HR Business Plan Template: Everything You Need to Know

With an HR business plan template, you can help your company recruit new employees, retain existing employees, and guide the development of the workforce. 4 min read

With an HR business plan template, you can help your company recruit new employees, retain existing employees, and guide the development of the workforce so that you collectively meet your business objectives, regardless of any changes in the industry or economy.

When creating your HR business plan, you need to perform a needs analysis of your workplace to tailor the plan to your company's requirements. You'll also need to learn about the industry standards for your field to make sure you're competitive.

Without such a plan in place, your workers will feel unprepared and won't know how to work towards your company's overall goals.

Steps for Developing a Human Resources Department Business Plan

There are several steps to creating an HR business plan. They include:

A Real Life Example

If you're seeking more guidance on how to create a successful HR business plan, look to Starbucks as an example.

As the world's largest coffee chain, Starbucks had $21.3 billion in sales in 2016.

Despite these massive numbers, Starbucks maintains the same approach to their human resources department. All of the HR planning is guided by the company's organizational strategy and brand.

Their strategy is to use specific interview techniques when hiring new employees. This lets them identify potential leaders and place them in a "New Partner Orientation and Immersion" training program. With this system, Starbucks has achieved the lowest employee turnover rate in the quick-service restaurant industry.

Starbucks also offers numerous employee perks and dedicates a lot of time to employee training through an online portal that teaches employees essential job skills.

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Management and Human Resources Business Plans

The management portion of your business plan, the hr portion of your business plan, frequently asked questions (faqs).

As a startup, it’s never easy to come up with a business plan, let alone the management and human resources sections of a business plan. Despite that, it’s important that you start your business plan for human resources as soon as possible. Doing so gives your management goals a plan that will guide you and keep your business on track as it grows. 

The key components of your human resources business plan should include your organizational structure, the philosophy and needs of your HR department, the number of employees you want to hire, how you plan to manage them, and all the estimated costs related with personnel.

You’ll want to start your HR business plan by outlining your own managerial experience and skills as well as those of your team. Highlight the roles of each member of your team, and any particular areas of strength or deficiency in your personnel lineup. For example, your HR team may be strong in compliance and conflict resolution but weak in hiring. 

Don't worry if you don’t have a complete team in place when you write your HR business plan. Simply use this section to outline the organizational structure along with job descriptions, how you plan to recruit key team members, and what their responsibilities will be.

This section should look like a pyramid with you at the top and will likely have lateral positions. Be as specific as possible when defining an employee's responsibilities because this is what will drive your business.

Do You Need an HR Manager?

If you’re a solo practitioner, you may not think of including an HR manager in your management business plan. However, if you expect to hire non-managerial employees (such as salespeople or clerical workers), you should consider recruiting a human resources manager.

If hiring a human resources manager can’t be done, consider a human resources consultant. Human resource management requires an immense amount of time and paperwork, and an experienced HR consultant will be able to quickly get your payroll and benefits program up and running, affording you more time to concentrate on growing the business. Human resource responsibilities should include:

There are plenty of companies that offer HR management platforms tailored to each business's needs. Research these companies and be sure to include their estimated cost in your HR business plan.

When you develop the HR portion of your business plan, begin by including a brief overview of your HR strategy. Investors may be curious about how your payroll will be handled and the associated costs of administering it, as well as the type of corporate culture you plan to create. Specific items to highlight in the HR section include:

In addition to the key elements above, it helps to have a framework from which to build your HR business plan. Here’s a basic outline that can help you get started: 

It may be overwhelming to contemplate these benefits and their costs in the early stages of setting up your business, but in a competitive labor market, your firm needs to offer enough to entice qualified people and, more importantly, to keep them happy.

Consider revisiting your management and HR business plans every couple of years to see if you need to create action steps to refine your processes.

What should be in an HR business plan?

An HR business plan should include a mix of the steps you plan to take to launch an effective HR department, as well as specifics about how you plan to handle time off, insurance, and other benefits you plan to offer.

How do I write a human resources plan?

It helps to start with a simple framework. Try to break the plan down into sections: HR needs, recruitment, hiring, training, pay, and performance reviews. From there, incorporate other aspects of HR, like benefits and promotions.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce. " Does Your Small Business Need an HR Department? "

 University of Minnesota. “ Human Resources Management: 2.2 Writing the HRM Plan .”

Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. “ FY 2020-2022 Strategic Business Plan: Human Resources .”

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10+ SAMPLE HR Business Plan in PDF

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With every business, there’s always going to be a common goal that everyone will be working towards. However, how everyone will go about in achieving them might differ and that could highly affect the business’s success. For those in human resources , there has to be some sort of sample plan in order for them to figure out exactly what and who it is the business will need in order to attain success.

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HR Strategic Plan Template

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How to Create an HR Strategic Plan

1. determine the human resource needs.

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2. Recruitment

3. selection.

4. Determine Compensation

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5. Develop the Appropriate Training

6. performance appraisal.

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HR Consulting Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky

hr consulting business plan template

Human Resources Consulting Business Plan

Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 1,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their human resources consulting businesses. On this page, we will first give you some background information with regards to the importance of business planning. We will then go through an HR consulting business plan template step-by-step so you can create your plan today.

Download our Ultimate Business Plan Template here >

What Is a Business Plan?

A business plan provides a snapshot of your human resources consulting business as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategy for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans.  

Why You Need a Business Plan

If you’re looking to start an HR consulting business or grow your existing business, you need to write your own business plan. A business plan will help you raise funding, if needed, and plan out the growth of your HR consulting business in order to improve your chances of success. Your business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes.  

Sources of Funding for Human Resources Consulting Businesses

With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for a human resources consulting business are personal savings, credit cards, bank loans and angel investors. With regards to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the lender will not only want to confirm that your financials are reasonable, but they will also want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business. Personal savings is the most common form of funding for a human resources consulting business. Personal savings and bank loans are the most common funding paths for HR consulting businesses.

If you want to start an HR consulting business or expand your current one, you need a business plan. Below we detail what should be included in your own business plan for an HR consulting firm.  

Executive Summary

Your executive summary provides an introduction to your own business plan, but it is normally the last section you write because it provides a summary of each key section of your plan.

The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of HR consulting business you are operating and its status. For example, are you a startup, do you have an HR consulting firm that you would like to grow, or are you operating human resources consulting firms in multiple markets?

Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan. For example, give a brief overview of the HR consulting industry. Discuss the type of HR consulting business you are operating. Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target customers. Provide a snapshot of your marketing plan. Identify the key members of your team. And offer an overview of your financial plan.  

Company Analysis

In your company analysis, you will detail the type of HR consulting business you are operating.

For example, you might operate one of the following types of human resources consulting businesses:

In addition to explaining the type of HR consulting business you will operate, the Company Analysis section of your business plan needs to provide background on the business.

Include answers to questions such as:

Industry Analysis

In your industry analysis, you need to provide an overview of the HR industry.

While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.

First, researching the HR industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating.

Secondly, market research can improve your strategy, particularly if your research identifies market trends.

The third reason for market research is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.

The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section of your HR consulting business plan:

Customer Analysis

The customer analysis section of your HR consulting business plan must detail the customers you serve and/or expect to serve.

The following are examples of customer segments: financial services companies, government entities, healthcare institutions, and technology companies.

As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of human resource consulting business you operate. Clearly, government entities would respond to different marketing promotions than technology companies, for example.

Try to break out your target customers in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, include a discussion of the ages, genders, locations, and income levels of the customers you seek to serve. Because most HR consulting businesses primarily serve customers living in the same city or town, such demographic information is easy to find on government websites.

Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target customers. The more you can understand and define these needs, the better you will do in attracting and retaining your customers.  

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Competitive Analysis

Your competitive analysis should identify the indirect and direct competitors your business faces and then focus on the latter.

Direct competitors are other human resource consulting firms.

Indirect competitors are other options that customers have to purchase from that aren’t direct competitors. This includes more generalized management consultants or dedicated in-house HR teams.

With regards to direct competition, you want to describe the other HR consulting businesses with which you compete. Most likely, your direct competitors will be human resource consulting businesses located very close to your location.

business plan template for human resources

For each such competitor, provide an overview of their businesses and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as:

With regards to the last two questions, think about your answers from the customers’ perspective. And don’t be afraid to ask your competitors’ customers what they like most and least about them.

