As the weather gets colder and the leaves start to turn, it’s not just fall that’s on the horizon. It’s also time to start thinking about your staffing needs for the upcoming year.
If you’re at all familiar with staff planning, I don’t need to tell you that it entails more than just looking at the vacancies in a company. It’s actually a series of steps where you assess the organization as a whole. And like any other initiative, it requires hours of preparation to ensure you’ve got all your bases covered.
Here are five steps I recommend when developing a strategic (and successful, I should add) staffing plan:
1. Evaluate your business goals.
One of the first steps in developing a staffing plan is to take a look at your goals — and I’m talking both long-term and short-term goals here. Knowing what you hope to achieve will make it much easier to determine the resources and support necessary to reach your objectives.
Talk to leaders across the organization. Ask them to share their departmental goals for the future. Are there any major projects on the horizon? Is there a new strategic initiative that will require any additional support? These sorts of questions can help you understand the type of talent needed for the upcoming year.
2. Identify current state.
Current state will give you a bird’s eye view of the existing resources at your disposal. Think of it as a point of origin. After all, getting anywhere is near impossible if you don’t know where your journey starts.
Begin by looking at the very basics, like staff on hand — and this should include full-time, part-time, and contract workers. From there, catalogue the competencies and skill sets of those people currently available to you.
It’s also wise to evaluate whether there will be any potential staffing changes in the near future. For example, are there any associates at risk of leaving the company? Is there anyone moving into a new role?
3. Look for gaps.
Simply put, the gaps you’ll be looking for generally involve staffing inadequacies, skill/expertise shortages, qualification/education deficiencies, etc. And though I’m probably stating the obvious, these are the gaps that’ll prevent your company from reaching the business goals you’ve identified in Step 1.
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4. Set staffing projections.
A lot more goes into staffing than determining the roles, skills, and expertise you’ll need on staff to achieve your business objectives, and it’s important to project out what it’ll to take for you to fill those gaps.
Topping the list is the length of time it’ll take to recruit for a given role. On average, you’re looking at 23 days for the interview process. And if a vacancy isn’t filled in the first month, chances are good it’ll stay that way for three months or more.
You’ll also want to consider the number of candidates you’ll need to interview to find the right hire, the training necessary to get the new hire up and running, and the time it’ll take for the hire to become a productive staff member.
Other questions to ask yourself include:
- Does the role require a full-time, part-time, or contract hire?
- Are there any budgetary constraints to filling the role?
- Could this role offer cross-functional support?
- Is it more effective to promote and then fill that new vacancy?
- Would additional training of existing staff fill any gaps?
- Would new technology be more beneficial is shoring up deficiencies?
5. Partner with a staffing agency.
Trust me, I know what you’re thinking, “Of course she’d say something like that.” But here’s the thing: Staffing agencies can offer a lot of guidance in developing a staffing plan. Heck, it’s what we do for a living. Talk to a staffing agency to help with everything from the plan itself to finding the right talent for the role. In a market like this, it’s tough to find the right people on your own.
If you’d like additional information about developing a staffing plan, or would like to discuss your current talent needs, please feel free to contact us today. We’d be more than happy to offer suggestions and explore your options for recruiting your next new hire.