Now there’s room to grow™

Now there’s room to grow™

Resource management beyond workforce planning

Strategic staffing for seasonal needs

June 10 2024 • 2 min read

Today I’m going to share some thoughts on what to do after workforce planning.

Understanding peak times and hiring needs

Once you've reviewed your workforce planning results, the first step is to understand when your peak times will be. Do you have a busy season coming up? Is there seasonality in your business? It's essential to strike a balance between hiring for peak times and not running your team too lean, while at the same time ensuring your team isn’t twiddling their thumbs in the interim season.

If your results show a consistent need for resources over two or three quarters or at any point throughout the year, it might be wise to consider hiring new employees. However, keep factors like labor costs and market trends in mind. This approach allows you to strategically invest in your workforce. For instance, if there's a talent shortage in one part of your firm, and you have a national footprint, it might make sense to recruit from other regions where the talent pool is richer, and cost of living is lower.

It’s also crucial to link recruitment efforts to your resource management process. Once you bring new hires into the firm, they need to be allocated appropriately. The last thing you want is to recruit strategically but then fail to fulfill the promises made to new hires regarding their career paths or fall short of meeting client needs.

Utilizing third-party partners

Another point to consider is deciding when to bring in third-party partners, such as outsourced or offshore models. If there's a clear demand for a specific period, like a peak quarter, evaluate how many individuals you'll need and what specific skill sets are required. Early planning is key to success, as it gives you a better chance of securing the best options and even allows for interviewing potential candidates to ensure a good fit.

One of the biggest pitfalls firms face is mismatching supply and demand in your forward-looking workforce planning by allocating resources internally without considering skill sets or career preferences. While skill transferability is certainly prevalent in the audit world, it doesn't always apply elsewhere. Once you know the number of people you need, try to understand the specific skill sets required. If the exact skills aren't available, identifying adjacent existing skills that can be quickly enhanced through training could be a solution. This is where the advantage of doing workforce planning well in advance comes in, you can work with your learning and development team to create training programs to upskill employees proactively, and in doing so, prepare your workforce for upcoming challenges.

Matching employee aspirations with organizational growth

It’s also crucial to understand your current workforce's career aspirations. Many employees may look for opportunities to diversify their skills or switch roles within the organization. Offering rotational programs, whether formal or informal, can be very appealing and enhance employee retention. Integrating insights from exit interviews can also provide valuable data to improve your retention strategies.

Effective post-workforce planning isn't just about filling positions; it's about strategically developing and utilizing your human resources to meet both immediate and long-term needs. By understanding the complex dynamics of supply and demand within your workforce and aligning them with strategic business goals, you can create a more resilient and adaptive organization.


Christine Robinson is a Makosi Advisory Board Member. She’s a resource management expert, strategic advisor, award-winning speaker, author, and the mother/stepmother of six.

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