Human Resource Planning

Human Resource Planning

Human resource planning (HRP), also known as ‘man-power planning’, is the process of anticipating and carrying out the movement of people into, within, and out of the organization. It is carried out in the organization for achieving the optimum use of man-power and to have the correct number and types of employees needed to meet organizational operational needs as well as to meet its goal and objectives.

One of the major issues which confront an organizational management is to match people in the organization with the jobs in an effective way so that the organizational performance is not only sustained but also improved upon. HRP is the process by which management attempt to provide for the man-power to accomplish different organizational task.

Several organizations face problems since they have not systematically planed their man-power needs. Planning is the first and a very important function of management. Planning prepares the management for the future. It involves the development of strategy and procedures needed for effective realization of the entire organizational plan.

The performance of an organization is directly related to the quantity and quality of its man-power. People in the organization need to be utilized to the maximum possible extent in order to accomplish individual and organizational objectives. It is the only the human resource which appreciate with time if sufficient care is taken to impart skill and knowledge. Planning of the man-power is one of the major managerial responsibilities so as to ensure adequate availability of personnel at the right time both in terms of their quality and aptitude.

HRP is the managing of human resource which is an important function of the entire organization. It also includes the process of identifying, maintaining, and improving the knowledge, skill, and the ability of the employees in the work-place. The improvement of these qualities of the employees is to be related to the organizational goal and objectives.  HRP is a more forward-looking approach than HRM (human resource management). HRP assesses the human resource requirement in advance keeping in view the market condition, production schedule, level of motivation of the employees, and availability of resources. HRP is the integral part of the overall organizational plan.

HRP is a kind of risk management which involves realistically appraising the present and anticipating the future (as far as possible). Through HRP, organizational management strives to have the right number and the right type of people, at the right places, at the right time, and doing things which result in both the organization and the individual receiving maximum long-run benefits.

HRP has a double-edge since when used properly, it leads not only to proper utilization of man-power which improves performance, productivity, and profit of the organization. On the other hand, if HRP is ignored or not done properly can bring disastrous results for the organization. These disastrous results include disruption in the flow of work, lower production, lesser job satisfaction, higher cost of production, and constant problems for the organization management. Hence, for the success of the organization HRP is very important for the management.

Several HRM personnel have defined the concept of HRP. Some of these definitions are given below.

Vetter has defined in 1967 HRP as ‘the process by which management determines how the organization should move from its current manpower position to its desired position to carry out integrated plan of the organization’.

Malthus and Jackson have defined man-power planning as ‘the process of analyzing and identifying the need for the availability of human resources so that the organization can meet its human resources objectives’.

Griffin has defined HRP as ‘a plan which involves accessing trends, forecasting the supply, demand for labour and the development of appropriate strategy for addressing any differences’.

Coleman has defined HRP as ‘the process of determining manpower requirements and the means for meeting those requirements in order to carry out the integrated plan of the organization’.

Bulla and Scott have defined HRP as ‘the process for ensuring that the human resource requirements of an organization are identified and plans are made for satisfying those requirements’.

Reilly has defined HRP as ‘a process in which an organization attempts to estimate the demand for labour and evaluate the size, nature and sources of supply which will be required to meet the demand’.

As per Geisler, ‘manpower planning is the process – including forecasting, developing and controlling by which a firm ensures that it has- the right number of people, the right kind of people, at the right places, at the right time, doing work for which they are economically most useful’.

As per Wickstrom, ‘human resource planning consists of a series of activities- forecasting the future manpower requirements, making an inventory and assessing the present manpower resources, anticipating manpower problems and actual planning the programmes’.

Ehegbunna has defined HRP as ‘having the right person in the right number, in the right place and at the right time’.

Olutola has stated that HRP normally refers to ‘the projection of future requirement for a given number of people with specific skill to meet the demand of various sector of the economy’.

Ogunniyi has said that ‘HRP is a concept that involves critical analysis of supply, demand, surplus, shortage, wastage, and utilization of human resources’.

The salient features of different definitions of HRP are that (i) HRP is a systematic approach, (ii) it ensures a continuous and proper staffing, (iii) it avoids or checks on occupational imbalances (shortage or surplus) occurring in any of the department of the organization, (iv) there is a visible continuity in the process, (v) there is a certain degree of flexibility, i.e., it is subject to modifications according to needs of the organization or the changing circumstances, and (vi) man-power plans can be done at micro-level or the macro-level depending upon different environmental factors.

Features of HRP – HRP consists of a series of activities. Fig 1 shows theoretical model of HRP which gives its important features.

Fig 1 Theoretical model of HRP

The importance of HRP can be clearly identified by looking into its features and objectives. The different features of HRP are summarized as given below.

