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Human Resources Planning vs. Manpower Planning: Understanding the Difference


In today's business world, companies work towards ensuring employee productivity and happiness, cultivating an atmosphere conducive to loyalty and long-term commitment. Businesses can scale faster, meet goals, and ensure job security by retaining skilled talent.

Achieving these objectives heavily relies on human resources planning. It's important to note that human resource planning and manpower planning are different. They assist companies in identifying future talent needs and preparing for the availability of those skills in the workforce. The key differentiation is that manpower planning is skill-focused, whereas human resources planning prioritizes talent management. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the differences between human resource planning and manpower planning.

What is Manpower Planning?

Manpower planning focuses on the present and future labor requirements of the organization. When the current and future employment needs become a concern, it is important to assess the local supply of potential new employees if necessary. Manpower planning became necessary as the cost of employment increased, causing concern among management. Both training and wages contributed to the increase in costs. As a result, arranging the manpower resources more effectively would be beneficial for companies, saving on expenses and time.

Manpower Planning Process

Here is an overview of the typical steps involved in the manpower planning process:

Understanding workforce demand: Manpower planning starts with comprehending the organization's immediate and daily operational needs. This includes analyzing production schedules, service demands, project timelines, and other factors that impact immediate workforce requirements.

Assessing workforce supply: The HR team analyzes the size, skill sets, and distribution of the current workforce across departments or locations once the demand is determined. The analysis aids in pinpointing employee surpluses, shortages, and skill gaps.

Predicting future workforce needs: The HR team predicts future workforce requirements based on demand and supply analyses. Depending on the organization's operational dynamics, this can occur on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annual basis.

Recruitment and redeployment: The HR team creates strategies for recruitment, redeployment, or reassignment to meet future workforce needs.

Skill development and training: Training and development programs are initiated through manpower planning to upskill employees and fill critical roles.

Contingency planning: In manpower planning, it is important to develop contingency plans to deal with unexpected fluctuations in demand or supply. This could cover strategies for addressing unexpected workforce shortages or managing sudden spikes in demand.

Monitoring and adjustment: To effectively carry out manpower planning, it is important to continuously monitor workforce dynamics. HR professionals regularly evaluate strategy effectiveness and adjust as needed to ensure organizational adaptability.

What is Human Resource Planning?

Human resource planning takes a different approach than the traditional manpower approach. The process and purpose of HRP are what set it apart. Unlike manpower planning, HRP takes into account both current employee numbers and the characteristics of each individual in an organization. Human resource planning focuses on motivating employees to create a positive work environment. Human resource planning is based on the idea that happy employees are more productive and beneficial to the organization in terms of efficiency and cost. The main emphasis in human resource planning is on staff training, considering it essential for the company's future.

Human resource planning process

The human resource planning process typically involves the following steps:

Anticipating demand: HRP involves examining an organization's long-term goals, growth forecasts, and industry patterns to predict future staffing requirements. By taking into account expansion plans, technological advancements, and market demands, HR managers can estimate the necessary number and types of employees.

Evaluating supply: HR leaders analyze the abilities and skill levels of their organization's current workforce to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the talent pool. This assessment is useful for identifying skill gaps and areas where the workforce can be upskilled or reskilled.

Bridging the gap: The HR leader can develop strategies for bridging the gap between the required workforce and available talent after analyzing demand and supply. Targeted recruitment, training, and development programs, as well as succession planning, are some of the initiatives that could be included in this step.

Monitoring and evaluation: Constant monitoring and evaluation are necessary for HRP, which is an ongoing process. HR leaders must adapt their strategies to meet the changing needs of the organization as the business landscape evolves.

Human Resources Planning vs. Manpower Planning: Understanding the Difference

Below, we will compare the key characteristics of HRP and manpower planning to better grasp their differences.


FeatureHuman Resource PlanningManpower Planning
FocusStrategic: matching talent with long-term business objectives.Tactical: fulfilling immediate and short-term workforce demands.
ObjectiveForeseeing future talent requirements and skill advancement.Balancing workforce availability with immediate operational demands.
ScopeEvaluates strategies for recruitment, training, development, and retention.Focuses on the number and deployment of staff members.
FlexibilityCapable of adapting to evolving market conditions and organizational goals.Difficulty in adapting to sudden shifts in workforce requirements.
Decision-making processEncouraging strategic analysis and collaboration among different departments.Operational decisions are mainly made by HR and line managers.
MetricsConcentrates on talent quality, engagement, and organizational effectiveness.Focuses on headcount, skills availability, and utilization rates.
Approach to skillsContinuous skill development and building a talent pipeline are emphasized.Training/upskilling is used to address immediate skill requirements.
Planning cycleContinuous and ongoing processCyclical and event-driven
Emphasis on surplusesAddresses potential employee surpluses by utilizing strategic workforce planning.Provides temporary solutions to address immediate surpluses.

Businesses with limited HR expertise and resources may find it challenging to navigate HRP and manpower planning. Employers in the UAE rely on manpower supply services to empower them to make informed decisions and optimize workforce management strategies.

When you hire a manpower agency, they can help you improve your workforce management. Not only can they streamline your hiring process, but they can also provide temporary staff during market fluctuations and offer training programs for candidates seeking to enhance their employability. If you are looking for an agency that offers manpower supply in UAE, then quickly reach out to Marmoom, and we’ll help you with manpower supply, enabling you to achieve your business objectives.

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