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Workforce Planning: Keys to a Successful Staffing Plan

Filling staffing needs will likely be an important part of your HR career.

A good staff can make or break a business. That’s why, of all the many tasks you’re likely to handle during a human resources career, one of the most vital is staffing. But making sure you have the right people in the right positions at the right time isn’t easy. It takes work and planning. To do it right, you should:

Workforce Planning: Keys to a Successful Staffing Plan

Know Your Goals

One of the keys to human resource management is understanding the short- and long-term goals of your company. Only by knowing where leadership wants to go can you ensure that the employees are capable of getting there. In terms of staffing, you need to know what the company expects from employees in the next quarter, year, and long-term period so that you can recruit, train, and retain the right people for the right positions. To ensure you understand the goals at hand, you should regularly meet with department and corporate leadership to assess their expectations.

Evaluate Your Current Situation

In some cases, reaching company goals doesn’t require changing staffing. But you can’t know that until you take a detailed look at current employees and determine their full skill sets. Performance reviews are an excellent opportunity to assess what your current employees bring to the table. You should take time to identify areas where employees are lagging behind on performance as well as areas where you have employees with the potential to progress higher in company leadership. By knowing where the staff is currently weak and where it’s currently strong, you can better prepare for and react to future staffing needs.

Identify and Analyze Variables

What factors could change your company’s staffing needs? To answer this question, you need to take a thorough look at the company itself and at your industry as a whole. For example, plans for expansion will obviously impact staffing needs. Likewise, a new competitor in the marketplace can make staffing recruitment and retention more competitive. By keeping abreast of potential internal and external changes, you can better anticipate upcoming staffing problems and opportunities.

Determine Needs

Once you have a firm grasp of your company’s goals, your current staffing strengths and weakness, and all the variables that will or could affect staffing, you can determine your specific needs for the upcoming quarter and/or year. For instance, if one of your company’s goals is to expand sales into a new market, and you don’t have the salesforce on hand to handle the expansion, you’ll know you need to staff up. While you may be inclined to make these kinds of determinations on instinct or on an ad hoc basis, you’ll be a far more successful HR manager if you stick to an analytical process. Staffing is expensive, and determining the exact needs is integral to avoiding waste.

Put a Plan Into Action

Not all staffing needs can be filled the same way. Finding someone with managerial experience is likely to take longer—and be a more competitive process—than finding someone with entry-level skills. To fulfill staffing needs, you need a plan that takes into account the realities of each position for which you’re hiring. Will a posting on a job-search site be enough to find qualified candidates, or do you need to use a recruiting service? Is bringing in someone from outside a better option than training and promoting from within? Do you need to include any special enticement to attract the right candidates? What’s the average amount of time it takes to fill the position? Your staffing plan should answer all of these questions and more.

How a Master’s in Human Resource Management Can Help You Learn More

When it comes to succeeding in an HR career, earning an advanced human resource degree can make all the difference. In particular, an MS in Human Resource Management can give you the breadth of knowledge you need to make strong staffing decisions and handle the many other important tasks of an HR manager. Plus, holding a master’s degree can qualify you for a higher human resources salary. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, there is a wide range of salaries for Human Resource professionals. While the median pay in 2018 was $113,300, the top 10 percent earned more than $201,000.1

The question is: Do you have time to earn a master’s in human resource management? If you choose online education, you likely do. That’s because when you attend an online university for your HR degree, you don’t have to upend your life to complete your coursework. Instead, online learning lets you attend class from home and on a flexible schedule designed for the needs of working adults like you.

A master’s in human resource management can give you the skills you need to effectively meet staffing needs and succeed in your HR career. And an online graduate degree program can make earning your master’s a real possibility. Walden University’s MS in Human Resource Management degree program is designed to support experienced HR professionals as well as those who are newer to the field. Simply choose the path to degree completion that best suits your needs. If you are not yet certified as a human resource professional, Track I can provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to succeed and also prepare you for certification. Track II is for certified human resource professionals and allows you to tailor your courses to fit your career path. You’ll choose from courses such as The Role of Human Resources in Mergers and Acquisitions, Personal Leadership: Mentoring and Coaching, Building Human Capital Through Training and Development, and more. It’s one great degree program with two paths to meet the needs of any HR professional.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering an MS in Human Resource Management degree program online. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible learning platform that fits your busy life.


Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,