Read this essay to learn about Manpower Planning. After reading this essay you will learn about:- 1. Meaning of Manpower Planning 2. Objectives of Manpower Planning 3. Requirements 4. Factors Affecting 5. Techniques 6. Advantages 7. Problems and Limitations.

Essay Contents:

  1. Essay on the Meaning of Manpower Planning
  2. Essay on the Objectives of Manpower Planning
  3. Essay on the Requirements of Manpower Planning
  4. Essay on the Factors Affecting Manpower Planning
  5. Essay on the Techniques of Manpower Planning
  6. Essay on the Advantages of Manpower Planning
  7. Essay on the Problems and Limitations of Manpower Planning

Essay # 1. Meaning of Manpower Planning:

Manpower planning may be defined, as the scientific process of allocating the right quantity of right men to be required in future at right time on the right job.

“Vetter” has defined man power planning as:


“The process by which management deter­mines how the organisation should move from its current man power position to its desired man power position. Through planning management strikes to have the right number and the right kind of people at the right places at the right time, doing things which result in both the organisation and the individual receiving maximum long run benefits.”

It deals with calculations of manpower requirements in future considering various factors such as internal and external economies, social and political pressures, organisation policy, availability and suitability of the manpower requirements etc.

It is a continuous dynamic process and manpower assessment should be done every year and revised periodically at fixed interval keeping in view the yearly manufacturing programme. For effective manpower planning, the job analysis, job description and job evaluation should be done.

Manpower planning can also be defined as, “a strategy for the acquisition, utilisation, im­provement and preservation of human resources of an enterprise”.


The major activities of man­power planning are:

(a) Forecasting future manpower requirements.

(b) Inventorying present manpower resources and analysing the degree to which these are optimally employed.

(c) Anticipating manpower shortages.


(d) Planning the programmes for recruitment, selection, training, development, motiva­tion and compensation so that future manpower requirements will be met.

For the purpose of manpower planning, job is studied carefully regarding activities in­volved in the job. This study is known as Job Analysis. With the help of job analysis, job description is set down which gives details about the capacity and skill required for performing the job.

The terms related to this are described here:

1. Job:


It is regular assignment to individual employees including their duties, responsi­bilities, skill, knowledge etc.

2. Job Analysis:

It is the careful study about the activities of an employee on a particular job to determine different operations involved and other facts, which are helpful for job descrip­tion and job specification.

Thus, it is the procedure to discover the facts about each job requirements and personal qualities for satisfactory working.


The report of job analysis is helpful for Motion and Time Study, Job description, Job specification and to determine existing hazards, which are helpful for avoiding accidents.

3. Job Description:

It is an abstract of information received from the job analysis report. It gives information regarding the responsibilities, skill or training required, working condi­tions, type of persons which should be employed for performing the job, qualifications and job knowledge.

For example, job analysis of gate keeper and his job description will be:


i. To guard at the gate.

ii. To keep watch on men coming in and going out of the factory.

iii. To keep watch on goods entering and leaving the factory.

4. Job Specification:


On the basis of details of a job, the capabilities and qualification necessary for performing the job are determined. This is known as job specifications. It is ob­tained from the job analysis and job description reports. Therefore, job specification can be defined “as the statement which specifies the type of employees required”. It helps in the selection of employees.

Job specification can be compared with the specification of material. As material specifica­tion helps in purchasing and procurement of material, similarly job specification helps in the appointment of staff.

