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How to Develop a Staffing Plan

This how-to guide is designed to help an HR professional answer the question, "What staff support will my HR department need in the next year, and how will we meet those requirements?" (Generally, the time period is a year, but it could be shorter or longer.) The staffing plan should be used to identify not only head count additions and reductions but also the different skills and knowledge that might be needed. Staffing plans may encompass employees, contractors, consultants or other experts. In essence, the steps used in developing a staffing plan help HR professionals ask the right questions to come to a clear understanding of the current state, the desired future state of the function and how to get there.

Staffing plans are often used during budget cycles to help plan and allocate costs. However, staffing plans can be used any time there will be a major adjustment to a workforce.

While the steps given below and the sample staffing plan are specifically for a human resource department, they can be applied to any function within an organization. HR professionals can also use the steps and staffing plan on a larger scale for a division or entire company. For best results, each step should be completed in order rather than jumping ahead.

Staffing plans can be one component of a strategic workforce plan. The differences between the two and how they intersect will be discussed at the end of this how-to guide.

For a demonstration of how each step would work, see a sample rationale for decisions made at the end of each step, and a sample staffing plan based on those decisions.

Steps to Complete a Staffing Plan

Step 1: evaluate goals.

The first step in developing a staffing plan is to evaluate the needed goals to achieve. By recognizing the targets employees will be working toward, human resource professionals can identify the amount and type of support needed to meet those expectations.

Ensuring a clear understanding of expectations helps HR professionals in a number of ways. Departmental goals should align and support organizational goals. Thus, this exercise is a perfect opportunity to reach out to other leaders to understand their expectations of the department in the upcoming year, including support for major projects, new strategic initiatives or other changes that will require adjusting staff.

In addition, during this step, HR should identify any major goals within the function. Perhaps a reorganization or realignment is needed to increase customer service or develop specific expertise.

Questions to ask when evaluating goals include:

  • What are the organization's major strategic and tactical goals for the upcoming year?
  • How will the HR function support those goals?
  • What goals do I need to set for my function to ensure I'm aligned with the company's goals?
  • What support are other functions/departments expecting from my department this year?
  • What internal goals would this function like to achieve this year?

Step 2: Identify Influencers

In this step, HR professionals determine the factors that might affect the staffing plan. Influencers can be internal or external to the organization. They can be positive or negative and are defined as anything that might indirectly affect the plan but that the organization has little control over. By evaluating influencers on the staffing plan, HR professionals survey the landscape to identify and understand forces that will affect the talent supply. Examples of such influencers are a tight labor market, changing regulations and evolution of a function.

To complete this step, HR professionals should start with a brainstorming session to identify everything that might impact their workforce. Once they generate the list, they can then group like influencers. For example, if the brainstorm list includes "low unemployment" and "competitor ABC Company is hiring 50,000 local workers in the next year," the two could be consolidated under the influencer "external workforce availability."

Sources that provide labor market data include:

  • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • State and municipal labor statistics.
  • State unemployment data.

Questions to help identify influencers include:

  • What is the talent availability in our market?
  • What trends are affecting skill development? These could be social impacts such as managing social media requirements, learning new skills as part of process evolution or the need to learn new technology.
  • Will technology changes influence our labor supply or demand? These changes could be new technology that will require additional staffing or training time or technology that improves efficiencies, thereby eliminating jobs.
  • Will changes to regulations affect our workforce?
  • Do we have competitors that will affect the supply of labor? Perhaps competitors are growing their workforce, or they are laying off people, thereby growing the labor supply.
  • Will economic or financial factors affect our staffing plans? These may include anticipated changes to the local economy, tightening of financing available to the organization or an influx of venture capital funding.
  • Do we need to account for constraints or impacts from facilities or infrastructure? These include office size, location and commuting implications.
  • Are potential "game changers" affecting our industry? Called "disrupter companies," examples include Uber and its impact on the taxi industry. Other game changers include technology improvements such as driverless cars that may affect the transportation industry.

Step 3: Analyze the Current State of the Function

As with any plan, it is critical to know the starting point. In this step, HR professionals compile information on the current state of the function or create an inventory of the important components of the skill set currently in play.

Compiling information on the current state of the HR function involves listing all current resources, including staff, contingency workers or other people who regularly support function goals. In addition, the current-state analysis should determine competencies, skill set or expertise to fully understand the tools presently available to meet expected plans.

As part of the activities in this step, HR professionals need to decide which systems to use to obtain the analysis data. Small departments can simply count positions on an organizational chart. However, data for larger staffing plans may need to be pulled from the human resource information system (HRIS) or payroll, talent management or scheduling systems. If the staffing plan is for head count purposes, payroll or HRIS data will suffice. But for competency planning, a learning or talent management system may provide the most accurate data.

In this step HR should also evaluate factors that may change the makeup of the department, such as flight risks, potential departures and current open positions actively being recruited.

This step does not include identifying gaps; that activity happens in Step 5.

Questions to ask while analyzing the current state include:

  • What systems should I review for data on the current state?
  • Who are my current staff members? What positions affect how we get things done (e.g., what responsibilities require an HR manager versus an HR administrator)?
  • What expertise do staff members bring to their role?
  • Do other employees outside of my function regularly influence achieving HR team goals (e.g., perhaps the employee in payroll who reports to the chief financial officer)? This question is especially relevant in matrixed organizations.
  • Do vendors, contractors or others outside my organization regularly contribute to achieving team goals?
  • What are the competencies my current staff have?
  • Do I have any employees who are flight risks or who have personal issues that may affect their longevity with the organization?

Step 4: Envision Needs

In Step 4, HR professionals envision what will be needed to accomplish the goals set out in Step 1. Keys to this step are to start fresh and not be overly influenced by the current state. This step identifies both end-state staffing and interim needs. It should be assessed at both a head count and skills level.

To complete this step, HR professionals should review the goals outlined in Step 1 and imagine what will be needed to accomplish those goals. It is best to envision needs as if building the department from scratch. Taking this approach will help articulate requirements without being hampered by the current state.

The envisioning step may be approached from a head count perspective. However, envisioning needs from a skill set, competency or expertise perspective helps overcome biases that may exist in the current state.

Questions to ask while envisioning needs include:

  • What expertise does the HR function need to accomplish our goals for next year?
  • How many people will we need to meet our goals, and where should they be located? Sources for this figure may include current span-of-control numbers, staff ratio recommendations, historical rule of thumb within the organization or statistical regression analysis.
  • Does staffing change throughout the year? What will it look like in six months? In 12 months?
  • What is the ideal mix of staff, contractors or outside expertise needed to meet our goals? Generally outside experts are costly specialists such as lawyers or consultants whom HR may want on only a very limited basis but whose input is critical to the success of the plan. Contractors should be hired to fill short-term needs.
  • What budget will we need to meet our goals?

