Organizations utilize four basic kinds of outputs, or resources, from their environments: human, monetary, physical, and information. Human resources include managerial talent, labor, and so forth.1 The people perform the work (through utilizing the other inputs) and provide the creativity that sustains operations. They have a significant impact on organisational effectiveness. They are most important resource in all business and government leavors.2 In earlier and more agricultural economics, human ounces took care of themselves. In transitional stages toward industrialization and in modern industrialized nations, with rapid technological change and persistent demands for higher levels of skill, human resource planning has achieved a high priority.3 Human Resource planning (HRP) is “the process of getting the right number of qualified people into the right job at the right time.”4 or in another way HRP is “the system of matching the supply of people-internally (existing employees) and externally (those to be hired or searched for-with the openings the organization expects to have over a given time frame’.5 Modern economics require very limited quantities of “raw” manpower. Their requirements specify every higher levels of knowledge and skill. But qualified people have become scarce, and human resource planning has become a necessity for the long-term survival.6 The objective of HRP is to have always at hand the necessary people to fill the open positions. the success of the process is, therefore, measured not by the sophistication of the procedures employed, but rather by whether the firm has the inventory of personnel that it requires when they are needed.7 The literature on HRP clearly evidences an explosion of interest and concern since the 1960s. The most important reasons can be briefly outlined as follows:8 (i) Jobs and job-requirements are changing faster than in earlier periods. The pace of technological change-change in the way goods and services are prepared and made available to customers-has accelerated. And the direction of technological change has decreased jobs for unskilled workers. Alert managements have developed special programs to forecast and meet the needs created by future technological changes. (ii) Meanwhile, within existing occupations, rising job requirements make retraining a must for many current jobholders. More time must be spent in preparation for work, continued retraining makes alternate periods of work and refresher education a frequent pattern. Hence lead time-getting people redy for job-becomes longer. (iii) LDCs, like Bangladesh, are finding that skill shortages are a major barrier to their progress toward industrialization. They recognize the necessity for preparing citizens for the new jobs that progress will create, and they seek to import the skills they do not have. These and older industrialized nations compete with each other for existing supplies of skilled workers. The “brain drain” is a matter of national concern not unlike the balance of payments in international trade. (iv) Rising interest and activity in the total process of management planning has stimulated attention to the need for HRP.
Bangladesh is a developing country. More than 870% of the people live in rural area and 80″% of them are farmer; among them 30% are in disguised unemployment.9 The main purpose of CARE is to assist the poorest people of Bangladesh to rehabilitate themselves through primary health care, agriculture and natural resource and small enterprise development. There are 600010 NGOs operating in Bangladesh. It is heard that the reason behind the excellent performance and the existence of these large number of NGOs are for their better HRP. Considering the vital importance of HRP this study was done to identify the HRP of the NGO, CARE (Cooperation for American Relief Everywhere). CARE has been operating in Bangladesh since 1955. It is the world’s largest private, not-for-profit development agency. It works closely with the government to design projects which are separately funded and operates under a separate agreement with counterpart ministry, CARE’s program in Bangladesh comprises several projects e. g. Integrated Food for Work (IFFW), Women’s Development Project (WDP). Rural Maintenance program (RMP), Training Immunizers in the Community Approach (TICA) etc. To carryout its services, CARE functions through a central office in Dhaka and 15 sub-offices around the country, employing 1400 national and international staff members (Appendix-1)
II. OBJECTIVES & METHODOLOGY OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study is to identify the HRP being practised in the NGOs in Bangladesh and to identify what HRP systems are adopted by them. We have purposively selected the world’s largest NGO, CARE, for this purpose. Data have been collected from files, records, documents, etc. and by interviewing the personnel of the personnel department.
III. LITERATURE REVIEW
MEANING AND DEFINITION
In simple words, HRP is understood as the process of forecasting and organisation’s future demand for, and supply of, the right type of people in the right number. It is only after this that the HRM is a sub-system in the total organisational planning. Organisational planning includes managerial activities that set the company’s objectives for the future and determiner the appropriate means for achieving those objectives1. HRP facilitates the realisation of the company’s objectives by the type and quantity of the materials and supplies needed to facilitate the manufacturing activities of the organisation. HRP is variously called manpower planning, personnel planning or employment planning.
A few definitions of HRP are worth quoting here:
………. includes the estimation of how many qualified people are necessary to carry out the assigned activities, how many people will be available, and what, if anything, must be done to ensure that personnel supply equals personnel demand at the appropriate point in the future2.
……… Specifically, human resources planning is the process by which an organisation ensures that it has the right number and kind of people, at the right place, at the right time, capable of effectively and efficiently completing those tasks that will help the organisation achieve its overall objectives. Human resource planning translates the organisation’s objectives and plans into the number of workers needed to meet those objectives. Without a clear-cut planning, estimation of an organisation’s human resource need is reduced to mere guesswork3.
IMPORTANCE OF HRP
1. Future Personnel Needs
Planning is significant as it helps determine future personnel needs. Surplus or deficiency in staff strength is the result of the absence of or defective planning. All public sector enterprise find themselves overstaffed now as they never had any planning of their personnel requirements.