Forecasting of the future manpower needs, either in terms of mathematical projections of trends in the economic environment and developments in industry, or in terms of judgmental estimates based upon the specific future plans of the organization. For forecasting future manpower needs, people use mathematical projections normally applied in ‘business economics’ and ‘quantitative techniques’, to project trends in the economic environment and development of the industry.

Making an inventory of present manpower resources and assessing the extent to which these resources are employed optimally.

Anticipating manpower issues by projecting present resources into the future and comparing them with the forecast needs to determine their adequacy, both quantitatively and qualitatively. Staffing needs are to be anticipated sufficiently in advance to permit the recruitment and development of fully qualified personnel.

Procuring competent personnel needs positive recruitment efforts and the development of a variety of recruitment sources keeping in mind that the recruitment activities is integrated with diversity and equal employment opportunity initiatives. These sources for recruitment are to consider not only the nature and conditions of the external man-power market, but also the presence of qualified personnel who are available in the organization to fill vacancies through internal promotions or transfers.

Planning of the necessary programmes of requirements, selection, training, development, utilization, transfer, promotion, motivation, and compensation for ensuring that the future man-power needs are properly met. Planning is important in designing an environment for the effective performance of individuals working together in groups with the most essential task of an executive being to see that everyone understands the groups purposes and objective and its methods of attaining them.

Hence, in the context of HRP, planning (i) ensures optimum use of people, (ii) forecast future requirements, (iii) provides control measures about availability of man-power in time when the organization is expanding its scale of operations, (iv) helps determine recruitment / induction levels, (v) anticipates redundancies / surpluses / obsolescence, (vi) determines training levels and works as a foundation for management development programmes, (vii) helps in knowing the cost of man-power so that the budgetary allocation can be made, (viii) helps in the assessment of welfare activities which include accommodation requirements, and (ix) management decisions. In addition, HRP prepares people for future challenges. The high performers can be picked, mentored, and kept ready for leading positions in the organization in future.

HRP is necessary for the organization since it is needed for recruitment. Without it, it is not known how many people are to be recruited. HRP helps measurement for determining (i) number of employees, (ii) the level of experience which each of the employees is required to have, (iii) grades and levels in the organization in which the employees are to be recruited, and (iv) the best way to utilize them in an activity where their skills are not only utilized but also improved upon.

Concept of HRP – HRP is the most important element in a successful HRM system. A survey in 1980s reported that 85 % of CEOs (chief executive officer) have listed HRP as one of the most critical management functions. This opinion of the CEOs is still valid today. The concept of HRP states that it is the process by which the organization ensures that it has the right number and right kind / type of people in right places, at the right time, effectively performing organizational tasks and helping in the achievement of organizational goal and objectives.

In the past, HRP tended to be a reactive process. It was being done as per the operational needs but at the eleventh hour. As an example, earlier if an organization decided to expand, man-power planning was done only after the expansion is about to be completed. Today, with the changes in the industrial scenario, the competitive marketing environment demands the integration of HRP with the organizational planning.

HRP is now a forward-looking function which helps in assessing the man-power requirements in advance which, in turn, helps the schedules of organizational activities, market analysis as well as the expansion / acquisition plans. For addressing the human resource concerns systematically, organizations today have started adopting short-term and long-term solutions. This is being done to take into account the rapid changes which are taking place in technology as well as in the specifications of the products needed by the market.

The purpose of HRP is to assess the future supplies and demands for man-power in connection with where the organization is presently and where it is required to go with its implications on human resource. Attempts are made to match the supplies and demands, making them compatible with the future needs of the organization.

Importance of HRP – For the achievement of the organizational objectives, the major input needed in an organization is the human resource in addition to other resources. The organization which ignores HRP and does not give it the needed importance, fails in achieving its objectives. This is since organizations are created by and composed of people, which is the most valuable asset of the organization. Hence, the availability of the man-power is to be sufficient for ensuring healthy functioning of the organization and this is only possible if the organizational management gives the needed importance to HRP. If HRP is done properly, it helps in anticipating future market requirements and environmental demands of the organization and provides qualified people to satisfy those demands.

The specific benefits of HRP are (i) talent inventory, i.e., to assess the present man-power in the organization, the skills, abilities, and potentials of the employees and to analyze how the human resource is being used; (ii) forecast of the man-power, i.e., to predict future human resource requirements – the number and type of employees needed and to prepare these employees to meet the needs of the organization and make them sufficiently skilled for facing the unforeseen challenges, (iii) preparing the action plans for proper recruitment, selection, transfer, promotion, training, and development of man-power, (iv) creating a pool of qualified applicants and make them interested for the projected vacancies, (v) acting like a control device by providing feed-back on the overall effectiveness of HRP by monitoring the degree of attainment of human resource objectives, (vi) ensuring continuous supply of the needed man-power with requisite skills during the re-structuring and expansion of the organization, and (vii) cost control by avoiding excess / short supply of man-power.