Step 5: Conduct a Gap Analysis

Step 5 identifies what is missing between the end state outlined in Step 4 and the current state identified in Step 3. Gaps may include inadequate staffing, lack of expertise or simply the wrong people in the wrong place. Information derived from a gap analysis will identify deficiencies in the current state of the function that HR will need to address to achieve the outlined goals. HR professionals should not view these gaps as weaknesses of the current department but rather as opportunities to evolve the function into an ideal state to achieve organizational goals.

Questions to ask when doing a gap analysis include:

  • If I compare the end state to the current state, in what areas are we currently unable to support outlined goals?
  • Where will we need to adjust current staffing? Will factors such as current performance or mobility affect the current staffing?
  • Do we lack staff with the right expertise in functional areas?
  • Do we have geographical gaps in which we need to hire staff?
  • Will cross-functional collaboration be needed? If so, how can we strengthen that partnership?

Step 6: Develop a Solution Plan

Having conducted the analysis above, HR professionals can now put together a plan to achieve the stated goals for the upcoming year. The plan should include both end-state staffing and any interim staffing needed. Step 6 often encompasses determining timing (i.e., when to hire or promote specific staff) and assigning costs if the staffing plan is being done in conjunction with a budget cycle.

The plan itself should outline the staff needed, at what time and location. It should differentiate full time versus contingent staff and identify every role needed in the function from entry level to executive. The plan may also detail the timing for when specific, outside expertise is needed.

Staffing plans may be created as tables, charts, PowerPoint presentations or other visuals. The important thing is to present the information in a format that provides the amount and type of information required in an easily consumable format.

Questions to ask while developing the solution plan include:

  • Given all the information above, how do I use it to achieve the goals outlined in Step 1?
  • At the end of the year, what should my staff composition consist of?
  • When and where will we need to adjust staffing levels to support organizational goals?
  • What level of expertise do I require in which roles?
  • How am I accommodating for the influencers identified in Step 2?
  • How am I addressing the gaps outlined in Step 5? Outside of hiring, would training or other methods help cover these gaps? Can we fill some of these gaps with technology?
  • Finally, how often do I need to revisit this plan to ensure it continues to meet organizational needs?

As detailed above, completing a staffing plan comprises six main steps:

  • Evaluate goals: What does this function need to accomplish?
  • Identify influencers: What factors might affect the staffing plan?
  • Identify the current state: What is the starting point?
  • Envision needs: What is really needed (end state)?
  • Conduct a gap analysis: What differences exist between the current state and the end state?
  • Develop a solution plan: What types of staff are needed? When and where?

The above outline is designed to complete a staffing plan for a specific function. Staffing plans can also be created for entire divisions or organizations. To complete staffing plans with a bigger scope, organizations can break down the plan into manageable pieces. For example, a division might complete individual staffing plans for the sales, finance, HR, IT, marketing and production functions and then combine them into one overall plan. HR professionals responsible for this type of planning must closely collaborate with the leaders of each individual group to understand goals, needs and expertise required. Conducting such an exercise can help leaders refine their understanding of how each function interlocks to support overall organizational goals.

As noted in the introduction, staffing plans may be one component of workforce planning. The table below provides a summary of the difference between staffing plans and workforce planning as defined by a study on strategic workforce planning conducted by The Conference Board in 2012.

Staffing plans can be the first step in evolving the organization toward adoption of workforce planning. As leaders become more comfortable with the iterative exercise of planning for head count, additional complexities in terms of criteria, time frames or scenarios may be added to help address long-term strategic plans.

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5 Steps to an Optimal Staffing Plan

Tiffany C Wright

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5 Steps to an Optimal Staffing Plan

A solid staffing plan requires identifying gaps between needs and existing resources.

When your business is facing significant growth, it's crucial to get ahead of the need for talent. A staffing plan backed by a methodical process helps to ensure that your organization has the right people with the right skills to achieve your growing business objectives.

A solid plan should go beyond changes in head count to identify the new skills and knowledge your business needs, remaining sensitive to the relationship between internal and external needs.

Here are five steps for creating a staffing plan that will assist your organization to keep up with its potential and ambitions.

1. Determine Your Goals

Simply put, the staffing plan must support the business plan. What is the organization's plan for growth? Does it need personnel to staff a new office or retail location? Is it hoping to multiply the size of its sales force to support a significant sales push? Does it intend to offer additional customer service or internal support to boost customer satisfaction?

These objectives are typically outlined in the business's strategic plan, so look there first to set up an alignment between talent strategy and desired outcomes.

2. Identify the Factors Impacting Personnel Availability

Next, identify factors that could impact the availability of personnel. Large national organizations should first review relevant data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which provides helpful statistics on topics like numbers of job openings, unemployment rates and labor costs.

Large and small companies alike should examine similar statistics for their state or local region. This information is available from local chambers, business publications and industry associations. As a bonus, these entities often synthesize the data to provide an overview of developments in the market. That can include new businesses or other larger employers increasing their hiring or laying off employees. All of these external factors have an effect on the pool of talent available.

3. Determine the Organization's Functional Needs

Keep in mind that not all personnel requirements necessitate hiring externally. Some of your organization's talent needs can be groomed internally. Others may possibly be met by outsourcing to consultants, freelancers or independent contractors. That's why it's smart to assess the specific skills and abilities you need and ascertain whether each group, department or division already has those capabilities either in-house or close at hand.

Ask whether training, mentoring or other development help current employees move up or over into the new or vacated positions. If so, what might this development look like? On the other hand, are these skills and personnel actually needed indefinitely, for the long term? Or, are the organization's needs more specific and short-term, like for a particular project, an initiative that calls for skillsets not found in-house or a time commitment simply not manageable for existing personnel?

4. Conduct Gap Analysis

In essence, a gap analysis compares what you have currently with what you need. The difference — or gap — is what needs to be filled. Are the gaps your analysis identifies due to training and development deficiencies? If so, incorporate more training for the applicable functions or positions into your plan. Are the gaps due to heavy workloads during high seasonal demand periods? If so, hire temporary workers or outsource to contractors.

A gap analysis isn't quite the same as generally determining functional needs, and asking a series of questions like the ones above will allow you not just to determine the gaps but also potential solutions for filling those gaps.

5. Create the Plan

The final step is to roll all this information up into an actual, actionable talent plan. Your staffing plan should summarize all the assessment and analysis conducted in the previous four steps, outlining the decision-making process. The plan should span all applicable groups, departments and divisions. For larger organizations, this entire exercise may be broken down by division, with the subplans combined at the end.