The final part of your competitive analysis section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:

Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.  

Marketing Plan

Traditionally, a marketing plan includes the four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For an human resource consulting business, your marketing plan should include the following:

Product : In the product section, you should reiterate the type of HR consulting company that you documented in your Company Analysis. Then, detail the specific products you will be offering. For example, in addition to strategic consulting, will your HR consulting business provide compliance consulting?

Price : Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections of your marketing plan, you are presenting the services you offer and their prices.

Place : Place refers to the location of your company. Document your location and mention how the location will impact your success. For example, will you operate from a physical office, or will you primarily interact with clients online and/or at their place of business? In this section, discuss how your location will affect the demand for your services.

Promotions : The final part of your marketing plan is the promotions section. Here you will document how you will drive customers to your location(s). The following are some promotional methods you might consider:

Operations Plan

While the earlier sections of your business plan explained your goals, your operations plan describes how you will meet them. Your operations plan should have two distinct sections as follows.

Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running your HR consulting business, including marketing, providing consultations, building analytics processes, developing and presenting recommendations, etc.

Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to sign your 50 th consulting contract, or when you hope to reach $X in revenue. It could also be when you expect to open an HR consulting business in a new location.  

Management Team

To demonstrate your HR consulting business’ ability to succeed, a strong management team is essential. Highlight your key players’ backgrounds, emphasizing those skills and experiences that prove their ability to grow your business.

Ideally you and/or your team members have direct experience in human resources and/or managing HR consulting businesses. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.

If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act like mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience in Human Resources, or successfully running small businesses.  

Financial Plan

Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statements.

Income Statement : an income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenues and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.

hr consulting business expenses

In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you focus on one client at a time, or will you have teams working on multiple projects at once? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.

Balance Sheets : Balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. While balance sheets can include much information, try to simplify them to the key items you need to know about. For instance, if you spend $50,000 on building out your business, this will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a bank writes you a check for $50,000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.

Cash Flow Statement : Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business, and make sure you never run out of money. What most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t realize is that you can turn a profit but run out of money and go bankrupt.

In developing your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing an hr consulting business:

start-up costs

Attach your full financial projections in the appendix of your plan along with any supporting documents that make your plan more compelling. For example, you might include your office lease, any notable clients you’ve served, or an overview of the services you offer.  

Putting together a business plan for your HR consulting business is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the template above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert. You will really understand the HR industry, your competition, and your customers. You will have developed a marketing plan and will really understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful HR consulting business.  

HR Consulting Business Plan FAQs

What is the easiest way to complete my hr consulting business plan.

Growthink's Ultimate Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily complete your HR Consulting Business Plan.

What is the Goal of a Business Plan's Executive Summary?

The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of HR consulting business you are operating and the status; for example, are you a startup, do you have an HR consulting business that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of HR consulting businesses?

Finish Your HR Consulting Business Plan in 1 Day!

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Since 1999, Growthink has developed business plans for thousands of companies who have gone on to achieve tremendous success.

Click here to learn about Growthink’s business plan writing service .  

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Develop a Successful Human Resources Department Business Plan

Plan to chart your business course for success and contribution.

Susan Heathfield is an HR and management consultant with an MS degree. She has decades of experience writing about human resources.

If you’re a department leader, your boss will likely one day ask this question: “What is your business plan for your department?” As the leader of the Human Resources function, you can use these steps to answer that question.

A frequently asked question at this website, it’s a difficult question to answer in a generic fashion because the needs of every company for the contribution of the HR department can differ widely. You can, however, use these steps as a guide as you develop your own HR business plan.

Your Human Resources department business plan depends on your needs analysis of your own workplace. Your Human Resources department business plan also depends on learning about and benchmarking industry standards outside of your organization.

But, the fundamental question you need to answer, to reply to your boss’s question, is, “What does your workplace need from the HR function?” Here’s how you can find the answer.

Steps to Develop a Human Resources Department Business Plan

Now, at last, you can answer your boss’s question: What is your business plan for your HR department?

business plan template for human resources

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2.2 Writing the HRM Plan

Learning objective.