2. Coping with Change
HRP enables an enterprise to cope with changes in competitive forces, markets, technology, products and government regulations. Such changes generate changes in job content, skill demands, and number snd type of personnel. Shortage of people may be noticed in some areas while surplus in other areas may occur.
3. Creating-Highly Talented Personnel
Jobs are becoming highly intellectual and incumbents are getting vastly professionalised. The HR manager must use his/her ingenuity to attract and retain qualified and skilled personnel.
These people are known for job hopping, thereby creating frequent shortages in the organisation. Manpower planning helps prevent such shortages. Further more. technology changes will often upgrade some jobs and degrade others.
Another facet of the high-talent personnel is management succession planning. Who will replace the retiring chief executive? From what pool of people will top executives be selected and how will these individuals be groomed for their increased responsibilities? HRP is an answer to these and other related questions.
4. Protection of Weaker Sections
In matters of employment and promotions, sufficient representation needs to be given to SC/ST candidates, physically handicapped, children of the socially and politically oppressed, and backward-call citizens. These groups enjoy a given percentage of jobs, notwithstanding the constitutional provision which guarantees equal opportunities for all. A well-conceived personnel planning programme would protect the interests of such groups.
5. International Strategies
International expansion strategies depend upon HRP more closely into the organisation’s strategic plans. HRP will grow increasingly important as the process of meeting staffing needs from foreign countries and the attendant cultural, language, and developmental considerations grow complex. Without effective HRP and subsequent attention to employee recruitment, selection, placement, development and career planning, the growing competition for foreign executives may lead to expensive and strategically-disruptive turnover among key decision makers.
6. Foundation for Personnel Functions
Manpower planning provides essential information for designing and implementing personnel functions such as recruitment, selection, personnel movement (transfers, promotions, layoffs) and training and development.
7. Increasing Investments in Human resources
Another compelling reason for HRP is the investment an organisation makes in its human resources. Human assets, as opposed to physical assets, can increase in value. An employee who gradually develops his/her skills and abilities becomes a more valuable resource. Because an organisation makes investments in its personnel either through direct training or job assignments, it is important that employees are used effectively throughout their careers. The monetary of a trained, flexible, motivated and productive workforce is difficult to determine, although attempts are being made to do so, as in HR accounting (HRA). An increasing number of executives are acknowledging that the quality of the workforce can be responsible for significant differences in short-run and long-rum performances.
8. Resistance to Change and Move
There is a growing resistance among employee to change and move. There is also a growing emphasis on self-evaluation and on evaluation of loyalty and dedication to the organization. All these change are making it more difficult for the organization to assume that it can move its employees around anywhere and anytime it wants, thus increasing the importance and necessity of planning ahead.
9. Other benefits
Following are other potential benefits of HRP:
1. 耄 ᠀ 萏֠ Upper management has a better view of the HR dimensions of business decision.
2. 耄 ᠀ 萏֠ Personnel costs may be less because the management can anticipate imbalances before they become unmanageable and expensive.
3. 耄 ᠀ 萏֠ More time is provided to locate talent.
4. 耄 ᠀ 萏֠ Better planning of assignments to develop managers can be done.
5. 耄 ᠀ 萏֠ Better opportunities exist to include women and minority groups in future growth plans.
6. 耄 ᠀ 萏֠ Major and successful demands on local labour markets can be made.
FACTORS AFFECTING HRP
HRP is influenced by several considerations. The more important of them are: (i) type and strategy of organization (ii) organizational growth cycles and planning (iii) environmental uncertainties (iv) time horizons (v) type and quality of forecasting information (vi) nature of jobs being filled, and (vii) off loading the work.
Type and strategy of Organization
The type of organization is an important consideration because it determines the production process involved, number and type of staff needed, and the supervisory and managerial personnel required. Manufacturing organizations are more complex in this respect than those that render services.
The strategic plan of the organization defines the organization’s HR needs. For example, a strategy of internal growth means that additional employees must be hired. Acquisitions or mergers, on the other hand, probably mean that the organization will need to plan for layoffs, since mergers tend to create, duplicate or overlapping positions that can be handled more efficiently with fewer employees.
Organizational Growth Cycles and Planning
The stage of an organization’s growth can have considerable influence on HRP small organizations in the embryonic stage may not have personal planning. Need for planning is felt when the organization enters the stage. HR forecasting becomes essential internal development of people also begins to receive attention in order to keep up with the growth.
A mature organization experiences less flexibility and variability. Growth slows down. The workforce becomes old as few younger people are hired. Planning becomes more formalized and less flexible and innovative. Issues like retirement and possible retrenchment dominate planning.
Finally, in the declining stage, HRP takes a different focus. Planning is done for layoff, retrenchment and retirement. Since decisions are often made after serious financial and sales shocks are experienced by the organization, planning is often reactive in nature.
