When it comes to staffing, does your organization take a reactive or proactive approach?

For most American businesses, staffing is a reactive function.  A client places a large order, a receptionist calls in sick or a manager gives his two weeks’ notice – and then HR’s work begins.  Jobs are posted, candidates are screened and interviewed, and eventually adequate staff is brought in to fill the void.

While this approach to staffing isn’t necessarily bad, it’s not the most effective.  Why?  These organizations don’t take factors like future staffing needs and talent gaps into account.  They also miss the boat on critical opportunities to lower fixed expenses, increase flexibility, reduce risk, improve flexibility and enhance employee morale.

To achieve these results, you need to take a proactive, strategic approach to managing your workforce.  Strategic staffing enables you to use temporary, contract and direct placement services as a permanent solution for meeting workforce challenges.  By planning your upcoming talent needs, you and your staffing partner can develop a comprehensive staffing strategy that creates true competitive advantage for you organization – and delivers real bottom-line results.

The truth is, the benefits of strategic staffing are so numerous that I can’t cover them all in a single post.  Today I’d like to start a series of blog entries, each of which will highlight a specific strategic benefit.  To begin, let’s take a look at how strategic staffing can make your organization more flexible.

Using Strategic Staffing to Increase Organizational Flexibility

Nearly every organization today is challenged to do more with less.  To succeed in such an environment, flexibility is key – especially in your staffing strategy.  Flexible staffing is critical for operational efficiency, adaptability and more effectively managing your workload:

Administrative and low priority tasks. Boost the productivity of your core staff by allowing temporary employees to handle administrative, repetitive or other low priority activities.  A good temporary may even be more efficient at such tasks, allowing your staff to concentrate on more critical issues.

Unexpected increases in workload. Today, many organizations are running lean, only to be caught short-handed when business suddenly surges.  Hiring for what could be a brief spike is risky, but so is losing sales due to decreased capacity.

Don’t let your efforts for efficiency hinder your opportunities to capture more business.  Work with a staffing specialist to develop position profiles for the types of workers you need when business spikes.  Then when you have an immediate need for staff, your staffing rep will be prepared to quickly deliver the temporary help you need to get work done – without committing to permanent hires.  Once you have the additional workers in-house, you can take the time to make informed hiring decisions for the long-term.

Seasonal cycles. Preparing for anticipated peaks (i.e., your busy season) can be just as difficult.  If your workload varies in seasons or other cycles, planned staffing can deliver the flexibility you need to help smooth the fluctuations in your workload.

To implement a planned staffing strategy, work with your staffing specialist to determine adequate workforce levels to meet the low end of your business cycle.  Then, reduce your direct headcount accordingly.  When your busy period approaches, your staffing firm can supply the temporary staff you need to handle surges in demand, while reducing the need for layoffs once things slow down again.

Strategic Staffing Success Starts with a Great Staffing Partner

As I’ve mentioned before, when it comes to staffing success, a good relationship with your staffing partner can make all the difference.  The more your Snelling Staffing Services representative knows about your business and its needs, the more prepared he will be to provide you with the right people at the right time.  Together, we can create the staffing solutions that will make your organization even more successful.