Crafting a truly high-quality staffing plan involves organizational leadership, hiring managers and HR leaders. It's an organization-wide effort, not unlike — and even overlapping with — budgeting. So clear communication across functions and departments is key to crafting a plan that accounts for the needs of all and works for everyone.

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how to develop a staffing plan

How to develop a staffing plan

Lucid Content

Reading time: about 8 min

Your employees are one of your greatest assets. However, too often, organizations struggle to manage their human resources and plan for the future. In fact, according to a survey from the Society for Human Resource Management, 43% of HR professionals say human capital is the largest "investment challenge" for employers. 

Plagued by turnover, skills gaps, over-employment, low productivity, and ever-changing business landscapes, it’s no wonder that businesses are struggling to keep up. But these issues can be mitigated with a strategic staffing plan. 

Use the following tips to learn how to develop a staffing plan that puts the right people in the right place at the right time. 

What is a staffing plan?

A staffing plan answers the questions: 

  • What work needs to be done?
  • How many people do we need to employ?
  • What skills and experience are necessary to do this work?
  • What skills gaps need to be filled (and are there any areas of redundancies)?

Staffing plans can encompass the entire company or apply to smaller teams or departments and even individual projects. 

For example, if your company’s business goals focus on expanding its salesforce in the coming year, a staffing plan can help prepare the sales department for that growth—so that the right people with the right skills are brought on board at the right times. 

Additionally, a staffing plan helps your business to:

  • Reduce labor costs and maximize productivity.
  • Eliminate skills gaps.
  • Increase employee engagement.
  • Increase employee retention and reduce turnover.
  • Improve customer experience.
  • Streamline business growth.

Having a clear staffing plan helps prevent issues that could delay growth or hinder the quality of your products and services that could result in unhappy customers and lost business opportunities. 

Not only do staffing plans help companies effectively recruit, hire, and develop employees, but they also help guide budgeting and financial decisions within the organization. 

How to calculate staffing needs

A staffing plan involves three main steps:

  • Determining current staffing levels 
  • Forecasting future staffing needs
  • Identifying the gaps between the two

Once you’ve assessed your staffing needs, you can outline recommendations for how to address those needs, which might include recruiting and hiring new talent, promoting internally, focusing on training and employee development, or adding contractors to your staff. These forecasts and recommendations will help you develop your overall human resources plan for the organization.

Use the following steps to learn how to calculate staffing needs and make a plan for the future.

1. Identify the business goals

Before you dive into staffing plans and changes, you need to know what the overarching goals are for the business. These goals are typically outlined in a strategic business plan. Use this plan to clarify the company’s objectives and align the staffing plan accordingly.

What you do with your staff will affect business outcomes (for better or for worse), so you want to make sure the two plans align.

For instance, if the business plans to open a new location, you may need to move current staff around or hire new employees to fill those roles. The business plan will help inform those staffing decisions.

2. Determine your current staffing situation

To develop a staffing plan, you must first understand your current staffing environment.

If you have a robust HR database, this step could be reasonably straightforward. However, if you host personnel information on multiple sources, you will first need to consolidate that data into one source of truth. Work with business leaders and managers to help you ensure accurate and complete data on your human resources.

Once you have your staffing data in one place, you can assess the current staffing environment and begin to pull actionable insights from the data.

Pay particular attention to:

  • The number of people on staff
  • Staff distribution (team size and who works where)
  • Skills and competencies within the workforce
  • High performers and potential leaders 
  • Low performers or “flight risks” who could indicate turnover
  • Staff age and tenure (to anticipate retirement numbers)

Pulling out these data will help you better understand the current staffing landscape and more accurately identify staffing needs and opportunities down the road. 

Lucidchart can help you assess your current staff to glean new insights. Import employee data directly into Lucidchart to build an org chart or group employees in Smart Containers by role, competencies, performance, etc. Visualizing your workforce can help you identify important relationships, correlations, or gaps in the staffing.

org chart by growth track

3. Forecast future staffing needs 

After you assess your current staffing landscape, it’s time to make some predictions about your future staffing needs. 

As you conduct your staffing needs assessment, you will want to consider the factors that can affect staffing decisions and opportunities, including: 

  • Business goals 
  • Turnover rates and projections
  • Expected mergers or acquisitions
  • New product launches
  • Business investments (e.g., new technology) 
  • Changes in the economy
  • Competitors attracting key talent 
  • Industry labor costs
  • Unemployment rate 

All of these internal and external factors can influence the workforce and your staffing needs. 

While forecasting will always involve some guesswork, you can make confident, educated, (and more accurate) predictions using the following methods.

Trend analysis

Trend analysis works well for established businesses with several years under their belt. Trend analysis uses historical data (i.e., past experience) to inform future needs. 

To perform a trend analysis, start by gathering historical data. Focus on gathering information for at least the past five years—but you may want to go back as far as 10 years. (Keep in mind that the larger the sample size, the more accurate the results.)  

Collect data on the following: 

  • Hiring and retirement patterns
  • Transfers and promotions
  • Employee turnover
  • Years of service
  • Employee demographics
  • Skills and qualifications
  • Past work experience

Once you have collected the data, you can analyze it to understand turnover rates over time as well as to discover trends or patterns between the data sets.

Ratio analysis

A ratio analysis is a dual-purpose forecasting method that both predicts staffing demand and compares forecasting results against an industry standard. 

The beauty of the ratio analysis is that it doesn’t rely on historical data to predict future demand. This is an advantage for younger companies who don’t have the benefit of years of historical data to provide insight into future trends. 

Here’s how it works.

A ratio establishes a relationship between two things. A business can calculate ratios between business factors like future sales revenue predictions and staffing requirements. 

For example, let’s say your business plans to expand its sales in the coming year and predicts sales revenue at $500,000. You’ll need to estimate how many sales employees you will need to support that growth. 

To calculate this, you need to determine the ratio between sales revenue and staff. To do this, divide current sales revenue by the current number of sales employees. If the ratio is 50:1 (with 50 representing $50,000 in sales), that means a sales revenue of $500,000 would require 10 employees. 

Once you have that ratio, you can then identify gaps in your staffing. For instance, if you plan to increase your sales revenue to $500,000 but currently have only five employees, you know you will need to hire five more people to support that goal. 

4. Do a gap analysis

With your current and future staffing assessments complete, you can compare the two reports for gaps. In other words, look at where your staff is now and where it needs to be. What discrepancies are there? Do you need more staff? Are there skills missing from your current workforce that you will need in the future to meet your business goals?