HR managers rarely have the privilege of operating in a stable and predictable environment. Political, social and economic changes affect all organizations. Personnel planners deal with environmental uncertainties by carefully formulating recruitment, selection and training and development policies and programmes. Balancing mechanisms are built into the HRM programme through succession planning, promotion channels, layoffs, flexible, job sharing, retirement, VRS and other personal related arrangements.
Yet another major factor affecting personnel planning is the time horizon. On one hand, there are short-term plans spanning six months to one year. On the other hand, there are long-term plans which spread over three to twenty years. The exact time span, however, depends on the degree of uncertainty prevailing in an organization’s environment.
Degree of uncertainty and length of planning period
Short planning Period-Uncertainty /Instability Long planning Period-Certainty /Stability
Many new competitors Strong competitive position
Rapid changes in social and economic conditions Evolutionary, rather than rapid social, political change
Unstable product/service demand patterns Stable demand patterns
Small organizational size, poor management practices (crisis management) Strong management practices.
Type and Quality of Information
The information used to forecast personnel needs originates from a multitude of sources. A major issues in personnel planning is the type of information which should be used in making forecasts. Table illustrates the type and levels of forecasting information useful to personnel planners.
Strategic information General organizational information Specific information necessary for HRP
Product mix Organizational structure Job analysis
Customer mix Information flows Skills inventories
Competitive emphasis Operating and capital budgets Management inventories
Geographic limits of market Functional area objectives Available training and development programmes
Production schedules Recruitment sources
Distribution channels Labour market analysis
Sales territories Compensation programmes
Production processes Constitutional provisions and labour laws
Level of technology Retirement plans
Planning horizons Turnover data.
Closely related to the type of information is the quality of data used. The quality and accuracy of information listed in table depend upon the clarity with which the organizational decision makers have defined their strategy, organizational structure, budgets, production schedules and so forth.
Nature of Jobs being Filled
Personnel planners must consider the nature of jobs being filled in the organization. Job vacancies arise because of separations, promotions and expansion strategies.
It is easy to employ shop-floor workers, but a lot of sourcing is necessary for hiring managerial personnel. It is, therefore, necessary for the personnel department to anticipate vacancies, as far in advance as possible, to provide sufficient lead time to ensure that suitable candidates are recruited.
Off-loading the Work
Several organizations off-load part of their work to outside parties either in the form of sub-contracting or ancillarisation. Off-loading is a regular feature both in the public sector as well as in the private sector. Most organizations have surplus labour and they do not want to worsen the problem by hiring more people. Hence, the need for off-loading.
THE PLANNING PROCESS
HRP essentially involves forecasting personnel needs, assessing personnel supply and matching demand-supply factors through personnel-related programmes. The planning process is influenced by overall organizational objectives and the environment of business. Figure illustrates the planning process.
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 managements and the role of HRP is to sub serve the overall objectives by ensuring availability and utilization of human resources.
Once the organizational objectives are specified, communicated and understood by all concerned, the HR department must specify its objectives with regard to HR utilization in the organization. In developing these objectives, specific policies need to be formulated to address the following questions:
Are vacancies to be filled by promotions from within or hiring from outside?
How do the training and development objectives interface with the HRP objectives?
What union constraints are encountered in HRP and what policies are needed to handle these constraints?
How to enrich employee’s job? Should the routine and boring jobs continue or be eliminated?
How to downsize the organization to make it more competitive?
To what extent production and operation be automated and what can be done about those displaced?
How to ensure continuous availability of adaptive and flexible workforce?
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 would be translated into a production plan giving the number and type of products to be produced in each period. From this information, the number of hours to be worked by each skilled category to make the quota for each period would be computed. Once the hours are available, determining the quality and quantity of personnel-supply forecasting.
There are several good reasons to conduct demand forecasting. It can help: i) quantify the jobs necessary for producing a given number of goods, or offering a given amount of service; (ii) determine what staff-mix is desirable in the future; (iii) assess appropriate staffing levels in different parts of the organization so as to avoid unnecessary costs; (iv) prevent shortages of people where and when they are needed most; and v) monitor compliance with legal requirements with regard to reservation of jobs.
Forecasting techniques vary from simple to sophisticated ones. Before describing each technique, if may be stated that organizations generally follow more than one technique. The technique are:
Work study techniques
This technique is very simple. In this, managers sit together, discuss and arrive at a figure, which would be the future demand for labour. The technique may involve a ‘bottom-up’ or a ‘top down’ approach. In the first, line managers submit their departmental proposals to top mangers who arrive at the company forecasts. In the ‘top down’ approach, top managers prepare company and departmental forecasts. These forecasts are reviewed with departmental heads and agreed upon. Neither of these approaches is accurate-a combination of the two could yield positive results.
This is the quickest forecasting technique. The technique involves studying past ratios, say, between the number of workers and sales in an organization and forecasting future ratios, making some allowance for changes in the organization or its methods.
Work-study techniques can be used when it is possible to apply work measurement to calculate the length of operations and the amount of labour required. The starting point in a manufacturing company is the production budget, prepared in terms of volumes of saleable products for the company as a whole, or volumes of output for individual departments. The budgets of productive hours are then compiled using standard hours for direct labour.