As addressed in Section 2.1 “Strategic Planning” , the writing of an HRM strategic plan should be based on the strategic plans of the organization and of the department. Once the strategic plan is written, the HR professional can begin work on the HR plan. This is different from the strategic plan in that it is more detailed and more focused on the short term. The six parts described here are addressed in more detail in Chapter 4 “Recruitment” , Chapter 5 “Selection” , Chapter 6 “Compensation and Benefits” , Chapter 7 “Retention and Motivation” , Chapter 8 “Training and Development” , Chapter 9 “Successful Employee Communication” , Chapter 10 “Managing Employee Performance” , and Chapter 11 “Employee Assessment” .

How Would You Handle This?

Compensation Is a Touchy Subject

As the HR manager, you have access to sensitive data, such as pay information. As you are looking at pay for each employee in the marketing department, you notice that two employees with the same job title and performing the same job are earning different amounts of money. As you dig deeper, you notice the employee who has been with the company for the least amount of time is actually getting paid more than the person with longer tenure. A brief look at the performance evaluations shows they are both star performers. You determine that two different managers hired the employees, and one manager is no longer with the organization. How would you handle this?

As you can see from this figure, the company strategic plan ties into the HRM strategic plan, and from the HRM strategic plan, the HR plan can be developed

As you can see from this figure, the company strategic plan ties into the HRM strategic plan, and from the HRM strategic plan, the HR plan can be developed.

The six parts of the HRM plan include the following:

Each chapter of this text addresses one area of the HR plan, but the next sections provide some basic knowledge of planning for each area.

Determine Human Resource Needs

The first part of an HR plan will consist of determining how many people are needed. This step involves looking at company operations over the last year and asking a lot of questions:

These are the questions to answer in this first step of the HR plan process. As you can imagine, this cannot be done alone. Involvement of other departments, managers, and executives should take place to obtain an accurate estimate of staffing needs for now and in the future. We discuss staffing in greater detail in Chapter 4 “Recruitment” .

Many HR managers will prepare an inventory of all current employees, which includes their educational level and abilities. This gives the HR manager the big picture on what current employees can do. It can serve as a tool to develop employees’ skills and abilities, if you know where they are currently in their development. For example, by taking an inventory, you may find out that Richard is going to retire next year, but no one in his department has been identified or trained to take over his role. Keeping the inventory helps you know where gaps might exist and allows you to plan for these gaps. This topic is addressed further in Chapter 4 “Recruitment” .

HR managers will also look closely at all job components and will analyze each job. By doing this analysis, they can get a better picture of what kinds of skills are needed to perform a job successfully. Once the HR manager has performed the needs assessment and knows exactly how many people, and in what positions and time frame they need to be hired, he or she can get to work on recruiting, which is also called a staffing plan . This is addressed further in Chapter 4 “Recruitment” .

Recruitment is an important job of the HR manager. More detail is provided in Chapter 4 “Recruitment” . Knowing how many people to hire, what skills they should possess, and hiring them when the time is right are major challenges in the area of recruiting. Hiring individuals who have not only the skills to do the job but also the attitude, personality, and fit can be the biggest challenge in recruiting. Depending on the type of job you are hiring for, you might place traditional advertisements on the web or use social networking sites as an avenue. Some companies offer bonuses to employees who refer friends. No matter where you decide to recruit, it is important to keep in mind that the recruiting process should be fair and equitable and diversity should be considered. We discuss diversity in greater detail in Chapter 3 “Diversity and Multiculturalism” .

Depending on availability and time, some companies may choose to outsource their recruiting processes. For some types of high-level positions, a head hunter will be used to recruit people nationally and internationally. A head hunter is a person who specializes in matching jobs with people, and they usually work only with high-level positions. Another option is to use an agency that specializes in hiring people for a variety of positions, including temporary and permanent positions. Some companies decide to hire temporary employees because they anticipate only a short-term need, and it can be less expensive to hire someone for only a specified period of time.

No matter how it is done, recruitment is the process of obtaining résumés of people interested in the job. In our next step, we review those résumés, interview, and select the best person for the job.