Essay # 2. Objectives of Manpower Planning:

1. To ensure optimum use of human resources.

2. To forecast future requirements.

3. To ensure that necessary human resources are available as and when required.

4. To link manpower planning with organisational planning.


5. To determine recruitment levels.

6. To determine optimum training levels.

7. To provide a basis for management-development programmes.

8. To anticipate redundancies.

Essay # 3. Requirements of Manpower Planning:

The following are the essential requirements for a sound manpower planning:

1. It should be done sufficiently in advance.


2. It should be reviewed periodically, so that modifications or alterations if any can be incorporated.

3. The planning should have top management support.

Forces of Manpower Flow

4. It should be need based.

5. It should be economic in nature.

6. It should incorporate the elements of flexibility and elasticity.


7. It should be efficient and effective in nature.

8. It should be simple and easy to understand.

9. It should provide definite instructions and methods.

10. It should provide a suitable policy.

11. To be more effective, it should be rigid but the elements of flexibility and elasticity should not be ignored.

Essay # 4. Factors Affecting Manpower Planning:

This is very complex, dynamic and complicated work. For an effective and efficient man­power planning a number of factors should be considered.


These are:

(i) Working hours.

(ii) Number of shifts.

(iii) Nature of production.

(iv) Product mix.

(v) Performance rate.


(vi) Hours lost.

1. Working hours:

Manpower requirement is directly related to the total hours worked per day by the employee in an industry. If numbers of hours for which a worker has to work is more, less man power will be needed and vice versa.

For example, due to complexity in process and working conditions in a chemical plant, workers are asked to work for 6 hours instead of 8 hours shift while other assembly industry workers are to work for 8 hours in a shift, so the manpower planning basis will differ in both the industries.

2. Number of shifts:

It is seen that production falls in the night shifts instead of day shifts. This factor should be considered while deciding manpower requirements.

3. Nature of Production:

Nature of production means whether we are manufacturing some machine component or chemical product or some gas or assembly items etc. These affect the utilisation of the plant capacity which depends on machine or plant utilisation and all this affects manpower requirement.

Idle time, setting time, cycle time etc. all vary greatly with the nature of production and therefore manpower requirement also vary.

4. Product Mix:

“Product mix”, means a production programme based on optimum pro­ductive capacity and sales forecast. In a mass production factory, once it is planned then it remains almost fixed but in a jobbing factory, it always varies with the customer orders. Since this calls for a variety of products and hence it becomes difficult to forecast the volume and mix of the sales.

Hence it is essential to be more selective while accepting the orders. This will result in maximum utilisation of manpower.

5. Performance Rate:

Rate of performance of workers also affect the manpower require­ment. If their performance is good then less workers will be needed and vice-versa. In addition, working conditions, bonus schemes and suitable incentive plans also affect the efficiency of workers.

6. Hours Lost:

If the productive man-hours lost are less, their available productive hours will be more and vice-versa.

Productive man-hours lost can be due to the following two reasons:

(i) Delays.

(ii) Addition of operation time.

(i) Delays can occur due to the following reasons:

(a) Idle time due to waiting for material,

(b) Waiting for machines,

(c) Waiting for transporting equipment,

(d) Waiting for want of proper instructions,

(e) Waiting for power and services, and 

(f) Lack of preventive maintenance.

(ii) Addition to operation time may be due to the following reasons:

(a) Change in design and specification,

(b) Change in consumer needs,

(c) Use of oversize material, tools and equipment, and

(d) Rectification and rework due to poor workmanship, poor material of tools, defec­tive designs etc.

Data and Allowances:

Past data and allowances relating to the performance of the workers are kept in the record and these are used as guidelines while calculating manpower requirements of the industry.

These may be:

(i) Machine utilisation.

(ii) Operator’s efficiency.

(iii) Extra time allowance.

(iv) Waiting time.

(i) Machine utilisation:

Production performance return is obtained to indicate the ex­tent of machine tools and equipment being utilised in the past. This gives the percent­age of idle time of the machines in a particular section or department.

(ii) Operator’s efficiency:

The record of efficiency of worker is also obtained.

(iii) Extra time allowance:

Sometimes incomplete specifications are given on the manu­facturing sheets or improper materials are purchased, which consume unnecessary more time and worker is not able to proceed strictly according to planned process. For all such tasks, an extra time allowance has to be provided.

