Human resource planning is the responsibility of all managers. It focuses on the demand and supply of labor and involves the acquisition, development and departure of people. This is recognized as a vital HR function as the success of an organisation depends on its employees.
The purpose of HR planning is to ensure that a predetermined number of persons with the correct skills are available at a specified time in the future. Thus, HR planning systematically identifies what must be done to guarantee the availability of the human resources needed by an organisation to meet its strategic business objectives. To achieve this HR planning cannot be undertaken in isolation. It must be linked to the organisation’s overall business strategy, and concentrate on the organisation’s long-range human resource requirements.
Read More: Introduction to Human Resource Planning
Process of Human Resource Planning
Human Resource Planning is a continuous process. The manager responsible for human resource planning has to be concerned doing some exercise in this regard every time. He may have to revise employment plan and training and development programme from time to time depending upon the changes in circumstances such as sudden changes in the volume of production, unexpected high rate of labour turnover, obsolescence of existing skills and so on. A brief explanation of the steps of the human resource planning process in given below:
1. Job Analysis
Job analysis is the qualitative aspect of manpower requirements since it determines the demands of a job in terms of responsibilities and duties and then translates these demands in terms of skills, qualities and other human attributes. It helps in determining the number and kinds of jobs and qualifications needed to fill these jobs because with the help of job analysis it is known that what is the quantum of work which an average person can do on a job in a day. It facilitates the division of work into different jobs. Thus, it is an essential element of effective manpower planning. At managerial levels, accurate job descriptions help in preparation of inventories of executive talent.
Job analysis may be defined as a process of discovering and identifying the pertinent information relating to the nature of a specific job. It is the determination of the tasks which comprise the job and of the skills, knowledge, abilities and responsibilities required of the worker for successful performance of the job. The process of job analysis is essentially one of data collection and then analyzing that data. It provides the analyst with basic data pertaining to specific jobs in terms of duties, responsibilities, skills, knowledge, etc. Thus data may be classified as follows:
- Job identification.
- Nature of the job.
- Operations involved in doing the job.
- Materials and equipment to be used in doing the job.
- Personal attributes required to do the job, e.g., education, training, physical strength, mental capabilities, etc.
- Relation with the other jobs.
The information relating to a job which is thus classified, if examined carefully, would suggest that some information relates to the job and some concerns the individual doing the job. The requirements of a job are known as Job Description and the qualities demanded from the job holder are termed as Job Specification. Thus job description and job specification are the immediate products of job analysis.
2. Skill Inventory
The scarcity of talent, difficulty of discovering it and the time required to develop it fully have forced big organisations to think about their manpower in a systematic way. They attempt to know the inventory of man power resources, develop and appraise their executives, draw up management succession plans and calculate .the replacements that will be needed because of retirements and other causes. To understand the nature of the recruitment and development problems, it is necessary to determine the inventory of different skills and talents existing in the organisation. The management must try to develop in advance the talented employees to occupy the managerial positions in the future. It can not longer rely upon finding talented manpower just when it is needed. Systematic steps must be taken in order to ensure that a reservoir of talent within the organisation must be continuous. Thus, the identification of manpower potential within the organisation is a critical factor for the long range success of any organisation.
3. Personnel (Manpower) Forecasting
In order to forecast the number of personnel required at a particular plant, the work-load analysis will have to be done, and on the basis of work-load of the plant, work-force analysis will have to be carried out.
(a) Work-load Analysis: In work-load analysis, the manpower planning expert needs to find out sales forecasts, work schedules and thus determine the manpower required per unit of product. The sales forecasts are translated into work performance for the various departments of the enterprise. In a manufacturing enterprise, one shall first find out the master schedule and then hours in terms of different skills required. Workload analysis is used to determine how many employees of various types are required to achieve total production targets. Similarly, plans are made concerning the amount of work that each other part (marketing department, purchase department, etc.) of the organisation is expected to accomplish during the coming year. It is essential to determine the work-load in some tangible units so that they may be translated into manhours required per unit. Past experience can, of course, be utilized for translating work-loads into manhours required.
To take an illustration, let us assume that the annual production budget of a company is 1,00,000 units. The standard manhours required to complete a unit of the product are 2 hours. The past experience reveals that a worker on an average can contribute about 2,000 hours per year. The work-load may be calculated as under:
Annual Production Budget – 1,00,000 units
Standard Manhours required per unit – 2 hrs. :
Planned Manhours for the year (a x b) – 2,00,000 hrs.
Annual contribution of a worker – 2,000 hrs.
No. of workers required (c/d) – 100
Thus, 100 workers’ are needed throughout the year to meet he production target of 1,00,000 units. But this figure cannot be relied upon fully as the actual production is influenced by many other factors such as availability of inputs and power, breakdown of machinery, strike, lockout, etc. Nonetheless, work- load analysis is quite suitable for short-term projection of manpower requirements. Long-term projections can be made with the help of workforce analysis.
(b) Work-force Analysis: In the above illustration, we came to the conclusion that 100 workers are required to make 1,00,000 units in a year. Assuming that all other factors are favourable, this conclusion is illusory because it is almost certain that all the 100 workers will not be available on all working days because of the two major problems: (i) Absenteeism, and (ii) Labour Turnover. Both these factors operate to rescue the number of workers available. Therefore, it is essential to do the analysis of work-fore in the light of these major problems. In other words, it is necessary to keep a sufficient margin for absenteeism, labour turnover and idle time on the basis of past experience. If it is essential to keep a margin of 20% of the manpower required as per work-load analysis, the company must ensure that it has atleast 120 workers on its payroll to meet the annual production target.
4. Employment Plan
This phase deals with planning how the organisation can obtain the required number of right types of personnel as reflected by the personnel forecasting. In other words, there is a need to prepare programme of recruitment, selection, training, transfer and promotion so that personnel needs of various departments of the organisation are met.
5. Training and Development of Personnel
The preparation of skill inventory helps in identifying the training and development needs of the organisation. Training for learning new skills and for refreshing the memory is necessary not only for new employees but also for existing employees. Executive development programmes have to be devised for the development of managerial personnel.