Note any gaps between the two assessments.

As you go through this process, our skills supply and demand chart can help you determine how many current employees and job candidates have the skills you need and whether you should hire or train to gain those competencies.

Make sure that your workforce has the skills and experience required to meet company goals. Learn how to conduct a skills gap analysis.

5. Make a staffing plan

With your staffing needs analysis completed, you can now make a plan. 

Your staffing plan might include recommendations to implement a corporate training program to address skills gaps or to develop succession policies to streamline handoffs following retirements or promotions. 

During this process, work with the business’s leaders to create a strategic action plan to address staffing needs that aligns with the organization’s goals, culture, and mission. 

staffing plan for a growing business

Learn how Lucidchart can help your organization plan for the future and hire employees with the right skills.

Lucidchart, a cloud-based intelligent diagramming application, is a core component of Lucid Software's Visual Collaboration Suite. This intuitive, cloud-based solution empowers teams to collaborate in real-time to build flowcharts, mockups, UML diagrams, customer journey maps, and more. Lucidchart propels teams forward to build the future faster. Lucid is proud to serve top businesses around the world, including customers such as Google, GE, and NBC Universal, and 99% of the Fortune 500. Lucid partners with industry leaders, including Google, Atlassian, and Microsoft. Since its founding, Lucid has received numerous awards for its products, business, and workplace culture. For more information, visit lucidchart.com.

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4 Corner Resources

How to Create a Strategic Staffing Plan for 2023

May 2, 2023 | Recruiting Insights

Woman with a pen in her hand creating a staffing plan on a white sheet of paper

Staffing plans are an essential tool in businesses of all types and sizes. When your business is growing or changing, addressing your staffing needs is critical. If you wait too long to develop a hiring game plan, you risk not having the staff to keep up with operations or accomplish your goals. 

A staffing plan will help as the economy shifts and changes in this post-COVID world. It’s challenging to find the right talent and retain your current employees. Set yourself up for continued success by creating a strategic staffing plan. We’ll cover what’s included in a staffing plan and give you a step-by-step staffing plan template to follow as you map your talent needs for the future.

What is a Staffing Plan?

A staffing plan is an intentional strategy by which an organization identifies its personnel needs and takes action to fulfill them. The HR department typically leads the company in creating the staffing plan, through input may be gathered from departments across the organization. One year is a typical time frame for a staffing plan to cover. 

The purpose of a staffing plan is to directly identify not just a target headcount for personnel but the specific skills that will be required over the next 12 months. It identifies gaps between your current resources and your future needs and takes a tactical approach, focusing on using staffing to support and achieve the organization’s goals. The staffing plan will include employees, contractors, and consultants. 

Why Do I Need a Staffing Plan?

As a business, you undoubtedly have a set of goals in mind. Whether it’s to increase profit margins by a certain amount, capture a bigger market share, make a difference in your community, or any other organizational aspiration, you can’t achieve it without the right people. A staffing plan ensures you have the team in place to make your goals a reality.  

For example, one of your major business objectives for 2023 is to increase your customer satisfaction ratings by 20%. You know this can be achieved by decreasing wait times on your support calls and providing the product updates many customers have requested. 

You’ll need to increase the number of customer support agents to decrease wait times. Additionally, in order to provide product updates, you’ll need staffers with the appropriate technical expertise. By walking through this basic scenario, we’ve identified two hiring initiatives: onboard more support agents and acquire additional technical expertise. You’d want to address these needs in your staffing plan for the year ahead. 

Staffing plans are often created simultaneously or slightly ahead of budgets for the upcoming year. This ensures that when you need to hire, the financial resources to support it are available—another key argument for why you need a staffing plan.  

How Do I Create a Staffing Plan?

An effective staffing plan considers your operational needs, external and internal factors, available resources, and timing. Before crafting the staffing plan, you need to calculate your needs, so we’ve split the process into two parts. Follow these steps to gather all the necessary information and put it into a cohesive hiring roadmap. 

How to Calculate Staffing Needs

1. evaluate your goals and gain a clear understanding.

What are the organization’s overarching objectives for the next 12 months? You may have several, or there may be just one. Ideally, these goals should be defined before the staffing plan is put together to ensure buy-in from all necessary stakeholders. 

Looking at your goals, what needs to happen from a staffing perspective to achieve them? In the example we used earlier, we determined two specific staffing implications stemming from our goal of increasing customer satisfaction—hiring more customer service staff and identifying or hiring talent with specific technical skills. 

Similarly, you can use your goals to define the related staffing requirements. The larger your organization is and the more goals on your list, the more action items you’ll likely come up with here. Ensure that each department’s goals align with the organization’s goals.

Related: How to Set Achievable Staff Growth Goals

2. Analyze the market 

You’ll need to consider external factors that will impact your ability to hire. Is it a job seeker’s market or an employer’s market? What do the unemployment numbers look like in your field? Are there any imminent labor or skills shortages? What about legislation that will affect your industry? The Bureau of Labor Statistics, your state unemployment agency, and hiring industry blogs are all good resources for this step. 

While the factors you uncover may be largely out of your control, considering them will help you come up with a staffing plan that’s not only strategic but realistic, given the circumstances of the market. 

3. Consider internal factors

Next, turn your attention inward and consider the factors at play within your organization that will impact staffing. This might include things like attrition, terminations, potential promotions, and upcoming retirements. All of these will result in staffing holes that need to be filled. 

Additionally, look at your current labor costs and how they will change over the next 12 months. Raises, benefits, overtime, and bonuses will all contribute to your labor budget, which is a factor you’ll need to weigh when determining how many new hires are feasible and which roles will take priority.

Review the job descriptions and current openings to get a complete picture of where you currently stand. Check-in with your current employees to better understand the workplace culture and impacts on retention during this step. 

4. Anticipate staffing needs

Once you have a better understanding of the current internal and external factors at play, it’s time to consider what obstacles could impact your business over the next 12 months. Do you have a busy season where you need additional help? Is there a slow period you can utilize for training? 

Utilize the information on current productivity to help anticipate the needs. For example, if you plan to increase your sales by 15%, you’ll need to figure out what headcount adds will be needed to manage that increase. Don’t forget about additions on the management side to offset any additions. 

5. Identify gaps between available talent and future needs

In this critical step, you’ll carefully examine the talent you already have in-house with an eye for how it can be leveraged to meet the needs you defined in step one. Determine the discrepancies between the skills you need and what you have on staff. 

Sometimes, it’ll simply be a matter of headcount—your existing staff is running at max capacity, and you need more people. In other cases, the gaps will be more nuanced, like a niche technical skill you don’t currently have on staff or the need for the right kind of leader who can help the company navigate growth. 

