In business and economics various forecasting techniques, ranging from subjective judgemental methods to sophisticated multi variable analysis and models, are used for different purposes. These techniques have their own contributions and limitations. However, in the case of forecasting human resource needs in an organisation, there is less emphasis on highly quantitative techniques because of emphasis on qualitative aspect of forecasting. Usually a combination of the following techniques is used.
1. Managerial judgement method
2. Delphi technique
3. Work study technique
4. Ratio trend analysis
5. Statistical and mathematical models
Managerial judgement method: This is the most commonly practiced and conventional method of forecasting HR needs. Managers prepare this based on their past experiences. This can be used Top Down or Bottom Up. In top down approach top management prepares HR plan for the organisation as a whole with the assistance of the HR department. This plan is circulated among various depts. with an advise to make necessary adjustments where needed with justifications. After receiving this document from all the HR dept then finalises the Manpower plan usually in a committee meeting of Departmental Heads. In the bottom up approach, top management provides broad guidelines of the organisations plans which are sent to all dept heads with an advise to prepare their own plan for HR needs. These plans are reviewed and consolidated by HR dept which then consolidates the entire requirement. This plan is then got approved either once again during a committee meeting or by the CEO and individual dept heads in their respective meetings. This method is the simplest but suffers from 1 major drawback – these figures are based on immediate past practice and therefore there is likelihood that previous figures with some additions or subtractions may be submitted without much thought being applied for the process.
Delphi Technique: Named after the ancient Greek oracle at the city of Delphi where Greeks used to pray for information about the future. Delphi is a common method used in group decision making. In a regular Delphi technique a small group designs a questionnaire about the problem under study which is sent to various experts related to the field. These experts fill in the Q independently without any interaction among themselves. The filled in Q are analysed by the designers and if there is divergence of opinions of experts, a revised Q is prepared and sent to a larger group of experts. This exercise is repeated until some consensus is reached. Delphi technique is quite useful where the problem cannot be solved using analytical techniques but its solutions require subjective judgements in a collective basis. For eg, what will be the trend of fashion next year can be known using Delphi T.
DT can be used for forecasting HR requirements in 2 forms.
1st – It can be used to know the trends for changing job profile and consequently the changing personnel profile across the country or at international level. 2nd – This T can be used to solicit views of experts in different functional areas of an organisation about the changing profile of personnel in their respective depts. in the light of changing environment. Such views are collected and summarised by HR dept to arrive at a decision about the types of personnel needed in future. Delphi T is used primarily to assess the long term needs of HR
Work Study T: is based on the volume operation and work efficiency of personnel. Volume of operation is derived form the organisational plan documents and increase / decrease in operation can be measured. Work efficiency or productivity is measured by time and motion study which specifies standard output per unit of time, say per hour. Thus the number of operatives required to complete specified volume of operation is = Planned output
Std output * std...