Limitations of Human Resource Planning

Limitations of Human Resource Planning and its Focus in recent years

Limitations of Human Resource Planning 

Understanding the limitations of human resource planning is important for organizations to effectively navigate the challenges and opportunities of organisational behaviour that they may encounter during the planning phase. 

Human resource planning is not always successful; there are some limitations of human resource planning HRP which are as follows:

  1. Inaccuracy of Forecasts 
  2. Identity Crisis
  3. Requires Active Involvement of Top management
  4. Employee Resistance
  5. Technical Issues
  6. Weak Information System
  7. Uncertainties
  8. Costly and Lengthy Activity
  9. Improper coordination with Other Executive Functions
  10. Loss of Balanced Focus

1) Inaccuracy of Forecasts 

HR planning involves the future prediction of the supply and demand of human resources. Hence, the efficiency of HR planning is based on the correctness of forecasts, it cannot always be a cent per cent accurate process. In case, if the forecast is wrong, then the manpower planning will also not be accurate. The longer the time horizon, the greater the possibility of inaccuracy. Inaccuracy increases when departmental forecasts are merely aggregated without any critical review. It involves forecasting the demand and supply of human resources.

2) Identity Crisis

Sometimes, managers and human resource experts in the organisation are unable to clearly understand the entire process of HRP. Due to this, there exists a problem of an identity crisis. HR planning cannot be effective until the experts have a clear understanding of objectives.

 3) Requires Active Involvement of Top Management

Top management should be an integral part of manpower planning. If the top management does not play an active role, the essential resources and assistance required for effective human resource planning cannot be gained in the organisation.  In the absence of support and commitment from the top management, human resource specialists find it difficult to obtain vital inputs. Sometimes, the process has been started with great fanfare but did not sustain due to a lack of patience. 

Read More:Process of Human Resource Planning

 4) Employee Resistance

Usually, trade unions oppose manpower planning as they think that it will increase the burden of work. They feel that HR planning will increase their workload and regulate them by means of productivity bargaining. Moreover, employees and trade unions sometimes feel that due to widespread unemployment, people will be available for jobs as and when required. Which will increase unemployment for unskilled labours.  Employers may also resist human resource planning because of the feeling that it increases the cost of manpower. Managers and human resource specialists do not fully understand the HR planning process and lack a strong sense of purpose.

5) Technical Issues

Effective HRP is not an instantaneous task. It takes time to be gradually accepted. Newer technologies have to be adapted, to compete. Sometimes, complicated technologies are vigorously introduced, because competitors are also using them. This cannot be fruitful unless HR personnel identify training needs, and it is the HRP that identifies the employees who require training.

6) Weak Information System

The development of successful human resource planning is based on the credibility of the information system. In Indian industries, information system is still not well developed hence, precise and reliable data cannot be collected for effective human resource planning. In most industries, the human resource information system has not been fully developed. Therefore, In the absence of reliable data, it is not possible to develop human resource plans effectively.

7) Uncertainties

HRP is not wise to depend entirely on the generalised data collected about manpower. Seasonal jobs, absent employees, and technological issues are the factors that hamper manpower planning.  Labour absenteeism, labour turnover, seasonal employment. technological changes and market fluctuations are uncertainties which serve as constraints to human resource planning. It is risky to depend upon general estimates of manpower in the face of dynamic changes in the business environment.

 8) Costly and Lengthy Activity

HRP is a costly and time-taking activity. There are chances that organisations may not adopt the system as it will increase the cost burden on the organisation. Manpower planning is a time-consuming, lengthy and expensive process. A good deal of time and cost are involved in forecasting and data collection.

9) Improper Coordination with Other Executive Functions

Usually, the manpower planner does not interact with the manager and is confined to his area of concern. This hampers HR planning. For its effectiveness, HRP should be incorporated with other managerial functions. 

10) Loss of Balanced Focus

Usually focus is given to the quantifiable facet of HR planning, i.e., the number of individuals leaving or joining the organisation. There is too much focus on the quantitative aspect to ensure the flow of employees in and out of the organisation.  Such an exclusive focus overtakes the more important dimension, i.e. the quality of human resources. The qualitative part is neglected which includes the development of career, self-esteem, planning skill levels, etc. Such uneven focus impacts the efficiency of HRP.

Skill levels, career planning and development, morale, etc, are likely to suffer due to such an unbalanced approach to human resource planning. Thus, limitations of human resource planning arise both from inherent limitations of forecasting and from human weaknesses.

Limitations of Human Resource Planning

In recent years, the focus on human resource planning has increased due to the following reasons:

1. Employment Situation

On the one hand, the number of educated unemployed is increasing. On the other hand, there is an acute shortage of a variety of skills. Under-developed countries find that a shortage of talented and skilled manpower is a major obstacle to their industrial progress and they have to import certain skills.

2. Technological Changes

The widespread and rapid changes in production technology, marketing methods and management techniques are having profound concerning redundancies, retraining and redeployment of personnel. Systematic human resource planning helps to solve these challenges.

3. Organisational Change

The size of firms is increasing. The environment of business has become turbulent. Rapid changes in the environment require changes in organisation structure and activities which affect requirements for human resources.

4. Demographic Changes

The profile of the workforce in terms of age, and gender requires a wide range of specialised skills. These skills are scarce and problems. New human resource strategies are needed to meet these new requirements education, technical skills and social background is changing. Such change has significant implications for human resource planning

5. Shortage of Skills

Organisations have become increasingly complex and arise when employees with these skills leave an organisation.

6. Legislative Controls

The law about working conditions, working hours weaker sections, women and child labour, casual and contract labour etc, do not permit management to recruit and fire at free will. Therefore, managers, must look ahead and foresee manpower problems with the help of systematic human resource planning.

7. Pressure Groups

Trade unions, politicians and displaced persons create pressure on management for internal recruitment and promotion. preference to sons of the soil/displaced persons/employees’ children, etc.

8. Systems Concept

Systems thinking and information technology stress planning and new ways of handling voluminous records concerning human resources

9. Lead Time

Longer lead time is required for the selection and training of employees to handle new jobs and technology successfully. This requires long-term human resource planning.

10. Hiring Costs

Recruitment and training costs are increasing Increase in hiring costs encourages upgrading from within the organisation, and planned retention through manpower planning.

11. Increased Mobility

Investment in human resources belongs to the employee who takes his skills wherever he goes. With increasing mobility, organisations find it challenging to retain talented personnel. Effective manpower planning strategies help to reduce employee turnover, thereby positively impacting both the content and context of jobs. These changes create problems.

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