Analyzing sources of supply of human resources


Manpower supply or Human resources supply is affected by various factors both internal and external. In this article we are discussing multiple situations leading to manpower requirements and supply.

After estimating future supply of human resources, sources of supply should be analyzed with a view to ensure the availability. Both internal and external factors affecting manpower supply should be analyzed.

Internal factors include: training facilities, salary levels, benefits, inter-personal relations, company programs, scope for self-advancement and growth, promotional opportunities, pride for creative and innovative ideas, providing challenge work etc.

The external factors are classified into local factors and national factors

Local Factors:

Population density in the area, local unemployment level, availability of employees on part-time, temporary and casual basis, current and future competition for the similar categories, outcome from local educational and training institutes, residential facilities available , local transport and communication facilities, traditional pattern of employment and availability of manpower with required qualification and skills, the pattern of migration and immigration, the attractiveness of the areas as a place to live, local housing, shopping, educational facilities, medical facilities, regulations of local government like reservation for local candidates, candidates belonging to scheduled, backward and minority communities etc.

National factors:

Trends in the growth of working population, training institutes and schemes in the country, outcome from technical, professional, vocational and general educational level, educational institutes in the country, migration and immigration patterns, social security measures (like unemployment benefits, lay-offs, retirement benefits etc.), cultural factors, customer, social norms etc., national demands for certain categories of manpower like technologists, scientists, management graduates, computer professionals etc., effect of changing educational patterns, impact of government, national educational policy, impact of government employment regulations such as reservation for candidates belonging to SC, ST and other categories.

Estimating the Net Human Resources Requirements:

Net human resource requirements in terms of number and components are to be determined in relation to the overall human resource requirements (demand forecast) for a future date and supply forecast for that date. The difference between overall human requirements and future supply of human resources is to be found out.

Action Plan for Redeployment, Redundancy/ Retrenchment

If future surplus is estimated, the organization has to plan for redeployment, redundancy etc. If surplus is estimated in some jobs/department, employees can be redeployed in other jobs/departments where the deficit of employees is estimated. Organization should also plan for training or reorientation before redeployment of employees. Redeployment takes place in the form of transfers. If the deficit is not estimated in any job/department and surplus is estimated for the entire organization, the organization, in consultation with the trade unions, has to plan for redundancy or retrenchment.

Redundancy Plan:

Type and number of employees, time of and place of retrenchment, type of help to be extended to retrenched employees in the form of compensation, help in getting new job, priority in filling future vacancies.

Redeployment, Redundancy/Retrenchment Programs

The retrenchment and redundancy programs are as follows:

1. Outplacement:

Outplacement programs also intended to provide career guidance for displaced employees. This programs covers retraining the prospective displaced employees who can be redeployed elsewhere in the organization, helping in resume writing, interview techniques, job searching.

2. Layoffs:

Layoffs can be temporary or permanent. Temporary layoffs are due to the slackness in business, machinery breakage, power failure etc. Workers are called back as soon as work resumes to the normal position. Permanent layoff is due to liquidation of the company. Proper human resource planning leaving the workforce at proper level can help to reduce this effect.

3. Leave of Absence without Pay:

This technique helps the company to cut the labor cost and the employee to pursue his self interests. This technique also helps the company to plan for eliminating the unnecessary job in a phased manner. This concept serves or a productive method to help employees prepare for future changes.

Work Sharing:

Some organizations offer employees the opportunity to share jobs or two employees working one-half time each. This technique solves the problem of retrenchment in the short run. This is in vogue in advanced countries but not acceptable to workers’ unions in most Asian counties.

Reduced Working Hours:

Under this technique, each worker, works less hours, and receives less pay, so that two jobs are saved. Again this is not prevalent in Asian countries and other developing countries.

Voluntary/ Early Retirement:

Another issue is early retirement. Government of India introduced Voluntary Retirement Scheme under the caption ‘Golden Handshake’ in order to solve the problem of overstaffing in Public sector. This technique solves the problem of excessive supply of future inventory over the demand for the human resources. In short it is popularly called as VRS.


Attrition is the process whereby the existing employees leave their jobs for various reasons. Those jobs will be kept vacant or unfilled. Attrition or hiring freezes or ban on employment can be implemented organization-wide or department-wise or job-wise if the HR manager forecasts a surplus manpower in the organization. But if the attrition rate is continuous and high then it is high time the concerned authorities in the organization have introspection and take remedial actions. High Attrition is a sign of bad reputation for the organization as a working place.