Strategic workforce planning (SWP) is the analytic, forecasting, and planning process that connects and directs talent management activities to ensure an organi-zation has the right people in the right places at the right time and at the right price to execute its business strategy.
Strategic staffing processes, also known as workforce planning, provide you with a strategy to make certain that you have an appropriate number of people with the right skill sets for your current and future business goals. As you grow your business, using one or more of the four staffing processes can help your business run more efficiently.
Defining Staffing Requirements
Staffing requirements often change seasonally, as your company grows, with changes in technology or during times of decreased revenues. Match the competencies, or skills, of each employee to your company’s needs by performing a detailed job analysis. Determine whether each employee requires further training in management techniques or technological skills. You can use your payroll records and monthly income statements to project whether you need to budget for temporary or permanent help during seasonal increases in sales.
Future Staffing Needs
If your small business is in a growth mode, include additional staff and training dollars in your future budgeting process. Adequate staffing levels can reduce work-related injuries, improve employee morale and increase the level of customer satisfaction. Use your one- five- and 10-year strategic plan to project how many employees you expect to hire in the future. Analyze your strategic plan, and determine whether you anticipate promoting current employees into future positions or whether you will need to recruit employees from outside your firm.
Effective, well-trained employees help your business stay competitive, increase your employee’s job satisfaction and reduce turnover.. Use your job descriptions and job analysis to plan possible employee advancement tracks that align with your company’s strategic plan. Offer in-house or external training opportunities to prepare employees for future business changes, thus eliminating or reducing the need to hire external candidates who may not be loyal to your business or may not fit well within your small business operations.
Workforce planning puts you “one step ahead,” resulting in informed staffing decisions that benefit the company in both the short- and long-term. Its many advantages, however, are not limited to recruitment and selection; it also provides a framework for other HR policies and programs such as training, compensation, and diversity management. More importantly, it helps you recognize the most effective and efficient use of your organization’s human capital in creating a workforce that is—and will continue to be—flexible and responsive in these fast-changing times.
As a small business owner, analyzing your current staffing levels will help you determine the appropriateness of your current staffing size. Analyze the work necessary to perform each current position by computing the time required to perform each job function. If you find that a current full-time employee’s job function requires more than 40 hours each week, increase your staff by adding a part- or full-time employee, depending on your analysis.