Before we get into the discussion of the strategic staffing plan, we need to understand what exactly strategic staffing is. Strategic Staffing includes all forms of recruitment, i.e., temporary, permanent, and contractual. It takes into consideration the staffing needs of the organization after an in-depth analysis and then formulates a plan to meet the demands. Training the current staff in the relevant skills required for the growth of the company is also a part of it. With a brief understanding of this staffing model, we shall now have a detailed discussion about the Strategic Staffing Plan. Here is the list of the seven components of strategic staffing:
The first step in a strategic staffing plan is to analyze the organization with regard to its employees based on the current business, new businesses you might get into, businesses it will be leaving, and the gaps between the current skill set and the one it needs to execute the future business strategy. This is the best way to move forward. Now, these business plans are certain to contain components required in the short term and long term both. For instance, increasing the turnover, expansion into new sectors, growth through acquisition, or launching new products. All these goals are intrinsically driven by the employees. Thus, they must be aligned with the company’s objectives. To help you with some basic questions you must answer during this analysis, here is a list:
- What internal goals this function can achieve this year?
- What are the major strategic and tactical goals of the organization for the upcoming year?
- How will the HR function support these goals?
- What goals are to be set for my function to make sure that I’m aligned with the company’s goals?
- What support are other functions or departments expecting from my department this year?
Having identified and listed their short & long-term requirements, the company must assess their employees for the sought-after competencies and plan the recruitment drive accordingly. They can assess the availability of these competencies in the labor market and then deploy effective selection practices for hiring new individuals with the requisite skills, background, and motivation.
Another set of questions can be brought into the picture here. They are:
- How many in-demand openings do we have?
- How many overall in-demand positions do we have currently?
- What’s the turnover rate of these roles?
- What’s the biggest issue in filling these roles?
- What criteria are absolutely necessary and what criteria will we bend on?
Answers to all the questions in addition to the qualities of an individual can be used to grow the firm and also provides motivation to the candidates to work. This ensures that the compensation system is working exactly how the leadership intended it to be.
The next step in the strategic staffing plan is to source the talent. Locating a qualified candidate in the labor market is the biggest staffing challenge. Some sources that can provide you with labor market data are:
- State and Multiple Labor Statistics
- U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- State Unemployment Data
Having a database of eligible individuals is just one aspect. Another important aspect is to keep an eye on the expectations of the candidates. Since they vary on a case-to-case basis, it is mandatory that you know what your competitors are offering for the same position. According to the Manpower Group report, candidates’ expectations vary with gender, age, and the place people are in their career lifecycle. However, there are three aspects that are entirely off the negotiation table. They are –
- Challenging Work
- Increased Compensation
As a staffing company, it is our job to point the clients in the direction of candidates that are capable of not only succeeding at the company but also possess the right skill sets to meet the role requirements. Now, if you are having trouble identifying the candidates, you could ask some of the following questions:
- What are the talents available in our market?
- What are the trends that are affecting skill development?
Trends happen due to social impacts like managing social media requirements, the need to learn new technology, or acquiring new skills as part of the evolution in the industry.
- Will any changes to regulations affect our workforce?
- Are there any competitors that might impact the supply of quality candidates?
If your competitors are growing their workforce, or laying off their employees, the labor supply may vary accordingly.
- Are potentials “Game Changers” affecting the industry?
Such companies are known as ‘disrupter companies’. For instance, Uber has an impact on the taxi industry.
- Do we need to account for the impacts or the constraints from facilities or infrastructure?
These can include commuting implications, office size, and location.
- Will technological changes influence the demand and supply of labor?
Technological advancements are an important factor to consider while planning the recruitment drive as that might increase the requirements for additional staffing or training time or technology to improve efficiency.
- Will financial or economic factors affect our staffing plans?
Some of these situations include the straining of finances available to the firm, changes in the local economy, or an influx of funding through venture capitalists. Let’s now move ahead to discuss the next component of the strategic staffing plan.
The third strategic staffing component is recruiting. After you have a list of all the qualified and eligible candidates, you are required to set up the recruiting process, chalk out the plan of action, and then proceed towards its implementation.You can pull data for a long-term staffing strategy from the Human Resource Information System (HRIS), or payroll, scheduling, or talent management systems. The HRIS will help you with the aspect of headcount purposes. On the other hand, if you want data in relation to competency planning, talent management or a learning system would serve you the best information available. Further, HR should also evaluate the factors that might change the structure of the department. These factors might include potential departures, flight risks, and current open positions being recruited actively. While planning this structure, you must have answers to the questions given later to have the best results. The questions you should find answers to are:
- Who are the current staff members? What positions would be affected by the recruiting strategy we use (for instance, what responsibilities would be taken up by an HR Administrator versus an HR Manager)?
- What systems are to be reviewed in order to formulate the possible strategy?
- What competencies does my current staff have?
- Do people outside my organization, like vendors, contractors, etc., contribute to the achievement of our team goals?
- What expertise will the staff members bring to their newly assigned roles?
- Do employees outside the function influence the HR team’s goals and achievements (e.g. – the payroll employee that reports directly to the chief financial officer)? This question is extremely important and relevant for matrixed organizations.
- Do you have employees that might be flight risks or have personal issues that might affect their terms of association with the organization?
