parker, David. “The Right Tools for The Job.” Management Services 59.1(2015): 11-17. Print.

Sofranec, Diane. “Wanted: The Right Employee.” LP/Gas 75.5(2015): 46-50. Print.

Wagner, Tony, and Paul Costanzo. The Global Achievement Gap: Why Even Our Best Schools Don’t Teach the New Survival Skills our Children Need–And What We Can Do About It, New York, NY Basic Books, 2010. Print.

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