After you have reviewed résumés for a position, now is the time to work toward selecting the right person for the job. Although we discuss selection in great detail in Chapter 6 “Compensation and Benefits” , it is worth a discussion here as well. Numerous studies have been done, and while they have various results, the majority of studies say it costs an average of $45,000 to hire a new manager (Herman, 1993). While this may seem exaggerated, consider the following items that contribute to the cost:

Because it is so expensive to hire, it is important to do it right. First, résumés are reviewed and people who closely match the right skills are selected for interviews. Many organizations perform phone interviews first so they can further narrow the field. The HR manager is generally responsible for setting up the interviews and determining the interview schedule for a particular candidate. Usually, the more senior the position is, the longer the interview process takes, even up to eight weeks (Crant, 2009). After the interviews are conducted, there may be reference checks, background checks, or testing that will need to be performed before an offer is made to the new employee. HR managers are generally responsible for this aspect. Once the applicant has met all criteria, the HR manager will offer the selected person the position. At this point, salary, benefits, and vacation time may be negotiated. Compensation is the next step in HR management.

Determine Compensation

What you decide to pay people is much more difficult than it seems. This issue is covered in greater detail in Chapter 6 “Compensation and Benefits” . Pay systems must be developed that motivate employees and embody fairness to everyone working at the organization. However, organizations cannot offer every benefit and perk because budgets always have constraints. Even governmental agencies need to be concerned with compensation as part of their HR plan. For example, in 2011, Illinois State University gave salary increases of 3 percent to all faculty, despite state budget cuts in other areas. They reasoned that the pay increase was needed because of the competitive nature of hiring and retaining faculty and staff. The university president said, “Our employees have had a very good year and hopefully this is a good shot in the arm that will keep our morale high” (Pawlowski, 2011).

Venice Beach Tightrope Walker

Determination of compensation systems is a balancing act. Compensation should be high enough to motivate current employees and attract new ones but not so high that it breaks the budget.

Nathan Rupert – Venice Beach Tightrope Walker – CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

The process in determining the right pay for the right job can have many variables, in addition to keeping morale high. First, as we have already discussed, the organization life cycle can determine the pay strategy for the organization. The supply and demand of those skills in the market, economy, region, or area in which the business is located is a determining factor in compensation strategy. For example, a company operating in Seattle may pay higher for the same job than their division in Missoula, Montana, because the cost of living is higher in Seattle. The HR manager is always researching to ensure the pay is fair and at market value. In Chapter 6 “Compensation and Benefits” , we get into greater detail about the variety of pay systems, perks, and bonuses that can be offered. For many organizations, training is a perk. Employees can develop their skills while getting paid for it. Training is the next step in the HR planning process.

Develop Training

Once we have planned our staffing, recruited people, selected employees, and then compensated them, we want to make sure our new employees are successful. Training is covered in more detail in Chapter 8. One way we can ensure success is by training our employees in three main areas:

Perform a Performance Appraisal

The last thing an HR manager should plan is the performance appraisal. While we discuss performance appraisals in greater detail in Chapter 11 “Employee Assessment” , it is definitely worth a mention here, since it is part of the strategic plan. A performance appraisal is a method by which job performance is measured. The performance appraisal can be called many different things, such as the following:

No matter what the name, these appraisals can be very beneficial in motivating and rewarding employees. The performance evaluation includes metrics on which the employee is measured. These metrics should be based on the job description, both of which the HR manager develops. Various types of rating systems can be used, and it’s usually up to the HR manager to develop these as well as employee evaluation forms. The HR manager also usually ensures that every manager in the organization is trained on how to fill out the evaluation forms, but more importantly, how to discuss job performance with the employee. Then the HR manager tracks the due dates of performance appraisals and sends out e-mails to those managers letting them know it is almost time to write an evaluation.

Human Resource Recall

Have you ever been given a performance evaluation? What was the process and the outcome?

Communication Is Key in Performance Evaluations

(click to see video)

Communication is imperative in any workplace, but especially when giving and receiving a performance evaluation.

Key Takeaways

Crant, J., “How Long Does an Interview Process Take?”, December 2, 2009, accessed October 28, 2010, .

Herman, S., Hiring Right: A Practical Guide (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1993), xv.

Pawlowski, S., “Illinois State University to Get Salary Bump,” WJBC Radio, July 11, 2011, accessed July 11, 2011, .

Human Resource Management by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.


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  1. |How to create an organization Business Plan|

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  5. How to write a Business Plan?

  6. 1.2 Why create a business plan?


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