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What is Manpower / Human Resources Planning

Manpower planning or HR planning are synonymous. HR planning is
more broad-based. Hereinafter, we will call it Human Resource Planning
or HRP in short.

Human resource planning is the process of anticipating and carrying

out the movement of people into, within, and out of the
organization. Human resources planning is done to achieve the
optimum use of human resources and to have the correct number
and types of employees needed to meet organizational goals.

We also can say that, Human resource planning is the process of

systematically reviewing human resource requirements to ensure that
the required numbers of employees with the required skills are available
when and where they are needed.

Human resource planning includes four factors:

Quantity : How many employees do we need?

Quality : Which skills, knowledge and abilities do we need?

Space : Where do we need the employees?

Time : When do we need the employees? How long do we need


Definition of Human Resources Planning (HRP)

HRP can be defined as the task of assessing and anticipating the skill,
knowledge and labor time requirements of the organization, and
initiating action to fulfill or ‘source” those requirements. Thus, if
the organization as a whole or one of its subsystem is not
performing to the benchmark, in other words, it is declining, it may
need to plan a reduction or redeploys its existing labor force. On the
other hand, if it is growing or diversifying, it might need to find and tap
into a source of suitably skilled labor.

Let’s look into some definitions of HRP as given by different experts.

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Coleman has defined HR/MP 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

Stainer defines manpower planning as “Strategy for acquisition,

utilization, improvement and preservation of an enterprise’s human

Vetter opines that it is the process by which management

determines how the organization should move from its manpower
position to its desired manpower position to carry out integrated plan of
the organization.

According to Geisler, “Manpower planning is the process – including

forecasting, developing and controlling by which a firm ensures that it

• 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”.

Wickstrom very beautifully summarizes the features of HRP,

Forecasting future manpower requirements, where we use

mathematical projections, 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. Procuring competent personnel requires positive
recruitment efforts and the development of a variety of recruitment
sources. These sources must consider not only the nature and
conditions of the external labor market, but also the presence of

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qualified personnel who are available to fill vacancies through internal
promotions or transfers.

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

Planning the necessary programs of requirement, selection,

training, development, utilization, transfer, promotion, motivation and
compensation to ensure that future manpower requirements are
properly met.

We may figure out the leading features of HRP from mentioned


• It’s a systematic approach. Cause it ensures a continuous and

proper staffing. It avoids or checks on occupational imbalances
(shortage or surplus) occurring in any of the department of the

• There is a visible continuity in the process. (Based on Wickstrom’s


• There is a certain degree of flexibility. That is, it is subject to

modifications according to needs of the organization or the
changing circumstances. Manpower plans can be done at micro or
the macro levels depending upon various environmental factors.

Thus, we can summarize that: “HRP is a kind of risk management. It

involves realistically appraising the present and anticipating the future
(as far as possible) in order to get the right people into right jobs at the
right time”. (Reiterating the view of Geisler).

Need / Importance of Human Resources

Planning (HRP)
HRP is a double-edged weapon.

If used properly, it leads not only to proper utilization, but also reduces
excessive labor turnover & high absenteeism, improves productivity
and helps to achieve organizations goal.

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On the other hand, faulty use leads to Disruption in flow of work, lower
productivity, less job satisfaction, lower production & high cost of

Human Resource Planning (HRP) is a needed for following reasons:

• To ensure optimum use of manpower and capitalize on the

strength of HR. The organization can have a reservoir of talent
at any point of time. People skills are readily available to carry
out the assigned tasks, if the information is collected and
arranged beforehand with the help of effective HR Planning.

• To forecast future requirements (this is done by keeping track

of the employee turnover.) and provides control measures
about availability of HR labor time. If, for example the
organization wants to expand its scale of operations, it can go
ahead easily. Advance planning ensures a continuous supply of
people with requisite skills who can handle challenging jobs easily.

• To face the challenges the business is facing due to

turbulent and hostile environmental forces (e.g. technology,
social, economic and political upheaval) impinging on single one
of them. Although planning has always been an essential process
of management, increased emphasis on HRP becomes especially
critical when organizations consider mergers, relocation of plants,
downsizing, or the closing of operating facilities.