Objectives of HRP – The basic objective of HRP is to properly estimate the number, type, and skill of human resource needed by the organization for its continuous growth. The objectives for which HRP is carried out in the organizations include (i) predicting the man-power needs for the organization to ensure availability of right kind of people at right places in right time, (ii) preparing people to meet the challenges of changes in technology, environment, socio-political scenario, and statutory regulations effectively, (iii) using the existing man-power effectively through ‘human resource inventory’ which helps in cost control while minimizing the wastage of man-power, and (iv) preparing effective action plans for recruitment, selection, training and development, wage and salary administration, performance management, and separation.

Types of HRP – There are different types of HRP which consist of (i) strategic HRP, (ii) tactical HRP, (iii) short-range HRP, and (iv) long-range HRP.

Strategic HRP – The pace of change has accelerated in recent times. Strategic HRP is about changing the policies of the organization to prepare it for the future, so that the organization can keep pace with the changes. Strategic HRP includes (i) defining of the philosophy of the organization (ii) formulation of statements of purpose and objectives, (iii) evaluation of strengths and weaknesses (SWOT analysis) to assess the competitive position of the organization, (iv) development of the strategies to achieve the objectives in time and with cost-effectiveness, and (v) development of the action plans and their evaluation processes.

Strategic HRP emphasizes on growth. It goes along with the overall strategic planning of the organization. Through future oriented or strategic job analysis and expansion / growth plans, the man-power need is analyzed. Besides these, external challenges like economic developments, political-statutory-social and technological changes are analyzed and strategic plans are prepared accordingly. This includes right sizing the human resource in the organization after need analysis is carried out.

Tactical HRP – It is also known as operational planning which addresses issues associated with the growth or additional operating facilities in the organization, as well as with any specific issue which can adversely affect the pace of planned growth. Development of new recruitment and selection processes for attracting the best talents, rescheduling the compensation administration, redesigning the jobs having more freedom and challenges, restructuring the training and development plans, and new policies for right-sizing of the man-power along with re-deployment and separation plans for redundant employees are the examples of tactical HRP.

Tactical HRP is needed to match with the overall organizational plans, since it considers such issues as (i) the implications of strategic organizational plan on human resource, (ii) how to face the internal and external issues, and (iii) what is to be done in the short term to prepare the organization for the future effective operations.

Short-range HRP – It consists of the tactical plans / action plans prepared for managing the day-to-day and routine issues of the organization, whereas the long-run plans help in developing continuous growth-oriented strategies. Short-term HRP is concerned with the process of matching the existing employees with their present jobs so that they perform efficiently. There need to be perfect correlation between the jobs and individuals. It is the responsibility of the management to adjust employees with the jobs in the short term. In the present-day scenario, it is very difficult to retrench employees by the management because of the statutory constraints and social obligations. Hence, some adjustments in the jobs are to be made in the short run to accommodate the employees. The steps which can be taken for successful implementation of short-term HRP include the following.

When employee is less qualified as compared to job specifications, then the step which is to be taken is to train the employees for improvement in their performance. In case the job is not liked by the employee, it is required to be changed. In such case, transfer and demotion help in the adjustment of employees. In case of larger responsibility or high work load, the employee can be provided with assistants to help him.

Sometimes the employee is more qualified than the skill requirements of a job, i.e., the abilities and skills of the employee are not being utilized to the fullest extent. In such cases, certain actions can be taken for making adjustments. These actions include (i) job enlargement, i.e., scope of the job undertaken by the employee can be widened, (ii) if there is a vacant position in the organization at a higher level, the employee can be transferred on promotion to the position at the higher level, (iii) advice and counselling can be required for the employee, and (iv) the employee can be given additional temporary assignments, till appropriate job is searched for and given to the employee.

Long-range HRP – Under long-range HRP, management has enough time to make needed adjustments by taking necessary actions. Long-range HRP covers a longer period for correcting an issue concerning the man-power requirements. The suggested actions in case of long-range HRP are described below.

The first action is the projecting of the need of the man-power. For this, the initial action is to develop the organizational structure which meets the future man-power requirements in the best possible manner. The basic aim is to keep pace with the changes expected to take place in future. However, because of the rapid technological advancement taking place at present, it is not an easy task to predict accurately future jobs creation for the organization. Edwin. B. Flippo has rightly said ‘that some organizations claim that executive man-power needs are too intangible to forecast, that management cannot be defined or planned for in any constructive manner’.

It can be pointed out that if the process of man-power planning is systematically undertaken, it brings about the expected results. An analysis of the different issues in the process of HRP can be helpful in projecting the future man-power need of an organization. These issues include (i) rate of loss of man-power because of retirement, separation, resignation and retrenchment is to be predicted and need for replacement is to be kept in mind, (ii) need of new man-power requirements over and above the replacements is to be predicted, and (ii) job specifications, i.e., qualifications and abilities needed for different types of jobs are to be clearly laid down.

