Staffing Appropriately During a Recession

With each passing day, we learn of more layoffs and furloughed employees. Today, more than ever, service and professional organizations need to determine the resources needed to complete projects so that they are staffed appropriately. Not surprisingly, there is a method by which one can accomplish this goal.

To do so, one begins by looking outward and assessing the projects that one wishes to address over a discrete period of time. Evaluate what is a priority or even an emergency project. These are the projects that absolutely must be accomplished for the well-being or growth of the business. Consider how long each project will take to complete.

Then segment the remaining projects into ones that would be nice to complete as they would add some value and then ones that are critical to the growth of the company. Your focus should be to address the priority projects, then the long term growth ones and then the “nice to haves.” By organizing the projects in this manner, the ability to address some of the longer term projects will present themselves as well.

From there, one should assess the type of staff required to complete the project. Do not think of terms of names of individuals within your company; rather, think in terms of roles. This is important because when one thinks of individuals, there is a tendency to not recognize that a particular person lacks a necessary skill or to minimize the importance of that person missing the skill. Make certain that you understand the skills required within each role.

Out of this exercise, a pattern will emerge. You will begin to discover that certain skills are required over the long term and certain skills are needed temporarily. You will also learn, based on the lengths of the projects, whether you need more than one individual with certain skills.

Once the roles have been identified, it is time to inventory the skills of your team. Do you have the right people and the right mix of professionals to complete the tasks at hand? Are their skills mature or do the lack the appropriate experience?

After completing this analysis, you will be in a better position to determine if you wish to recruit or buy additional talent, rent or have a consultant supplement your team to address a short term need, or provide additional training so that members of your team can acquire the skills.

Each of these alternatives has their place within the solution set. A short-term need or the immediate requirement for expertise and depth may necessitate that the most appropriate and economical alternative is using a consultant (the “rent” approach). A longer term or less pressing need may allow for an investment in training and augmenting the skills of your staff.  A need that you believe will be required for years to come may result in your organization pursing the recruitment or buying talent option.

In our next post, we’ll contemplate whether to recruit talent that has less experience and may be less costly or talent that has more experience and a higher price tag.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Crisis Management, Hiring, Leadership, Sales, Strategic Plans, Strategy

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