Grasping the Big Picture
Strategic staffing begins with an effort to reassess your department's human resources needs in the context of your firm's business priorities. It's a mindset rather than a process. The idea is to begin thinking in terms of need rather than job, long term rather than short term, and big picture rather than immediate opening. This approach ties directly into the changing role of the HR professional from administrator to strategist, which I discuss in Chapter 1.? To succeed, you need to gain a firm understanding of your company's major goals and priorities.
Unless you head an extremely small organization, you can't adopt a strategic staffing approach all by yourself. Make it a priority to introduce the concept to other managers in your organization. You'll need their input to better understand company and departmental priorities - and they'll need your help in guiding them through the process and adopting this mindset as well.? Together, you'll need to identify everything that may affect the efficiency and profitability of your firm's operations - and not just in the short term, either.? To get you started, here are some of the key questions that you and other people in your company should answer before you make your next move:
Strategic staffing is not just about hiring more employees. It involves making the best staffing choices available to address the core business needs you and other managers have identified. If a line manager you support is thinking of filling an existing position, encourage him to consider how his group's most critical needs have changed since the last time the job was open, rather than immediately searching for a candidate to fill the vacant position. Is a fulltime individual still required in this role? And should a potential replacement have the same skills and experience as her predecessor? Or does the position need to be re-filled at all and the duties handled in other ways?? Ask the hiring manager to analyze his work group's daily activities to better understand how current resources are allocated. Help him identify the frequency and timing of workload peaks and valleys and look for predictable patterns. Discuss the impact of shifts in company priorities and what eventual effect these are likely to have on the work group in question. This discussion allows you to spot any shortfalls in human resources for upcoming initiatives.