[Essay] Essay on Human Resource Planning

Read this essay to learn about Human Resource Planning in an Organisation. After reading this essay you will learn about: 1. Definitions of Human Resource Planning 2. Features of Human Resource Planning 3. Need 4. Objectives 5. Factors Affecting 6. Levels 7. Benefits 8. Problems 9. Suggestions.

  1. Essay on Definitions of Human Resource Planning
  2. Essay on Features of Human Resource Planning
  3. Essay on Need for Human Resource Planning
  4. Essay on Objectives of Human Resource Planning
  5. Essay on Factors Affecting Human Resource Planning
  6. Essay on Levels of Human Resource Planning
  7. Essay on Benefits of Human Resource Planning
  8. Essay on Problems in Human Resource Planning
  9. Essay on Suggestions for Making Human Resource Planning Effective

Essay # Definitions of Human Resource Planning:

The following definitions will help to understand properly the concept of human resource planning:

According to Eric W. Vetter, “Human resource planning is the process by which a management determines how an organisation should move from its current manpower position to its desired manpower position. Through planning a management strives to have the right number and the right kinds of people at the right places, at the right time to do things which result in both the organisation and the individual receiving the maximum long range benefit.”

According to Dale S. Beach, “Human resource planning is a process of determining and assuring that the organisation will have an adequate number of qualified persons available at the proper times, performing jobs which meet the needs of the enterprise and which provide satisfaction for the individuals involved.”

According to Leon C. Meginson, “Human resource planning is an integration approach to performing the planning aspects of the personnel function in order to have a sufficient supply of adequately developed and motivated people to perform the duties and tasks required to meet organisational objectives and satisfy the individual needs and goals of organisational members.”

According to G. Stainer, “Manpower planning is the strategy for the acquisition, utilisation, improvement and preservation of an organisation’s human resources. It is aimed at coordinating the requirements for and the availability of different types of employees.”

According to Bruce P. Coleman, “Manpower planning is the process of determining manpower requirements and the means for meeting those requirements in order to carry out the integrated plan of the organisation.”

According to E. Geister, “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.”

Essay # Features of Human Resource Planning:
A discussion of various definitions brings out the following features of human resource planning:

1. Well Defined Objectives:
The objectives of the organisation in strategic planning and operating planning may form the objectives of human resource planning. Human resource needs are planned on the basis of the company’s goals.

Besides, human resource planning has its own objectives like developing human resource, updating technical expertise, career planning of individual executives and people, ensuring better commitment of people and so on.

2. Determining Personnel Needs:
Human resource planning is related to the determination of personnel needs in the organisation. The thinking will have to be done in advance so that the persons are available at a time when they are needed. The organisation may also have to undertake recruiting, selecting and training process also.

3. Having Manpower Inventory:
It includes the inventory of present manpower in the organisation. The manager should know the persons who will be available to him for undertaking higher responsibilities in the near future.

4. Adjusting Demand and Supply:
Manpower requirements have to be planned well in advance as suitable persons are not immediately available. In case sufficient persons will not be available in future then efforts should be made to start recruitment process well in advance. The demand and supply of personnel should be seen in advance.

5. Creating Proper Work Environment:
Besides estimating and employing personnel, manpower planning also ensures that proper working conditions are created. People should like to work in the organisation and they should get proper job satisfaction.

Essay # Need for Human Resource Planning:

Human resource planning is viewed as foreseeing the human resource requirements of an organisation and supply of human resources. Its need can be accessed from the following points:

1. Determining the Number of Persons to be Employed at a New Location:
If organisations overdo the size of their workforce it will carry surplus or underutilised staff. Alternatively, if the opposite mis-judgement is made, staff may be overstretched, making it hard or impossible to meet production or service deadlines at the quality level expected.

The questions normally asked in this context are:
i. How can output be improved through understanding the interrelation between productivity, work organisation and technological development? What does this mean for staff numbers?
ii. What techniques can be used to establish workforce requirements?
iii. Have more flexible work arrangements been considered?
iv. How the needed staff is to be acquired?
The principles can be applied to any exercise to define workforce requirements, whether it be a business start-up, a relocation, or the opening of new factory or office.

