A business is nothing without its people. Whether you’re a sole trader or a multinational (or anywhere in between), if there’s no humans, there’s no human resources and no business.
People are the backbone of businesses and so it’s important to find and hire the best. Once they’re in, however, you have to look after them. Your staffing strategy doesn’t end with your latest acquisition signing on the dotted line, you have to make sure that your people are happy, have room to develop and grow and are in the right roles for themselves and the company at any given time. This helps you to hold onto these great people for the long-term.
Here’s your seven steps to doing just that.
Work out what your business goals are
This is a vital step, because if you don’t know what you’re aiming at in the short and long term, you won’t be able to work out how to get there. You might be wanting to increase your turnover, get into a new sector or even buy another business arm; whatever your plans are, they’ll be realised by people so you need to keep them on-task.
Look at how your people match your aims
You should gather all the data and information on your people into one place. This makes it easier to look at how many people you have, what they’re good at, what additional training they need and who’s likely to make a good project manager this time next year.
Look at your staffing patterns
Staffing levels are always changing; sometimes it’s unpredictable, but there’ll always be definite patterns going on. New graduate hires get itchy feet after a couple of years, someone finishes their part-time master’s degree and wants a promotion and so on. Then there’s people nearing retirement, their due date, their promotion date and also your company’s usual service term.
There’s also the period of time when someone’s serving their notice out, which enables you to hand over their knowledge, experience and work-in-progress. It also gives you time to fill the position with the right person.
Work out your people needs
You need to determine what skills, resources and expertise is necessary to reach your business goals and you need to think about how long it takes to get someone for each role and settle them in.
Look at your data – how long does it take to find people for particular roles? How many candidates do you need to look through? How long does it take to bed them in so they’re working at full-throttle? You can use the data you’ve collated to give yourself a good idea and to provide insights into these questions.
Look to the future
Once you know where you are now, you need to create a plan for the next five to 10 years. This needs the input of the business owners so that the plan fits the vision, as well as any plans for new acquisitions, restructurings or sell-offs in the coming years.
You also need to factor in promotions, retirements, new skill sets that need to be brought in, new technologies and so on. Are you likely to want to expand your workforce, contract it or bring in automations for some tasks?
It’s also important to make sure ahead of time that you have enough recruitment expertise to keep looking for and hiring people. If you’re a smaller enterprise, then there’s plenty of recruitment agencies in Christchurch and other big cities so you don’t have to run a full-time in-house team.
Develop a definite brand and work culture
Candidates need to know what they’re getting into when they come to you. If they know ahead of time that they’ll fit right in, then half of your battle is won!
How do you make people want to work for you? Do your employees feel that their work is valuable and has a meaning outside of the company? If they do, then they’ll be more likely to stay.
You can get inspiration for your people strategy from anywhere, not just the confines of your own office. Look at what other companies in your sector – and maybe in a completely different industry – are doing to keep employees happy. Take to social media; what are your competitors doing on staff days out?
Review your plan
Your business’ needs can change rapidly. Look over where everyone is so that you’re agile enough to cope with a sudden change. If a major client cancels, or a key member of staff resigns, then you need to be able to move fast.