If you’re a small business owner looking to build your team, you may not know where to start. It can be even more overwhelming if you’re just beginning to add people to your business, so we’ve put together some strategic staffing tips to help you lay the groundwork.
Strategic Staffing for Small Businesses
Depending on who you ask, you may get different answers regarding the definition of strategic staffing. In short, it’s an approach to sustainably staffing your business to effectively address both current and future staffing issues. It can be a way to utilize full-time employees as your core while bringing on temporary employees to handle short-term projects. Or it focuses on using long-term employees in a way that plays on their discovered strengths while hiring new employees to fill the gaps.
Small Business Staffing Challenges
Small businesses face different challenges when it comes to staffing. Budgetary constraints, not having an HR department, lack of employee benefits available, and simply being a small business can be seen as detriments or concerns to potential candidates. However, being strategic with your hiring process allows your business to pay closer attention to its needs, avoiding hiring too many employees (or the wrong kind) and hiring the ones that understand your business, saving you money and time. Employees that understand your needs and are best suited to their roles will stay at your company longer. Staffing agencies are adept at hiring and at any point, bringing one on means one less thing on your plate.
Strategic Staffing Benefits for Small Businesses
A hiring strategy requires some initial data about what your company needs now, as well as how to efficiently recruit new candidates while retaining current employees. Having protocols in place that hiring managers and Human Resource departments can follow together gives them the wherewithal to hire new employees fairly and equitably while decreasing turnover and improving productivity.
The Five Steps for Strategic Staffing
Strategic staffing can involve many steps, but these top five can streamline your process. First, we’ll go through each of the five steps, and then we’ll break them down into more detail.
- Short-term staffing analysis: determining the immediate needs of your company.
- Defining position needs and requirements: deciding what positions must be filled first and by what type of candidate.
- Future staff planning: envisioning the roles you will need as your business grows and laying the groundwork to reach that level.
- Recruitment: reaching out to prospective candidates, growing your talent pool, and posting clear job listings.
- Planning for retention: keeping your employees happy and stable, so you don’t have to keep hiring repeatedly.
How to Analyze Your Current Staffing Needs
This critical step requires you to take a good, hard look at your business procedures. Where are you failing customers? Are deadlines being met? Are current employees overworked or doing roles for which they’re ill-suited? What addition could ramp up your profit and take some stress off others?
Defining Position Requirements
Once you’ve identified gaps in resources, outline the positions and job responsibilities that would rectify the problems. Define exactly what is needed and review your financial abilities to determine your boundaries. Think critically to separate the crucial hires from the roles that can wait. Decide how many hours are needed for each position and be clear about who is doing what. Compare that to your short-term staffing analysis to ensure it meets all your needs.
Planning Ahead for Future Staffing Needs
When hiring, consider the future requirements for that department or team. You may need only two people in one area now, but with proper growth and success, your company may need to add staff to particular areas. This can impact your early hires as they are likely to be ones you consider for future leadership roles. Leave room in your plan to add those roles you hope to need but aren’t quite ready for yet. Think big but think realistically so you’re cost-effective now and ready for growth later.
Streamlining Your Recruitment Efforts
Begin the recruitment process by using the job descriptions you created in step two. Get them out on online job search sites, encourage referrals from current employees, and consider using recruiting software to take some of the work off your hands. AI recruiting tools and Programmatic Job Advertising software can be game changers. Proper candidate targeting can fill roles quickly. Develop a talent pool for use both now and later; this is where tracking your outreach can be very helpful.
How to Strategically Retain Your Staff
Once you’ve gone through all the work of hiring and training the best person for each job, you don’t want to lose them. Keep an eye on their schedule and workload to mitigate problems before they occur and hire new people accordingly. Frequent absences, complaints about work problems, or their environment can all be red flags that someone is unhappy in their role. Listen to feedback from your staff. Promote or increase salaries when possible and provide proper training from day one. Treating them like a person, not just an employee, can make all the difference. Remaining vigilant in overseeing their welfare can allow you to rectify problems before someone gives up and leaves. It’s competitive out there and businesses small and large need to try and satisfy good employees.
Having a small business can be an incredible experience, and at PandoLogic we understand your challenges. We know the importance of having a team of employees that you can rely on, whether they are permanent or temporary. The good news is that you can surmount the challenges with a good hiring strategy.
Our steps outlined above are something all businesses can do, but we’re here to help if you need it. If you’d like a free demo of our platform, please reach out. We’d love to be a part of your business success.