(iv) Waiting time:

Sometimes worker has to wait for obtaining proper instructions, ma­terial handling device not available at the desired time spares and repairs are not provided at the right time and a like factors. Allowance has to be allowed for this and can be worked out from productive performance sheets.

In addition, following are other data needed for determining manpower requirements:

1. Availability of manpower.

2. Expected turnover rates, such as promotions, transfer, retirements etc.

3. Absenteeism rate of workers.

4. Forecast of future sales and product mix.

5. Time standards for assessment of manpower requirements.

6. Industry, state and national indices on employment and labour productivity.

7. Wages and grades prevailing in the surrounding areas or industries.

8. Job analysis and job specifications giving qualitative information on the manpower requirements.

Essay # 5. Techniques of Manpower Planning:

There are following two main techniques of determining manpower:

1. Work measurement.

2. Work sampling.

1. Work Measurement:

This technique is very popular and almost all the industries adopt it. It may be defined as “the art of observing and recording the time required to do each detailed element of an indus­trial operation”. With the help of this technique, standard time required to complete the job is obtained, and how many machines an operator can run is known.

In this method, analysis of the complete job is done and total output is obtained. Thus by dividing total output with the stan­dard time to complete the job, total manpower requirements can be calculated. This method is very simple, easy and accurate and, therefore, commonly used by the industries’. 

2. Work Sampling:

Work sampling also called “Activity sampling” is based on the statistical method first de­vised by L.H.S. Tippet in 1934. Though “work measurement” study proved to be very useful for repetitive operations but cannot measure accurately and economically long and irregular work cycles.

While most of the indirect activities are of irregular nature and, therefore, there must be some way to measure the indirect labour activities. For such tasks, “work sampling” has been well established and gained lot of popularity.

Theory of Work Sampling:

It states that the percentage of observations recording an operation in any state is a reliable estimate of the percentage time the operation is in that state provided, “sufficient numbers of observations are taken at random”. Hence, particular stress should be paid on the words “random” and “sufficient number of observations”. In this method, some error is likely to occur but the error tends to diminish as the number of sample increases.

For example, in the following table there are 36 working observations and idle 4 observa­tions i.e., a total of 40 observations:

States and Total Observations

In this example, the percentage of idle time is 4/10 × 100 = 10%

Working time is 36/40 × 100 = 90%.

This study is for one operator for 8 hours a day and indicates that the operator was idle for 10% or 48 minutes of the day, while working for 90% or 432 minutes of the day.

Now manpower requirement can be calculated as follows:

Say for example, average per cent of working is 50%, allowance for rest and fatigue, antici­pated work load and leave etc. is 20% then total utilisation = 50% + 20% = 70%.

Now, if existing employees are 10 then actual needs at 100% utilisation and 100% efficiency will be

70/100 × 10/1 = 7 employees

It means there should be 7 employees instead of 10, i.e., the existing staff is under utilised and, therefore, employees should be allotted more work load.

Essay # 6. Advantages of Manpower Planning:

1. Manpower planning provides a basis for recruiting new employees considering the future manpower needs. It enables the engagement of employees of desired skill abili­ties at right time.

2. The present employees can be trained for some higher positions.

3. This enables the identification of gaps of the existing manpower so that corrective training can be imported and training programme becomes more effective.

4. Reduction in personnel costs is possible by anticipating shortages or surpluses of man­power and corrective these imbalances.

5. Advance information on surplus manpower facilitates the introduction of an exit plan or scheme for surplus labour. A systematic approach to deal such surplus manpower would check the problems of industrial relations.

Essay # 7. Problems and Limitations of Manpower Planning:

(i) It suffers from accuracy since it is difficult to forecast long range requirement pre­cisely.

(ii) Changes in economic conditions, technology, marketing situation and labour force, make long range forecast, as unreliable. Still there is also greater danger of not fore­casting at all.

(iii) Top management does not support to those who are in-charge of manpower planning.

(iv) No action can be taken on general estimates of personal needs.