Manpower Group, an American human resources consulting firm, conducted a survey in 2012 that revealed that 49 percent of employers in the United States had problems filling vital positions within their companies. On a global scale, 34 percent of employers experienced difficulties hiring the right employees. Forecasting the manpower needs of your organization helps you to avoid such difficulties. It also saves you from under-or over-staffing your organization. While forecasting your human resource needs, you need to take note of several factors.

Current Workforce

Forecasting your manpower needs requires consideration of your current workforce with regards to your organizational structure and the number of employees in every department. You also need to consider the future manpower requirements of your organization and the skills of every staff member in the company. The consideration of the current workforce should also gear toward the average age of employees in one department or the overall organization. Note that retiring employees are bound to leave a gap in their place, as are the ambitious or restless young, who may wander off to greener pastures.

Business Environment

The business environment of your organization also impacts your manpower planning process. A statistical forecasting model could be appropriate when you are operating in a stable environment, which allows you to quantify the projected variables in your forecasting model. This statistical forecasting model would, however, be unsuitable when you operate your business in an unstable environment. It would be difficult to specify the variables and their expected values accurately.

Corporate Goals

The forecasting process should pay attention to your business goals or strategic plan. For instance, if your business’s strategic plan is to diversify in the future, your human resources plan should address the need for staffing levels to implement such a plan. Examples of diversification include venturing into new markets, new products, corporate expansions or new plants. Forecasting your human resources needs also must focus on the strengths and weaknesses of your projected manpower needs.


The growth of technology affects the process of forecasting your manpower needs. Sometimes, technology might increase your manpower needs in the future. For instance, the introduction of the latest technology in the automobile sector could increase the demand for engineers and technicians. On the other hand, technology could reduce the need for workforce in your company, such as in the case of the automation of certain processes.

Work Unit Quantities

Contrasting work unit quantities to planned work is another great way to assess future manpower needs. If planned workload is more than the current work unit can handle, then more employees or training will be needed.