Named after the ancient Greek oracle at the city of Delphi, the Delphi technique is a method of forecasting personnel needs. It solicits estimates of personnel needs from a group of experts, usually managers. The HRP experts act as intermediaries, summarize the various responses and report the findings back to the experts. The experts are surveyed again after they receive this feedback. Summaries and surveys are repeated until the experts’ opinions begin to agree. The agreement reached is the forecast of the personnel needs. The distinguishing feature of the Delphi technique is the absence of interaction among experts.
Flow models are very frequently associated with forecasting personnel needs. The simplest one is called the Markov model. In this technique, the forecasters will:
Determine the time that should be covered. Shorter lengths of time are generally more accurate than longer ones. However, the it time horizon depends on the length of the HR plan which, in turn is determined by the strategic plan of the organization.
Establish categories also called states, to which employees can be assigned. These categories must not overlap and must take into account every possible category to which an individual can be assigned. The number of states can neither be too large nor too small.
Count annual movements (also called ‘flows’) among states for several time periods. These states are defined as absorbing (gains or losses to the company) or non absorbing (change in position levels or employment status). Losses include death or disability, absences, resignations and retirements. Gains include hiring, rehiring, transfer and movement by position level.
Estimate the probability of transitions from one state to another based on past trends. Demand is a function of replacing those who make a transition.
HR Supply Forecast
Personal demand analysis provides the manager with the means of estimating the number and kind of employees that will be required. The logical 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.
Just as there are valid reasons why companies make demand forecast, there are enough arguments for supply forecast. In fact, fewer organizations estimate HR supplies than demand. 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 met 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 people where and when they are most needed, and (v) monitors expected future compliance with legal requirements of job reservations.
The supply analysis covers:
1. Existing human resources
2. Internal sources of supply, and
3. External sources of supply.
Analysis of present employees is greatly facilitated by HR audits. HR audits summarize each employee’s skills and abilities. The audits of non-managers are called skills inventories and those of the management are called management inventories. Whatever name is used, an inventory catalogues each employee’s skills and abilities. This summary gives planners a comprehensive understanding of the capabilities found in the organization’s workforce.
Skills inventories consolidate information about non-managers in the organization. Because the information from skills inventories is used as input into transfer and promotion decisions, they should contain information about each employee’s current job. Seven broad categories of information are included in each skills inventory. They are:
Personal data-age, sex, marital status.
Skills-education, job experience, training.
Special qualifications-membership in professional bodies, special achievements.
Salary and job history-present and past salary, dates of pay raises. Various jobs held.
Company data-benefit plan data, retirement information, seniority.
Capacity of individual –scores on psychological and other tests, health information.
Special preference of individual-geographic location, type of job.
These includes such data as :
Weaknesses-identification of specific training programmes needed to remove the weakness.
Number and types of employees supervised
Total budget managed
Previous management duties.
Armed with HR audits, planners can proceed with the analysis of internal supply. The techniques generally used for the purpose are: (i) inflows and outflows, (ii) turnover rate, (iii) conditions of work and absenteeism, (iv) productivity level, and (v) movement among jobs.
Inflows and Outflows
This simplest way to forecast internal supply is the inflows and outflows method. The method is illustrated in Table.
Estimation of internal supply for a word processing job
Sources of inflows No. of People Sources of Outflows No.of People
Transfers in 12 Current Personnel Level 250 operators Resignations 13
Promotions in 10 Discharges 2
Total inflows 22 Total outflows 42
Current personnel level-outflows + inflows = internal supply of word processors 250 – 42 + 22 = 230 processors
Turnover rate is the traditional and simple method of forecasting internal supply. Stated algebraically, the turnover rate is:
Conditions of Work and Absenteeism
Changes in conditions of work such as normal weekly working hours, overtime policies, the length and timing of holidays, retirement policy, the policy for employing part-times and shift systems need to be assessed.
Absenteeism is understood as unauthorized absence from work. Stated differently, it amounts to absenteeism when an employee is scheduled to work but fails to report for duty.
Any change in productivity would affect the number of persons required per unit of output. Increase in productivity will reduce the requirement, and decrease in it would have the opposite effect.
Movement among jobs
Some jobs are sources of personnel for other jobs. For example, secretaries may be obtained by the promotion of typists, and branch managers are obtained from a pool of section managers. If, for example, we anticipate a need for five new branch mangers seven years from now, more than five potential branch managers should have entered the company this year, assuming that seven years is the average development time. Obviously, some will quit before the seven years are up and others may not qualify for promotion.
In addition to internal supply, the organization needs to look out for prospective employees from external sources. External sources are important for specific reasons: 9i) new blood and new experience will be available, (ii) organization needs to replenish lost personnel, and (iii) organizational growth and diversification create the needs to use external sources to obtain additional number and type of employees.
Sources of external supply vary from industry to industry, organization to organization, and also from one geographical location to another. Some organizations have found that their best source of further employees are colleges and universities, while others achieve excellent results from consultants, competitors or unsolicited applications.
Once an organization’s 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
Recruitment, Selection and Placement
After the job vacancies are known, efforts must be made to identify sources, and search for suitable candidates. The selection programme should be professionally designed and among other considerations, special care must he taken to ensure compliance with the reservation policies of the government.
