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HRP: Human Resource

Planning: Meaning, Definition

and Features
Meaning Human Resource Planning:
Human resource is the most important asset of an organisation. Human
resources planning are the important managerial function. It ensures the right
type of people, in the right number, at the right time and place, who are trained
and motivated to do the right kind of work at the right time, there is generally a
shortage of suitable persons.
The enterprise will estimate its manpower requirements and then find out the
sources from which the needs will be met. If required manpower is not
available then the work will suffer. Developing countries are suffering from the
shortage of trained managers. Job opportunities are available in these
countries but properly trained personnel are not available. These countries try
to import trained skill from other countries.
In order to cope human resource requirements, an enterprise will have to plan
in advance its needs and the sources. The terms human resource planning
and manpower planning are generally used interchangeably. Human resource
planning is not a substitute for manpower planning. Rather the latter is a part
of the former i.e., manpower planning is integrated with human resource

Definition Human Resource Planning:

Important definitions of human resource planning are discussed here to
understand the concept in right perspective:
According to E.W. Vetter, human resource planning is the process by which a
management determines how an organisation should make from its current
manpower position to its desired manpower position.
Through planning a management strives to have the right number and the
right kind of people at the right places, at the right time to do things which
result in both the organisation and the individual receiving the maximum long
range benefit.
Dale S. Beach has defined it as a process of determining and assuring that
the organisation will have an adequate number of qualified persons available
at the proper times, performing jobs which meet the needs of the enterprise
and which provide satisfaction for the individuals involved.
In the words of Leon C. Megginson, human resource planning is an
integration approach to performing the planning aspects of the personnel
function in order to have a sufficient supply of adequately developed and
motivated people to perform the duties and tasks required to meet
organisational objectives and satisfy the individuals needs and goals of
organisational members.
On the analysis of above definitions, human resource planning may be viewed
as foreseeing the human resource requirements of an organisation and the
future supply of human resources and making necessary adjustments

between these two and organisation plans, and foreseeing the possibility of
developing the supply of human resources in order to match it with
requirements by introducing necessary changes in the functions of human
resource management.
Here, human resource means skill, knowledge, values, ability, commitment,
motivation etc., in addition to the number of employees. Though
accomplishment of organisational objectives and goals is the primary concern
of the human resource planning, concern for the aspirations of the people and
their well-being has equal importance in it. In fact, the human resources
planning must result in humanisation of work environment.

Features of Human Resource Planning:

From the study of various definitions, the following features of human
resource planning can be derived:

1. Well Defined Objectives:

Enterprises objectives and goals in its strategic planning and operating
planning may form the objectives of human resource planning. Human
resource needs are planned on the basis of companys goals. Besides,
human resource planning has its own objectives like developing human
resources, updating technical expertise, career planning of individual
executives and people, ensuring better commitment of people and so on.

2. Determining Human Resource Reeds:

Human resource plan must incorporate the human resource needs of the
enterprise. The thinking will have to be done in advance so that the persons

are available at a time when they are required. For this purpose, an enterprise
will have to undertake recruiting, selecting and training process also.

3. Keeping Manpower Inventory:

It includes the inventory of present manpower in the organisation. The
executive should know the persons who will be available to him for
undertaking higher responsibilities in the near future.

4. Adjusting Demand and Supply:

Manpower needs have to be planned well in advance as suitable persons are
available in future. If sufficient persons will not be available in future then
efforts should be .made to start recruitment process well in advance. The
demand and supply of personnel should be planned in advance.

5. Creating Proper Work Environment:

Besides estimating and employing personnel, human resource planning also
ensures that working conditions are created. Employees should like to work in
the organisation and they should get proper job satisfaction.

Human resource planning is a process through which the right candidate for
the right job is ensured. For conducting any process, the foremost essential
task is to develop the organizational objective to be achieved through
conducting the said process.

Six steps in human

resource planning
are presented
1. Analysing Organizational Objectives:
The objective to be achieved in future in various fields such as production,
marketing, finance, expansion and sales gives the idea about the work to be
done in the organization.
2. Inventory of Present Human Resources:
From the updated human resource information storage system, the current
number of employees, their capacity, performance and potential can be
analysed. To fill the various job requirements, the internal sources (i.e.,
employees from within the organization) and external sources (i.e., candidates
from various placement agencies) can be estimated.
3. Forecasting Demand and Supply of Human Resource:
The human resources required at different positions according to their job
profile are to be estimated. The available internal and external sources to fulfill
those requirements are also measured. There should be proper matching of
job description and job specification of one particular work, and the profile of
the person should be suitable to it.