The next action point is the inventory analysis of man-power. Man-power inventory analysis involves the appraising of personnel by cataloguing their characteristics by incorporating their educational and professional qualifications. The man-power inventory includes counting of number of employees available at present in each of the category. It not only includes counting of the number but it extends to the determination of the employees’ (to be included in the inventory) systematic and detailed appraisal (after cataloguing them) along with a detailed study of those employees who possess good potential for development. In short, the man-power inventory analysis provides valuable information pertaining to the present and future employees of the organization. The information need not be very accurate but it is valuable since it provides basis for the recruitment, selection, promotion, and training processes to be followed in the organization in the days to come.

The next action point is the recruitment and selection of the employees. Long-range HRP establishes proper procedures for the processes of recruitment and selection. It brings about systematic and scientific recruitment and selection techniques, which in turn helps in appointing in the organization the best amongst the available candidates.

The next action point is the training and the development of the employees. HRP is concerned with training and development of the employees for taking up of the new and challenging tasks and responsibilities in future. Well trained employees are invaluable assets for the organization.

HRP approaches – Theoretically, HRP presents three options in front of a human resource manager. These are (i) to treat any social programme like education / health as a consumable goods and so demand for such is the public (consumer) demand for more schools / hospitals or other such facilities, (ii) to view such a programme as an investment and evaluate it in terms of return on the investment, and (iii) to consider the skilled manpower as basic input for production of goods or providing quality services. Accordingly, there are three approaches for HRP which are (i) social demand approach, (ii) rate of return approach, and (iii) man-power requirement approach.

Social demand approach relies on the assessment of the need of the society for the programme. It is an aggregate of the demands of an individual which is not possible to calculate. Hence, this approach depends on the assessment of trends and projection of social demand for the programme. This approach is applicable for planning the human resource of the society in general in relation to solve a social issue. This is a very complex system which depends on several social factors related to the programme. As an example, the educational programme although decided on public (consumer) demand is influenced by contingent conditions like direct costs of education, grants to the students, existing admission process, and standards etc. Hence, the social demand approach suffers from the difficulties associated with any futurological exercises. This approach is more intended to create social capital for meeting future contingencies and development of the society.

Rate of return approach considers the social programme as a contributor to productivity and facilitates investment decisions in it. As an example, investment in education contributes towards expansion of facilities and its return is through direct monetary benefit (like extra life-time earnings received which can be attributed to the investment). However, rate of return approach is only indicative of relative priorities. This analysis does not take cognizance of supply and demand of skills in the man-power market. Hence, it is doubtful whether such an approach is effective in making investment decisions. The approach is more a calculative one to look at ‘return on investment’ (ROI).

The third approach is the man-power requirements approach. There is a definite link between organizational growth and man-power requirement and growth. The basic steps involved in this exercise are (i) anticipating the direction and magnitude of the development, (ii) evolving norms for employing man-power and (iii) estimating man-power requirements etc.

These three approaches are based on assumptions of the distant unknown future. Hence, any error in judgment seriously affects the balance of human resource resulting in either excess supply or excess demand. Excess of any of these is very difficult to manage. However, man-power requirement approach is more relevant for industrial organization.

HRP process – HRP is influenced by the organizational planning. In spite of its unique characteristics and specific applications, it is to be linked with the normal organizational plan. Fig 2 shows the relationship between the organizational planning and HRP.

Fig 2 Relationship between the organizational planning and HRP

The middle-range operational planning flows from long-range strategic planning of the organization. The short-range annual budgets mention specifically about time-tables, allocation of resources and ways / standards of implementing the other two plans. At the organizational plan level, HRP looks at the issues relating to future operational needs, external factors like social trends and demography, and measuring the internal availability of employees in the long run.

At the operational level, HRP is concerned with detailed forecast of employee availability and employee demand. Specific action plans are prepared based on these forecasts. This includes all the functional areas of HRM. However, HRP is influenced by several external and internal factors which influence the organization. Fig 3 shows external and internal factors influencing HRP.

Fig 3 External and internal factors influencing HRP

The objective of HRP is to ensure (i) to get and retain the human resource of required quality and quantity in the organization in the right time and at the right place, (ii) to make optimum utilization of got human resource for the purpose of the organization, and (iii) to develop right kind of human resource to meet the performance needs, as and when needed.

The process of human resource planning consists of several actions which include (i) demand forecasting, (ii) supply forecasting, (iii) determination of the human resource gap, (iv) formulation of the action plans, and (v) monitoring and review of the plans.

