Anticipate & Plan Your Staffing Needs
When it comes to hiring, most managers start with this question: “Sally just left the marketing team…who is going to do her job?” This is followed by “Can we afford to replace her?” While the money conversation is a valuable piece of the hiring puzzle, hiring managers should begin instead by asking a more valuable question, “Do we have the need to hire, and, if so, what specific skills do we need today?”. It’s important to remember that the department, company, and marketplace have changed from the time you first hired Sally, and now is a good time to assess any skill gaps in your team.
Recruiter’s tip: Proactively develop your hiring process so you’re not left in the lurch.
Before going to work on your job posting, ask yourself:
Is the team meeting the goals and expectations outlined by the company?
If not, where are they falling short?
Is this gap the result of personnel or procedural issues?
Can these gaps be bridged with further training of existing staff or is it time to hire someone new?
Will a new hire be an addition to the team or must we let someone go? (Learn when to hire and when to fire.)
The last, but often overlooked, question is this: What if you don’t hire?
Immediate hiring needs are not the only personnel issues to be tackled. Anticipating your future staffing needs is essential to your recruiting strategy. Study your organization’s long-term business plan. With that plan in mind, review high and mid-level positions and look ahead. What will your organizational structure look like in the future? Start identifying the number of employees you will need and in what positions in two, three, even five years to keep your company and team at the forefront of the marketplace, and on the road to continued success.
As mentioned earlier, the ideal time to recruit new employees is before you actually need them! Spend the time building your “talent bench” – professionals from your industry, sector, geography, domain, etc. that would enhance your team and overall level of expertise were you to hire them down the road. This may seem very daunting- “I barely have the time to review resumes and interview candidates when a position is open, where will I find the time to connect with candidates during my normal schedule?” It certainly isn’t easy, but as the labor pool continues to shrink and the demand for high skilled labor increases, it is incumbent upon businesses to maintain an ongoing dialogue with their “dream hires”. Hiring managers and HR professionals should carve out 2-4 hours/month to connect with potential future hires. Incorporating this time into your schedule will save both time and money in the long run!
Now that you have identified your staffing needs, it is time to build your strategy to attract those dream hires…