Human Resource Forecasting

We know that managing a successful large business involves acquiring, developing and maintaining a wide range of resources. These resources include materials, buildings, land, equipment, technology and, crucially, people. In the age of competition, market is highly dynamic and customers look for the best deals and are increasingly prepared to switch to the competitors. So, companies do not have any other choice than to compete better than their competitors. Human resource management has a critical role to play in supporting the corporate strategic plan. All the HR functions contribute positively to achieving the objective. The main task of human resource management is to support other departments to have the best people. Therefore, there is a critical need to get the best people in the right place at the right time. Forecasting helps to match the requirements and the availabilities of employees which is basically an estimation of the number (quantity) and kind (quality) of employees the organization will need at future dates to meet its objectives. Forecasting is based on information from the past and the present to identify expected future conditions. Such information may come from external environmental scanning and/or the assessment of internal strengths and weaknesses.

So, there are two kinds of forecasting methods: qualitative and quantitative methods

Choice of a forecasting technique:

Forecasters can choose either the qualitative or quantitative techniques. Also, they can combine them. The assumption is that a pattern exists concerning the predictors of labor supply or demand. In choosing a forecasting technique, the following factors should be considered. 1. Organization's environment. Jackson and Schuler (1990: 22) observe that organizations operating in fairly stable environments may be able "to quantify the expected values of variables in their models, which means they can use statistical forecasting models." Conversely, for firms operating in unstable environments, quantitatively based predictions are likely to be highly

1986: 639. since "both the variables and their expected values are difficult to specify accurately by replying on historical data". 2. forestry.. Fiorito et al. In sum. and acquire resource slack tend to use similar forecasting techniques (Doeringer et al. mining. and utilities organizations. Stone and Fiorito (1986) suggest that larger organizations tend to use more sophisticated. 3. transportation. 4.tentative. "more sophisticated techniques will be discontinued if perceived uncertainty increases to a point where techniques are no longer feasible. Organizations in industries that are regulated. quantitative techniques than do smaller ones. 1983. communications. these factors suggest that different types of organizations must approach it differently. 1983). In particular. Organization size. 1968. Competition. operate within predictable product markets. which traditionally have had high internal stability due to low turnover among their employees (Duane.. Rowland and Summers. 1996:13). According to them. Perceived uncertainty in labor markets and economy. or if perceived uncertainty decreases to a point where techniques are no longer needed" (Stone and Fiorito. 1967). Moore and Reichert.      Seasonal Fluctuations Interest Rate Currency Exchange Rate Industry and Economy Pattern of Consumer Spending . 1985. this relationship is particularly strong among government. Vatter.

Other experts used include: Organization¶s HR & business planning staff Business consultants. ultimately.Methods used for demand forecasting Qualitative: Subjective techniques rely heavily on qualitative information supplied by managers. Trend Analysis: Use past employment patterns to predict future needs For e. supervisors. Each unit manager makes an estimate of human resource needs for the period of time encompassed by the planning cycle. financial analysts. industry spokespersons Government officials Quantitative/Statistical Techniques: Quantitative approaches utilize mathematical procedures to predict requirements. is an aggregate forecast of needs of the entire organization. university researcher. Managerial Estimates/ Expert Forecast: Bottom up approach. human resource planners. it might assume that it will experience the same growth in the coming year. The result. . if a company has been growing 5% annually for the last eight years.g. union members. The interactive aspect of managerial estimating is one of the advantages of this procedure. and others to develop an estimation of personnel needs. As the process moves upward in the company. each successively higher level of management in turn makes its own estimates of needs. incorporating the input from each of the immediately preceding levels.

Data maintained include:         Educational background Work experience Work skills Licenses or certifications held Biographical data Previous performance appraisal Training programs attended (internal and external) Career goals and aspirations . etc for each department in an organization are examined. Two types of forecasting: Judgmental / Qualitative: Judgmental treat employees as individuals and forecast their movements person by person. the availability must be checked. retirement. Purpose is to enable the organization to readily determine which employees maybe shifted. the organization is able to know if there are employees to cover future demand from within its resources. resignation. due to promotion. Internally. Externally. trends in the industry. such as the labor-force population estimates. The organization must take such factors into consideration to be able to know if ideal candidates can be located. technological developments and shirts. there are many factors. The forecast of the availability of human resources is considering both internal and external supplies. succession plans developed to identify potential personnel changes.Methods used for supply forecasting Once human resources needs have been identified. Skill Inventories: Information maintained on non-managerial employees about their availability and preparedness to move into higher or lateral positions. By the end of this analysis.

Replacement planning precedes succession planning.Managerial Inventories: Collection of data that is used in determining the potential of present managers to progress to positions of greater responsibility. along with thorough assessment of their current performance. Data maintained include:             Work history Educational background Assessment of strengths and weaknesses Development needs Promotion potential Current job performance Field of specialization Job preference Geographical preference Career goals and aspirations Anticipated retirement date Personal history Replacement planning: Focus on the identification of individual employees who will be considered promotion candidates. It differs from skills inventory in the amount and details of information maintained. The charts from replacement planning could be aggregated across the organization to provide a corporate composite of talent availability. .

Vacancy Analysis: Also known as sequencing model analyzes flows of personnel throughout the organization by examining inputs and outputs at each hierarchical or compensation level Equating Demand to Supply: The first 2 phases of HRP are analytical & conceptual and the third phase is action oriented. Ensures that candidates for promotion have the specific KSAOs and general competencies required for success on the new job. In reality it is very rare. creates employee training and development plans that will close those gaps. No action is needed to be taken in that case rather maintaining that status and standard is sufficient. But most of the time various steps are taken to obtain a balance between the number and kind of employees needed & the number and kind available as there remains gap between demand and supply . Assesses each promotable employee for KSAO or competency gaps and where there are gaps.Succession Planning: Build upon replacement plans and directly tie to leadership development. Statistical / Quantitative: Statistical technique treats employees as numbers and forecast their movements based on probabilities. Only in very small firms operating in stable environment that demand equals supply.

By predicting the number of employees to be hired and also by estimating and knowing their quality. Regression analysis . a company would get the best people for the right places and at the right time. organization¶s environment and size. and competition. that is. perceived uncertainty in labor markets and economy. This is necessary if a company wants to compete in the global market. the Miles and Snow typology can be used to determine appropriate forecasting techniques in an organization.Conclusion Forecasting has an important role in successful human resource management of a company. Reference: Considering these factors.

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