The one constant in life is change. This is certainly true of the workforce, as staffing needs are typically in a constant flux for most companies. Having a long-term staffing strategy will help your company weather these changes and be more ready for whatever might come your way.Read more
What is a Staffing Strategy?
A staffing strategy goes beyond recruiting to consider not just hiring needs now and in the future, but how to retain employees, create positive workplace experiences, and promote staff for optimal succession planning and practices. Recruiting to hire staff is an important part of any staffing strategy, but it isn’t comprehensive enough to be all that’s needed for a staffing strategy.
Creating a long-term staffing strategy requires several important steps that must be followed for the strategy to be effective. These steps should be followed in order, but they can be modified slightly for different needs.
Steps for an Effective, Long-Term Staffing Strategy
1. Analyze Your Current and Future Business Structure and Staffing Needs
The first thing you need to create your staffing strategy is to know your company’s current staffing situation and needs. The following are some questions to ask:
- Are all positions currently filled?
- Is staffing adequate for the workload you have?
- Are you paying workers overtime rather than hiring additional staff?
- Is your current staffing model ideal for your needs, or does it leave something to be desired?
Companies also need to look at their trend lines to see whether they’re likely to need more or less staffing in the future. If your company is growing, you likely need to hire more people. However, if your firm is stagnant or contracting and likely to stay this way, you may want to look at cuts and hiring from within where possible.
No one has a crystal ball to look into the future, but it’s possible to plan for one or more likely contingencies that may happen if current trends stay the same or even if they become radically different. Looking at the most likely path or paths will help you set realistic goals and be ready for whatever comes next.
2. Set Short- and Long-Term Staffing Goals
Based on your analysis of current conditions and trends, you can now set short- and long-term goals for staffing. Even if you aren’t currently growing as a company, you can set goals for growth, then determine your staffing needs based on those goals so long as you have reasonable plans for how growth will happen.
Your company could also make goals for expansion into new markets or new product and service areas. This will mean hiring different kinds of employees with different skills. Your strategic goals and plans will largely determine your staffing needs and show you where changes could occur.
Some planners set goals first before evaluating current staffing levels. If this makes more sense to your team, numbers one and two on this list can be switched and the strategy could still work.
3. Determine Optimal Staffing Levels
With some level of data analysis, it’s possible to determine optimal staffing levels for your company to help determine its future hiring needs. You may or may not be able to hit your optimal staffing level, but it’s good to at least know what it is.
Not only can you use the data from your own company to figure out optimal staffing levels, but you can also look at companies similar to yours and use their data to inform your own analysis. Once you’ve determined the optimal staffing levels for your company, you’ll have a plan in place to meet your goals in optimal ways.
4. Do a Gap Analysis
A gap analysis measures the places where your staff doesn’t have the skills currently needed to meet goals or in some cases, complete current tasks. It’s important to identify those gaps and determine why they exist so you can understand how to address them, whether the methods involve training, retraining, or additional hiring.
If you find skill redundancies, you can either retrain employees in the skills you lack or you can let employees go and hire others with the skills you need. Laying off redundant staff can be difficult for close-knit companies, but it’s a gross waste of resources to let redundancies go on because you’re emotionally attached to staff members that aren’t assets to the company.
If you can’t bear to let a staff member with redundant skills go, retraining for another position where skills are needed is necessary. It’s important that a redundant staff member be ready to get a job elsewhere if this training isn’t provided.
5. Set a Time to Regularly Evaluate Your Staffing Strategy
It should go without saying your strategy will need to be re-evaluated on a regular basis. Every six to 12 months is an ideal time frame for evaluation, but you should also re-evaluate whenever rapid change happens within the company.
The strategic review should ask what has changed within the company since the last review and how those changes impact staffing. It’s better to overdo the evaluation than to neglect it as your strategy will not work as well (if at all) if conditions, goals, or other components have changed.
By following these steps, you’ll establish a staffing strategy that works well for your company now and into the future. If this process seems overwhelming and you need more help creating a staffing strategy, GDH can be a partner in the process and give you the guidance and insights you need.
With GDH on your team, workforce solutions are made easy.