HRP process starts from deciding on the planning horizon, i.e., the period for which the plan is going to be applied. It is to be integrated with the organizational plan. The projection for demand and supply of human resource can be prepared after knowing the organizational plans and strategies. The difference found between the two estimates is known as human resource gap. The gap can be bridged through a proper recruitment and training plan (if demand exceeds supply) or are redundancy plan (if supply exceeds demand). The stages in HRP are inter-related and frequently overlap. Fig 4 shows the stages in the HRP process.

Fig 4 Stages in the HRP process

Forecasting the human resource demand – HRP is influenced by the external challenges and internal challenges faced by the organization. Forecasting of the human resource demand refers to the process of estimating the need for human resource in the future within in the context of organizational and functional plans. The demand for human resource at different levels is mainly because of several factors described below.

External challenges are because of the economic development, socio-political and technological changes, and market competition. Economic development refers to the changes taking place because of the globalization and liberalization. These changes have caused opening up of markets, capital market reforms, and on-line trading etc. These changes have demanded establishment and expansion of manufacturing and service industries which have, in turn, led to a demand for better qualified, professionally trained man-power.

Socio-political and technological changes refer to the changes which are taking place in social, political, and legal environment as well as advancement in the area of technology. The legal provisions call for specific recruitment where-as advancement in the area of technology needs specific skills and lesser requirement of man-power.

Market competition is the result of the open market economy which has brought benefits to the customers but it has raised the issue of the survival of the organization in the market. Man-power cost and skill management have become two major issues because of the market competition.

Internal challenges which the organization faces since the man-power requirements for a given level of activities / operations vary in the same organization over a period of time or amongst the competing organizations depending on the production technologies, processes, and market analysis etc. HRP is to refer to the expected changes in production or manpower levels arising because of the changes in methods and technologies. As an example, the modernization programme in an organization influences the human resource which can cause forced right sizing to be incorporated in HRP.

HRP calls for management decisions. HRP is required to take into account the strategic plans, expansion strategies, and production and sales forecasts. For example, acquisition or merger can necessitate the re-structuring and right-sizing of the manpower. Further, venturing into production of new products can give rise to a demand for new skills.

Internal factors related to man-power such as separation because of retirement, resignation, termination, and prolonged absence, etc. also influences the demand forecast for man-power.

Job analysis – Job analysis is the foundation of several functions of human resource. Human resource inventory talks about which of the employee can do what and where, where-as job analysis talks about the fundamentals of the jobs including the behavioural expectations needed to perform the jobs. The term job analysis refers to the process of getting information about the jobs in the organization. It is the formal study of all the aspects of the jobs. It provides information on the tasks to be performed and the human aspects needed to perform such tasks. The written summary of task requirements is called job description and that of human resource requirement is called job specification as shown in Fig 5a. Job description and job specification are the two aspects of job analysis.

Fig 5 Job analysis and flows of man-power

There is no standard format for job description. However, it normally includes, (i) job title, (ii) job position, (iii) job summary, (iv) job activities, (v) working conditions, and (vi) social environment. Job specification is the process which describes the human attributes in the form of education (knowledge), training, experience, abilities, and skills needed to perform a particular job.

Developing a complete and accurate job specification helps in a more objective assessment of job requirements. If this is not done correctly, it makes recruitment more expensive. Unnecessary reflections of high qualifications, training, and experience result in reducing the number of applications, leaving a limited choice. As human attributes are expected to match the job profile, it is required to be done more accurately. Accurate assessment facilitates other human resource processes. Job analysis information has a direct impact on the effective planning and recruitment of man-power in the organization.

Job analysis process – Job analysis is required to be done regularly in the organization. In the past, because of slow pace of development, jobs have been found to be static and have been designed in a manner so that there is no change. People have been changing but jobs have remained static. Presently, jobs are changing for accommodating the changes in technology, agreements between the employee associations and the management, and the work environment.

The pace of change in technology has required change in nature of the job as well as the skill and knowledge needed to perform the job. As an example, manual typing has been replaced by computers and the administration’s acceptance of e-governance system brought new demand for a change in qualifications, and skills etc. Under agreements between the employee associations and the management, the work conditions, nature of jobs and responsibility factors have changed. This has resulted into rewriting the summary of the job description and job specification. Also, the man-power available has to change its characteristics as far as qualification, skill, and experience etc. are concerned. Work environment is now more performance-driven. Hence, it is necessary to consider the above changing factors while going for a job analysis. There are six steps involved in the process of job analysis which are described below.

The first step is the organizational analysis. It is necessary to get an overall picture of jobs in the organization along with the inter-relationships among them and their contributions towards the organizational objectives. The organization chart and process charts give such inputs for this purpose.

The second step is the development of clarity on the uses of the job analysis information. Job analysis information can be used for all human resource functions. But there need to be clarity on how this information is going to be used.

The third step is the selection of jobs for the analysis. Analysis of each individual job is a time-consuming and difficult process. It is, hence, desirable to select job of representative characteristics from different grades for analysis. Single job needs to be analyzed independently.

