Taylor (2005) states, “A case against human resource planning has been articulated in recent years by authors who consider the practice to be at best irrelevant and at worst damaging to organisations”. Discuss the case for and against human resource planning. Explain how the outcomes from HR planning can inform other activities. Introduction The issue of Human resource planning (HRP) can be express as a way of managing supply and demand for labour in order to lessen the risk of surplus or a shortage of labour which would either result in inefficiency or ineffectiveness.
For that reason labour will be managed at least cost and all targets can be achieved. My first instinct was that most small to medium sized organisations would not need to plan because they simply hire or fire staff as required. And secondly that HRP would only apply to organisations that belonged to a non-volatile market because long term planning would not be affected by regular changes. In this report I will attempt to discuss whether my instincts were correct or not. This can be done by looking at various arguments of support for HRP and against HRP that have been written.
Possibly it would be appropriate first to start with the cons and then outlining the pros, in outlining the pros I will attempt to address small, large and international organisations. Stephen Taylor against HRP Different studies carried out (Taylor 2002) seem to have come to the conclusion that many organisations do not think that HRP is needed. They have placed HRP as ‘low priority’ within their organisations. Taylor (2002) explains the reasoning for this may be that small size organisations think that HRP as money and time wasting. Employees are seen as not being long term and, therefore planning is seen as inappropriate and ineffective.
The conventional model of HRP also had clearly defined jobs whereas employees these days are expected to do many different jobs. Secondly he suggests that the HRP is not used by organisations because they consider that their environment is too unstable to plan in. These give very good reasoning’s as to why HRP is not being used by organisations and support my first instincts towards HRP, but are my instincts correct? The main argument against HRP is that it is too difficult to predict with any precision the demand for and supply of labour. Other authors against HRP
Mintzberg (1994) argued that HRP could not be used effectively and efficiently because it was based on one off events that in all likelihood would not happen again. He believes that HRP can do more harm than good and, that in today’s volatile markets HRP is practically finished as a tool to manage demand for and supply of labour. He suggested that nothing could be done to plan for the future and the best thing to do would be to plan in a general way in order to react quickly in the event of a dilemma occurring. An example of HRP failing was explained by Sisson and Timperley (1994) and it was further reviewed by Taylor (2002).
The 1960’s saw low birth rates, promoting a fear of the supply of young labour entering the jobs market in the 1990’s as at an all time low. It was suggested that organisations made up plans to cope with the shortage of labour. Due to unforeseen and unpredictable change of events the staff shortage never occurred, instead the opposite happened seeing organisations left with a flood of employees. The organisations that did not draw up any plans were in fact healthier. The main arguments to support HRP are that plans should be viewed as flexible.
The more volatile the market is, the more planning should take place. HRP is proposed to be an adaptable plan that can be frequently updated (Taylor, 2002). Authors who support HRP “Being prepared is better than being surprised” wrote by Sullivan (2002), he believes those businesses that don’t plan will fail. His primary reason to use HRP is economics, believing that you will have greater productivity, because you will have the ‘right people, with the right skills, in the right places, at the right time’. He comes up with six reasons why planning is good.
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