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5 Tips to Get Started with Manpower Planning

Updated: Jun 26

For HR professionals, a little bit of manpower planning can go a long way towards keeping one’s sanity.

You know the drill…someone, somewhere up in the Big Office has decided that you don’t have enough staff or the right skillsets to achieve your company objectives. So they hand down the mandate to hire, hire, hire – and suddenly it’s YOUR emergency! Haven’t we all been there before?

It seems that many companies haven’t taken the time for manpower planning or maybe they simply don’t know how to get started. Basic manpower planning isn’t like engineering a complicated algorithm. Instead, even the most basic manpower plan can help you determine your resource requirements in the coming months. Here are a few tips to help you get started on your company’s manpower planning:

Workforce Demographics

Start by compiling the demographics of your current resources. Information to gather includes; all departments, regular and supplemental staff in each department, age, education and skill level of each team member.

Company Sales Volume

If you’re in an emerging or expanding market, you should know the rate at which you are currently selling and also what your sales projections are. This will help you determine the rate of growth that is expected in the future – a key element in manpower planning.

Product Development Plans

If your company carries products, as opposed to services, there could be changes afoot for which you are not aware. For example, some products may be phased out or new products added to your company portfolio. Many times the powers that be won’t share the details of such developments, but using your HR charm and wit, you should be able to get a feel for what’s coming down the pike. Communication in this case is key to successful manpower planning. Try to get numbers and requirements as early as you can so you may pepper it into your workforce plan.

The 3 T’s: Technology, Training and Turnover

Another key factor in manpower planning, relates to changes in the skillsets your company has, whether it’s organic or planned. Technology is constantly changing and if your employees don’t get the proper training, then they will not be productive enough to move your company forward. This can also lead to a high turnover rate, including reductions in force or (that evil word) “lay-offs”. Know the skillsets that will be required in the coming quarters and perform your manpower planning accordingly.

Recruitment Strategy

Once you’ve outlined the above information and discuss it with your organizational leaders, you can assemble a pretty decent manpower plan for moving forward. This will – in most cases – include requirements for recruiting new employees. You can use the manpower plan to get your recruitment strategy together. (More on this topic, coming soon!)

When you’re considering your company’s recruitment strategy, it’s crucial for you to start brainstorming and implementing ways to improve the hiring process, especially for positions that are difficult to fill. One of the most important methods of increasing the effectiveness of this process is by making your company visible. Interact with clients and customers, stay up to date on social media and reach out to people of interest. Doing so can help keep the applicant flow strong so that you don’t have to worry about falling short on manpower.

Future Manpower

Making your company flourish takes more than understanding your current manpower status, however — it also includes foreseeing and planning for the future. Taking into account potential turnover and changes in your workforce is essential.

In five years, you may have different requirements for applicants than you do now thanks to new technology or developments. Your manpower planning process should include a thorough analysis of the employees you have now and projections for the coming years.

Consider Additional Recruiting Resources

No matter how skilled you become in manpower planning, there may be times where using additional resources or services may be necessary to reach your hiring goals. Here at

Emerge Talent Cloud, we will often assist clients with needs that present unique challenges outside of their normal recruiting strategy. Hiring a large volume of applicants, or processing a large number of applicant information can easily overwhelm an HR team. Knowing that there are resources out there when those challenges arise, can help keep your team on track for meeting your hiring needs.

By taking the time to do your manpower planning up front, you can avoid that panicked feeling when someone in the Big Office asks you about hiring because it is no longer your emergency. Contact us online for more information about our services. Share your experiences with us below!

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