Usually, companies hire for specific job openings. However, some companies hire a group of qualified individuals (management trainees, for example) not for specific jobs. Employees are hired when there are job vacancies. However, employers should consider other alternatives to hiring additional full-time employees.
Business Process Reengineering (BPR) helps firms eliminate unnecessary activities and steps, thus eliminating employee requirement.
Fig: Program planning options
Training and Development
The training and development programme should cover 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 covers actions which would help reduce avoidable separations of employees. Important actions under this head are:
Compensation plan: Increasing pay levels to meet competition, improving pay structures to remove inequities, altering payment system to reduce excess fluctuations, introducing incentives which would match performances.
Performance appraisal: To assess employee performance at least once in a year.
Employees leaving in search of green pastures: Providing better career opportunities and ensuring that employees are aware of such schemes.
Employees quitting because of conflict: To encourage conflict but maintain it at a reasonable level, when conflict exceeds safe limits, to take steps to resolve conflict.
The induction crisis: Improving recruitment and selection procedures to ensure that job requirements are specified accurately and that the people who are selected if the specifications; ensuring that candidates are given a realistic picture of the job, pay and working conditions, developing better induction and initial training programmes.
Shortages: Improving recruitment, selection and training for the people required; introducing better methods of planning and scheduling work to lessen peak loads.
Unstable recruits: Taking more care o avoid recruiting unstable individuals by analyzing the characteristics of applicants who are likely to cause instability, and using this analysis to select the right candidates.
Where there is surplus workforce, trimming of labour force will be necessary. The trimming or downsizing plan shall indicate:
Who is to be made redundant and where and when;
Plans for re-development or re-training, where this has not been covered in the –re-development plan.
Steps to be taken to help redundant employees find new jobs;
Policy for declaring redundancies and making redundancy payments; and
Programme for consulting with unions or staff associations and informing those affected.
Managerial Succession Planning
Notwithstanding the expansion or contraction of the total workforce in an organization, the need for good managers is critical and perpetual. More and more organization are planning for managerial succession and development because they have found that it takes year of systematic grooming to produce effective managers.
Methods of succession planning vary. Most successful programmes, however, seem to include the top management’s involvement and commitment, high level review of the succession plans, formal assessment of the performance and potential of the candidates, and written development plans for the individual candidates. Succession plan should centre on important jobs and should identify correctly the skills requirement of those jobs.
Most managerial succession planning systems rely on committees of higher level mangers to identify high potential candidates, and plan developmental activities for them. Development plans include formal training programmers and a series of job assignments leading to top positions. The plans are formally presented to higher level mangers for review.
A typical succession planning involves the following activities:
Analysis of the demand for managers and professionals by company level, function and skill.
Audit of existing executives and projection of likely future supply form internal and external sources.
Planning of individual career paths based on objective estimates of future needs, and drawing on reliable performance appraisals and assessments of potential.
Career counselling undertaken in the context of a realistic understanding of the future needs of the firm, as well as those of the individual.
Accelerated promotions, with development targeted against the future needs of the business.
Performance-related training and development, to prepare individuals for future roles as well as current responsibilities.
Planned strategic recruitment, not only to fill short-term needs but also to provide people for development of met future needs.
The actual activities by which openings are filled.
Control and Evaluation
Control and evaluation represents the fifth and the final phase in the HRP process. The HR plan should include 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 (identifying both those who are in post and those who are in pipe line) 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.
REQUISITES FOR SUCCESSFUL HRP
There are at lest eight pre-requisites for successful HRP:
1. People question the importance of making HR practices future oriented and the role assigned to HR practitioners in formulation of organizational strategies. Their argument is simple there are people when needed. Offer attractive packages of benefits to them to quit when you find them in surplus. When the task is so simple, why an elaborate and time-consuming planning for human resources? Thus goes the argument. Surprisingly, this perception about HRP is also held by the top management.
2. HR practitioners are perceived as experts in handling personnel matters, but are not experts in managing business. The personnel plan conceived and formulated by the HR practitioners when enmeshed with organisational plan might make the overall strategic plan itself defective.
3. HR information often is incompatible with the information used in strategy formulation. Strategic planning efforts have long been oriented towards financial forecasting often to the exclusion of other types of information. Financial forecasting takes precedence over HRP.
4. Conflicts may exist between short-term and long-term HR needs. For example, there arises a conflict between the pressure to get the work done on time and long-term needs, such as preparing people for assuming greater responsibilities. Many managers are of the belief that HR needs can be met immediately because skills are available on the market as long as wages and salaries are competitive. These managers fail to recognise that by resorting to hiring or promoting depending on short term needs alone, long term issues are neglected.
5. There is conflict between quantitative and qualitative approaches to HRP. Some people view HRP as a numbers game designed to track the flow of people across the departments. These people take a strictly quantitative approach to planning. Others take a qualitative approach and focus on individual employee concerns such as promotability and career development. Best results would accrue if there is a balance between the quantitative and qualitative approaches.
