HR Demand forecasting Techniques: Managerial Judgement, Ratio Trend Analysis, Regression Analysis, Work Study Techniques, Delphi Technique22nd February 2021
Managerial judgement technique is very common technique of demand forecasting. This approach is applied by small as well as large scale organisations. This technique involves two types of approaches i.e. ‘bottom-up approach’ and ‘top-down approach’. Under the ‘bottom-up approach’, line mangers send their departmental requirement of human resources to top management.
Executive or Managerial Judgment method is the most suitable for smaller enterprises because they do not afford to have work study technique. Under this method the executives sit together and determine the future manpower requirements of the enterprise and submit the proposal to the top management for approval. This approach is known as ‘bottom up’ approach.
Sometimes the members of top management sit together and determine the needs on the advice of personnel department. The forecasts so prepared sent for review to the departmental heads and after their consent approved the need. This is known as ‘top down’ approach. The best way is the combination of the two approaches. Executives at both levels equipped with guidelines sit together and determine the human resources need of the organization.
Top management ultimately forecasts the human resource requirement for the overall organisation on the basis of proposals of departmental heads. Under the Top-down approach’, top management forecasts the human resource requirement for the entire organisation and various departments. This information is supplied to various departmental heads for their review and approval. However, a combination of both the approaches i.e. ‘Participative Approach’ should be applied for demand forecasting. Under this approach, top management and departmental heads meet and decide about the future human resource requirement. So, demand of human resources can be forecasted with unanimity under this approach.
Ratio Trends Analysis:
Under this method the ratios are calculated for the past data related to number of employees of each category i.e. production, sales and marketing levels, work load levels. Future production and sales levels, work load, activity levels are estimated with an allowance of changes in organization, methods and jobs. The future ratios are estimated. Then future human resources requirement is calculated on the basis of established ratios. This method is easy to understand. Value depends upon accuracy of data.
Estimated production for next year = 1,40,000 units
Estimated no. of workers needed
(on the basis of ratio-trend of 1: 200) will be = 700
This is similar to ratio-trend analysis in that forecast is based on the relationship between sales volume and employee size. However, regression analysis is more statistically sophisticated. A firm first draws a diagram depicting the relationship between sales and workforce size. It then calculates regression line – a line that cuts right through the center of the points on the diagram. By observing the regression line, one can find out number of employees required at each volume of sales.
Regression analysis is used to forecast demand for human resources at some point of time in future by using factors such as sales, production services provided etc. This method is used when independent and dependent variables are functionally related to each other. Nowadays computers are used to solve regression equations for demand forecasting.
Work Study Techniques
It is also known as work load analysis. Under this method the stock of workload and the continuity of operations are determined. Accordingly the labour requirement is determined. The workload becomes the base for workforce analysis for the forthcoming years. Here due consideration is given to absenteeism and labour turnover. This method is also known as work study technique. Here working capacity of each employee is calculated in terms of man-hours. Man-hours required for each unit is calculated and then number of required employees is calculated.
Work-study techniques can be used when it is possible to apply work measurement to calculate length of operations and the amount of labor required. The starting point in a manufacturing company is the production budget, prepared in terms of volumes of saleable products for the company as a whole, or volumes of output for individual departments.
The budgets of productive hours are then compiled using standard hours for direct labor. The standard hours per unit of output are then multiplied by the planned volume of units to be produced to give the total number of planned hours for the period. This is then divided by the number of actual working hours for an individual operator to show the number of operators required.
The example is given below:
(a) Planned annual production = 2, 00,000 units
(b) Standard man-hours required for each unit = 2 Hours
(c) Planned man-hour needed for the year (a x b) = 4, 00,000 hrs.
(d) Planned annual contribution of an employee = 2000 hrs.
(e) No. of employees required ————- (c/d) = 4, 00,000/2000 = 200
This method is useful for long term forecasting.
Delphi technique is also very important technique used for estimating demand of human resources. This technique takes into consideration human resources requirements given by a group of experts i.e. mangers. The human resource experts collect the manpower needs, summarises the various responses and prepare a report. This process is continued until all experts agree on estimated human resources requirement.
Delphi Technique Named after the ancient Greek Oracle at the city of Delphi, the Delphi technique is a method of forecasting personnel needs. It solicits estimates of personnel needs from a group of experts, usually managers. The human resource planning (HRP) experts act as intermediaries, summarize the various responses and report the findings back to the experts.
The experts are surveyed again after they receive this feedback. Summaries and surveys are repeated until the experts’ opinions begin to agree. The agreement reached is the forecast of the personnel needs. The distinguishing feature of the Delphi technique is the absence of interaction among experts.