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how to shape your staffing strategy for a realistic growth rate.

Maintaining the right rate of growth for your business can be a real high-wire balancing act. On the one hand, you're bound by the limitations of your current capacities, while on the other, your ambition pulls at you to take on more. If you tilt too far in either direction, the whole plan can come tumbling down, and you'll never make any real progress toward your ultimate goal.

Achievable and manageable growth is what to aim for, but you'll only be able to maintain it with a sustainable staffing strategy behind you. Aligning your HR operations with overall business goals will ensure you always have the people you need to support your organization — no matter how fast it's changing.

Free your business to grow comfortably by incorporating these steps into your staffing strategy.

1. identify your business's main goals

The first step to building a sustainable staffing strategy is understanding your company's goals for the future. You can't do any hiring until you know what departments need to be staffed or what skill sets will be required to realize growth objectives. Here are three things you need to do in order to grow your workforce at a pace that matches your organization's rate of change.

  • Meet with strategic decision-makers to get a clear picture of your company's growth plans over both the short- and long-term.

  • Identify new roles, teams or entire departments that will need to be created in the next six months to a year — make them the focus of your first round of hiring activities.

  • As you work on staffing for the short-term, start designing staffing plans for the next five to 10 years, using insight gleaned from talks with senior leadership.

2. cultivate a talent pipeline

Starting small is key to constructing a staffing strategy that will enable your business to grow at a healthy rate. But once you've started pursuing the talent you need immediately, it's time to take the next step toward talent acquisition. While the planning you did in step one helped you identify roles, the planning here in step two will help you find people to fill them in the future.

Get to work on a talent pipeline. When unexpected vacancies arise, you won't have to waste time sourcing candidates — you'll already have a shortlist.

Be proactive when building your pipeline. Passive talent is just that, passive, so they won't be coming to you. Send reps to networking events and conferences, search online — especially via social media — and ask employees for referrals.

Once you've identified candidates, reach out to them explaining that while your company doesn't currently have any openings, you think they'd be a great fit for the future. Then set up time to talk and, most importantly, stay in touch until a need arises.

3. empower your people

Your business will never be able to grow if it's constantly being disrupted by high turnover. Friction from destabilizing forces like low employee engagement and poor retention can cause your carefully constructed staffing plans to come undone at any moment. To protect the hard work you did in steps one and two, shift your focus from finding talent to optimizing it.

Increase employee engagement: If your employees aren't satisfied on the job, it doesn't matter how great your talent is, your company won't get the output it needs in order to grow. Focus on improving engagement.

Raise employee retention: The average cost of replacing an employee is 21 percent of their annual salary. Finding, hiring and training a new employee is time-consuming and pulls resources away from contributing to your company's main goals. Take steps to reduce turnover.

Improve workforce management: You don't always need new talent to help your company grow. Conduct a skills analysis of your staff to make sure everyone is working in roles that match their strengths, and provide upskilling opportunities when possible to address talent needs from the inside.

get extra help

If you follow the steps outlined here, you'll have all that you need to get started on building a sustainable staffing strategy that will allow your business to grow at a manageable pace. If you get stuck along the way, or would like to work with an expert who can guide you throughout the process, consider working with a staffing agency. Staffing agencies can:

  • tailor staffing strategies to your business to come up with a plan that works for your workplace

  • flex to meet your talent needs — even as you grow — to make sure you have the people you need to support new business initiatives

  • provide detailed strategies for employee engagement, retention and workforce management to help you get the most out of your people

For more staffing tips that you can use right now, keep an out out for more blogs from Smithons, or get in touch with us today to learn more about how Smithsons can help your business.

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