According to Gorden MacBeath, manpower planning involves two stages.The first stage is concerned with the detailed “planning of manpower requirements for all types and levels of employees throughout the period of the plan,” and the second stage is concerned with “planning of manpower supplies to provide the organisation with the right types of people from all sources to meet the planned requirements.”
According to Vetter, the process by which management determines how the organisation should move from its current manpower position to its desired manpower position. Through planning, management strives to have the right number and the right kinds of people, at the right places, at the right time, doing things which result in both the organisation and the individual receiving maximum long-run benefit.
Coleman has defined human resource or manpower planning as “the process of determining manpower requirements and the means for meeting those requirements in order to carry out the integrated plan of the organisation.”
Stainer defines manpower planning as “Strategy for the acquisition, utilisation, improvement, and preservation of an enterprise’s human resources. It relates to establishing job specifications or the quantitative requirements of jobs determining the number of personnel required and developing sources of manpower.”
According to Wickstrom, human resource planning consists of a series of activities, viz:
(a) Forecasting future manpower requirements, either in terms of mathematical projections of trends in the economic environment and development in industry, or in terms of judgmental estimates based upon the specific future plans of a company;
(b) Making an inventory of present manpower resources and assessing the extent to which these resources are employed optimally;
(c) Anticipating manpower problems by projecting present resources into the future and comparing them with the forecast of requirements to determine their adequacy, both quantitatively and qualitatively; and
(d) Planning the necessary programmes of requirement, selection, training, development, utilization, transfer, promotion, motivation and compensation to ensure that future manpower requirements are properly met.
According to Geisler, manpower planning is the process—including forecasting, developing and controlling—by which a firm ensures that it has the right number of people and the right kind of people at the right places at the right time doing work for which they are economically most useful.
Process of Manpower Planning:
The planning process is one of the most crucial, complex and continuing managerial functions which, according to the Tata Electrical Locomotive Company, “embraces organisation development, managerial development, career planning and succession planning.” The process has gained importance in India with the increase in the size of business enterprises, complex production technology, and the adoption of professional management technique.
It may be rightly regarded as a multi-step process, including various issues, such as:
(A) Deciding goals or objectives
(B) Auditing of the internal resources
(C) Formulation of the recruitment plan
(D) Estimating future organisational structure and manpower requirements
(E) Developing a human resource plan
A. Deciding Goals or Objectives:
The business objectives have been determined; planning of manpower resources has to be fully integrated into the financial planning. It becomes necessary to determine how the human resources can be organised to achieve these objectives.
For this purpose, a detailed organisation chart is drawn and the management of the company tries to determine “how many people, at what level, at what positions and with what kind of experience and training would be required to meet the business objectives during the planning period.” The management of this company considers a time 5 pan of five years as an optimum period for this purpose.
It stresses the specific and standard occupational nomenclature must be used without which “it would not be possible to build a firm-cum-industry-wise manpower resources planning.” It suggests the adoption for this purpose of the international coding of occupations. For a sound manpower planning it considers as a prerequisite the preparation of a manual of job classification and job description with specific reference to individual jobs to be performed.
B. Audit of the Internal Resources:
The next step consists of an audit of the internal resources. A systematic review of the internal resources would indicate persons within the organisations who possesses different or higher levels of responsibilities. Thus it becomes necessary to integrate into the manpower planning process a sound system of performance appraisal as well as appraisal of potential of existing employees.
C. Formulation of the Recruitment Plan:
A detailed survey of the internal manpower resources can ultimately lead to as assessment of the deficit or surplus of personnel for the different levels during the planned period. Whilst arriving at the final figures, it is necessary to take into account the “actual retirements and estimated loss due to death, ill health and turnover, based on past experience and future outlook in relation to company’s expansion and future growth patterns.”
D. Estimating Future Organisational Structure and Manpower Requirements:
The management must estimate the structure of the organisation at a given point of time. For this estimate, the number and type of employees needed have to be determined. Many environmental factors affect this determination. They include business forecast, expansion and growth, design and structural changes, management philosophy, government policy, product and human skills mix, and competition.
E. Developing of Human Resource Plan:
This step refers to the development and implementation of the human resource plan, which consists in finding out the sources of labour supply with a view to making an effective use of these sources. The first thing, therefore, is to decide on the policy— should the personnel be hired from within through promotional channels or should it be obtained from an outside source.
The best policy which is followed by most organisations is to fill up higher vacancies by promotion and lower level positions by recruitment from the labour market. The market is a geographical area from which employers recruit their work force and labour seeks employment.
Factors Affecting Manpower Planning:
Manpower planning exercise is not an easy tube because it is imposed by various factors such as:
- It suffers from inaccuracy because it is very difficult to forecast long-range requirements of personnel.
- Manpower planning depends basically on organisation planning. Overall planning is itself is a difficult task because of changes in economic conditions, which make long term manpower planning difficult.
- It is difficult to forecast about the personnel with the organisation at a future date. While vacancies caused by retirements can be predicted accurately other factors like resignation, deaths are difficult to forecast.
- Lack of top management support also frustrates those in charge of manpower planning because in the absence of top management support, the system does not work properly.
- The problem of forecast becomes more occur in the context of key personnel because their replacement cannot be arranged in short period of time.
Moreover any system requires the support of top management and manpower planning is no exception to this.