numbers and categories of suitable employees to undertake the task of producing the organisation’s goods or services to the standards expected by the end-users. Even organisations that rarely plan far ahead usually have to make some assessment of their present employee situation, so as to ensure that an appropriate range of skills is available for all the mainstream activities of the organisation. This chapter assumes that a systematic and planned view of HRP is the norm.
2. Whatever the nature of the organisation, if it is of a size where changes in the workforce will have a significant effect on business results, then it will need some kind of human resource planning activity. In this book human resource planning is defined as: ‘a rational approach to the effective recruitment, retention, and deployment of people within an organisation, including, when necessary, arrangements for dismissing staff.’ HRP is, therefore, concerned with the flow of people through and sometimes out of the organisation. It is, however, not a mere numbers game. On the contrary, effective HRP is considerably more concerned with the optimum deployment of people’s knowledge and skills, ie quality is even more important than quantity.
3. Before moving on to look at the various stages of HRP, it is worth considering the questions which such planning aims to answer. These can be summarised as follows: • What kind of people does the organisation require and in what numbers? • Over what time-span are these people required?
• How many of them are employed by the organisation currently? • How can the organisation meet any shortfall in requirements from internal sources? • How can the organisation meet the shortfall from external sources? • What changes are taking place in the external labour market which might affect the supply of human resources?
4. In responding to these questions, HRP is essentially concerned with four major activities: analysing the existing human resource situation
forecasting future demands for people
assessing the external labour market and forecasting the supply situation establishing and implementing human resource plans.
We shall now look at these major activities in more detail.
The Human Resource Planning Process
5. Human resource planning can only make sense when seen in relation to business objectives. The basic demand for people springs from the organisation’s need to supply goods or services to its customers. In this sense, HRP is a resourcing activity. However, it is also a fact that these resources in themselves have a vital influence on organisational objectives. For example, a firm may be unable to pursue its expansion plans in a new market because it is unable to find enough suitably trained personnel to carry them through. So, information arising from the HRP process produces feedback which may cause other business plans to be cancelled or amended.
6. In its simplest form, human resource planning can be depicted as shown in Figure 20.1.
20 Human Resource Planning
Figure 20.1 Personnel decisions and human resource requirements. Even this simple model of the process indicates the ramifications of human resource planning, and emphasises the qualitative aspects of it. HRP is clearly not just concerned with numbers. Plans for training, redeployment, promotion and productivity all indicate the importance of getting the right staff in the right jobs, as well as in the right numbers. 7. Figure 20.1 shows the flow of people through the organisation, and identifies some of the key actions that need to be taken at the operational level. This is the kind of model that almost every organisation can utilise. However, larger or more complex organisations need a more strategic approach at the outset. Such an approach would incorporate the four major activities mentioned earlier in paragraph 4, but would link them into the overall business planning activity of the...
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