4. Estimating Manpower Gaps:

Comparison of human resource demand and human resource supply will
provide with the surplus or deficit of human resource. Deficit represents the
number of people to be employed, whereas surplus represents termination.
Extensive use of proper training and development programme can be done to
upgrade the skills of employees.
5. Formulating the Human Resource Action Plan:
The human resource plan depends on whether there is deficit or surplus in the
organization. Accordingly, the plan may be finalized either for new recruitment,
training, interdepartmental transfer in case of deficit of termination, or
voluntary retirement schemes and redeployment in case of surplus.
6. Monitoring, Control and Feedback:
It mainly involves implementation of the human resource action plan. Human
resources are allocated according to the requirements, and inventories are
updated over a period. The plan is monitored strictly to identify the
deficiencies and remove it. Comparison between the human resource plan
and its actual implementation is done to ensure the appropriate action and the
availability of the required number of employees for various jobs.

General and Specific Purpose of Job

Job description is all about collecting and recording basic job-related data
that includes job title, job location, job summary, job duties, reporting
information, working conditions, tools, machines and equipments to be
used and hazards and risks involved in it. A job description may or may not
have specific purpose. It depends on what HR managers want to determine
and what is the objective of conducting the process of job analysis.
Job Description is a summary of job analysis findings that helps managers
determine what an employee is supposed to do when onboard. The
purpose of job description depends on the level of details the job
findings include. Job description carried for general purpose typically
involves job identification (title, designation, location) and a statement of
duties and functions of a prospective or existing employee. A specifically
carried job description includes detailed information about the kind of job,
how it is supposed to be performed and what is expected to be delivered.

Lets discuss the general and specific purpose of conducting a job

description process.

General Purpose of Job Description

General purpose job descriptions are used by organizations to find the very
basic information about a particular job opening. Though data includes
workers duties but does not contain sub tasks, performance standards and
basis for evaluating jobs and establishing right compensation packages.
The main benefit of general purpose job description is that it does not
consume much time and quickly provides basic information to managers. It
does not require much human efforts and is very easy and convenient to
carry out. Additionally, a job analyst does not have to conduct deep
research to gather the required details.
The main disadvantage of general purpose job description is that it does
not provide managers with full-fledged information about job context and
sub tasks. Sometimes, a manager may fail to extract correct information
from such small amount of data.

Specific Purpose of Job Description

Specific purpose job description includes detailed information about job
responsibilities of an employee. It also covers sub tasks, essential functions
and detailed job duties. It involves huge amount of details such as what an
employee needs to do, how it is to be done and what are the performance
standards, etc.
The main benefit of specific purpose job description is that it offers ample
information to evaluate job performance and determine training needs of

employees. It serves as a basis for all other HR processes including

recruitment and selection, performance appraisal, compensation decision
and many more.
Though it assists managers in decision making process but it has its own
limitations. The process, however, may take very long and consume lots of
human efforts. Since, it involves collecting detailed information; the biased
nature of job analyst can cause severe problems. The data collected may
not be 100 percent genuine.
Therefore, it can be said that information collected during job analysis
defines the purpose of job description. If data collected is extremely basic,
it will serve only the general purpose and therefore, can not be used for
making management decisions. On the other hand, detailed data serves
the specific purpose and can be easily used while making important