2. Retaining the Highly Skilled Staff:
Issues about retention may not have been to the fore in recent years, but all its needs is for organisations to lose key staff to realize that an understanding of the pattern of turnover is needed.
i. Monitor the extent of employee turnover,
ii. Discover the reasons for it,
iii. Establish what it is costing the organisation and
iv. Compare loss rates with other similar organisations.

Without this understanding, management may be unaware of how many good quality staff are being lost. This will cost the organisation directly through the bill for separation, recruitment and induction, but also through a loss of long- term capability.

Having understood the nature and extent of turnover steps can be taken to rectify the situation. There may be relatively cheap and simple solutions once the reasons for the turnover of employees have been identified. But it will depend on whether the problem is peculiar to the organisation, and whether it is concentrated in particular groups (e.g., by age, gender, grade or skill).

3. Managing an Effective Downsizing Programme:
An all too common issue for managers, is how the workforce can be cut painlessly, while at the same time protecting the long-term interests of the organisation? A question made all the harder by the time pressures management is under, both because of business necessities and employee anxieties.

HR planning helps in these issues by considering:
i. The sort of workforce envisaged at the end of the exercise,
ii. The pros and cons of the different routes to get there,
iii. How the nature and extent of wastage will change during the run-down,
iv. The utility of retraining, redeployment and transfers and
v. What the appropriate recruitment levels might be.
Such an analysis can be presented to senior managers so that the cost benefit of various methods of reduction can be assessed, and the time taken to meet targets established.

4. Where will the Next Generation of Managers Come From?
Many senior managers are troubled by this issue. They have seen traditional career paths disappear. They have had to bring in senior staff from elsewhere. But they recognize that while this may have dealt with a short-term skills shortage, it has not solved the longer term question of managerial supply: what sort, how many, and where will they come from?

To address these questions one must understand:
i. The present career system (including patterns of promotion and movement, of recruitment and wastage).
ii. The characteristics of those who currently occupy senior positions.
iii. The organisation’s future supply of talent.
This then can be compared with future requirements, in number and type. These will of course be affected by internal structural changes and external business or political changes.

Comparing the current supply to this revised demand will show surpluses and shortages which will allow the organization to take corrective action such as:
i. Recruiting to meet a shortage of those with senior management potential.
ii. Allowing faster promotion to fill immediate gaps.
iii. Developing cross functional transfers for high fliers.
iv. Hiring on fixed-terra contracts to meet short-term skills/experience deficits.
v. Reducing staff numbers to remove blockages or forthcoming surpluses.
Thus appropriate recruitment, deployment and severance policies can be pursued to meet business needs. Otherwise process is likely to be haphazard and inconsistent. The wrong sort of staff may be engaged at the wrong time on the wrong contract. It can be expensive and embarrassing to put such matters right.

Essay # Objectives of Human Resource Planning:

Following are the objectives of human resource planning:
1. Assessing manpower needs for future and making plans for recruitment and selection.
2. Assessing skill requirement in future.
3. Determining training and development needs of the organisation.
4. Anticipating surplus or shortage of staff and avoiding unnecessary detentions or dismissals.
5. Controlling wage and salary costs.
6. Ensuring optimum use of human resources in the organisation.
7. Helping the organisation to cope with the technological development and modernisation.
8. Ensuring higher labour productivity.
9. Ensuring career planning of every employer of the organisation and making succession programmes.

Essay # Factors Affecting Human Resource Planning:

There are mainly three factors affecting Human Resource planning.

These constitute the basis of Human Resource planning which may be summarized as follows:

1. Existing Stock of Manpower:
Taking stock of existing manpower is the first basis of manpower planning and is the starting point of all planning processes. To analyse the existing stock of manpower, one must study the position of total stock of manpower by dividing it into groups on the basis of function, occupation, level of skill or qualification.

A group-wise detailed statement is prepared regarding the number of workers in the group, their age, qualification, date of retirement and chances for promotion etc.