• To face Rapid Technological Changes. The myriad changes in

production technologies, marketing methods and management
techniques have been extensive and rapid. Their effect has been
profound on job contents and job contexts. These changes cause
problems relating to redundancies, retraining and redeployment.
All these suggest the need to plan manpower needs intensively
and systematically.

• To face Organizational Changes. In the turbulent environment

marked by cyclical fluctuations and discontinuities, the nature and

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pace of changes in organizational environment, activities and
structures affect manpower requirements and require strategic
considerations means perfect HR Planning.

• To determine recruitment/induction levels. We may explain

this with an example: manager wants to determine what kind of
induction the organization will require at such and such date. If
we have a ready HR plan, we will have fairly good idea what kind
of people are being recruited and at what position. Thus we can
successfully plan our induction level.

• To determine training levels and works as a foundation for

management development programmes

• To know the cost of manpower if there is a new project is

being taken up, example: in cases of expansions or a new
factory, one would naturally requires more human resources,
hence a budgetary allocation can be made in advance for this
upcoming corporate strategic move.

• To assist in productivity bargaining. For example, if a firm is

going fully automated, it can negotiate for lesser workers as
required for the same amount of the job by using the manpower
predictions regarding the same. It can offer higher incentives to
smoothen the process of voluntary layoffs.

• To assess accommodation requirements. We may have a

question, how that can be related to HRP? A good HRP can assist
in solving many problems of the firm, from day to day ones to
very strategic ones, too. For example: an organization decides to
establish its production center in a remote area, an accurate HR
plan can help it to decide how many people will be required there,
and thus start the process of establishing a township for them in
advance. The physical facilities such as canteen, school, medical
help, etc., can also be planned in advance.

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An organization may incur several intangible costs as a result of
inadequate HRP or, for that matter, the lack of HRP. For example,
inadequate HRP can cause vacancies to remain unfilled. The resulting
loss in efficiency can be costly, particularly when the lead-time is
required to train replacements. Situations also may occur in which
employees are laid off in one department while applicants are
hired for similar jobs in another department. This may cause over
hiring and result in the need to lay off those employees to make
effective plans for career or personal development. As a result, some
of the more competent and ambitious ones may seek other
employment where they feel they will have better career opportunities.

From the above discussion we get to the following conclusion.

Manpower planning has maintained its imperatives for several

reasons: (i) a growing awareness of the need to look into the future,
(ii) a desire to exercise control over as many variables as possible
which influence business success or failure, (iii) the development of
techniques which make such planning possible.

Hence, success depends much on proper use of Human Resource


Objectives of Human Resources Planning (HRP)

Objectives of Human Resource Planning are,

• Deciding Goals: Human Resource Planning fulfils individual,

Organizational & National goals.

• Estimating future organizational structure and MP requirements:

It’s related with No of Personnel’s required, job-family, age
distribution of employees (Ex. 20-29), qualification & experience
desired, salary range etc.

• Auditing Human Resources: Once the future needs of HR are

estimated, the next step is to determine the present supply of MP

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resources. This is done through skill inventory. This prevents
overstaffing and understaffing.

• Job Analysis: Job analysis is the process of studying and collecting

department information relating to operations and responsibilities
of a specific job. The immediate products of this analysis are
job description and job specification. Job description is an
organized factual statement of duties and responsibilities of a
specific job, whereas, job specification is a statement of the
minimum acceptable qualities necessary to perform a job

Some other objectives we may mentioned as follows.

• To achieve more effective and efficient use of employees / human


• To better recruit employees who possess the necessary skills and


• To achieve a higher rate of satisfied and better developed


• To facilitate training and development programmes.

• To facilitate the roll-out of strategic plans / missions.

• To achieve more effective equal opportunity planning.

• To relieve the organisation of unnecessary / unneeded labour.

• Ensure organization is responsive to changes in environment.

Based on above discussion we may conclude that objective of HR

planning is to guarantee availability of the HR needs of the
organisation at specified times in the future. Or, Right people in right
place at right time. It is a systematic HR process to help the
organisation meet its business objectives.

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