Sunday, May 15, 2011

Describe the process of Human Resource planning

Describe the process of Human Resource planning with reference to your organisation or an organisation you are familiar with. Suggest some measures for improvement of the existing HRP system. Describe the organisation you are referring to.

Answer. HRP is understood as the process of forecasting an organization’s future demand for, and supply of, the right type of people in the right number. It is only after this that the HRM department can initiate the recruitment and selection process. HRP is a sub-system in the total organizational planning. Organizational planning includes managerial activities that set the company’s objectives for the future and determine the appropriate means for achieving those objectives. HRP facilitates the realization of the company’s by providing the right type and the right number of personnel.

I am familiar with Tata Teleservices. Tata Teleservices is part of the INR 54,000/- crore (US$11.2 billion) Tata Group, that has over 90 companies, over 210,000 employees and more than 2.16 million shareholders. With an investment of over INR 9,000 crore (US$ 2 billion) in Telecom, the Group has a formidable presence across the telecom value chain.

The Planning process at Tata Teleservices: HRP essentially involves forecasting personnel needs, assessing personnel supply and matching demand-supply through personnel-related programmes. The planning process is influenced by overall organizational objectives and the environment of business.

Organizational Objectives and Policies: HR plans need to be based on organizational objectives. In practice, this implies that the objectives of the HR plan must be derived from organizational objectives. Specific requirements in terms of number and characteristics of employees should be derived from the organizational objectives. Organizational objectives are defined by the top management and the role of HRP is to subserve the overall objectives by ensuring availability and utilization of human resources.

HR Demand Forecast: Demand forecasting is the process of estimating the future quantity and quality of people required. The basis of the forecast must be the annual budget and long-term corporate plan, translated into activity levels for each function and department. In a manufacturing company, the sales budget would be translated into a production plan giving the number and type of products to be produced in each period.
Demand forecasting must consider several factors –both external as well as internal. After the external factors are competition (foreign and domestic), economic climate, laws and regulatory bodies, changes in technology, and social factors. Internal factors include budget constraints, production levels, new products organizations, though they may not do personnel-supply forecasting.

HR Supply Forecast: Personnel demand analysis provides the manager with the means of estimating the number and kind of employees that will be required. The next step for the management is to determine whether it will be able to procure the required number of personnel and the sources for such procurement. This information is provided by supply forecasting. Supply forecasting measures the number of people likely to be available from within and outside an organization, after making allowance for absenteeism, internal movements and promotions, wastage and changes in hours and other conditions of work.

Reasons for supply forecast are that it (i) helps quantify number of people and positions expected to be available in future to help the organization realize its plans and meet its objectives; (ii) helps clarify likely staff mixes that will exist in the future; (iii) assess existing staffing levels in different parts of the organization; (iv) prevents shortage of requirements of job reservations.

The supply analysis covers:
1. Existing human resources
2. Internal sources of supply; and
3. External sources of supply

HR Programming: Once personnel demand and supply are forecast, the two must be reconciled or balanced in order that vacancies can be filled by the right employees at the right time. HR programming, the third step in the planning process, therefore, assumes greater importance.

HR Plan Implementation: Implementation requires converting an HR plan into action. A series of action programmes are initiated as a part of HR plan implementation. Some such programmes are recruitment, selection and placement; training and development; retraining and redeployment; the retention plan; the redundance plan; and succession plan.
Recruitment, Selection and Placement: After the job vacancies are known, efforts are made to identify sources and search for suitable candidates. The selection programme is professionally designed and, among other considerations, special care is taken to ensure compliance with the reservation policies of the government. An effort is made to match individual job preferences and qualifications with organizational needs.

Training and Development: The training and development programme covers the number of trainees required; training and development programmes necessary for the existing staff; identification of resource personnel for conducting development programmes, frequency of training and development programmes; and budget allocation for such programmes.

Retraining and redeployment: New skills are to be imparted to existing staff when technology changes. When a product line is discontinued, its employees are to be retrained and redeployed to other departments where they could be gainfully employed.

Retention Plan: Retention plan covers actions that would help reduce avoidable separations of employees. Important actions under this head are:
1. Compensation plan
2. Performance appraisal
3. Employees leaving in search of green pastures
4. Employees quitting because of conflict
5. The induction crisis
6. Shortages
7. Unstable recruits

Control and Evaluation: Control and evaluation the fifth and the final phase in the HRP process. The HR plan includes budgets, targets and standards. It should also clarify responsibilities for implementation and control, and establish reporting procedures which will enable achievements to be monitored against the plan. These may simply report on the numbers employed against establishment and on the numbers recruited against the recruitment targets. But they should also report employment costs against budget, and trends in wastage and employment ratios.

HRP System Improvement
Following are some measures that could help in improvement in the current HRP system:

Corporate Head count "Fat" Assessment Plan
Ever wonder why the decision that we need layoffs seems to come up as a surprise? Why not establish a set of assessment tools that will let you know in advance where head count and overhead costs are excessive.

