Defining staffing needs

Defining Staffing Needs
A flexible company has a clear idea of what its needs are and what will be in future. It should be
aware of how its employees are deployed, how their talents are being applied and matches future
requirements. This condition effecting the both the supply of talent and the demands of talent.
Defining Staffing needs allows managers to guide staffing activities. Strategic staffing then allows
managers to have the right talent in place, just in time. It guides recruiting and helps management
that the talent will be in place to meet the organization’s needs.
Management may define future staffing needs:
Issues typically addressed in the process defining staff needs.
How management can project its future staffing requirements (demand)
How management can project future staffing availability (supply)
Techniques for forecasting to support these planning.
Projecting Future Staffing Demand:
There are many methods for determining the relationship between human resources requirements
and determinant variables. These include “base plus” forecasts, bottom-up forecast, judgmental
forecast, ratio and trend analysis.
Updating Current Requirements:
The current organization with its levels and staffing, is a logical place to begin the analysis of staffing
requirements. A human resource information system can provide an automatic indication of
whether positions were included in budgetary plans and thus authorized. In some companies, such
as IBM, authorization for employment of engineers or other specialist may depend on the current
availability of employees, organization wide, in these occupational groups.
Bottom-Up Forecasts:
To define future requirements, someone must make a decision. The manager is the local unit is the
best informed person to make judgment regarding staff requirements necessary to achieve that
unit’s objectives, quality of judgment depends on the managers estimates. The basic approach
commonly followed is a bottom-up estimate process, usually linked to a budget and position
controlled procedure.
Improving Staff Utilization:
Improvement in staff costs, staffing levels and mix and effective utilization of employee talents is
vital. To manage costs and provide employees more challenging work, managers need to examine
ways to utilize people more fully. It is necessary to focus on work activities and to reduce staffing
requirements, work activities need to be reduced. Some questions may be addressed that how may
work be streamlined or restructured, or how may skills be applied.
Projecting Talent Availability
Projecting the future availability of talent requires examination of the flows of employees within an
organization over specific period of time. It is fundamental for companies to forecast changes in
their talent supply losses resulting from turnover and availability changes due to transfer and
Most mangers feel that they already have a pretty good idea of the talent they have and what they
can do. An inventory is necessary to provide a snapshot, both quantitatively and qualitatively, of the
human resources in an organization. It provides a bench mark for planning future requirements,
surfaces potential problems and issue relating to future staffing.
Traditional Approaches for Forecasting and Planning:
Models are used primarily to simulate prospective staffing , to generate several scenarios. Modeling
techniques have been applied in analyzing or simulating human resources flows and needs. In one
major company, modeling efforts provided managers with best estimates of future demand and
supply of talent for a number of years.
Supply Push Model:
In this method, the movement of employees through an organization is projected using a bottom-up
approach. The model would perform in sequence of addition and subtraction for each cell of the
matrix, thus defining the number of employees who will end up in each cell at the end of the
planning period. Once all calculations are completed, the result can be compared with the demand
for talent and the projected future requirements.
Defining an organization’s future staffing needs and plans at the heart of humans resources planning
and people related business issues, is of strategic importance. In organization, little change in work
demands, and little movements of people, the process is indeed simple.
Basic modeling techniques have advanced and have been made easier through the use of personal
computers, but the most important aspects of forecasting are the future assumptions. Today’s
models analyze the flows of talent and calculate the net needs in a single operation.
Staffing Issues:
Forecasting and related analysis of staffing needs involve the process of analysis and questioning.
Forecasting guides management thinking about future staffing needs and how they will be met.
Fundamental questions address the future number, levels, and organization deployment of talent:
What will be our needs resulting from expansion and what staff we have available during the future
planning? What will our requirements needs be next year?
Forecasting Staffing Needs:
Forecasting is usually based on the best information by the managers responsible for operation in
each unit of organization. Future staffing needs are easily defined where requirements change
slowly, if ever. Planning for staffing needs is more difficult when condition are changing rapidly, but
this is also when planning is of greatest value to management.
Steps in Forecasting
Forecasting begins with an understandable of the external and organizational conditions affecting
future staff needs. Companies conduct the changing conditions affecting future staffing needs. In
second step is to project future staffing requirements. This requires examination of the impact of
factors driving work , in turn, staffing needs. Staffing is usually controlled in business organization
through organization structure and job definition.
Demand Pull Model:
If promotion are made only to fill jobs that because vacant and requirement is constant, the
movement of people responds directly to vacancies created. The result in a chain effect as a person
moves to fill a vacancy at another level. This model is useful in forecasting promotion opportunities.
It is important in setting affirmative action plan objectives that are realistic and achievable to actual
Optimization Models:
Some forecast not what like to happen, but rather what is necessary to happen if certain objectives
are to be achieved. A refinement of a linear programming model is a goal programming model. This
approach uses Markov analysis and linear programming in combination. Goal programming model
permit more comprehensive analysis of the human resources systems. In addition they permit the
development of goals that are realistic.
Applying Drivers to Define Demands:
Staffing requirements may be determined by directly applying the drivers. Drive activities or work
load and therefore, determine staffing requirements. As such they directly related to the essential
nature of the business. The same variables are used in business and operation planning. Sales may
not be useful factor because it is indirect., it reflects price changes, foreign exchange rates, and
other factors.
Applying Rates And Regression Analysis:
Simple ratio and trends are useful in short term planning period and in circumstances where
operation are static, change is slow, and past ratio tend to have strong influence over future staffing.
Allowance needs to be made for possible productivity gains as volume increase. Production of 30 %
more widgets may not necessary require 30% more employees. Thus estimate for improvement in
productivity need to be included as variable in forecasting staffing requirements.

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