What are HR strategies

The cornerstone and principles of a personnel strategy

An HR strategy is a concise guard rail and a framework for human resource management and is derived from the personnel policy and overall strategy. You can find out more about the definition and examples of personnel strategy formulations in this article.

Personnel strategy: one possible structure

The design of an HR strategy depends on many factors such as the importance of HR in the company, areas of activity, radius of action, industry, resources, workforce structure, company goals and strategy and, last but not least, a company culture. A general strategy grid could be compact and somewhat simplified as follows:

Starting position

  • Strengthen weaken
  • Opportunities / risks
  • Company goals and strategy


Core goals and secondary goals

  • derived from the above analyzes and the corporate strategy
  • possibly divided into qualitative and quantitative goals


Focused fields of action

  • Priorities according to urgency and importance
  • derived from the above goals
  • Those that align with HR and company goals


Measures according to HR areas

  • Personnel development
  • Recruiting
  • Administration and processes
  • Performance management
  • Salary management
  • Digital transformation
  • Innovations and new introductions


  Projects and main activities

derived from the fields of action and goals. This can be, for example:

  • Driving digitization in HR processes
  • Expansion and professionalization of the recruiting channels
  • Developing an employer branding strategy based on strengths
  • Expand and strengthen funding and young talent programs

Success control

  • Qualitative and quantitative control of target achievement
  • HR indicators derived from goals and measures
  • Possibly subdivision into sub-goals



  • Any detailed analyzes
  • Action plans
  • As-is analyzes or the like



Personnel strategy: the definition

Personnel planning is a central element of personnel policy - these two areas belong together. As part of corporate policy, general and strategic decisions are made in a personnel policy. A modern HR strategy includes all activities that include the expansion, maintenance and use of employee-related competencies and serve the sustainable implementation of corporate goals and strategies. A personnel strategy thus defines the thrust of personnel work in the medium and, above all, long-term.

It makes an important contribution to the targeted and future-oriented implementation of the corporate strategy and must above all include the maintenance of core competencies and competitiveness. A good HR strategy always supports growth in the long term and attaches great importance to employee loyalty. It is also important that an HR strategy builds on existing strengths and values ​​and that they continue to cultivate and consolidate within the framework of the corporate culture. A personnel policy is influenced by many factors. Some are:

  • Company goals and mission statement
  • Management principles and corporate culture
  • Market, industry, competitors and customers
  • Age and employee structure and company size
  • Corporate culture and lived, cherished values
  • Economic health and challenges


A professional personnel strategy covers many areas and is holistic

Examples and key questions of personnel strategies

The activities are mainly shaped by the long-term nature, holism and compatibility with the corporate culture. An effective and successful HR strategy should mainly answer the following questions:

Qualification needs

Which employees are required with which qualifications in order to carry out tasks in such a way that the corporate strategy is successfully implemented and the corporate performance and skills can be maintained and further developed? And: What are these today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow?


Which HR task fields and instruments are focused and which HR activities serve to achieve the goals and implement the corporate strategy and make it possible to attract, develop and retain qualified personnel?

Employer branding

What distinguishes human resource management in the company in order to convince the job market with a clear profile, to attract the required talent and to sustainably strengthen motivation and employee loyalty.

Competence development

How does human resource management contribute to maintaining and consolidating the corporate culture on the one hand, and promoting the social and professional skills of managers on the other

Understanding of values

The applicable values, corporate understanding, norms, idiosyncrasies, social and communication skills of executives and top management within the company.


Alignment of personnel strategies

When answering these questions, the following levels or dimensions of orientation and design should always be taken into account and taken into account when implementing a personnel strategy:

1. The culture
The applicable values, corporate understanding, norms, idiosyncrasies, social and communication skills of executives and top management within the company.

2. The organization
The structure, processes, interfaces, task profiles, freedom, competencies, responsibilities and communication channels in the company.

3. The employees
Structure, qualification levels, key competencies, personnel development and company identification among employees, executives and management with a short, medium and long-term outlook.

4. The HR processes
Efficiency, effectiveness and simplicity of an employee-oriented implementation of the strategy, especially in the areas of personnel recruitment, communication, training and further education, career development and line support. With clearly defined work processes and transparent procedures, efficiency and goal orientation are ensured.


Common mistakes in HR strategies and requirements

Common mistakes and failures in developing a successful HR strategy are to focus on just one or two of the above dimensions and neglect the others. An HR strategy should provide guard rails and action orientation, but if it consists of empty phrases and management prose, failure is inevitable.

Examples of mistakes

It happens that companies restructure themselves with the aim of reducing their bureaucracy, shortening decision-making processes and promoting entrepreneurial thinking, but neglecting their compensation management, i.e. questions of remuneration or personnel development measures that train and promote new behavior, and then neglect and not target them realign. Another example: In order to consolidate and promote quality and customer service orientation in a company, it is not enough to train employees accordingly and send them to seminars and adapt job descriptions. Organizational measures such as new processes and communication instruments, greater consideration in the requirement profiles and target agreements and visible new behavior by managers are also part of a holistic and sustainable implementation, to name a few examples.

Holistic view

Rather, it is also important, for example, to include the organization and processes, the activity and task profiles, more time for customer communication and the remuneration and qualification system including target agreements in the changes. Ideally, all four of the above dimensions and their interdependencies should be taken into account and included in HR strategy implementation in HR management.

Examples of formulations

When formulating personal policy statements, concrete, credible and lived statements are necessary and no ideal-typical and interchangeable declarations of intent in impressive business German without reference to reality. The formulation of a personnel strategy should reflect the corporate culture and have a high degree of credibility. Concrete and action-oriented statements and setting priorities are particularly preferable. Example of a vague and interchangeable statement: We attach great importance to personnel development in our company. We use all instruments, take employee needs and corporate goals into account, and ensure that measures are carried out professionally.

Better example of a catchy and concrete statement:

Our company is as efficient as its employees. That is why personnel development is very important to us and is geared towards consolidating our core technological competence, leadership qualifications and market and customer orientation. When choosing our measures, employee and company needs are equally weighted and employees are included in the planning. We also have clear quality standards, prefer modern didactic methods and media and subject personnel development to strict and measurable success control

Choice of topics and activities

Above all, these should include and reflect the corporate culture, employee understanding, management philosophy and values. But also strengths / weaknesses and opportunities / risks, priorities of planned activities and projects, optimizations and innovations and realignments should be discussed. Since a personnel strategy is always derived from the overarching corporate strategy and its goals, topics and activities should always be related to them (changes, innovations, realignments, digitization and more). It may be that the digital transformation requires new skills from employees, new priorities must be set in personnel development and change management, for example, is gaining in importance for executives.


A very comprehensive overview of many HR topics and current trends
The site also provides suggestions for an HR strategy
Tasks and trends in personnel management from PRAXIUM Verlag.


The present personnel strategy, formulated from A-Z, shows in a practical and systematic manner,
which can be the focal points, goals and activities of a human resource management strategy.


Here you can find the template for a personnel strategy below