Human Resource Planning: Quantitative and Qualitative Dimensions
Human Resource Planning (HRP) is the process of forecasting the future human resource requirements of the organization and determining as to how the existing human resource capacity of the organization can be utilized to fulfill these requirements. It, thus, focuses on the basic economic concept of demand and supply in context to the human resource capacity of the organization.
It is the HRP process which helps the management of the organization in meeting the future demand of human resource in the organization with the supply of the appropriate people in appropriate numbers at the appropriate time and place. Further, it is only after proper analysis of the HR requirements can the process of recruitment and selection be initiated by the management. Also, HRP is essential in successfully achieving the strategies and objectives of organization. In fact, with the element of strategies and long term objectives of the organization being widely associated with human resource planning these days, HR Planning has now became Strategic HR Planning.
Though, HR Planning may sound quite simple a process of managing the numbers in terms of human resource requirement of the organization, yet, the actual activity may involve the HR manager to face many roadblocks owing to the effect of the current workforce in the organization, pressure to meet the business objectives and prevailing workforce market condition. HR Planning, thus, help the organization in many ways as follows:-
- HR managers are in a stage of anticipating the workforce requirements rather than getting surprised by the change of events
- Prevent the business from falling into the trap of shifting workforce market, a common concern among all industries and sectors
- Work proactively as the expansion in the workforce market is not always in conjunction with the workforce requirement of the organization in terms of professional experience, talent needs, skills, etc.
- Organizations in growth phase may face the challenge of meeting the need for critical set of skills, competencies and talent to meet their strategic objectives so they can stand well-prepared to meet the HR needs
- Considering the organizational goals, HR Planning allows the identification, selection and development of required talent or competency within the organization.
It is, therefore, suitable on the part of the organization to opt for HR Planning to prevent any unnecessary hurdles in its workforce needs. An HR Consulting Firm can provide the organization with a comprehensive HR assessment and planning to meet its future requirements in the most cost-effective and timely manner.
An HR Planning process simply involves the following four broad steps
- Current HR Supply: Assessment of the current human resource availability in the organization is the foremost step in HR Planning. It includes a comprehensive study of the human resource strength of the organization in terms of numbers, skills, talents, competencies, qualifications, experience, age, tenures, performance ratings, designations, grades, compensations, benefits, etc. At this stage, the consultants may conduct extensive interviews with the managers to understand the critical HR issues they face and workforce capabilities they consider basic or crucial for various business processes.
- Future HR Demand: Analysis of the future workforce requirements of the business is the second step in HR Planning. All the known HR variables like attrition, lay-offs, foreseeable vacancies, retirements, promotions, pre-set transfers, etc. are taken into consideration while determining future HR demand. Further, certain unknown workforce variables like competitive factors, resignations, abrupt transfers or dismissals are also included in the scope of analysis.
- Demand Forecast: Next step is to match the current supply with the future demand of HR, and create a demand forecast. Here, it is also essential to understand the business strategy and objectives in the long run so that the workforce demand forecast is such that it is aligned to the organizational goals.
- HR Sourcing Strategy and Implementation: After reviewing the gaps in the HR supply and demand, the HR Consulting Firm develops plans to meet these gaps as per the demand forecast created by them. This may include conducting communication programs with employees, relocation, talent acquisition, recruitment and outsourcing, talent management, training and coaching, and revision of policies. The plans are, then, implemented taking into confidence the mangers so as to make the process of execution smooth and efficient. Here, it is important to note that all the regulatory and legal compliances are being followed by the consultants to prevent any untoward situation coming from the employees.
Hence, a properly conducted process of HR Planning by an HR Consulting Firm helps the organization in meeting its goals and objectives in timely manner with the right HR strength in action.
(i) The Economic Considerations relating to determination of economic situation and in the light of that future sales and production estimates are made. These estimates affect manpower requirements.
(ii) Expansion programmes in future also affect future manpower requirements.
(iii) Availability of existing manpower resources of different kinds should be kept in mind. This is helpful in forecasting future manpower requirements.
(iv) Rate of labour turnover is an important instrument with the help of which estimates with regard to future manpower requirements can be made. It provides required information statistically i.e. how many employees have left and joined the organization during a specific period of time. Labour turnover rates are calculated by applying separation method, replacement approach and flux method. In the light of labour turnover rate future manpower requirements can be estimated,
(v) Resignations and retirements, promotion, demotion, separation, transfers, dismissals and lay off etc. are other important considerations to be borne in mind before initiating the process of human resources planning.
(vi) Changes in the management thinking, philosophy and plans etc. also affect manpower plans. Technological changes and diversifications etc. bring about changes in the skills and performance of workers.
(i) Work-load analysis. It is a technical aspect of manpower planning. It includes and studies auditing of human resources, study of work standards and demand analysis etc.
(ii) Auditing of Employees Involves Preparation of Skill Inventory. Skill inventory covers data regarding skill and work priorities pertaining to work of different categories of workers. Big organizations prepare organizational charts and other employee information cards for this purpose.
(iii) Study of work standards is necessary for the quality of workers required. It is indispensable for preparing job analysis which includes job specifications and job descriptions.