6. Non-involvement of operating managers renders HRP is not strictly an HR department function. Successful planning needs a co-ordinated effort on the part of operating managers and HR personnel.
III. HRP PRACTISED AT CARE
The HRP Process
The is no universally accepted HRP process. Each firm has its own formula and each author has his own recommended set of activities.” (one of such basic models is shown in figure-1 as an example). But from these formulas and recommendations, it is clear that the HRP process is mainly a three-phased process: (i) Determination of demand for HR; (ii) supply of HR; and (iii) action plan for correcting any imbalance between the demand & supply. For our discussion of HRP of the CARE we shall follow these three steps.
Figure 1: A Basic Model for HRP System
Source : R. Kreitner, Management (4th ed). Houghton Mifflin Company (Boston), 1989, p. 349.
(i) Determination of Demand for HR:
Generally in most profit-oriented organisations the top management examine factors in the external and internal environment, analyse the strategic advantages of the organisation, and set its objectives for the planning period. Human resource planning translates the business decisions of top management into human resource implications. CARE Bangladesh, being a non-profit service oriented organisation, has its own unique way of HRP. It does not produce any tangible goods; and for that it is not possible to do demand forecasting on the basis of output per employee. CARE handles demand forecasting differently for its Head Office as opposed to its projects.
(a) Demand forecasting of the HR in the Head Office: For its Head Office personnel, CARE uses the system of ‘Managerial Judgement’ to determine its HR requirements. The parent organisation in New York initially sets a budget which specifies the number of staff required in the country Head Office. Not much formal forecasting is involved in this area. When positions become vacant due to promotions, resignations etc. the personnel department carries out on internal human audit to find out whether any one is qualified to fill the vacancy.
(b) Demand forecasting of the HR in the projects: CARE works on a project basis to forecast its HR demand. Recruitment is done when a project is being launched. The required HR for a given project is determined systematically starting from the perception of a problem (i.e. a project) to find out how to tackle it and then deciding the number & quality of people needed to implement it. One unique chareacteristic of CARE is that once it starts to phase out a project, another one is developed. Their farsightedness in this way makes it possible to transfer their existing employees from one project to another after giving them the necessary training. Recruiting is done only when posts remain unfulfilled through the inter-project transfers. The specific steps followed in forecasting the HR demand are as follows:
Setp 1: The top level managers at CARE decide on a particular problem which is thought to be detrimental for the country. For
example, they have launched a project called TICA which goes toward solving the problem of child mortality and maternal
health in the rural areas.
Setp 2 : After the project launching decision, the causal factors behind the problem (or project) are sought. The causal analysis reveals areas which need to be addressed and project goals are set. These goals are called “Intermediate Goals” and to meet these goals certain activities are planned. The activities are arranged in order of importance and the type of people needed to carry out such activities are determined.
Step 3: Job specifications are now drawn out stating the skills required to perform the job and the physical demands that the job places upon the employee performing it. Skills relevant to a job includes education or experience, specialized training, personal traits or abilities and manual dexterities (where required). The physical demands of the job refers to being posted in districts one’s own home town, the amount of time which needs to be spent in the fields, etc.
These job specifications are then incorporated into job descriptions which gives a more explicit diagram of what position the employee will hold. The job descriptions include items such as job title, reporting hierarchy and be performed. CARE includes the statement, “Do/perform other assignments reasonably associated with but not listed in your present job descriptions” to make sure that in an emergency situation employees will be flexible enough to perform other related but necessary tasks.
Depending on the size of the project and the area which needs to be covered, the required number of staff and project workers are determined. “The Project Activity Targets” are used as guidelines to allocate the right kind of HR at the right time.
Each fiscal year is divided up into three trimesters, each containing four months of work scheduled. The planned work schedule is compared to the actual work done and deviations are recorded which are evaluated and adjusted for in the next trimester. The amount of time needed to perform certain tasks are calculated in either man-days or person months. For example: if 1 man works 1 day then it is called 1 man-day. Therefore, when 50 men work in 1 day, it is calculated as 50×1 = 50 man-days.
Example: Project TICA
To make the system of forecasting demand for manpower even more clearer we will now look at project TICA and see how the demand forecasting for HR is done.
The TICA project was undertaken to assist the Government of Bangladesh with its Outreach Immunization Program. The programming strategy of the project was to work with and strengthen the capability of the Ministry of Health and Family Planning (MOHFP) at every level. The ultimate objective of the project is to ensure a sustained delivery of total Primary health Care (PHC) services to almost all rural people of the project areas, (namely, Barisal, & Jessore) specifically to the mothers and children, by MOHFP staff.
The intermediate goals set by CARE includes such thing as : (a) reduction of current rates of post vaccination complications by 50%; (b) strengthening the management skills of national, district, and upazilla level MOHFP-EPI workers; (c) increasing immunization coverage; and (d) increasing community mobilization for outreach immunization in the project areas.
To achieve these intermediate goals, project activity targets are set.
Step 1 : training curriculums have to be developed and refresher training guidelines are determined.