The fourth step is the collection of the data. Data is essentially collected on the physical aspects and human attributes involved with the job. There are several techniques available for the collection of data. However, it is to be ensured that the data are both accurate and representative.

The fifth step is the preparation of the summary of the job description. The job description sheet is prepared by analyzing the collected information, high-lighting the tasks, duties, and responsibilities etc. needed for effective performance of the job by a potential employee.

The sixth step is the preparation of the summary of the job specification. The written statement for job specification is prepared using the collected information, highlighting the human attributes like education, training, experience, and aptitude etc. needed to fit the job for performing the same job analysis, done through the above process, accurately reflects the requirements of the job and helps in other human resource functions.

There are five popular techniques for the collection of information for the job analysis. These techniques are described below.

Job performance – With this technique, the analysts themselves performs the job, under study, and get first-hand exposure to what it demands in the form of the actual task and responsibilities, along with the environmental, social, and physical demands. It is applicable to the jobs which can be learned in a relatively short period of time, but it is not appropriate for jobs which involve extensive training or which are hazardous to perform.

Observation – The analyst observes an individual performer or a group performing a job. The analyst records all details of the job, the tasks, activities, procedures, pace of performance etc. on a prescribed format. This technique is appropriate for jobs which involve manual, standardizing, and cyclic activities. Direct observation helps in having a rich and deep insight into the job.

Interview – In jobs where direct performance or observation is not possible on the part of the analyst, it is necessary to depend on interviewing performers to narrate the different needs of the job. A standard format is used to collect information from the performers involved in the job. Here, questions are restricted only to job-related topics. Data collected from direct source are used to bring out common and critical aspects of the job. This technique helps in getting information on all standard and non-standard physical aspects of the job and the mental work involved in it. The issue in this technique arises when ambiguous questions are asked and inaccurate answers are given by the performers.

Critical incident – For getting information on effective and ineffective behaviour of performer, they are asked to narrate several incidents experienced by them during the performance of a particular job. The information regarding incidents collected from the employees are analyzed along with that on general job areas and a detailed picture on actual job requirements is drawn. It takes considerable time to gather, abstract and categorize the incidents. Also, the process is difficult for the derivation of the normal job behaviour.

Structured questionnaires – The questionnaires list the tasks and behaviour needed for performing the jobs. These are related to what gets done and how it is done. The ratings are done on the basis of a scoring frequency such as importance, level of difficulty, relationship with other jobs, and to the overall performance. The employees are asked to give ratings to the different job dimensions mentioned above. A profile of job requirements is prepared by analyzing the ratings.

One of the most popular behaviour-oriented questionnaires is position analysis questionnaire (PAQ) which contains questions on different aspects namely (i) information inputs, i.e., where and how the performer gets information to do the job, (ii) mental processes, i.e., the reasoning, planning, and decision-making involved in the job, (iii) work input i.e., physical activities as well as the tools or equipments used, (iv) relationship with other employees and jobs (positions), i.e., the reporting / communication / reporting system, (v) job context, i.e., both physical and social aspects involved in the job, and (vi) other job characteristics, i.e., work hours, and responsibility etc.

Each of the above items is measured being given a score on a 5-point scale as per its importance in performing the job. The scale is (i) DNA for ‘does not apply’, (ii) 1 for ‘very minor’, (iii) 2 for ‘low’, (iv) 3 for ‘average’, (v) 4 for ‘high’ and (vi) 5 for ‘extreme’. This technique of measurement is cheaper and quicker to administer than other techniques. It can be administered beyond working hours. The data analyzing can be carried out systematically by using computers which ensures higher level of accuracy.However, the technique of structured questionnaire is time-consuming and expensive to be accurately developed. It can bring confusing answers, if questions are not properly understood by the respondent(s). The above five techniques are popularly used for job analysis. However, the more frequently used are the observation, interview and questionnaire techniques.

Uses of job analysis – Since the job analysis provides a deeper understanding of the behavioural requirements of the jobs, it makes HRM functions easier. Fig 6 shows the uses of the job analysis.

Fig 6 Uses of job analysis

Organizational analysis and job definition – Job requirement analysis helps in getting information on responsibilities and inter-relationships amongst jobs which help in assigning authority and accountability for the jobs. Decisions regarding structure, hierarchical positions, and integration etc. become easier because of this analysis.

Man-power planning – Job analysis provides basic information which helps in man-power (fore-casting the need for man-power in terms of skills and expertise).

Recruitment – The person who is recruiting needs full knowledge of the job and the aspects involved in it, for its smooth and effective performance.

Selection – A fore-cast of job performance provides the basis for selection by understanding the job expectations.

Placement – Job analysis provides a clear understanding on job requirements and ability of individuals to perform, which helps in placing the right man at the right job.

Job evaluation – Job analysis is a pre-requisite for evaluating the jobs and ranking them in terms of their relative worth. This helps in deciding the salary structure.