The Importance of Job Descriptions

All employees like to know what is expected of them and
how they will be evaluated. Job descriptions can also be a
great value to employers. Creating a job description often
results in a thought process that helps determine how
critical the job is, how this particular job relates to others
and identify the characteristics needed by a new employee
filling the role.
A job description typically outlines the necessary skills,
training and education needed by a potential employee. It
will spell out duties and responsibilities of the job. Once a
job description is prepared, it can serve a basis for

interviewing candidates, orienting a new employee and

finally in the evaluation of job performance. Using job
descriptions is part of good management.
Components of a Job Description
1. A summary statement. These one or two sentences
include a general statement of duties and mentions
who the employee would report to.
2. Functions of the position. Usually this section is the
most lengthy. It details what the job actually entails
and can be quite specific. It should detail any
supervisory functions in addition to being as specific
as possible describing tasks the employee will face
every day. This is also the best place to indicate
whether the person will deal with customers, the
public or only internal employees. You can also use
this section to place priorities on the activities.
3. Attributes needed for the position. If the position
involves the use of machinery (or computers), spell
out what type of machines or software the employee
will use. Also detail any technical or educational
requirements that may be critical or desired. This is
also the place to provide some insights into the type of
work environment you are attempting to maintain. Is it
pure business, or must the person be able to
contribute to an overall spirit of the organization?
4. Reporting. Provide details on the reporting and
organizational structure. This will help the employee
better understand how their activities fit into the total
5. Evaluation criteria. The more specific you can get
the better. Writing this section will probably enable you
to define what is most important for the organization
as well as the employee. Try to make sure the
evaluation criteria of the position will promote the type

of activities to enhance the success of the business.

Also provide details on when evaluations will take
6. Compensation. Including a range instead of a
specific figure will give you more flexibility, but most
people will feel they should be at the top of the range.
It is usually better to have a specific dollar amount,
especially if you are giving the job description to the
employee. If your organization uses salary grades,
use that.
7. Physical location and surroundings.
Using job descriptions will help an organization better
understand the experience and skill base needed to
enhance the success of the company. They help in the
hiring, evaluation and potentially terminating of employees.
All too often, there is a misunderstanding of what a position
entails and a well-prepared job description can help both
sides share a common understanding.

Significance of Job-Analysis:
Job analysis is a process of collecting information regarding
the nature, operation and responsibilities of a specific job so
that the personnel department become aware of the
knowledge, skill and experience that an individual prospective
employee should possess in order to perform that particular
job Armed with the knowledge gained from an accurate job
analysis, the personnel department become successful in
their task of recruiting the right people for a specific job.

Since job analysis clearly defines the labor needs of an

organization, it is very helpful in organizational planning by coordination the activities of the workforce and facilitating the
recruitment and selection of personnel by matching the jobs
with their qualities.
By specifying the job requirements, job analysis aids not only
in hiring personnel, but also in their training and placement. It
also facilitates transfer and promotion of personnel.
By matching the requirements of a job with the workers
aptitudes, interests and abilities, the process of job-analysis
provides information enabling the management to transfer
personnel from a job not matching with their qualities to a job
more appropriate for their aptitude.
Job-analysis lays the standards for job performance thereby
aiding job- evaluation and consequently evaluating the salary
and wage administration on the basis of qualifications and the
risks/hazards involved in a job. By setting standards, it aids in
the performance appraisal by comparing individual
performance with clear cut performance standards for every
By providing specifications about job requirements, job
analysis helps to develop the content for training and
development programmes and the extent of training needed to

be provided to a specific individual for a specific job.

Job enlargement is a job design technique wherein there is an increase in
the number of tasks associated with a certain job. In other words, it means
increasing the scope of ones duties and responsibilities. The increase in
scope is quantitative in nature and not qualitative and at the same level.
Job enlargement is a horizontal restructuring method that aims at increase
in the workforce flexibility and at the same time reducing monotony that
may creep up over a period of time. It is also known as horizontal loading in
that the responsibilities increase at the same level and not vertically.
Many believe that since the enlargement is horizontal in nature there is not
a great need for training! Contrary to this, job enlargement requires
appropriate training especially on time and people management. Task
related training is not required much since the person is already aware of
the same or doing it for some time.
Benefits of Job Enlargement
The following are the major benefits of Job enlargement
1. Reduced Monotony: Howsoever interesting the job may appear in
the beginning, sooner or later people complain of boredom and
monotony. Job enlargement if planned carefully can help reduce
boredom and make it more satisfying and fulfilling for the employees.
2. Increased Work Flexibility: There is an addition to the number of
tasks an individual performs. There is thus an increased scope of
carrying out tasks that are versatile and yet very similar in certain

