Retail stores today have evolved beyond a one-man show to the point that the smallest departmental store has up to five employees. Human resources play an important part in every organization, but especially when it comes to retail. This is why it is crucial to ensure that stores have the correct number and the right type of employees. Planning and forecasting for manpower helps organizations in hiring and maintaining a suitable group of employees to ensure the comfortable functioning of a retail company.

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The manpower planning process begins by analyzing the your organization’s structure in terms of personnel. In determining the requirements for manpower, the framework will consider external factors such as the dimensions of stores and the number of categories and the number of SKU’s that are in each category, as well as the amount of knowledge required at an appropriate level which is organized within the framework. In addition to the internal aspects, there are external influences on the process of planning , for example the rate of turnover in employees, new skills need, economic and social shifts. Planning is an continuous process.

When a frame of reference is created for an establishment the next step is to make sure there is a constant supply of staff, including making plans for contingencies. The forecasting element of planning, is important. There are many factors to consider prior to using any techniques for forecasting. Internal factors include budgetary limitations production levels, new services and products organization structure, and employee separation. External elements include competition environment and economic conditions, as well as laws as well as regulatory agencies, technological advancements and social issues.

Manpower forecasting is comprised of two components namely demand forecasting for manpower and supply forecasting. Manpower demand forecasting involves formulating the mix of staff that will be appointed, in order in order to gain access to various levels of staffing and to avoid costly expenses and establishing an action plan to avoid the shortage of staff. The methods include like: –

1. Management Judgement – In this scenario, store managers or floor managers make their recommendations in accordance with their experiences. Based on the reviews across the management hierarchy the final figures of manpower required for a specific store will be determined.

2. Trend analysis of ratios – The application of ratios on historical data can help in forming insight and forecasts for the future.

3. Work study technique – In this method the measurement of work is examined and other factors such as the length of work and standard hours output per hour and man-hours that are required are calculated to help make future predictions.

4. Delphi Techniques – This method seeks estimates from a team of experts. Human Resource Planning experts normally serve as intermediaries, analyzing diverse responses and report the results back to experts.

5. Flow models: This method is based on the flow of elements. Calculate the duration required and establish categories, then count annually and determine the Manpower Services. In this case, demand is a result of replacing the people who undergo an adjustment. Supply forecasting for manpower a method to determine the number of workers who will be available both inside and outside the company after allowing for absences as well as internal moves promotions, wastages, changes in work hours and other working conditions. Some of the sources within are : Human Resource audit, inflows and outflows, turnover rates and job movement. External sources include: new experiences, replenishing lost employees consultants, college, and university-related potential.