securing headcount growth in your team

Given that hiring new staff comes at a cost, it's often difficult to convince management of the need for new employees. Here's how to build your case and secure headcount growth.

Talent is crucial to growth and innovation. Without the right talent, your team, and in turn your organisation, won't be able to flourish, to grow and remain agile and competitive in an ever-changing and complex environment. So, if you feel your team is overstretched and not adapting to the fast-paced environment, you need to:

  • Evaluate the current strategic position of your business and how your team fits into that.
  • Include factors such as size and diversity of your workforce, your business goals, and any long-term plans for expansion or diversification.
  • Talk to your managers to see how your existing team and the wider business would cope with change.
  • Identify gaps in your team's skills and capacity.
  • See if you can fill gaps cost effectively by adjusting existing roles or by providing training to develop you internal pool of candidates.

If you can’t expand your team by internal measures, then you'll need to consider hiring externally. There are a number of steps you can take to ensure this process is as efficient and effective as possible: 

  • Establish relationships with graduates, past employees and contacts through networking events to gauge interest in returning and to build a future talent pool.
  • Monitor previous hiring practices and expenditure to gauge the most successful and cost-effective channels to fill the role.
  • Consider using a recruitment agency that specialises in your sector, and build a strong relationship so they get to know your business and your challenges.
  • Broaden your talent reach by offering a more progressive, flexible and accessible workplace.
  • This will help you to attract younger workers, mature age workers, people with disabilities, and mothers with young children, all who need flexibility, but add immense value to an organisation.
  • Explore concepts such as crowdsourcing, which allows organisations to tap into freelance talent for specific projects and short-term assignments.

The value of investing in new talent can't be underestimated. Here are some selling points that you can share with the management team:

It’s important to ensure employees are happy, productive and successful in their role. If they are unhappy, unproductive, overworked, under-resourced and unsuccessful, part of the solution might be to hire an additional resource. Be clear on this when putting the case forward for a new headcount.

  • Hiring a young person can bring many benefits, and a young person’s lack of experience is often offset by their well-developed technological, networking and collaborative skills, as well as their fresh ideas and new energy injected into the business.
  • Older workers bring wisdom, experience and tenacity. They are an excellent sounding board and provide valuable coaching and mentoring for younger workers.
  • New employees from diverse backgrounds contribute fresh ideas and perspectives and creates more enjoyable workplaces

Customers prefer to work with companies that reflect their own diversity.

Once you've got buy-in from management and hired a new candidate, you need to ensure they live up to the expectations you've set. Here's how to ensure they work as effectively as possible:

  • Welcome them right away and assign them a mentor or 'buddy'. Give them a map and orientate them to where their desk, kitchen and restrooms are. It might seem very basic, but these little details make people feel comfortable in quickly understanding ‘how things work’ and ‘where things are’ so that they ask fewer, possibly embarrassing questions in the early days.
  • Introduce them to key people and get them integrated into their team immediately.
  • Communicate from the outset what you expect of them. Continue regular check-ins, ongoing opportunities for their feedback and questions. Be sure they are clear about their role, their goal and vision from a personal, team and company perspective. This is critical.
  • Keep track of their happiness.

Hiring new staff can be a costly, stressful and time-consuming activity. For more advice on managing talent, visit Randstad’s knowledge centre Workforce360 or contact a Randstad recruitment consultant, an industry expert who can help streamline the process and support the growth of your business. 

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