3. No Skills Training Required: Since the individual has already been

performing the task in the past, there is no great requirement for
imparting of new skills. However people and time management
interventions may be required. The job thus gets more motivational
for the one performing it.
Organizations are increasingly facing the heat of attrition, which is not good
to health of the same. Lots of time, money and resources are spent into
training an individual for a particular job and when he / she leaves the
return on that investment equals null. Often it is not for the money that
people leave; that may be the reason with the frontline staff but as we
move towards the upper levels of organisational hierarchy, other reasons
gain prominence. Many of those who quit their jobs complain of their jobs
as uninteresting!
All this has compelled organisations to think of ways to make the job they
offer interesting. Lots of efforts are made to keep monotony at bay; job
enrichment is one of them. It is the process of making a job more
interesting, challenging and satisfying for the employees. It can either be in
the form of up gradation of responsibilities, increase in the range of
influence and the challenges.
How does an Organisation Enrich a Job
Typically job enrichment involves combining various existing and
new tasks into one large module of work. The work is then handed over
to an employee, which means there is an increase in responsibilities and
scope. This increase in responsibility is often vertical. The idea is to group
various tasks together such that natural work units are created.
In addition expanding jobs vertically also gives employee direct control over
works units and employees that were formerly under the jurisdiction of top
management only. While on one hand this increases the ownership of the
employees in their work, it also relieves the unnecessary burden from the
top management.

Job enrichment also opens up a feedback channel for the employees.

Employees are frequently apprised of their performance. This keeps them
on track and helps them know their weak and strong points. Performance
standards are set for the employees themselves and future performances
are matched against the benchmarks. All this without any serious
intervention or involvement of the top management!
In a certain bank that dealt with commercial credit letters for import and
export trade, the employees processed the documents in a sequence with
each employee being specialised for certain aspect of verification. Often it
so happened that a mistake at preceding level lead to a series of mistakes
at succeeding level. Errors accumulated at each level and this result in
huge loss of productivity.
The organisation decided to go for job enrichment where each employee or
clerk was specialised in all aspects of processing. Each employee was now
able to handle a client on his own. After some time it was found out that the
transaction volume increased by 100 percent!
Benefits of Job Enrichment
Research studies on job enrichment found out decreased levels of
absenteeism among the employees, reduced employee turnover and a
manifold increase in job satisfaction. There are certain cases however
where job enrichment can lead to a decrease in productivity, especially
when the employees have not been trained properly. Even after the training
the process may not show results immediately, it takes time to reflect in the
profit line.
Human Resource Management is concerned with the planning,
acquisition, training & developing human beings for getting the
desired objectives & goals set by the organization. The employees
have to be transformed according to the organizations' & global
needs. This is done through an organized activity called Training.

Training is a process of learning a sequence of programmed

behavior. It is the application of knowledge & gives people an
awareness of rules & procedures to guide their behavior. It helps
in bringing about positive change in the knowledge, skills &
attitudes of employees.
Thus, training is a process that tries to improve skills or add to the
existing level of knowledge so that the employee is better
equipped to do his present job or to mould him to be fit for a
higher job involving higher responsibilities. It bridges the gap
between what the employee has & what the job demands.
Since training involves time, effort & money by an organization,
so an organization should to be very careful while designing a
training program. The objectives & need for training should be
clearly identified & the method or type of training should be
chosen according to the needs & objectives established. Once this
is done accurately, an organization should take a feedback on the
training program from the trainees in the form of a structured
questionnaire so as to know whether the amount & time invested
on training has turned into an investment or it was a total
expenditure for an organization.
Training is a continuous or never ending process. Even the
existing employees need to be trained to refresh them & enable
them to keep up with the new methods & techniques of work. This
type of training is known as Refresher Training & the training
given to new employees is known as Induction Training. This is
basically given to new employees to help them get acquainted
with the work environment & fellow colleagues. It is a very short
informative training just after recruitment to introduce or orient
the employee with the organization's rules, procedures & policies.
Training plays a significant role in human resource development.
Human resources are the lifeblood of any organization. Only
through trained & efficient employees, can an organization
achieve its objectives.
* To impart to the new entrants the basic knowledge & skills they
need for an intelligent performance of definite tasks.

* To prepare employees for more responsible positions.

