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

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

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

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

The charts from replacement planning could be aggregated across the organization to provide a corporate composite of talent availability. . It differs from skills inventory in the amount and details of information maintained. along with thorough assessment of their current performance. 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. 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.

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.Succession Planning: Build upon replacement plans and directly tie to leadership development. 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 . In reality it is very rare. No action is needed to be taken in that case rather maintaining that status and standard is sufficient. Ensures that candidates for promotion have the specific KSAOs and general competencies required for success on the new job. Statistical / Quantitative: Statistical technique treats employees as numbers and forecast their movements based on probabilities. Assesses each promotable employee for KSAO or competency gaps and where there are gaps. creates employee training and development plans that will close those gaps. Only in very small firms operating in stable environment that demand equals supply.

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

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