This is an important staffing plan step because it helps clarify where you need new talent instead of where you can better leverage your already existing talent.

6. Weigh all options

Now that you have clearly defined hiring goals, you’ll need to determine the best type of employee to fill them. Remember: you’re not limited to full-time employees. Consider alternate staffing options like part-timers, contractors, consultants, and temporary hiring, which can help fill your needs without the added cost of a new full-time hire. 

3 Steps to Build a Staffing Plan

1. build a staffing chart.

Having a detailed chart of your staff can help people see where you are and get quicker buy-in for an updated staffing plan. This is an optional but often-helpful step in your staffing plan template that defines where each employee falls into your overall staffing hierarchy. It’s especially useful for identifying relationships between departments and roles and identifying where, if at all, there’s overlap between needs. 

Do sales and marketing have a shared need that could be filled by one new hire instead of two? Do you lack strong leadership in the IT department? A staffing chart will clarify these observations and help you set recruiting priorities for which hiring needs to address first.   

2. Map out a game plan

Finally, it’s time to create a concrete action plan to fill the future roles you’ve identified. What positions do you need to hire for right away? Which can wait a few months? What about six to twelve months from now? Which are must-haves and which would be nice to have if resources allow (and, importantly, who will make this decision)? Considering these questions will ensure you prioritize the most important team members and fill pressing needs before addressing less-urgent roles. 

When creating your game plan, be sure to accurately factor in how long it will take to advertise the position, screen, interview candidates, hire, and onboard someone into the role. Depending on that time frame, it may mean you need to post the job opening a lot sooner than you think. Accurate forecasting is just one reason knowing your average time to hire and other key metrics like cost per hire is so important.

Related: New Hire Checklist

3. Present staffing plan to stakeholders

The staffing plan impacts each department in the organization, so it’s important to present your plan to the leadership team. Keep it simple and allow people to ask questions when they want to dive deeper into a specific portion. Use visual aids to outline your priorities and how to address them.

Enlist the Experts to Bring Your Strategic Staffing Plan to Life

Whether you’re starting at step one and need a partner to build a staffing plan alongside you or just need help with the final step, hiring a professional staffing agency can be a valuable resource in putting the right team in place to achieve your goals. We specialize in helping businesses of all sizes hire for skill and fit, identifying talent who will grow with you and help advance your mission. 

We offer direct placement , contract staffing , temporary hiring , and administrative services like rapid onboarding to make your life easier. Our extensive network of relationships with passive and active candidates can help you reach untapped talent and even attract new hires from the competition, all done in a way that supports your overall business objectives.

Need help hiring top talent? Our expert recruiters are equipped to find and deliver the best candidates in your industry!

What information is required to create a staffing plan?

To create a strong staffing plan, you need to know the business goals, the internal and external factors affecting the business and hiring, and be able to anticipate the needs of the business.

What is the first step in creating a staffing plan?

When working on a staffing plan, the first step is to review all the organization’s goals and ensure you understand them. The plan will ensure that the goals can be met, so you must ensure everything is clearly outlined.

How often should I create a staffing plan?

Typically, HR teams revisit staffing plans once a year when planning budgets and growth for the next 12 months. It’s a good idea to visit the plan monthly or quarterly to ensure you’re on track.

Who is responsible for creating a staffing plan?

The HR team will work with strategic leaders and partners within the business to gather the appropriate information to create a staffing plan. Once they gather the information, the HR team will assemble the plan and present it to the stakeholders.

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Pete Newsome

About Pete Newsome

Pete Newsome is the President of 4 Corner Resources, the staffing and recruiting firm he founded in 2005. 4 Corner is a member of the American Staffing Association and TechServe Alliance, and the top-rated staffing company in Central Florida. Recent awards and recognition include being named to Forbes’ Best Recruiting Firms in America, The Seminole 100, and The Golden 100. Pete also founded ze ngig , to offer comprehensive career advice, tools, and resources for students and professionals. He hosts two podcasts, Hire Calling and Finding Career Zen, and is blazing new trails in recruitment marketing with the latest artificial intelligence (AI) technology. C onnect with Pete on LinkedIn

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small business staffing plan

Small Business Staffing Strategies That Work in 2022

Your employees are your greatest asset. However, organizations often find it difficult to manage human resources and plan for the future. In fact, according to a survey by the Human Resource Management Association, 43% of HR professionals consider HR to be the “biggest investment challenge” for employees.

Use the following tips to learn how to create a small business staffing plan that hires the right people in the right place at the right time.

What is a staffing plan?

A small business staffing plan is a strategic planning process in which a company (usually led by a staff team) evaluates and determines the needs of the organization. On the other hand, a good small business staffing plan can help you understand the number and types of employees your organization needs to achieve its goals.

The small business staffing plan aims to answer the following questions:

What work should be done?

How many employees do we need?

What skills and experience are needed to perform this task?

What skills are needed to fill the gaps (and which areas are missing)?

In addition, small business staffing plans help your business:

Reduce labor costs and increase productivity.

Eliminate the skills gap.

Increase employee participation.

Increase employee retention and decrease revenue.

Improve the customer experience.

Promote business development.

A staffing plan is a formal document that describes how staff will be allocated and which skills they will need.

If you’re thinking about creating your own small business staffing plan or revamping the one you have already, take the time to create the right one for your business. Here’s how to do that.

What Should Your Staffing Plan Cover?

When it comes to staffing, you need to consider the work that’s being done in your business. In the best-case scenario, your staff has a lot of autonomy. But if they don’t have the skills or resources to take on more work, you need to create a plan to make sure your company isn’t caught in a catch-22.

The first step is to figure out exactly what your staff needs to do. That means looking at all the tasks that your staff is currently doing, and figuring out which ones you’re going.

small business staffing plan

How to calculate small business staffing needs?

A small business staffing plan involves three main steps:

Determining current small business staffing levels

Forecasting future small business staffing needs

Identifying the gaps between the two

Once you’ve identified your small business staffing needs, you can make recommendations to meet those needs, which may include recruiting and hiring new talent, focusing on staff training and development as part of company promotion. Or add your contract to your staff. These insights and recommendations will help you create a human resource plan for your organization.

Use the steps below to learn how to calculate small business staffing needs and plan for the future.

1. Identify the business goals

Before you start a small business staffing plan, you need to know what the main goals of the business are. These goals are usually set in a strategic business plan. Use this plan to clarify company goals and proper staff planning.

What you do with your employees will affect the results of your business (for better or for worse), so you want to make sure both plans are the same.