Performance appraisal and reward system – Job analysis gives an idea on key performance areas and key result areas against which the employees’ performance can be measured and employees can be appropriately rewarded / trained.

Orientation and training – Job analysis explains the job requirements which help in identifying training needs and the process which deals with the specific aspects of jobs. This helps in providing training to existing employees on the needed aspects.

Career planning and development – Job analysis provides the basic understanding on different opportunities involved in terms of career paths. Career planning information is obtained through job analysis. It also helps in several other functions including job classification, job safety, job design, and work-force study etc.

Work study – Work study technique is appropriately used for the jobs which can be measured and for which standardized norms can be fixed and number of people needed can be quantified. This technique is more appropriate for people involved in direct production than for any other category of employees and this technique is used in conjunction with other techniques. This is otherwise known as work-load analysis. Tab 1 gives a simple example of work-load analysis / work study.

Tab 1 A simple example of work-load analysis
Annual planned output30,000 units/ piece
Standard hours per unit2 hours
Planned hours needed60,000 hours
Productive hours per person per annum (allowing for leave, and idle hours etc)1,000 hours (on annual basis)
Number of persons needed60 employees
If the span of control is 20 numbers per executive, then 3 executives are needed

There are three methods for demand forecasting which are (i) managerial judgement, (ii) simple statistical methods, and (iii) mathematical models.

Under managerial judgment method, senior experienced managers prepare guidelines for departmental personnel with approval from organizational management. These guidelines indicate set targets and desirable changes in flow of work. Taking hint from these, the department personnel prepare forecasts with the help from human resource department, and / or work study experts. Simultaneously, human resource department prepares another forecast of the organization-wide demand. The two sets are compared, reconciled and reviewed by senior managers for the final forecast.

Under the simple statistical methods, the normally used method is the ratio trend analysis. It indicates ratios between number of regular and contractual employees, and the number of employees and executives etc. Future ratios are forecasted on time series exploration. Then, the number of employees needed for different groups, and skill levels etc. are calculated., based on the analyzed trend.

Mathematical models are developed based on certain assumptions concerning possible changes in the future. These models show how an organization looks like in terms of its man-power pattern. The modelling techniques include succession analysis, probabilistic analysis, and regression analysis.

In succession analysis, the unit is the data concerning the individual. In probabilistic analysis, the unit is the group of employees, classified as per the organizational units, job categories, places, and levels / grades, etc. Here, the probability of employees moving from one group to another is considered. A matrix or table of human resource flows is determined at specified intervals for future time. Human resource programmes and past trends provide useful data on promotions, transfers, and separations, etc. to form the basis of such analysis.

Regression analysis is used to measure relationships between one or more independent variables to explain a dependent variable. In HRP, regression analysis can be used to correlate man-power requirements with output and revenue etc. This helps in generating alternative scenarios in respect to man-power needs. But the relationship is not always linear and the purpose of analysis is not to present the management with quantitative forecasts.

Man-power supply forecasting – It is about the internal and external supply of man-power to the organization. Fig 5b shows the human resource flows in and out of the organization. Policies relating to each of these human resource aspects need to be analyzed regularly to assess their possible effects on man-power supplies to the organization.

Internal man-power supply forecasts relate to the available man-power in the organization, such as the age distribution of employee, terminations, retirements and new recruitments in the job classes. A reasonable starting point for projecting the future supply of man-power in the organization is its present supply. For this, preparation of human resource inventory with the help of the human resource information system (HRIS) is necessary. This provides information on the profile of the employees in terms of age, sex, education, experience, job level, and performance level etc.

Man-power need arises out of organizational growth, diversification or because of the movement of the employees because of promotion, transfer, and separation etc. The job profile of the vacant position can be matched with available profile of the employees and the need can be fulfilled.

The replacement charts or succession plans are the simplest type of internal supply forecast. These can be developed by setting a planning horizon, identifying replacement of the persons for the positions to be vacated because of above reasons, assessing the present performance and readiness for promotion, identifying career development needs, and integrating career plan of individuals with the organizational goal and objectives. The overall objective of this exercise is to ensure availability of competent and talented person for the future or in time of emergency / immediate needs. Frequent human resource inventory can be carried out for knowledge on the available talented persons in the organization.

Forecasting of external man-power supply is done by looking at the projections of external man-power market to prevent deficit of employees. The recruitment of new employees are necessary along with regular exploration of the man-power market. This is particularly done when the organization does not find the talented persons internally from amongst the available man-power.

Organizations, when becomes successful in anticipating its outside recruitment needs and identifying the possible sources of supply from the man-power market, recruitment of the right number of people at the right time becomes easier. Several agencies regularly make projections of external man-power market conditions and provide information on supply of man-power to be available in normal categories. Professional agencies have also started these projections for other categories of human resource.

