Organizational Wellness

Crafting a Comprehensive Staffing Plan: A Guide for HR Leaders

May 13, 2024
Last Updated May 13, 2024

Picture this: Your business is off to a running start this quarter. You’ve just signed a major new client contract that promises to increase revenues by 15% over the next few years, and you’ve developed an innovative product you plan to release in the coming weeks. 

But there’s a problem — you’re unsure if your operations team is up to the job. You need at least three new hires to meet the workload, and it will take at least six months to bring them up to speed.

How can you prevent this from happening? Fortunately, a well-designed staffing plan can help you avoid staffing bottlenecks and remain agile as your company grows. With the right strategy, you can better manage your organization for the future.


What Is a Staffing Plan?

A staffing plan outlines your organization's hiring needs and workforce reductions for the future. It can identify any skills or knowledge areas you want to strengthen and determine which type of staffing assistance you'll require. Depending on your company's needs, you can create a high-level or fully detailed staffing plan. 

The Building Blocks of a Staffing Plan

Every staffing plan should include key components substantiating the company's resource needs. Here are a few to consider.

Defining Staffing Needs

The best things come from well-thought-out plans — and staffing is no different. Start by identifying where your organization could use extra assistance to meet upcoming goals. 

It’s a good idea to seek input from leaders who oversee their teams daily. They can advise of any specific upcoming needs they foresee for their departments, ensuring everyone is on the same page. Other factors, such as employee retention rates, current and needed skill sets, and workload, may also impact your staffing requirements.

Assessing Current Staffing Levels

The next step is to evaluate your current workforce staffing levels for each department. You’ll want to consider factors like headcount, skills inventory, and performance. Knowing the current number of employees and their competencies can help you determine if you need to hire additional workers or if you can realign your talent internally to meet your organizational needs. It can also help you identify any glaring skill gaps you want to address. 

Developing Recruitment Strategies

Once you understand which positions to hire, you can start the recruitment process. You might begin by outlining the specific skill sets you want to add to your organization. Perhaps you have some talented employees who demonstrate the skills you need and are ready for a promotion. Otherwise, you can seek outside talent through external recruitment or consider a targeted outreach approach to specific talent pools. 

Implementing and Monitoring the Staffing Plan

Once you're satisfied with your staffing plan, it's time to put it into action and monitor the results as you build your team.

Establish a Timeline and Budget

Ideally, you'll identify a goal hire date for each role. Remember that the recruitment process can take time — especially if you're seeking individuals with specialized experience. Allow yourself (and your team) enough time to review resumes, conduct interviews, and make a hiring decision. The more time everyone has, the more in-depth the recruitment process can be, helping to prevent any unnecessary hiring mistakes.

You'll want to balance recruitment with onboarding and training new workers. Unless your new hires have extensive experience in a similar role, they'll likely need time to get up to speed with your business processes and objectives. Factor that time into your staffing plan to manage your expectations.

Another consideration is your hiring budget. Recruitment costs, training expenses, and compensation packages can be costly. It’s important to determine how much your company can afford for each new hire and communicate these salary limitations to your hiring managers.

Track Progress and Evaluate Effectiveness

As you implement your staffing plan, you may uncover some areas for improvement. Perhaps you've underestimated the time it will take to make a new hire, or you aren't attracting the candidates you need. Consider using a few metrics to help you evaluate the effectiveness of your staffing plan:

  • Time-to-hire assesses the average time it takes to bring a new hire on board — from the initial job listing to their first day. (Later, you can compare the actual results with your estimates to determine whether you're meeting your goals.)
  • Cost-per-hire evaluates the expense of recruiting, training, and compensation. To track whether you're within budget, review your actual costs side by side with your expected expenses.
  • Candidate quality can be measured by identifying a few skills or tasks you expect your new employee to have or complete. You then determine whether they achieve your objectives within a set timeframe.

Adapting to Changing Needs

Your organizational objectives will likely change over time — and you'll need to update your staffing plan to accommodate them.

Respond to Market Conditions

Changes in the economy, and your industry can drastically impact your organization's staffing needs. As market conditions shift, you may need to hire additional workers to handle an increase in demand or reduce your staff if sales slow. Some HR leaders find that regularly updating the staffing plan helps maintain its flexibility and adaptability.

Embrace Technological Advancements

Technology can significantly enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of your staffing plan. Applicant tracking systems, recruitment software, and data analytics tools can help you manage your hiring processes and shorten your hiring time. They’re also beneficial for assessing results and identifying areas for improvement.

Foster a Culture of Talent Management

Creating a staffing plan is only one component of a well-developed, long-term talent management strategy. After onboarding new workers, it’s time to develop their skills, retain them, and plan for their eventual succession. Your leadership team can assist in fleshing out your talent management strategy and building your organization's reputation as a supportive workplace. As potential workers learn of your company's talent strategy, you'll attract quality employees.

Power Talent Acquisition with Workforce Wellness

Strategic staffing goes beyond just filling positions. It's about creating a robust talent acquisition framework that will support your organization’s long-term success.

Employee wellness is a critical part of building an effective and stable workforce. After all, 87% of workers say they would consider leaving a company that does not focus on employee wellbeing. Your employees need to know the organization cares about their health — and implementing a wellness program makes your commitment to workforce wellness clear. 

More than 15,000 companies already trust Wellhub with their employee wellbeing. Our international network of more than 50,000 wellbeing providers can support any wellness journey. 

Speak with a Wellbeing Specialist today!

Company healthcare costs drop by up to 35% with Wellhub! (* Based on proprietary research comparing healthcare costs of active Wellhub users to non-users.) Talk to a Wellbeing Specialist to see how we can help reduce your healthcare spending!



Wellhub Editorial Team

The Wellhub Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.


Our weekly newsletter is your source of education and inspiration to help you create a corporate wellness program that actually matters.

By subscribing you agree Wellhub may use the information to contact you regarding relevant products and services. Questions? See our Privacy Policy.