Step 2 : to train the trainers on the methodology to be used. The trainers come from within the organisation and the methodology is developed in the Training and Staff Development Unit at CARE. During this training phase, Project Officers and Community Organizers and even the Head Quarter Personnel involved with the TICA project are all brought up to date with the goals of the project and how to go about achieving them.
Step 3: to train the Union Level MOHFP Field Workers/ Supervisors. The supervisors/field workers are trained to deliver Maternal Child Health (MCH) care and Family Planning services and the mid-level MOHFP managers are taught how to manage projects and monitor them.
Step 4 : to allow the MOHFP workers to implement their training knowledge in the rural communities. The TICA project staff along with the MOHFA supervisors continue to monitor their activities.
To implement such an important project it is essential that social mobilization take place in the rural areas-the school teachers are oriented to the immunisation strategy, womens group meeting are organised to disseminate information one MCH family planning, etc.
The Upazilla MOHFP managers are taught how to manage their projects independently and they have to prepare monthly reports and distribute them amongst the Project Managers, Counterparts, Donors, and Head Quarters. Based on there monthly reports, trimesterly reports are prepared. An evaluation system is also developed.
During each of these phases, HR is allocated on the basis of person-months. If a full time co-ordinator is needed, the amount of time he/she works will equal to 12 person-months (1 person x 12 months.). Each trimester will be allotted 4 person-months. Similarly, the rest of the project staff will have their time divided up according to the phases of the project (appertdix-2). Deviations in person-months are shown as a negative deviation and steps will be taken to fill that post.
To make the HRP process even more simplier a chart has been developed at CARE to determine the number of overhead staff required to manage the activities of the project workers. Guidelines are given to show which categories of staff are necessary, given the number of project workers. For example, a sub-office has less than 30 Project workers, 1 Administrative Officer, 2 Secretarial Staff, 3 Guards, 1 Office Helper, Drivers (as per project need) and 1 Mechanical Helper (appendix-3).
To sum up the demand forecasting method that CARE uses, we see that the number of Project Staff needed is determined by the area of coverage of the respective project. Based on this the number and type of Overhead Staff is calculated.
(ii) Supply of HR:
Supply side involves two sources of HR :(a) internal (existing/available in the organisation); and (b) external (available in labor market).
(a) internal source (or existing HR) : The need for supply forecasting arises in CARE when a new project is to be launched. As previously stated, job descriptions prepared for the different categories of employees are first matched with the in-house supply of workers already on files. These files contain information regarding age, level of education and any other special skills that an employee might have. The files are updated once a year when a comprehensive evaluation is done to determine employees’ training needs, promotions, and transferes that need to be looked into.
“HR Inventories” are necessary in developing a new project because unless it is known what categories of skilled employees are available and in what numbers, recruitment connot take place. The computerized system at CARE enables them to keep these records efficiently in their human resource inventoies. The information contained in the HR inventories indicates the number of people approaching the retirement age and identifies any blockage in promotion prospects. In CARE, a five-year projection to determine the number of employees approaching retirement age is being considered.
CARE has systematically compiled information regarding the number of project workers and overhead or administrative staff to calculate ratios between the two categories of workers and overhead or administrative staff to calculate ratios between the two categories of workers. -The average ratio of overhead staff to project workers comes to 41:100. In other words, for each overhead staff, there is almost 2.5 Project Workers. These ratios fluctuate between projects in various districts. Table I gives a more detailed picture of these ratios.
Based on these ratios we can forecast the supply of qualified people available in CARE to take up relevant positions.
In calculating supply of HR, the vacancies created by the employees who leave the ‘company, should be taken into account.
HRP techniques must statistically estimate how many are likely to leave during a given period. This can be accomplished by using
labor turnover calculations. The formula of calculating “Labor Turnover Index” or “Manpower Wastages” is :
Number of leavers in 1 year
Labor Turnover Index =
Average employees in that year x 100
The Personnel Department at CARE calculates turnover rates of the employees every year to see the trend. These are shown in the Table 2 and 3.
These rate are shown on a district basis as well as their aggregates. CARE Bangladesh has determined the total rate of turnover be 13.54%. The total turnover rate was 13.68% for the year ’88 and ’89 consecutively. The rates do not seem to fluctuate enough to be any significance. According to the Personnel Manager the highest turnover in the last 10 years was 21%.
Along with external departures, HR supply forecast also be aware of internal organizational moves12. Internal moves involve promotions, transfers, and absenteeism.
CARE practices the system of hiring some staff as Management trainees. These people are given training in the fields of Management, Finance and Budgeting, Personnel, Project Management while they perform their regular duties. This enables the Personnel Department to promote these highly skilled people to the higher levels of the organisation without causing any disturbances.
Transfers can take place between projects in the lower levels of the organisation where specialized skills are not necessary. The reaction caused by these transfers are not significant. Project staff can get transferred every 2-3 years where as Overhead Staff may remain in the same project (s) for 5-6 years. Replacement is sought within the organisation. When a position becomes vacant, applications are sent by qualified employees to secure the post. If a lot of applications are already available then a choice can be made internally. It is the discretion of the management team to hire additional staff.
