By Beth Tucker, President and Chief Executive Officer
I recently made some major life changes – after 25 years of living in my family house, I sold it and moved into a smaller apartment in the city. While going through this grueling process of downsizing, rescaling, eliminating, and paring down, it hit me that the skills I had acquired over the years in staffing played an integral part in developing a smooth process and minimizing stress. In staffing—or any job for that matter – similar to moving, one needs to plan, be proactive, and anticipate what might happen hypothetically as the situation unfolds.
Step One: Hire a Professional. Regardless of how prepared you are, having a specialist can alleviate a lot of headaches. For example, if you’re short staffed, hiring a temp to help get the job done often means things are accomplished faster, with more free time for you. Plus, working with a staffing firm means you’re in the hands of someone who can offer sage advice and help find the right person to move any openings forward in a strategic fashion. Plus, if you’re looking to incorporate more diversity and inclusion in your workforce, an expert can help set you on the right track with great candidates and interviewing advice.
Step Two: Anticipate Needs. I can’t stress this enough… be prepared! Look at your staffing needs for the year and think about what seemingly unpredictable situations might arise. Be prepared before you need to be prepared! Think of each department and what their needs are – will there be a big project coming up? Is someone planning a maternity leave? Is there someone who might be growing or taking on more work? Plan your budget to hire temporary workers to fill in any gaps or to promote from within. And proactively create job descriptions for any future openings. This way, when the time comes, you’ll have a succinct description ready to go.
Step Three: Decide on a Hiring Process. The hiring process is often overlooked or thrown together at the last minute, but planning ahead can save you time and help secure the right candidate. Decide who the stakeholders are and ensure they’re on board with conducting interviews if needed. Meet ahead of time and discuss specific questions you’d like to ask to help vet for qualifications and write down behavioral questions to elicit the assets you’re seeking for the job. If the hiring process is consolidated, you’re more apt to hire quickly when you see the candidate you like. Too often, employers wait too long and lose great candidates to competitors. Making a streamlined decision with your key stakeholders is critical, especially in this tight market.
Above all, plan ahead. If you are moving into a small space with a large piece of furniture, anticipate the issues that could happen and prepare the mover. If your company is growing and you need more employees, run by the hypothetical scenarios of who to hire and when. By doing this, you can avoid the couch that doesn’t fit through the door or the offer that doesn’t close! The bottom line is be organized, take charge, be prepared, confirm and control the situation and your outcome will be better than you planned.