* To bring about change in attitudes of employees in all directions.
* To reduce supervision time, reduce wastage & produce quality
* To reduce defects & minimize accident rate.
* To absorb new skills & technology.
* Helpful for the growth & improvement of employee's skills &
METHODS OF TRAINING: The most widely used methods of training used by organizations
are classified into two categories: On-the-Job Training & Off-theJob Training.
ON-THE-JOB TRAINING is given at the work place by superior in
relatively short period of time. This type of training is cheaper &
less time-consuming. This training can be imparted by basically
four methods: Coaching is learning by doing. In this, the superior guides his
sub-ordinates & gives him/her job instructions. The superior
points out the mistakes & gives suggestions for improvement.
Job Rotation: - In this method, the trainees move from one job
to another, so that he/she should be able to perform all types of
jobs. E.g. In banking industry, employees are trained for both
back-end & front-end jobs. In case of emergency, (absenteeism or
resignation), any employee would be able to perform any type of
OFF THE JOB TRAINING: - is given outside the actual work
Lectures/Conferences:- This approach is well adapted to
convey specific information, rules, procedures or methods. This
method is useful, where the information is to be shared among a
large number of trainees. The cost per trainee is low in this

Films: - can provide information & explicitly demonstrate skills

that are not easily presented by other techniques. Motion pictures
are often used in conjunction with Conference, discussions to
clarify & amplify those points that the film emphasized.
Simulation Exercise: - Any training activity that explicitly places
the trainee in an artificial environment that closely mirrors actual
working conditions can be considered a Simulation. Simulation
activities include case experiences, experiential exercises,
vestibule training, management games & role-play.
Cases: - present an in depth description of a particular problem
an employee might encounter on the job. The employee attempts
to find and analyze the problem, evaluate alternative courses of
action & decide what course of action would be most satisfactory.
Experiential Exercises: - are usually short, structured learning
experiences where individuals learn by doing. For instance, rather
than talking about inter-personal conflicts & how to deal with
them, an experiential exercise could be used to create a conflict
situation where employees have to experience a conflict
personally & work out its solutions.
Vestibule Training: - Employees learn their jobs on the
equipment they will be using, but the training is conducted away
from the actual work floor. While expensive, Vestibule training
allows employees to get a full feel for doing task without real
world pressures. Additionally, it minimizes the problem of
transferring learning to the job.
Role Play: - Its just like acting out a given role as in a stage play.
In this method of training, the trainees are required to enact
defined roles on the basis of oral or written description of a
particular situation.
Management Games: - The game is devised on a model of a
business situation. The trainees are divided into groups who
represent the management of competing companies. They make

decisions just like these are made in real-life situations. Decisions

made by the groups are evaluated & the likely implications of the
decisions are fed back to the groups. The game goes on in several
rounds to take the time dimension into account.
In-Basket Exercise: - Also known as In-tray method of training.
The trainee is presented with a pack of papers & files in a tray
containing administrative problems & is asked to take decisions
on these problems & are asked to take decisions on these within a
stipulated time. The decisions taken by the trainees are compared
with one another. The trainees are provided feedback on their
RECOMMENDATIONS & CONCLUSION: No doubt Training is a very powerful tool for the smooth
functioning of the organization, but it needs to be used with care
in order to derive all the benefits. Here
are seven recommendations for getting the best out of this tool: 1. Learn about the needs and proficiency of each and every
employee before an organization invests its effort, time & money
on training. Its better to identify the needs & shortcomings in an
employee before actually imparting training to him/her.
2. Experienced & skilled trainer, who possesses good amount of
knowledge & understanding about the organization's objectives,
individual abilities & the present environment, should give
3. Active participation from the trainees should be encouraged.
There should be a two-way communication between the trainer &
4. Feedback should be taken from the trainees after the training
is over, so that the organization comes to know about the
deficiencies in the training program & also suggestions to improve
upon the same.
5. Focus of training should be on priority development needs and

to produce strong motivation to bring change in employees.

6. The cost incurred on the training program should not exceed its
7. The method or type of training should be very cautiously
selected by the organization depending upon the organizations'
resources & an employee's individual need for training.
Thus, training is a vital tool to cope up with the changing needs &
technologies, & ever-changing environment. It benefits both the
organization as well as the employees.