2. Wastage:
The second basis of manpower planning is wastage. For good planning, appropriate adjustment in the existing stock of manpower should be made for the possible wastage of manpower caused by any foreseeable changes in the organization. In order to analyse the wastage of manpower, rate of labour turnover and the period of active management, the work should be studied.
Other reasons of wastage may be expansion and modernization of plant, retirement, promotion, transfer and training or workers etc. In planning the manpower, these factors should be taken into consideration to make the necessary adjustments in the requirement of personnel.

3. Future Manpower Requirement:
After evaluating the existing stock of manpower and analyzing the various factors of wastage caused by any foreseeable change in the organization, one may very easily assess the future requirements of manpower in an industry taking into account the future plans of the company, government plans and programmes, employment policy, demand and supply of manpower in future, productivity of labour and other factors of production and replacement needs.

One should also take into consideration the possible changes in the techniques and methods of production in the near future.

The above three factors are the basis of manpower planning. Formulation of personnel and general policies depends upon the manpower planning.

Essay # Levels of Human Resource Planning:

In an industrial enterprise, there are various levels of manpower planning. Each level has its own objectives and techniques. The process of human resource planning should begin at the plant level so as to take advantage of the thinking of operating personnel who are in direct touch with day to day operations.

The various levels of human resource planning are discussed in brief as follows: 

1. Plant Level:
Manpower planning at the plant level can be conducted by an operating committee on the basis of past data and future projections. The committee shall prepare a manpower plan for the next year, including the number of employees required and the resources which could be utilised to meet these requirements.

It would also determine the number of promotable employees for the annual manpower plan. Finally the committee will evaluate these plans in the light of expected changes of all kinds within the next five years with the help of manpower planning experts.

2. Departmental or Divisional Level:
The plant level plan would be submitted to the next organisational level which would be the departmental level. The divisional committee would integrate all the manpower plans of its plants as well as those of its divisional staff sections into a comprehensive divisional manpower planning report which in turn would be submitted to the top management.

3. Top Level:
At the top level, departmental/divisional plans are reviewed and integrated with manpower plans for head office staff. Special emphasis is placed at this level on management development plans. Finally, the company’s manpower plans are integrated with the organisational plans.

Essay # Benefits of Human Resource Planning:

Human resource planning is a very important aspect of human resource management.

A few benefits of manpower planning are as follows:

1. Reduced Labour Costs:
With the help of manpower planning management is able to anticipate shortages and/or surpluses of manpower. Thus they are able to take the corrective action in time, before these unbalances become unmanageable and hence, expensive. All this leads to overall reduction in labour costs.

2. Optimum Utilisation of Manpower Force:
With the help of manpower planning there is optimum utilisation of labour force in the organisation. Workers are given those jobs to perform for which they are skilled (right person for the right job). It leads to overall development of the manpower in the organisation.

3. Identification of Gaps in Existing Manpower:
Human resource planning identifies gaps in existing manpower in terms of their quantity and quality with the help of suitable training and/or any other steps, these gaps can be filled in time. Existing manpower can also be developed to fill future vacancies.

4. Improvement in Overall Business Planning:
Manpower planning is an integral part of overall business planning. Effective manpower planning will lead to improvement in overall planning also. No management can be successful in the long run without having the right type and right number of people doing the right jobs at the right time.

5. Career Succession Planning:
Manpower planning facilitates career succession planning in the organisation. It provides enough lead time for internal succession of employees to higher position through promotions. Thus, manpower planning contributes to management succession as well as development.

6. Creates Awareness in the Organisation:
Manpower planning leads to a greater awareness about the effectiveness of sound manpower management throughout the organisation. It also helps in judging the effectiveness of human resource policies and programmes of management.

7. Growth of the Organisation:
Manpower planning facilitates the expansion and diversification of an organisation. In the absence of human resource plans, the required human resources will not be available to execute expansion and diversification plans at the right time.

8. Beneficial to the Country:
At the national level, manpower planning facilitates educational reforms, geographical mobility of talent and employment generation.

Essay # Problems in Human Resource Planning:

Human Resource planning is not always successful and the main problems are described below:

1. Accuracy of Forecasts:
Manpower planning involves forecasting the demand and supply of human resources. Thus, the effectiveness of planning depends upon the accuracy of forecasts. If the forecasts are not cent per cent accurate, planning will not be hundred percent accurate. Inaccuracy increases when departmental forecasts are merely prepared without critical review.

