It's no secret the work world is changing. Just as employees no longer expect lifelong employment with a single organization, many companies are realizing they cannot continue to view the staffing process as they once did. The old "one person, one job" mentality is giving way to a broader look at the real goal of staffing: to achieve maximum productivity.
Staffing strategically is a cost-effective way of obtaining the specialized experience required for complex business needs. Although a core staff of full-time employees is key to your department's productivity, often a combination of resources, including temporary and project workers, is needed to meet short- and long-term objectives.
Filling Needs, Not Desks:
When a staff member leaves, don't automatically assume you must replace him or her with another full-time worker who has the very same skills. Examine how the work may have changed since the last employee was hired and consider the advantages of enhancing your team's talent mix.
You should also set aside time to conduct a thorough analysis of your department's employment trends and needs, and project the frequency and exact times of workload peaks and valleys. Then you can budget for the appropriate mix of temporary and full-time personnel to match these requirements.
Utilizing Project Professionals:
Integrating temporary and project professionals into the workflow can be an intelligent way to handle the peak workloads you've identified. If actual activity falls short of your estimates, staffing strategically will provide a "margin of error" enabling you to easily reduce your temporary workforce. You can also call upon professional temporaries to fill in while you conduct a search for a full-time employee. Perhaps the most important consideration is that the use of interim staff can prevent the headaches associated with overstaffing and subsequent layoffs. In short, you obtain flexibility, and with it, the ability to maintain a more stable, satisfied team of full-time employees.
Strategically assessing your staffing needs is the kind of "homework" that will pay off many times over. A realistic yet flexible plan will put your company in an ideal position to meet a variety of challenges.
"When a staff member leaves, don't automatically assume you must replace him or her with another full-time worker who has the very same skills."