Top 5 Ways to Optimize Staffing in Today's Market
Thanks to the recent dynamic adjustments to our economy, many companies are currently running about as lean as it's possible to get. Increased efficiencies can certainly be the silver lining in these types of cyclical economic clouds. But, if you're like some of the organizations we've spoken with, you may have found yourself shedding more than just the fat in the rush to get costs under control. Now that the turnaround is in sight, building back productivity while staying smart is the order of the day, and we have five tips for doing just that.
1. Understand How Quality Impacts True Supply and Demand
Like most staffing managers, you've probably noticed that it actually gets a lot harder to staff during periods of higher unemployment. Yes, we said harder. As counter-intuitive as it may seem, finding the individual you're looking for is like looking for a needle in a haystack with somebody piling on more and more hay.
The reason for this comes down to quality versus quantity. Companies needing to scale back will generally release their weakest staff first. Certainly, any staffing manager worth their salt will do everything they can to hold on to the real performers through even the most extreme cycles because it's always so much harder to find those people again when business picks back up.
Additionally, strong candidates who may have considered a career change in periods of low unemployment will be more inclined to stay with a known company rather than risk a move, so they don't venture into the market any longer.
2. Be Decisive
If the perfect candidate is sitting at the bottom of a pile of resumes, you have to be able to eliminate the others as quickly as possible so that you can consider the keeper before another company has a chance to hire them out from under you.
Employment services can be invaluable in shielding you from the glut of lower quality matches and allowing you to select from a smaller, more manageable pool of candidates.
Dismiss the wrong candidates as quickly as possible and don't fall into the trap of thinking you can take your time to make a decision about the keepers. Even in challenging employment markets, great candidates get hired before you know it.
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3. Test and Validate
Past employers are likely to feel bad about somebody who was caught up in a lay-off, and may be inclined to present them in the best light possible. However, there is a reason most people are in the market today, and it's important to know what that reason is.
Test for skills, and consider background checks to ensure you have all the information you need. Certainly make sure the people checking references have the experience and knowledge to get to the truth about somebody's history.
4. Consider Temp-to-Hire as a Staffing Strategy
Temp-to-Hire has always been a great way to get the best of both worlds, allowing you the time to evaluate a candidate before committing to an employment decision. It's even better in today's market, particularly if you've been delaying a hiring decision. Here's why.
Most analysts agree that a recovery is imminent. It's important to be at full productivity in order to capitalize on the recovery to the greatest extent possible, and that means hiring now so that staff can be brought up to speed with complete domain knowledge in time to benefit the company.
However, many people find that it is still difficult to hire with confidence given the current economic climate. Temp-to-Hire allows you to lock in those keeper candidates and bridge the productivity gap while shifting the hiring decision to a point where the economy will be clearer.
5. Never a Wrong Time to Hire the Right Person
The best people are difficult to find in any market. When you find them, hire them. They are your most valuable asset in any employment cycle.