Case Study Manpower planning


Just a few years ago, computer technology offered a revolutionary change in human resource management. Organizations experimented with computerized skills inventories, pay and benefits administration and applicant tracking systems. Today, the revolution continues but is undergoing fundamental changes as computer technology and the Internet grow at unprecedented rates. Human resource management is moving away from a mainframe technology to the world of virtual reality, with the Internet at its core. Although many forces drive this change, one of the most important is the globalization of business. As organizations spread their operations and personnel worldwide, the need for a truly global, integrated human resource information system has reached critical levels. The most obvious answer virtual human resource management on the World Wide Web.

A 2006 survey of HR decision makers across 325 major organizations in North America indicates that 9 out of 10 firms use the Web for HR related activities such as benefit enrollment. This is in contrast to survey findings from 1977 which suggested that only 27 percent of surveyed organizations reported using Web for its HR systems. Over past 10 years, the number of U.S companies using Web for its HR system has more than tripled.

The most uses of the Internet in manpower planning are in corporate communications, applicant and resume tracking, and benefits and retirement planning. In the area of recruiting, Humana Inc. has created one of the most advanced applicant identification and tracking systems in the world. Humana is an HMO with approximately 20,000 employees and 6 million subscribers. Their human resource recruiters can rapidly identify, contact and track qualified applicants for virtually any job opening in their organization. Their success revolves around a specialized software application, Softshoe Select, provided by and linked to This software automatically searches millions of individual Web pages looking for resumes that meet any need that Humana may have. While setup costs are relatively large (a one time fee of $50,000 for licensing and configuration in addition to a $2,000 per month lease), organizations such as Humana find that the costs are well worth the efforts. Humana, for examples, estimates that it previously spent an average of $128 in advertising to find a single qualified applicant’s resume. Today, they estimate that the cost is approximately $.0.6. For Humana, that translates into an annual savings of $8.3 million.

The Internet is also helping revolutionize a number of other manpower planning activities for many organizations. Citibank, for example, has a single global HRIS that maintains a detailed skill inventory, compensation database and HR practices for 98 countries and 10,000 managerial personnel worldwide. Numerous other global employers have created employee self-service compensation and benefits systems that allow employees at Shell Oil Company manage their retirement plans, maintain and/or change health care coverage, and track other personally relevant information all through an automated, self-services system.

Use of the Internet in these kinds of manpower planning activities is not, however, without danger. The ease of access to so much information always has the potential to create both legal and ethical abuse, both by employees and by hackers, or unauthorized users of the system. Organizations must take all necessary precautions to safeguard the privacy and integrity of these virtual human resource systems. The challenges are immense, but both the organizational consequences can be invaluable.

Consider Manpower Planning and Virtual Human Resource Management case study. Then, answer the following questions:

  1. How has the emergence of the Internet changed the way that organizations plan and manage their human resource needs?
  2. What kinds of future human resource activities might we see developed over the next several years?
  3. What are the legal and ethical issues surrounding the use of the Internet by individual employees for human resource activities? Are you concerned about violations of your own privacy because of these kinds of Web applications?
  4. What specialized skills will the future HRIS professional need in order to effectively manage an organization’s virtual human resource function?
  5. What is manpower planning? How does it relate to other human resource management activities?
  6. What is an HRIS? How can an organization use it to increase the efficiency and decrease the costs within the human resource activities, especially manpower planning.


Each group will consist about 5 or 6 students, depending on the number of students that are enrolled for the course in each semester. Students are given the authority to choose their own partners.

Group project is about:

  • Analyze the given case study and answer the case study questions.
  • Suggest recommendations and solutions on how to solve the problem of legal and ethical abuse while using HRIS in managing manpower planning in the organization.
  • Provide recommendations and solutions to solve the problem in the given case study – the information can be gathered from journal or articles.
  • Which means, each group is supposed to analyze the journal or articles and extract the relevant information to support the recommendation.

Group project should include the following:

  1. Table of Content
  2. Introduction
  3. Content
  • Answering case study questions
  1. Discussion
  • Refer to the journals/articles/other sources
  1. Recommendation
  • Suggest the recommendations based on the given case study, together with the information gathered from journals/articles/other sources
  1. Conclusion
  • Provide conclusion based on the given case study and the information gathered from journals/articles/other sources
  1. References (APA Style)


  • This assignment should be typed using Arial, a font size of 11, Justify and 1.5 spacing.
  • The assignment should be between 15 - 20 pages excluding the illustrations or attachments.
  • This group project marks are prorated to 30% replacing final examination.