Redeployment / Agility Plans
In this changing world it is not uncommon for new markets and products to open (and close) rapidly. Companies need to have a strategy to remain "agile" and to be able to move people, and resources rapidly from areas of low return to areas of a higher return.

"Smoke" Detectors (Predictors)
If HR is to be proactive it needs to be able to anticipate problems. Developing HR systems and metrics known as "smoke detectors" that indicate potential problems might give us sufficient time to develop plans and strategies to either avoid the problem or minimize its impact.

Bench Strength (Back Fill) Plan
In this time of high turnover, it's increasingly essential to have a strategy of identifying and developing individuals that can take over if an employee leaves. A bench strength plan differs from traditional succession planning in that it only covers replacing key jobs within a single department. It is not a company-wide succession plan. Individual managers are held responsible for developing at least one individual to fill every key job.

Employee Challenge Plan
One of the primary reasons employees leave their jobs is due to a lack of challenge. HR can dramatically increase retention rates if it gets managers to develop individual "Challenge Plans" for each worker. The plan is reviewed each month to ensure that the individual is constantly growing and feels challenged.

Retention Plan
A retention plan is a corporate strategy to lower turnover. The first step is to identify key performers and hard to fill positions. Individuals that may be "at risk" are identified. Individuals or position -wide strategies are then developed to increase their retention rates. Additional efforts are made to identify why people stay in their jobs and why people leave.

Quality of Labor Supply Forecasts
Identifying the "quality" of the future labor supply is a medium term strategy based on the assumption that the available labor force will not have the competencies and skills that our company needs. Accurate forecasting will allow us to prepare training and development plans to upgrade the available talent. Adequate preparation will give us a competitive talent advantage over our rivals.

Horizontal Progression Plan
Our company has delayed or eliminated many management positions there are fewer opportunities for promotion to stimulate workers. As a result, we need to develop horizontal transfer and job rotation plans to ensure the continued development of both technical and managerial skills among our top employees.

Work/Life Balance Supply/Demand Forecasts
New hires, as well as our current workers are demanding an increasing array of benefits and work life balance options. HR needs to develop strategies to accurately assess what those work life balance demands will be. It must also be able to forecast what percentage of our work force will choose to participate in work life balance programs like job sharing and sabbaticals. This forecast will enable us to be prepared for the decreased amount of hours our employees will be willing to put in.

Learning / Knowledge Plan
A major competitive advantage occurs when a company can rapidly acquire information/solutions and swiftly share them throughout the company. HRP can help by assisting managers in developing individual and corporate wide learning plans and strategies to increase our speed of learning and the application of that knowledge within our company.

Skills/ Competency Inventories
In order to rapidly redeploy resources and fill unexpected vacancies HRP must develop computerized skill or competency inventories. Such inventories allow us to "throw" talent at a problem because we are aware of which individuals in our corporation have the needed skill or experience to solve that problem. These inventories do not require people to move between positions as they can also be used as sources for advice and benchmarking.

Interest Inventories

In order to retain employees it is essential that we have a strategy for identifying and meeting the changing needs of our workers. By asking workers What projects they might like to work on? What skills they would like to develop? and What individuals or teams would they like to work with? managers can develop strategies for increasing a worker excitement and productivity levels.

Candidate Expectation (offer acceptance criteria) Forecast
The increased number of job openings and the "unique" expectations of the current crop of generation Xer's and college hires makes it increasingly more difficult to get candidates to accept an offer. By using focus groups and surveys, we can identify and forecast the unique offer acceptance demands of it's recruits. Accurate forecasts can give our company sufficient time to develop the array of programs and benefits that are increasingly essential to get a candidate to say yes.

Bad Management Identification Program
One of the primary reasons that employees quit their jobs are the bad management practices of their direct supervisor. Companies often throw managers into their jobs with little training or preparation. Through the use of surveys, 360 degree assessments and interviews companies can identify "bad managers". The organization can then develop strategies for fixing these managers, transferring them back to more technical jobs or for releasing them. Because managers are responsible for meeting many employee needs that are cited as reasons for employee turnover (communicating with the worker, challenging them, recognizing their efforts etc.) fixing bad managers may be the single most important factor in increasing productivity and decreasing turnover.

Talent Acquisition Through Mergers & Acquisition Plan
There are ways to acquire talent beyond traditional recruiting. Acquiring "intact" teams and large numbers of talented people (with similar values) rapidly is possible by having HR "scout out" target firms and then recommending their acquisition just for their employees.

Targeted Succession plans
Targeted succession plans are narrowly focused strategies for ensuring that individuals are available to fill vacant key positions in project teams. Targeted areas often include major software implementations, year 2000 efforts and product development teams. Most succession plans have often failed because they were too broad. Targeted plans allow the focus and forecasting to be more narrowly applied with the goal of increasing the accuracy of the planning.

Turnover / Exit Forecast
A strong economy coupled with large swings in the health of world economies makes predicting the supply of labor increasingly difficult. The other side of this issue is identifying where our company is likely to lose key talent through turnover and retirements. This turnover forecast is designed to predict short term vacancies in the next six months in order to prepare the appropriate recruitment or internal promotion strategies.

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