Workforce Planning for a Growing Company

Your Workforce Planning Needs to Look Ahead, Not Just at Your Current Needs

workforce planningRunning a small- to mid-size business comes with some unique workforce planning needs. You’ll be working in close proximity with your employees when you’re running a new business, so you’ll want a team that’s fun and shares your passion. When you hire, though, you have to be careful to hire people that are different from you so that you aren’t just multiplying your own strengths and weaknesses.

Consider implementing these habits into your hiring process and overall workplace planning practices:

Recruit generalists: When you’re starting out, you want people that can wear a lot of hats and are willing to do a, sometimes strange, combination of tasks. As you grow, they’re likely to become more specialized, or you may need to hire a specialist to manage them if they reach a point where they can’t or aren’t interested in becoming more specialized. Keep in mind that you’ll need to keep training your generalists as they become specialists to support the growth of your company.

Hire and reposition your employees for their passion: Whether it’s a new hire or an existing employee that you’re thinking of specializing, talk with them about what they would like to do if money were no object. It’s important to know that you’re aligning them with a job that they are passionate about, and not trying to force a fit that’s not there.

Give and receive feedback freely and often. You need some true honesty in a business that’s starting out, and it needs to be a part of your culture that feedback goes both directions in a healthy, honest way. It should be known that it’s okay to make mistakes, and while you can’t micromanage in a small business that’s in a growth pattern, you also need to be able to learn and move on quickly.

Celebrate diversity in skills and in thought. Be careful that the team you hire doesn’t share too many of the same personality traits, skills and ways of thinking. You can hinder innovation if you start thinking too narrowly about the people you’ll invite to be a part of your team. If a new hire makes everyone a little uncomfortable, watch to see if it sparks some new kinds of conversation in team meetings and brainstorming sessions.

Know who you’re hiring. Face it, it’s pretty difficult to make objective decisions when you hire people. It’s always tempting to hire the interviewee that you hit it off with or whose resume was the most impressive. These indicators might be helpful, but talk to any seasoned manager about hiring mistakes and they’ll have a story of an employee where they made a totally wrong call.

Using a behavioral assessment gives you an objective analysis of a person’s tendencies, values and motivations, informing your hiring process in a way that interviews and resumes can’t.

If you’re a small- to mid-size business building your team, talk with our specialists at PI Consulting Group. We can help you take your workforce planning to the next level and equip your company for exciting growth.