Evaluating Needs

An HR person in charge of staffing must evaluate the needs of the company as a whole, as well as individual departments. Understaffing and overstaffing both hurt the bottom line. The key is to find a balance where the productivity of a department is not hampered when one person calls in sick but is simultaneously not overstuffed with personnel. Feedback from employees and managers can help staffers figure out the correct headcount for each department.


When staffing a company, a lot goes into the recruitment process. Each company is unique, but the recruitment process usually begins with a posted ad. Resumes are then evaluated by human resources, and some of those are eventually sent to the hiring manager. At that point, applicants are contacted for interviews. After completing background and reference checks, companies then either make an offer to the candidate or pass on him or her.


Part of staffing requires retention methods to keep the best employees. According to Jack J. Phillips and Adele O. Connell, authors of “Managing Employee Retention,” rewards and recognition should be part of a company’s culture to retain employees. Part of staffing means being responsible for implementing rewards and recognition. If a job requires an extensive training period, a high turnover rate is costly to the employer. Some employers also take new employees out to lunch and offer them a “buddy system” to get acquainted with the company culture.


Sometimes letting go of employees is necessary. One of the most important things staffing personnel need to do when firing employees is keeping a paper trail of all communication with the employee. Firing an employee when it’s not part of a layoff is usually the last resort of companies with a problem employee. In his “Field Guide to Leadership and Supervision,” Carter McNamara advises first having written policies of acceptable behavior and duties, and writing warnings to employees if unacceptable behavior is exhibited. McNamara also advises taking a day or two to think it over, and then, if firing is the only rational conclusion, doing it both in writing and in person.

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