Region-specific causes influence the external supply forecasts. Specifically, the migration rate, educational level, technological developments, demand for specific skills, unemployment situation, government policies, and industry image etc. are the factors which influence the supply forecast from external source.

For the determination of the human resource gap, the existing number of human resource and available skills are compared with the needed number and skills bring out the information on human resource gap in the form of deficits or surpluses for the future. The reconciliation of demand and supply of human resource helps the organization in knowing the number of people which needed to be recruited or made redundant as the case can be. This demand and supply forecast can be made for 3 years to 5 years forming the basis for human resource planning for the future. Tab 2 gives the determination of human resource requirements.

Tab 2 Determination of human resource requirements
Sl. No.RequirementsYear
1Number needed at the beginning of the yearDemand
2Changes to requirements forecast during the year
3Total requirements at the end of the year (1 + 2)
4Number available at the beginning of the yearSupply
5Addition from promotion / transfers
6Separations (resignation, retirements / termination)
7Total available at the end of the year (4 + 5 – 6)
8Deficit or surplus (3 – 7)Human resource needed
9Losses of those recruited during the year
10Additional number needed during the year (8 + 9)

Formulating of man-power plans – Organizations are dynamic and adopt changes whenever necessary. Because of technological, economical, and social changes, the plans and programmes undergo changes. These changes influence the man-power requirements. Changes in products / production techniques, employee association agreements, competitive actions, and strategies demand for change in man-power requirements. Once the requirements are analyzed and found out, the man-power plans relating to recruitment, redeployment, redundancy, selection training, productivity, and retention etc. can be drawn up.

Recruitment plan indicates (i) the number and type of people needed, (ii) when they are needed, (iii) special plans to recruit right people, (iv) how they are to be managed, and (v) how the recruitment programme is to be adopted. Selection plan is followed by the recruitment programme. It helps in finding the best out of the available man-power. Re-deployment plan describes the programmes for transfer or re-training of people for new jobs. Redundancy plan indicates who is redundant, where and when. This indicates the plans of re-training, if possible and plans for voluntary retirement scheme (VRS), and retrenchment etc.

Training plans describes the number and types of training needed for new employees, as well as existing employees. It also describes new training materials to be developed, and changes in existing training materials etc. for training of employees as per the needs of the organization. Productivity plans describes programmes for improving employee productivity with effective cost management, through work simplification studies, mechanization and automation, productivity bargaining, incentive and profit showing schemes, and job redesigning etc. Retention plans indicates reasons for employee turnover and methods for avoiding / reducing the same.

Necessary changes are initiated in compensation plans and policies, induction and training, changes in work processes and requirements, and improving work conditions.

Monitoring and evaluation of HRP – The purpose of monitoring and evaluation is to guide man-power planning activities and making it perfect. For measuring the performances, yardsticks are needed. Quantitative and qualitative objectives play important roles in HRP. Quantitative objectives make the control and evaluation process more effective, specific, and precise. Qualitative process makes the system more subjective and demand forecasts are based more on ‘guesses’ than on factual information. Hence, human resource planners need to follow (i) assessing plans to determine their knowledge of present events (problems and opportunities) and to establish priorities, (ii) assessing the working relationships between human resource specialists and line managers, (iii) assessing the integration of organizational plan and HRP, and recommendation, and (iv) how planners perceive on the importance of HRP.

Systematic comparison of objectives and action plans with measured performance helps in monitoring and evaluation. The important factors need to be compared are (i) actual employee position against the forecast requirements, (ii) actual employee-productivity against anticipated level, (iii) actual human resource flow rates against planned rates, (iv) actual implementations against planned programmes, (v) Employee and action programme costs against budgetary provision, and (vi) ratio of action programme benefits to action programme costs.

Effective HRP – Different studies which have been carried out have identified the efficient use of HRP. The effectiveness of HRP is influenced by poor HRIS and frequent changes in technological, political, social, and economic cycles. These issues can be minimized, if the certain guidelines described below are followed.

The first is the integrated objectives. There need to be an integration of HRP with organizational objectives. The organizational culture, climate, work conditions, and employee relationships etc. need to be kept in mind during HRP.

The second is the management support. For the introduction of anything new or, for the continuity of a programme, management support is needed. This is also true in the case of HRP.

The third is the employee skills inventory. This is to be done objectively and accurately to provide proper feedback on the plan.

The fourth is HRIS. All relevant data need to there in HRIS to support the system with facts and figures.

The fifth is coordination. HRP can be done by a separate wing in the organization who coordinates among different functional units for getting right information from these units. When changes are obvious for the organization, the very nature of work changes, resulting in a demand for changes in the number and types of jobs. Hence, for reducing uncertainty and increasing efficiency, attention need to be given on careful analysis of jobs and proper HRP.

Leave a Comment