2. Identity Crisis:
Many human resource specialists and the managers do not understand the whole manpower planning process. Because of this, there is generally an identity crisis. Till the specialists develop a strong sense of purpose, planning cannot be effective.

3. Support of Top Management:
Manpower planning requires full and wholehearted support from the top management. In the absence of this support and commitment, it would not be possible to ensure the necessary resources, cooperation and support for the success of the manpower planning.

4. Resistance from Employees:
Employees and trade unions resist manpower planning. They feel that this planning increases their overall workload and regulates them through productivity bargaining. They also feel that it would lead to wide spread unemployment, especially of unskilled labour.

5. Insufficient Initial Efforts:
Successful human resource planning flourishes slowly and gradually. Sometimes sophisticated technologies are forcefully introduced just because competitors have adopted them. These may not be successful unless matched with the needs and environment of the particular enterprise.

6. Management Information System:
Effectiveness of planning depends upon the reliability of the information system. In most of the Indian industries, human resource information system has not fully developed. In the absence of reliable data it would not be possible to have effective planning.

7. Uncertainties:
It is risky to depend upon general estimates of manpower in the face of rapid changes in the environment. Absenteeism, turnover, seasonal employment, technological changes and market fluctuations are the uncertainties which serve as constraints to manpower planning. Although discounts are made for these factors while preparing the plan, yet these factors cannot be estimated correctly.

8. Expensive and Time Consuming:
Manpower planning is an expensive and time consuming process. Employers may resist manpower planning feeling that it increases the cost of manpower.

9. Coordination with other Managerial Functions:
There is generally a tendency on the part of the manpower planners to remain aloof from other operating managers and to become totally absorbed in their own world. To be effective manpower planning must be integrated with other management functions.

10. Unbalanced Approach:
Many human resource experts give more importance on the quantitative aspect of manpower to ensure that there is adequate flow of people in and out of the organisation. They overlook the qualitative aspects like career development and planning, skill levels, morale etc. are overlooked by them. Such unbalanced approach affects the effectiveness of manpower planning.
Thus, manpower planning suffers from two types of problems. One is inherent because of problems of forecasting and the second comes from human weaknesses.

Essay # Suggestions for Making Human Resource Planning Effective:

Some of the suggestions for making human resource planning effective are as given below:

1. Integration with Organisational Plans:
Human resource planning must be balanced with organisational plans. It must be based on the organisational objectives and plans. This requires development of good communication channels between organisation planners and the human resource planners.

2. Period of Manpower Planning:
Period of the planning should be appropriate to the needs and circumstances of the enterprise in question. The size and structure of the enterprise as well as the anticipated changes must be taken into consideration.

3. Proper Organisation:
To be effective, the planning function should be properly organised. If possible, within the human resource department, a separate cell or committee should be constituted to provide adequate focus and to coordinate planning work at various levels.

4. Support of Top Management:
To be effective in the long run, manpower planning must have the full support of the top management. The support from top management is essential to ensure the necessary resources, cooperation and support for the success of the planning.

5. Involvement of Operating Executives:
Human resource planning is not a function of manpower planners only.
To be effective, it requires active participation and coordinated efforts on the part of operating executives. Such participation will help to improve understanding of the process and thereby reduce resistance.

6. Efficient and Reliable Information System:
To facilitate human resource planning, an adequate data base must be developed for human resources.

7. Balanced Approach:
The human resource experts should give equal importance to both quantitative and qualitative aspects of manpower. Instead of matching existing people with existing jobs, stress should be laid on filling future vacancies with right people. Promotions should also be considered carefully. Career planning and development, skill levels, morale etc. should be given due importance by the planners.


  1. In fact career planning is very necessary for bright future

    job interview questions

  2. There is a lot to learn here about human resource planning. Thanks! If you want article writing tutorial Bonuses, visit Edu Birdie today. We'd love to see you there.

  3. I had a really great time reading this kind of valuable post. Please keep sharing and enlightening your readers' minds. Visit my page at www.lawrencetoddmaxwell.net when you have some spare time.