This exercise will not only help you in making decisions but also engage you in practices that certainly impact the number or types of candidates that are willing to apply for the opening and subsequently accept the job offer. Generally, organizations tend to think that paying the best quality candidates better compensation is the best strategy. But in reality, there are multiple factors to consider. Some of them are – the productivity of the individual, the expertise level you require, your paying capability, etc. You must go with a strategy that meets your goals without compromising on the quality of work and also isn’t very heavy on your pockets. With this in-depth research about the strategy complete, we need to move to the next component of strategic staffing.
With the recruiting strategy sorted, you have reached one of the most important steps in a strategic staffing plan, i.e., selecting the right candidate. This process needs to assess the job candidates and decide who to hire. There will be competitive individuals, just qualified profiles, and various other types of options to select the perfect fit. If you don’t have a thorough procedure planned, things might get messy and unwanted. For instance, there is a constraint on labor supply in the market. The best talents are acquired by your competitors and all the other talents seem to not fit the picture you cut out. In such a scenario, the organization is necessitated to increase the salary offered. This will give you a better chance to hire the right people that will help your firm grow and provide you with the operational push to achieve your goals. On the other hand, let’s assume that the labor supply is tight. The firm might have to increase the salaries only to be eligible in the race of hiring a candidate that has minimum levels of skill and qualifications. Here, there might be a situation where offering a higher compensation is not suitable. In such a case, the only viable option is to hire from non-traditional sources. The chances of a successful hire are not certain. Thus, if you fail to find the right recruit, you have three options. They are:
- Automate the job
- Reduce the qualifications required for new hires.
- Ramp up the training process provided to the current employees of the organization.
That’s all you need to take care of in this step of the strategic staffing plan.
The next strategic staffing component is to acquire talent. All the hard work done could be wasted if the company fails to acquire the candidate it deems fit. So, you ought to put a job offer together that fascinates and attracts the chosen individuals towards the opening you are offering. A well-planned and persuading job offer has a better chance of being accepted. But, considering that only a good job offer would suffice would be a huge blunder. There is a lot of documentation that must be designed carefully and the most important one of them is the written offer or the employment contract. This one formalizes and finalizes the outcomes of all the negotiations and conversations with the candidate. It includes information such as salary, bonus, compensation for the job, stock-based compensation (if any), and long-term accounting. Keeping aside the documentation section, the firm also needs to work out a plan that will tempt the candidates to join your team. This can be accomplished with interaction with them, most preferably the first one that you have. This will make you different from the competitors and other staffing firms, who are eyeing the same high-in-demand candidates. To execute this plan, you can include personalized video messages in the email signatures. Here, the focus lies on making your intentions, to place them with only the best employers, crystal clear from the very beginning to make sure that the candidates know that they can trust you. Further, having your client record a short video message could increase their connection with the brand and the opportunities. Undeniably, this is one of the tolls that leave a lasting impression. Another aspect that is not about the documentation but is considered eminently necessary is – Branding of the company. Organizations tend to build their image and brand in terms of clients but forget to include the perspective of an employee. In the current times, it is equally important to have a strong branding strategy to attract the best people that are in demand and have high-quality talent. This was all about this step of the strategic staffing plan. Let’s move to the second last step.
The second last strategic staffing component is deploying. After the selection and acquisition of the talent, you have to deploy them in the appropriate roles and jobs to utilize their talents in the best possible way and to optimize the company’s efficiency and thus help it grow.One of the primary goals of staffing is to ensure that the newly hired employees have the potential to succeed in their roles and responsibilities. Any kind of compensation or motivation is ineffective if the worker is not assigned to a job that suits their skills and interests. Even performance incentives fail to bring out the best in such scenarios. An organization that is willing to use pay for performance or merit pay system for motivating its employees to be more productive is certainly looking at its goals but missing out on the aspect that this plan of action would not work if the skills possessed by the workers are not up to the mark or lack any component. Performance incentives are effective only when the individuals have the potential and the will to give their best and perform well in the first place. Thus, deploy your workforce in the correct fashion and you will reap the benefits of it by achieving your short and long-term goals.
The last step of executing the strategic staffing plan is to retain the talents acquired and deployed in the previous steps. This is a challenge for the clients as the competitors are always on the lookout for any employee that isn’t engaged or committed to their workplace. Thus, you have to keep these successful, high-in-demand individuals engaged and committed.You are certain to be frustrated when the right talent leaves the firm after a short while even after providing them with such a great growing and working opportunity. Locating, hiring, and deploying the best talents might seem like a huge task but the real task is to retain these treasures of talent.A firm that is unable to retain the hired talent does not only bear the financial loss (as the turnover is expensive when the best performers leave) but also speaks volumes about the organization as a whole.Further, a higher retention rate of the company directly translates to the organization saving costs, time, and other resources on hiring to fill in the job vacancies. If you ask us, performance-based incentives are one of the most used and most successful tools that are employed by the company to retain its best performers.
These seven strategic staffing components are all that you need to stick to and your goals for the company will be achieved with better efficiency, lower costs, and the quality of work would be absolutely amazing. When an organization executes this strategic staffing plan strategically, they create a staffing system that supports the business strategy and the performance of the organization as a whole.The level of compensation an organization is willing to pay and the will to invest in salaries of its employee is also an important factor to determine its ability to hire people with the required qualifications.