2. Identify the current state of your small business staffing situation

To develop the first practical plan, you must understand your current staff. If you have a strong database of human resources, it can be easy. But if you take information about staff from several sources, you need to strengthen these data. Work with business leaders and business executives to help you with the right and complete information.

3. Forecast future small business staffing needs

After you assess your current small business staffing landscape, it’s time to make some predictions about your future small business staffing needs.

As you conduct your small business staffing needs assessment, you will want to consider the factors that can affect small business staffing decisions and opportunities, including:

Business goals

Turnover rates and projections

Expected mergers or acquisitions

New product launches

Business investments (e.g., new technology)

Changes in the economy

Competitors attracting key talent

Industry labor costs

Unemployment rate

After you assess your current small business staffing scene, it’s an ideal opportunity to make a few forecasts about your future small business staffing needs.

As you lead your small business staffing needs evaluation, you will need to consider the elements that can influence small business staffing choices and opportunities, including:

Business objectives

Business ventures (e.g., innovation)

4. Do a gap analysis

With your present and future small business staffing assessments complete, you can look at the two reports for gaps. At the end of the day, take a look at where your staff is present and where it should be. What inconsistencies are there? Do you want more staff? Are there abilities missing from the present labor force that you will require in the future to meet your business objectives?

TIPS FOR FINDING QUALITY TALENT

Sure, there are countless ways to track down new team members, but not all are effective. Keep reading to learn more about some of our favorites.

1. Look within your current staff

If you have a vacancy for supervisor positions, be sure to consider the employees for potential growth. Empowering those who are honest and talented is a good incentive to work hard and find a purpose for their work.

2. Speak to your staff about what is needed

You may not know the idea of what you are looking for, but those who know what their team will end up with are the team itself. Give them a chance to participate in the thinking process when you think about the type of person you are looking for. By opening this opportunity for them, they will present potential candidates they know and offer you the help they need to resume and qualify potential candidates.

3. Take a look at your competition

Everyone does not like to consider yourself competitive, but it is your competitor with your aggression, it helps instill a benchmark to success. If other companies in your industry offer high pay and enjoy their employees, nothing seems to make it the actual talented work wants to work there. Offers something better than your opponent and you will be the best choice for the candidate you are the best.

4. Do not underestimate checking references

Candidate calls are always a nuisance, but if you want to make sure the chosen candidate is someone you can rely on tasks. In addition, you should check each person’s safety and background for each other’s security and your company’s security. If something is wrong, you can be responsible for it until you can perform a background check.

TIPS ON CONDUCTING SUCCESSFUL JOB INTERVIEWS

Making sure you get a successful interview to apply for a job, can have enough ways to help you find the right person for your business. But if an employer in an interview is not sure how to do it. How much useful information can you make the candidate get candidate to help you find the highest quality capacity? To help you start, they have any suggestions for successful interview proceedings.

Prepare a List of Open-Ended Questions

Before the scheduled interview time, it is significant that you pause for a minute to set a list of questions. While it is fine to think of questions on the spot dependent on a competitor’s past reply, preparing questions early will give a structure that will assist with directing the meeting. While it may be necessary to occasionally ask questions that will have a simple, direct response, it is important to prepare as many open-ended questions as would be prudent as this will permit the interviewee to give more point-by-point reactions, which can give you a superior knowledge into who they are as a candidate.

Start Slow and Personal

As you start the meeting, consider beginning delayed slow with a few personal questions to loosen things up. While you might be anxious assuming you are new to conducting interviews, recollect that the up-and-comer will be significantly more apprehensive than you are. Beginning with personal questions about where the candidate went to school, for sure they like to do in their available energy, can help to turn the interview into more of a discussion, which can reassure the two players and make the meeting stream all the more normally.

SMALL BUSINESS STAFFING PREDICTIONS FOR 2021

Whether this is an experimental trend or a credible way of thinking, we anticipate that resources for practices will be shared in 2021.

Online Profiles

To better present themselves and attract the employees they need, companies are increasingly using social media to create the personality of the firm that people want to participate in. According to a recent survey, 79% of job seekers browse the company’s online profile to determine how attractive they are. Because of this, companies prefer these forms to ensure that they accurately reflect their motivation and ethics.

Mobilizing Recruitment

Today, most candidates apply for jobs using a mobile device. It took some time to catch up with the industry, but recruiters seem to have come a long way. But according to Glassdoor, 89% of candidates use the mobile job search platform.

The easier it is for them to submit their applications through these platforms, the more useful they become. If companies want to see an increase in the number of jobseekers and their number of applicants, the ease of submitting applications with mobile devices will be very helpful.

More Flexible Working Conditions

Freelance work and temp jobs are becoming increasingly important from the perspective of employers and employees. Employees generally prioritize contract work if possible.

More attractive for work, allowing them to work remotely, like most independent jobs. Not all jobs will be temporarily relocated to the base, but a high proportion of jobseekers will be withdrawn from those services and we expect the proportion to increase.

SMALL BUSINESS STAFFING PROCESS STEPS

Here are the basic steps that every hiring manager or business owner must take if he/she wants to get a job through small business staffing.

1. Assessing Manpower Needs

Depending on the work you need to do, you can easily determine the needs of your staff. You can do this with:

Workload Analysis: Identify the work performed and the objectives of the current facility.

Workforce force analysis: An overview of the skills available to current employees, what they lack, and the number of people needed to meet this need.

2. Recruitment

When you know what you are searching for, you should look for the right candidates and figure out how to rouse them to join your team. This is ordinarily done by:

Knowing the various sources are reliable for tracking down new employees

Deciding how trustworthy every one of these sources are

Concluding which sources you wish to utilize

Welcoming candidates from these sources to meet for the positions accessible

3. Selection

While choosing your new employee, it is often important to:

A. Carry out a preliminary screening

B. Conduct an interview

C. Do reference and background checks

D. Settle on the employee you wish to recruit

E. Require drug testing and some other essential clinical trials

F. Make the bid for employment

G. Set up the business contract

4. Training and Development

When new employees get the right information about their position and company, come to work, and they need training. This includes systematic ways to share knowledge about a specific job. Thanks to a thorough and well-prepared training process, the employee will be better prepared to perform the job you got on the job.

5. Performance Appraisal

When you have the opportunity to start working in your position, you want to review their work and give them the necessary impressions of development and success. If you notice they are feeling well, let them know what they are doing properly and where they can improve. Without feedback, you do not allow employees to correct mistakes or feel that they have a real sense of work.

6. Compensation

To maintain a fair working environment and encourage your employees to stay with you, it is important to define your payment structure so that everyone gets the compensation they deserve.

