Hiring new workers can be tricky. Owners have to walk that fine line between hiring too many people who then run out of work and not hiring enough people to get all of the work done on time. However, even when it is clear that you need more workers, knowing when to look for them can be difficult. Is there a prime time of year to bring on extra help?
For seasonal businesses, the answer is clear: As demand goes up, more workers have to be brought in, and they then have to be let go as the demand falls. If you run a company that cleans pools in the Midwest, you are not going to need anyone for six months of the year, but you need to drastically increase your workforce in the spring, when people are opening their pools back up, and during the summer.
For non-seasonal businesses, the spring may also be the best time of year, however. That is when most colleges let out, and so the job market will be flooded with new graduates. They are all going to be looking for positions in May and June, with the best employees being swept up right away. You can still find workers in July, August and September, but you may miss out on the workers that you really want. The ones who are left are those who were turned down at other places. There is also a minor surge in workers in early December due to students who graduate after the fall semester, but it is not as drastic.
It is worth noting that many students will start sending out resumes and applications in March and April, before they really graduate, to make sure that jobs are waiting for them. Hiring at this time can work; it all depends on your goals. If you are looking for the very best employees, finding them in advance is worth it, as you could offer them a position before they take one elsewhere. If you need employees who can start immediately, though, this may not work as well, seeing as how the people you hire may not actually be able to start for a few months.
The single most important thing that a company can do when it comes to development over time is to focus heavily on recruitment. Whether building the company from the ground up or expanding it, having top talent in the industry is the best way to hit realistic goals and improve. This can help the company develop and react to the market so that it stays relevant and gives consumers what they want.
Recruitment can be aimed directly at development mainly by targeting the ways in which the company falls short and then focusing on addressing those needs when bringing in new employees. For example, a company looking to expand into a new market with a new demographic of potential buyers needs to have people with experience who understand that demographic. Trying to shift in the direction of selling to an older age group, for instance, means bringing in recruits who have worked with people in that age group before. They can then direct the company’s actions and help the business connect with these people so that the potential pool of buyers is truly increased.
However, expansion and development may not always be so clear-cut, and this is when companies need to search for visionary recruits who can help see what needs to be done to take things to the next level. Often, internal employees will be accustomed to doing things in one fashion that may have worked in the past, and so it will be hard for them see new opportunities. Creative new recruits can think outside of that box, meaning development is a constant process. The company can always be shifting and looking for new ways to adapt.
As new markets are opened up and new ideas are tested out, recruits who understand those markets and those buyers need to be brought in to work on the sales end of the operation. They will better understand the people they are selling to, so they will have more success than workers who have never focused on those areas. A company should always be recruiting in a way that fits the direction that the company itself is moving.
The Importance of Clear Expectations
It is a fundamental function of management to communicate clear and achievable objectives to each member of a team. In fact, the very concept of management is rooted in the idea of overseeing the achievement of those clearly defined tasks in the most efficient manner possible.
The human resources role in developing and defining those requirements is essential. The process of developing a staffing plan and identifying the right personnel for each position involves breaking the overall goals of a company into basic job descriptions. This includes defining the specific skills and experience necessary to fulfill each role.
It is easy to understand the necessity of such role definitions from both a top-down and bottom-up perspective. From the management level, having the right staffing and resources on hand is the first step to achieving any desired task. From the employee’s viewpoint, it is vital to understand exactly what is expected as part of day-to-day performance standards. Any difficulties encountered are often traceable to a failure of these two views to properly coincide.
More Than the Task at Hand
There are several issues related to the clear definition of roles and responsibilities beyond the specific task at hand. Quality and motivated employees appreciate the opportunity to excel and exceed expectations. Without a clear performance baseline, these key players will become discouraged and frustrated. Likewise, it is difficult to hold employees accountable for substandard performance if the expected levels of accomplishment are not clearly spelled out. In fact, the courts make it clear that precise job descriptions are necessary to provide accurate evaluations.
Perhaps the greatest benefits of clear roles and responsibilities are overall morale and productivity. Good team members have a built-in need to understand exactly what is expected of them, and they gain a sense of satisfaction in meeting those expectations. Likewise, management is able to set more realistic objectives and deadlines with the elements of each task supported by the right people on the team.
These steps of defining roles and responsibilities ensure the right level of staffing to get the job done as well as the right environment for each individual involved in the effort.
Successful organizations always keep the future in mind. As every good human resource professional knows, a leadership succession plan involves more than maintaining a list of potential replacements in the event that a vacancy should occur. Instead, a comprehensive talent development plan begins at the top. Although there are times when an external candidate is preferred, the commitment of an organization to develop future leaders is a vital part of accomplishing a strategic vision.
Strategic Leadership Development
It’s the responsibility of a human resources manager to educate the leadership of an organization concerning the importance of implementing a leadership succession plan. Moreover, the internal effort to develop management talent should always keep the long-term strategic goals of the organization in view. In this regard, a robust HR department and leadership succession plan can be a CEO’s best friend.
The active involvement of top executives and managers in a succession development plan is vital. Working in concert with HR personnel, existing company leaders are in the best possible position to recognize, develop and review the performance and potential of future talent. Therefore, organizational leaders and HR professionals are actually internal talent scouts.
Moving Up the Corporate Ladder
There’s nothing more frustrating than working for a corporation that fails to recognize the accomplishments of high-performance employees. Losing good people because they couldn’t move up the ladder is a costly mistake. A good executive or manager will work with the HR department to retain talented employees, even if it means transferring the employee to another department.
An HR department should be prepared to respond in the event that a key leader suddenly resigns or suffers a medical emergency. Every company leader should have their eye on someone that could do their job in the event that some unforeseen circumstance should occur. Outstanding executives and managers understand that preparing future leaders is an important part of their job description.
There are countless threads and ripples that work their way through the organization chart of a dynamic company. It is the responsibility of a human resources manager to design a living leadership succession plan that will enable their company to thrive well into the future.