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6 minutes read

How to Develop a Staffing Plan That Works for Your Business

By Tony Meazell
By Tony Meazell
6 minutes read

Developing a staffing plan can be difficult. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been more difficult and more expensive to recruit, hire, and retain talented software developers. Savvy businesses understand that they can’t solely rely on the traditional hiring model to access the top development talent and fill their staffing needs. 

This post will briefly explain the alternative options to the traditional hiring model businesses have to meet their staffing needs and promote business growth. Then, we will explore how your business can develop a strategic staffing plan that addresses skills gaps and accounts for future staffing needs. 

Alternatives to the Traditional Hiring Model

The traditional hiring model is still effective for many businesses. However, when you want to hire technical professionals like mobile app developers, this model breaks down for a few important reasons. 

One, good development talent is scarce, and there might be no talent available in your organization’s immediate job market. Two, the competition for development talent is high, which makes recruiting, hiring, and retaining developers more expensive and possibly even out of reach for many businesses. 

Luckily, there are alternatives to the traditional hiring model. To create an effective staffing plan, your human resources department needs to understand these alternatives to the traditional model:

  • Outsourcing to dedicated teams
  • Staff augmentation

Outsourcing to Dedicated Teams 

In the dedicated team model, your business hires a company that provides a complete development team dedicated to your business and project. The great advantage of outsourcing to a dedicated team is that you get every professional necessary for the project, designer, analysts, developers, testers, etc. In addition, while your company still retains control of the project, the day-to-day project management responsibilities are handled by the dedicated team you hired. 

Staff Augmentation 

Staff augmentation entails working with a staffing partner to fill select roles in your business. With technical talent like developers, these positions are typically filled remotely. Your business communicates its hiring needs to a staffing partner, and then they share resumes with your HR team to consider for the position. When your business decides to make a hire, the person joins your team full-time and is under your company’s direct management. Staff augmentation is a great option when you have a solid team in place but need extra talent to meet deadlines or finish projects.

How to Develop a Strategic Staffing Plan

Now that you know more about alternative ways to fill skills gaps and staffing needs, let’s share some insights into how to develop a staffing plan. A strategic human resources team will use traditional hiring, dedicated teams, and staff augmentation to meet staffing needs and promote business growth. 

For example, you can build an internal team through traditional hiring. When projects demand extra help, you can fill skill gaps by utilizing staff augmentation and outsource entire projects or portions of projects to dedicated teams to meet tight deadlines or increase operational capacity. There are times when all three staffing options will be utilized simultaneously as part of a single strategic staffing plan. 

Here is how to develop a winning staffing plan for your organization:

  • State goals
  • Assess internal staff
  • Analyze staffing patterns 
  • Project future requirements 
  • Focus on retention

State Goals 

The most important considerations for any staffing plan are the goals of the organization. The organization’s goals will determine when new staff are needed, how many new employees will need to be hired, and what model will best suit those needs. For example, if your organization wants to develop and deploy an app by the end of the year, outsourcing the bulk of the project to a dedicated team is likely the quickest way to accomplish this goal. 

However, if you already have an internal development team and your organization’s goals are to expand features, functionality, and support, it might make more sense to utilize staff augmentation and look for long-term traditional hires. Most organizations have multiple goals, so understanding which goals are the most important will help the human resources team prioritize staffing needs. 

Assess Internal Staff 

Now that you have a clear understanding of the organizational goals driving hiring, you must assess internal staff. Failure to adequately assess internal staff can lead to wasted effort hiring talent that is not needed or failure to hire the right people to complement current teams. During the assessment of your current staff, you should be able to identify skill gaps and teams that could use additional team members. 

Accurately assessing the capabilities and potential of your current staff is critical. Successful organizations bring the best out of their team members. They also know how to evaluate their staff and where they come up short and need help. 

Analyze Staffing Patterns 

Analyzing staffing patterns is a critical component of developing a staffing plan. There will always be retirements, people leaving their jobs, having kids and taking paternity leave, etc. Human resources need to actively analyze staffing patterns and prepare for the times when staffing demands will be greatest. If there is predictable seasonal fluctuation in your business, your HR team must be prepared. 

In addition, your organization needs to actively monitor trends in retirement, paternity, and resignations to not only forecast future staffing needs but to ensure the business is not caught unprepared when a few people retire, a key member goes on paternity, or other common situations arise. 

Project Future Requirements 

Once you have determined your organization’s goals and assessed your internal staff, you can project the future staffing needs of your business. When projecting future staffing requirements, you must consider the number of employees you will need and the skill gaps you must fill. However, if you clearly stated organizational goals and accurately assessed staffing patterns and capabilities, your business should have no trouble projecting the future employment needs its staffing plan will need to fill. 

Focus on Retention 

The most overlooked part of any staffing plan is employee retention. It is far cheaper and simpler to retain employees than it is to recruit and hire them. When it comes to software development talent, retention is critical. There is a lot of competition for software developers, and if you don’t invest in employee retention efforts, you will lose developers to other companies. Developers are in high demand, and they have a lot of options. Don’t overlook employee retention; it is vital to the future of your business.

Final Thoughts

Creating a competitive staffing plan that accounts for all of your staffing needs is not difficult if you take the time to thoughtfully consider your business goals and analyze internal and external employment trends. Of course, some positions will be more difficult than others to hire for, such as software developers. If you are having difficulty developing a staffing plan for your development needs, reach out to an experienced app development partner that offers both staff augmentation and dedicated team services.

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