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Case Study: Human Resource Planning - What is that?

You are a human resource consultant. The newly appointed president of a large paper manufacturing firm has called you:

President: I have been in this job for about one month now, and all I seem to do is interview people and listen to personal problems.
You: Why have you been interviewing people? Don't you have a human resource department?
President: Yes, we do. However, the human resource department does not hire top management people. As soon as I took over, I found out that two of my vice presidents were retiring and we had no one to replace them.
You: Have you hired anyone?
President: Yes, I have, and that is part of the problem. I hired a person from the outside. As soon as the announcement was made, one of my department heads came in and resigned. She said she had wanted that job as vice president for eight years. She was angry because we had hired someone from outside. How was I supposed to know she wanted the job?
You: What have you done about the other vice president job?
President: Nothing, because I am afraid someone else will quit because they were not considered for the job. But that is only half my problem. I just found out that among our youngest professional employees, there has been an 80 % turnover rate during the past three years. These are the people we promote around here. As you know, that is how I started out in this company. I was a mechanical engineer.
You: Has any one asked them why they are leaving?
President: Yes, and they all give basically the same answer: They say they do not feel that they have any future here. Maybe I should call them all together and explain how I progressed in this company.
You: Have you ever considered implementing a human resource planning system?
President: Human resource planning? What is that?

Questions

1. How would you answer the president's question- 'Human resource planning? What is that?'

The ongoing process of systematic planning to achieve optimum use of an organization's most valuable asset - its human resources. The objective of human resource (HR) planning is to ensure the best fit between employees and jobs, while avoiding manpower shortages or surpluses. The three key elements of the HR planning process are forecasting labor demand, analyzing present labor supply, and balancing projected labor demand and supply.

2. What would be required to establish a human resource planning system in this company?

To establish a human resource planning system in this company we need:

  • appropriate demand models
  • good monitoring and corrective action processes
  • comprehensive data about current employees and the external labour market
  • an understanding how resourcing works in the organisation.

3. What measures should the president take to retain good young employees?

The president should take the following measures to retain good young employees:

  • which are responsive to change
  • where assumptions can easily be modified
  • that recognise organisational fluidity around skills
  • that allow flexibility in supply to be included
  • that are simple to understand and use
  • which are not too time demanding.

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