Have a Successful Fourth Quarter by Making Strategic Staffing Decisions Now

Like it or not, the fourth quarter is right around the corner. Your staffing strategy should be set for the year, but your company will finish 2014 strong if you take time now to revisit employment trends and workforce data and make any needed updates before autumn rolls around.

Stay Ahead of the Game

Your staffing strategy must reflect current realities, but also meet business goals for the remainder of the year and beyond. To make it effective, your plan must be executed on a day-to-day basis – and you should always be thinking ahead.

  • Consider the big picture. Think about what makes the most sense for your company as a whole, not just for a particular team, department or situation. For instance, one manager may think they’ll need contract employees for a Q4 project. But at the same time, a project may be winding down in another area, with people available for reassignment. The best action may be internal transfers, even if employees have to be developed in order to become a 100 percent skillset match.
  • Paint a picture of your fourth quarter needs. Consult with managers and provide guidance on open positions, the right number of employees and contractors, hiring and training budgets, and specific retention initiatives.
  • Reopen discussion on relevant conditions in the marketplace. What’s changed since your last quarterly update? Factors may include shortages of qualified workers or fluctuations in customer demand that didn’t exist three months ago.
  • Don’t forget about diversity. The earlier you begin planning, the easier it is to meet your workplace diversity goals. Re-emphasize the importance of diversity and be sure everyone understands how your corporate policy works when it comes to hiring.
  • Focus on retention. Discuss your overall retention strategy including acceptable levels of turnover and what lengths will be taken to keep staff on board.
  • Dig deep into employee development. It shouldn’t come down to the wire, but let’s be realistic: The fourth quarter is your final opportunity to work with employees to ensure they meet their 2014 growth and development objectives. Counsel managers so that they understand how to be proactive in making this happen. Likewise, advise employees of their individual responsibility in their personal development program.
  • Review and update your succession plan. Assess the current standing of employees targeted for future promotions. Have conversations about their readiness for additional responsibilities.

It’s Back to School Time

Now that educational institutions are gearing up for a new academic year, you may still have time to reach out to them and partner on internships and other initiatives.

  • Make plans and set dates for on-campus recruitment.
  • Match members of your leadership and management team with decision makers at their alma maters so they can serve as your corporate ambassadors.
  • Discuss the possibility of sourcing candidates directly from colleges and universities so you can add depth and breadth to your talent pool.

As the month of August progresses, it’s a great time to gather the troops and hold a strategic planning session so you’re ready for optimal hiring success during the last three months of the year. For additional guidance on how to make it happen, contact the staffing and workforce development experts at Employment Professionals Canada today. We look forward to hearing from you!