Absenteeism is minimum at CARE. Employees enjoy a two day wec-kend after every 5 days of work completed. They also have 16 days of annual leave, 15 days sick leave and 15 other government approved holidays, and all with pay. Any one who goes beyond this amount of time will have to take pay cuts in their salary. The working environment in CARE is most congenial and employees look forward to working there.
(b) external sources of HR : The density of population in all over Bangladesh is fairly even. If CARE wishes to set up another project, it will have to face no problem in selecting a site and choosing its employees locally.
There has been a demand in the market place for computer programmers, female secretaries, and business administration graduates. The supply of such trained professionals have not increased to the point of matching the demand. Most of the departments at CARE are equipped with computers which are operated by that department’s employees. This may indicate that CARE makes the effort to train its employees in the necessary skills to perform their jobs efficiently.
CARE in most cases, tries to recruit its employees in various positions from with-in the organisation. By filling vacancies through internal promotions and transfers, CARE has managed to capitalize on the cost it has invested in recruiting, selecting, and training its current employees.
(iii) Action Plan to Overcome the Imbalance between Supply and Demand of HR:
Once the net HR requirements have been determined (through the demand & supply), action plans must be-developed for achieving the desired results. If the net requirements indicate a need for additions, plans must be made to recruit, select, orient & train the specific numbers and types of personnel needed. If a reduction is necessary, plans must be made to realize the necessary adjustments13.
(a) The Recruitment Plan : For an organisation such as CARE, it not necessary to forecast HR requirement for several years in the future. The absence of rapid changes in terms of expansion plans make it ideal for them to carry out the forecast on a year to year basis. The Annual Implementation Plan (AIP) sets out when and where they are needed. When a project is developed, first an in¬house search is done to find out if qualified people exist in the organisation who can fill certain positions. CARE does not hire anyone under the age of 18.
Certain projects need specialised professionals such as doctors, engineers, and other technical personnel. These people are usually required from outside for the duration of the projects. Table 4 summarizes the requirement needs for various categories of employees at CARE for the year 1994.
The employees are categorized into four classes: management, midlevel, secretarial, and support staff level. Since it is expected that the management level would remain intact, for the year 1994, there is no requirement for additional personnel in this category. Three in the mid-level and five in the support staff level is expected to retire by the next year. Six others from the mid-level, ten from the secretarial level and twenty seven from the support¬staff level have either a possibility of being transferred or promoted out to other projects or may leave the organisation for better prospects. Although there is to be no additional need for personnel at the management level, five at the mid level, twelve at the secretarial level and twenty at the support staff level would be required for the next year. Finally, the table suggests that for the next year and addition of 13 at the mid level, 20 at the secretarial level and 29 at the support staff level would be sufficient.
(b) The Redundancy Plan: When a position no longer exists, and employee is made redundant or is retrenched. CARE has a plan of rehiring these employees if a situation becomes vacant or if the employees services are once again needed. But no retrenched employee can be hired more than twice. The retrenchment has to be approved by the Country Director. CARE maintains a policy of making redundant the last man hired in a particular category. The employees are compensated adequately for the loss of their jobs and are given a full months notice in advance. Redundancies usually occur when a project is phased out and if another one is not started immediately. The relieved employees are given training to cope with new responsibilities in a new project.
(iv) CONCLUSIONS & RECOMMENDATIONS
The success of any organisation depends on having the right people in the right job at the right time. HRP is necessary because it is not possible to go out and find an appropriate person overnight. CARE has developed a systematic planning for HR and this systematic planning for HRP helped CARE to have the right people in the right job at the right time which ultimately leaded in to the long-run success. To further increase the efficiency of HRP of CARE the following recommendations are made:
(i) Turnover rates are presently being done at various district levels, which dilutes part of the relevant information. It would be meaningful to calculate the turnover at various levels of CARE as well. From this it can be seen at what level what rate of turnover is taking place and from this management would be able to focus on areas of concern. Such calculation can be carried out within the framework of existing personnel force and with very little extra effort.
(ii) Succession planning identifies specific people to fill key positions throughout the organisation. Succession planning almost always involves the use of a replacement chart. A basic replacement chart show both incumbents and potential replacements for given positions. Sophisticated succession planning helps ensure that qualified internal candidates are not overlooked14. The mid-level employees of CARE would be better motivated if they can foresee their future roles along the organisational hierarchy. CARE can take up succession planning for employee, through preparing an “Organisation Replacement Chart”, to encourage them in identifying themselves in future positions in the long-run.
(iii) In forecasting demand & supply of HR, CARE can further quantify it’s techniques – which will be more cost-saving, more accurate, and quicker. In forecasting demand it can use “Work-Study Techniques”, Economertic Model etc. and in forecsting supply, specially in transfers & promotions, it can use Markov-Chain
(iv) CARE can use a relatively new approach to human resource planning, Commitment Manpower Planning (CMP), designed to get manager and their subordinates thinking about and involved in HRP. In addition to encouraging managers and subordinates to think about HRP, the strength of CMP is that it provides a systematic approach to HRP16.