How to Create a Hiring Plan (Before You Need One)

How to Create a Hiring Plan Before You Need One

What happens when employees quit? Here's how to create a hiring plan before your business needs one.

Employees quit. Sometimes staff aren't satisfied with current conditions, or they're lured away by better offers but especially for small businesses, every employee counts. As Chron notes, losing highly skilled workers can negatively impact customer relations and decrease employee morale. Not to mention that the average cost to replace an employee is 150 percent of their base salary, making this an expensive prospect.

What's the solution? Get prepared. Here's how to create a hiring plan before employees head for the exit to minimize time and monetary loss.

Lead Time

Business owners often pride themselves on creating innovative, inclusive cultures for staff and in turn make the mistaken assumption that no employee would leave without generous warning. But employee priorities differ from those of owners and managers. According to Forbes, staff often leave because:

  • They're poorly managed. This includes micromanagement, lack of care for employee needs and poor feedback.
  • They could make more elsewhere. It's a hard truth, but money talks.
  • There's no growth potential. Business owners are understandably protective of what they've built, but if there's no room for staff to move up the ladder, they'll eventually look elsewhere.

Meanwhile, as Inc. notes, employers must also be on the lookout for staff who have effectively quit but just won't leave: They may love the job security and the paycheck but lack purpose and drive. If owners don't have a pipeline for replacement, they could be stuck with underperforming employees for months or even years.

Know Your Roles

If you're wondering how to create a hiring plan so you won't be in a jam when staff suddenly leave, start with job descriptions. Take a look at your current staffing situation and identify key roles. Then, write job descriptions for each one as if you're getting ready to recruit.

Be specific: What type of experience are you looking for? What skill set? What personality traits? Use existing roles and employees as inspiration. The goal here isn't to replace what's already working, but to shorten the time between employee exits and rehiring.

Prepping the Pipeline

It's one thing to have job descriptions and expectations on hand, but how do you make sure you've got access to viable candidates? Start by accepting applications even if you're not actively hiring. Then make sure to communicate regularly with potential staff. Call or email to see how they're doing, if they've found work and whether they're still interested. The idea here is building goodwill, which in turn establishes a pipeline for potential hires.

It's also critical to leverage social media: Per Forbes, 70 percent of employers now use social media to screen potential staff, and 59 percent of candidates say their employer's social media presence played a role in convincing them to take the job. Leveraging Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social networks lets your business show off what makes it unique and keep potential applicants interested. In addition, reaching out to millennials and Gen Zers via social media is often the fastest way to garner a response.

Contract Considerations

Another option is to employ contract or temporary staff. According to Fast Company, there are now more than 55 million freelancers in the United States, and hiring temp workers means that business owners don't have to pay out benefits, offer vacation time or spend money onboarding.

The key to temp success? Venture Beat suggests defining exactly what contractors will be doing, making sure they understand the scope of work and keeping detailed records of all agreements.

The bottom line is that staff quit, and they don't always tell you why or give you the warning you might like. But establishing a hiring plan in advance can help keep your relationship with the talent pool on your terms.

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