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MyWorkChoice

How to Develop a Staffing Plan

MyWorkChoice

MyWorkChoice

  • December 9, 2019

For a business, the path to success is winding and filled with constant challenges. While it’s impossible to foresee every new opportunity or concern ahead of the curve, careful planning can make it much easier for businesses to adapt to a changing landscape.

HR professionals count staffing considerations as one of the biggest obstacles to growth. The human component of a business is one of its greatest assets, and a carefully crafted staffing and development plan can help you maximize how your company leverages its employees to achieve success.

Today, we’ll take a closer look at how to develop a staffing plan, so you can create a malleable framework for how you identify new opportunities and handle critical functions like expansion and hiring.

What is Staffing?

Staffing is the ongoing practice of finding and evaluating talented individuals both inside and outside of the company. The purpose of staffing is to fill the roles within a company as effectively as possible to help the business grow and reach their performance goals.

For smaller organizations, staffing processes are often outsourced to a third party, which may be much more qualified to handle the staffing demands of that company. Instead of hiring an extensive HR department to help the company reach its staffing goals, a staffing company with experience and relationships within the industry is contracted to assist in the process.

Companies like MyWorkChoice make it easy to staff critical positions in your workforce as you need them. This makes it easier for companies to rise to meet growing challenges and fill gaps they identify on an as-needed basis.

Larger organizations often handle all staffing needs in house, which allows them to completely control each aspect of their hiring and employee development practices.

Regardless of whether or not you handle it in house, staffing is a critical concern that can help or hinder the growth and success of every business.

What is a Staffing Plan and Why Do I Need One?

Staff planning is a strategic process in which decision-makers and the HR team audit the organization to identify its personal needs. A comprehensive plan will serve as a roadmap for how many employees your business needs, the type of employees your business needs, and how you can deploy those employees to execute company goals.

This plan helps a staff throughout the recruitment and hiring process, and aids in the development of internal personnel. Staff planning also provides a forecast of the labor needs of the company, so it’s a helpful tool for creating budgets and managing company finances.

Without a staffing and development plan, it can be difficult or impossible to identify the opportunities and challenges the business faces concerning labor. Without an effective strategy, every aspect of the company, from product quality to employee morale can suffer, resulting in stunted growth and lost business.

How to Create a Staffing Plan

To create a staffing plan, you’ll need to evaluate your current staffing needs and forecast your needs moving forward. The gap between those two needs is going to be the area where your organization has an opportunity to get to work.

Creating your plan can be broken down into five main steps:

  • Identify business goals
  • Evaluate the current staffing situation
  • Forecast your future needs
  • Implement a plan
  • Evaluate and refine the plan

1) Evaluate Business Goals

The first step of the process is to carefully consider short- and long-term goals for the business as it pertains to staffing. Virtually every company has a strategic business plan which outlines the business’ goals and plans for growth. Consider these goals and what you’ll need from your workforce to accomplish those goals.

For example, if one of your company’s goals is to open a new distribution center across the country, your staffing plan will need to consider what labor will be required to achieve this goal.

The goals outlined in your staffing analysis will affect the overall goals of the business, so you should ensure complete synergy between company goals and staffing needs to ensure that they’re aligned going forward.

2) Evaluate the Current Staffing Situation

To efficiently address your staffing needs, it’s helpful first to take a step back and look at your current workforce. Doing so will make it easier for you to identify where you need improvement, and it will also shine a light on members of your team who may be capable of stepping into a more significant role.

To start the process, create a company organization chart to illustrate the jobs, skills, and competencies of each member of your company from the top down. An org chart will help you visualize your workforce and the current staffing situation so you can better identify your future needs and opportunities.

The more detail in your org chart, the better off you’ll be. Consider adding core skills and attributes for each employee, as they’ll help you identify opportunities to promote from within when higher-level positions need to be filled.

Your company organization chart will also indicate each of the positions within the company. Take each position and write a full description of each job. Identify the core skills that potential applicants will need to possess, and well as any prerequisites you require to help you vet future applicants.

During this process, you’ll want to work closely with the members of the management team that each position will be reporting to. For example, if you’re documenting the job description, skills, and requirements that you’ll need from a warehouse associate position, consult with the warehouse manager to ensure you understand the full scope of the job so it can be appropriately staffed.

With this information, it will be much easier for you to recruit qualified applicants who should be a good fit within the company.

3) Forecast Your Future Needs

This step requires you to consult your crystal ball to gaze into what the future will hold for your company.

Forecasting your future needs is going to involve some guesswork, and you’ll need to consider many factors that may affect your future needs. Things like turnover rate, investments in new technology, the economy, the unemployment rate, and your competition can all influence your ability to achieve your staffing goals, and you’ll need to try and account for them in the forecast.

Performing a trend analysis based on historical data from within your company is an effective way to forecast your labor needs. Look at data that indicates historical hiring patterns and turnover rates. Consider the skills and education of your staff as well as their demographics. This information should show trends that can help you forecast your needs more accurately.

A ratio analysis is another essential tool you can use to codify the labor you’ll require to achieve critical goals. In this analysis, you’ll create a ratio between the business directive and the labor necessary to achieve it.

For example, let’s say that last year, your business shipped 500,000 units with ten warehouse associates. The ratio of units shipped to employees is 50,000:1. Now, let’s say that one of your business goals is to ship an additional 250,000 units in the next year. By applying your ratio analysis, you can see that you’ll need to hire five more warehouse associates to meet your goal for units shipped.

Once you’ve forecasted your future needs to the best of your ability, you can analyze and understand the gap between where you are now and where you need to go in the future. From here, you can codify the necessary steps to help you achieve organizational goals.

4) Create Your Plan

Now that you’ve collected and analyzed all the applicable data about your current staff and the future needs and goals of the company, it’s time to codify and implement your plan. In this step, you’ll outline the hiring processes for the entire company.

You’ll need your plan to cover every department, group, or division within your company. Depending on the size of your company, it may be helpful to create individual plans for each department you have. Once each department completes its assessment, the entire thing can be combined to reveal the master plan for the business.

Committing your plan to paper is a significant undertaking that requires cooperation and input from virtually everyone in the company, especially decision-makers and human resources. Communication is critical throughout the entire process, and it’s especially crucial as you finalize your plan.

5) Evaluate and Refine the Plan

Once you’ve put your plan in place, it should serve as a tool that helps you to streamline your hiring processes, identify standout talent within the organization, and achieve the different goals of the business. During this time, keep in mind that your plan should be fluid and adapt to the changing needs of your business. Make sure that your plan is working for you, and consider alternatives if your plan isn’t performing as well as you intended. Thanks to the emergence of new tools and services like MyWorkChoice , it’s easier than ever to meet your staffing challenges head-on so you can focus on the higher-level processes of running your business.

