Formed Your Strategic Hiring Plan for 2015 Yet? | DCR Workforce Blog

Formed Your Strategic Hiring Plan for 2015 Yet?

hiring planIn my neighbourhood, a chain of pharmacies is aggressively campaigning for new customers by offering many attractive services, including freebies. I decided to give them a try and walked in to fill a prescription. Imagine my shock when I found that they dispensed a different medicine to me! Fortunately, I was able to recognize it from its color and shape, because I used it before. If I did not know how it looked, I could have faced serious problems. For sure, I will never go back to them again. If such issues repeat with other customers, the business will probably never reach the high goals for expansion and growth it set for itself.

The pharmacy jeopardized its expansion plans because it failed to identify and properly train its employees. I am sure everyone has had similar experiences with businesses that promise big but deliver little. Talent holds the key to a company’s attainment of its goals and growth plan. So, creating a hiring plan to find the employees who can support rapid growth is crucial to a company’s business strategy and ultimate success. A company’s workforce needs to represent its core values, culture and mission and be a part of its overall business strategy.

Making a Hiring Plan:

Any hiring plan starts with taking stock of human resources already in place, and how well they promote the company’s interests. In many companies, workforce planning is conducted by each individual function, with the number of workers defined by the size of the budget. In many others, the Finance organization specifies the total number of permanent employees. Direction regarding the use of non-traditional worker arrangements tends to only arise when cut-backs are warranted. In these cases, line managers are usually told to reduce their permanent staff by a specified percentage, and eliminate all non-employees. This is an archaic approach that is all too often at odds with achievement of the business’ goals. To develop a workforce plan that is directly tied to your business objectives, ask and answer some hard-hitting questions:

  • Are your workers delivering to your expectations?
  • Are their actions contributing to the culture you envisaged? Are they upholding your corporate values?
  • Is turnover an issue for your company, or do you see it becoming an issue – due to any external or internal factors?
  • Do your workers have the necessary skills to meet their job requirements?
  • Have you adopted any new technologies which improve your performance standards, but require workers with specialized skills to take advantage of the technology’s potential value?
  • Do you have any expansion plans for which you need skilled workers to be available? If so, how many will you need?
  • Do you require skills that are in high demand and short supply? Are you struggling to recruit qualified individuals to work in some of your company’s locations?
  • What is the best mix of permanent employees and temporary workers? Do you envision the need for individuals whose specialized skills will be required only until a project is launched or your permanent staff are trained?
  • Should any non-core functions be outsourced? If so, how?
  • Will your recruitment efforts be handled by a hiring manager or a staffing agency, or both?
  • Do your internal Human Resources and Procurement functions have the knowledge and capacity needed to manage a blended workforce of traditional and non-traditional talent?
  • Does your annual budgeting process factor in the cost of using non-traditional workers? Do you have the tools or techniques needed to model the potential costs of using each worker type?
  • Do you have a plan in place to onboard new employees, assimilate them into your team and created an attractive career path for them?

Any hiring plan you make will succeed when you take the trouble to consider the factors detailed above. Knowing your priorities and understanding the critical aspects in hiring can impact the performance of your new recruits, and affect their willingness to stay on with you.

Issues with the 2015 Employment Market:

  • The U.S. and global job markets are looking up as new jobs are being added, but remain plagued by underemployment and a lack of labor-force participation by millions of qualified workers.
  • In the U.S., 23% of 24-50 year olds are not employed and 2,785,000 of them have been unemployed for more than 32 weeks and have given up looking for jobs. Many of them want to work and need a job but are too discouraged to look for one.
  • Few credit the 5.6% unemployment rate, declared in the last job report, with any significance because the long term unemployed are not accounted for when arriving at the number.
  • Baby boomers are aging and many will hit retirement, taking essential skills with them, leaving a vacuum behind.
  • The economic uncertainty is just lifting and nearly 2 million workers are changing jobs per month, but this not a healthy level of churn yet.
  • 600,000 full time jobs are found to be vacant because there is a dearth of required skills amongst the applicants.

Strategies to Hire:

In this dynamic and uncertain environment, companies should take a strategic approach to workforce planning.

  • Keep ahead of the supply and demand situation. Identify potential staffing gaps and surpluses for each required role. For each job responsibility, consider whether the best hiring option would be a permanent employee or agency supplied worker. Also consider whether a full-time or part-time resource is required.
  • For work that is bounded in terms of clear deliverables and schedules, consider the use of an independent contractor our outside firm. If this approach is used, be sure to establish a detailed statement of work and contractual agreement.

By deciding to hire temporary workers through a staffing agency, a company can reduce the costs of recruitment, hiring and training. It could also help to manage peak requirements while saving on expenses when there is a lull in activities.

Many times, preparation is half the battle and if we fail to plan right, we may end up drawing ridicule for planning to fail. So, have you formed a strategic hiring plan for 2015 yet?

The content on this blog is for informational purposes only and cannot be construed as specific legal advice or as a substitute for competent legal advice. They reflect the opinions of DCR Workforce and may not reflect the opinions of any individual attorney. Do contact an attorney for advice specific to your issue or problem.
Lalita is a people/project manager with extensive experience in operations, HCM and training and development across industries like banking, education, business consulting, BPO and information technology. She believes in a dynamic approach to life and learning as change is the only constant.