Learn All About Staffing

what is staffing

What Is Staffing?

Some may say that categorizing people as a “resource” is controversial at best and offensive at worst. Reducing people to mere cogs in a machine can seem dehumanizing. But the literal definition of the term Human Resources would suggest this to be the case. That is because employees are the greatest resource for all businesses. Without people doing their jobs and doing them well – a company would cease to exist.

When employees are utilized effectively and efficiently, an organization’s performance and productivity can be bolstered. Consequently, the management of people as resources is an extremely vital process in HR. This process is called staffing.

Staffing: A Definition

In HR, staffing encompasses processes that streamline and ensure the optimization of a workforce for the betterment of a company’s objectives. Some main processes are recruiting, evaluating, and selecting current and future employees.  It is essentially the practice of allocating and supplying the right people for the right jobs.

Staffing also includes the continual development of working relationships with employees. Happy employees are the most productive. It also leads to higher staff retention rates and boosts the company’s reputation, attracting future high-quality hires.

Another component of staffing is monitoring. Keeping records of current staff performances can provide useful information for a variety of HR processes.

Effective staffing can:

  • Monitor the efficiency and effectiveness of a workforce

  • Find out which employees can be deployed to different positions

  • Improve performance and productivity

  • Identify staffing requirements either currently or in the future

  • Facilitate development and training for employees

  • Develop personnel for managerial positions

  • Ensure continuous survival and growth via succession planning

  • Increase employee morale and job satisfaction

Some companies may not have the resources on hand to execute staffing processes. This will usually lead to outsourcing an external staffing agency to meet their staffing needs. Staffing agencies are a handy hiring solution for many small businesses without an established staffing system as staffing to keep up with a high turnover can be extremely costly. They are also an ideal solution for companies that have positions made available unexpectedly or positions that need to be filled as soon as possible.

Staffing agencies have ready access to pre-vetted high-quality candidates. Using staffing agencies can take the burden of hiring, freeing up time for other business operations.

Different types of staffing are:

  • Temporary/short term

  • Seasonal

  • Full time

  • Temp-to-hire

  • Contract

  • Project Hire

Staffing in Management

Staffing in management varies slightly in definition from staffing in HR.

In management, staffing means the operation of recruiting employees by evaluating their skills and abilities then giving them specific jobs accordingly. Staffing in management is more involved with internal hiring processes and less to do with the other staffing processes detailed in the previous section.

Staffing as a managerial function aims to employ and/or deploy competent and content staff to suitable positions.

Process of Staffing

The importance of staffing cannot be overstated. Acquiring good staff is not an easy task, but the prosperity of a company is dependent on it. The process of staffing means acknowledging the significance of each employee within a company. It recognizes the work of every individual is integral to the successful operations of the company.

The process of staffing entails several steps:

  • Manpower planning –predicting the adequate number of competent employees needed either currently or in future

  • Recruitment – seeking, attracting, and obtaining as many applications as possible

  • Selection –dwindling down candidates and finding the most suitable to fill open positions within the company.

  • Placement - allocating rank and responsibility to the selected candidate.

  • Orientation and Induction – introducing new employees to their new responsibilities; providing them with sufficient information for them to function comfortably and effectively in their new position

  • Training and development – training new employees to acquire specific skills

  • Performance appraisals – evaluation and assessment of employee performance, with comparison to established benchmarks

  • Career Management – an investment of resources into employees for personal career growth through learning new skills or further education

  • Compensation - valuing the contribution employees make to the company and distributing adequate and fair incentives.

What Is a Staffing Plan

Staffing plans are used to:

  • Identify required additional or reduction of employees

  • Identify skills and knowledge needed

Staffing plans help HR understand the current state of the function and what can be done to reach a desired future state.

Steps include the following:

1. Evaluate business goals – set objectives for the HR function and goals that align with the company’s goals.

2. Establish influencing factors – examine what is affecting or will affect the landscape of the talent supply. These may be internal factors within the company or externally in the industry itself.  

3. Analyze the current state of HR functions – take inventory on all current resources such as staff, contingency workers, or other people who regularly support function goals and understanding what skills and competencies are available. Also, account for flight risks, potential departures, and current open positions actively being recruited.

4. Identify staffing and people needs – envision needs to accomplish goals. With an idea of both end-state and interim staffing needs in mind, assess the headcount and skill level.

5. Create future staffing projections - compare the end state to the current state to identify where deficiencies lie and what needs to be done to meet goals. Gap analysis may reveal inadequate staffing or lack of specific expertise.

6. Develop a solution plan – devise ways to obtain the staff needed, determine the optimal time to meet these staffing needs in conjunction with the hiring budget.

It is clear that the process of staffing plays a critical part in the functionality and success of all companies and so should be done attentively. A company’s business operations are only as good as the employees that perform them. A company’s workforce is its most valuable asset, and that should never be underestimated. Read more on other important HR processes on Lanteria!


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