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Staffing Strategies for Growing Companies

  • Small Business
  • Business Planning & Strategy
  • Business Growth
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Human Resource Planning Strategies

Different types of staffing plans, statistical techniques for manpower planning.

  • What Is Strategic Perspective?
  • What Support Structures Must Be in Place to Meet the Needs of a Flexible Organization?

Taking a small business from start-up to success is much like parenting. Along with the excitement and joy, each phase presents new challenges. Where you once struggled to get customers in the door, you now have more work than your existing staff can handle. Having the right people on staff at the right time is critical for business growth. The challenge is to adopt staffing strategies that not only meet current staffing needs but also keep the pipeline full.

One Strategy vs. Multiple Strategies

A comprehensive strategy isn’t a blanket policy that addresses staffing issues for the entire business. Instead, multiple strategies address needs and focus on critical issues within specific areas or departments. Each one includes both long- and short-term plans that align with business growth goals. A long-term plan -- typically spanning a period of five years -- identifies and proactively addresses critical staffing issues over multiple planning periods. Short-term plans identify actions for meeting strategy objectives within a specific planning period. Benchmarks within each strategy act to measure results and indicate when an overall strategy or short-term plan requires adjustments or modifications

Strategic Planning Perspective

Although it’s not always easy to maintain a long-term perspective, drifting toward a short-term focus increases the likelihood that staffing moves from proactive to reactive. For example, plans that may seem appropriate with a narrow focus are often unsuitable over the long-term, especially during business growth periods. For example, hiring 20 permanent employees might solve immediate issues such as getting your computer network established or working through a backlog of administrative tasks. However, if your business can’t sustain these employees when the project is complete or when the backlog is gone, the plan is not effective.

Sample Staffing Strategies

Properly addressing long-term staffing needs across multiple periods requires high-level plans. For example, a management-oriented staffing strategy covering five years might plan to meet hiring needs through 60 percent internal promotions and 40 percent new hires. You might address a long-term need to increase your competitive advantage as the business continues to grow by focusing recruiting and hiring efforts on core positions relating to technology, customer relationship management and external marketing. Employee training and development programs can work to improve your employee’s existing skills and increase versatility by learning additional new skills.

Incorporating Creativity

Outside-the-box thinking can help you overcome some of the issues growing businesses face in finding and attracting quality applicants. For example, establishing an internship program in partnership with a local high school or community college might be a long-term option for filling the employee pipeline. Additional alternatives might include hiring independent contractors with specific technical skills for limited-term projects or incorporating outsourcing or temps as emergency staffing options in your long-term plan.

  • Tutor2U: Core Competencies

Based in Green Bay, Wisc., Jackie Lohrey has been writing professionally since 2009. In addition to writing web content and training manuals for small business clients and nonprofit organizations, including ERA Realtors and the Bay Area Humane Society, Lohrey also works as a finance data analyst for a global business outsourcing company.

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  • 1 How to Develop a Staffing Plan for a Business Organization
  • 2 How to Create a Staffing Model Plan
  • 3 Four Strategic Staffing Processes
  • 4 How Temp Agencies Work

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staffing plan for a growing business

Paul Dreyer

July 16, 2018

Growing Fast? Here's the 3-Year Staffing Plan You Need to Know

Staff training for Avid4Adventure

At Avid4 Adventure , we have consistently realized 30-40 percent annual revenue growth over the past decade. But as our revenue increased, our need for additional full-time and specialized staff also increased. It wasn't long ago that there were only a few people sitting around our full-time staff table — everyone wore so many different organizational hats that we didn't even have departments. Now, we have a stable departmental structure and an increasing number of full-time and part-time opportunities within each of those functions.

But just creating more seats around the table is not healthy growth —  you have to make sure  "the right people are in the right seats."  The “right people” are those who truly believe in your vision and genuinely live out your core values . Ensuring that those people are in the “right seat” means that the needs for a specific position align with the employee’s specific skills, expertise, and career goals. I know — it's  a tough ask! Here's how it works at Avid4 Adventure.

The 3-Year Staffing Plan

Last year, we developed our 3-Year HQ Staffing Plan to stay ahead of our increasing staffing growth curve. Our theory is that transparency and over-communication around predicted future staffing needs will lead to better applicants and better hires  — in other words, more of the right people in the right seats.  

The first step in developing our 3-year staffing plan was for each department to backward plan to assess their upcoming administrative needs. In order to do that, we needed alignment on where the company is headed and how we're going to get there. At Avid4, we already had the following in place:

  • A company-wide 10-year vision document
  • 3-year departmental visions that support our company vision
  • Annual departmental goals

Each department used those guideposts to predict any and all expected hires over the next three years.  

After determining predicted positions for each department, we sketched out what each position would look like. Each position needed to have the following descriptive information:

  • Start Date -  (Month/Year)
  • Position Type - Full-time, hourly, full-time salary, part-time, contract, etc.
  • Department 
  • Salary Band (or hourly wage)
  • Top 2-3 Specific skills/experience required for this position
  • Top 2-3 Specific skills/experience desired for this position
  • Budgeted Need or Possible Need  - "Budgeted" means that this is a planned expense  —   we are confident that this position will be available. "Possible" means that this position is something we are thinking about offering, but it has not been confirmed.

Then, we compiled all of this information into a simple spreadsheet that you can easily sort by year, position type, department, or salary band. For most positions listed, we created a short 2-3 minute video for users to hear a bit more about the position. There's also a link to a quick Google form for folks to express interest in one or more future positions. Here's a photo of what the spreadsheet looks like:

Screen Shot 2018-07-12 at 5.11.55 PM

  The 3-year Staffing Plan is proactively sent to all our staff. For us, that means current HQ staff as well as our seasonal/part-time summer camp staff (we hire more than 650 seasonal staff members each summer!). Sharing the  plan helps our current employees see upward mobility opportunities.  We also share the Staffing Plan with potential applicants outside of the company who have expressed interest in working with us. It becomes a tool for us to attract top talent by showing them a way in.

Staffing Plans and Professional Development

One of my favorite parts of this system is that personal and professional development is baked into the plan even before someone applies for a job. In the “specific skills and experience” section, both internal and external candidates are able to see what they need to accomplish in order to be a great fit for the position. For internal future candidates, we are committed to supporting the development they'll need to get there. When a current employee completes the “I’m Interested” form, we reach out right away to answer questions and make a plan for helping them grow into the desired position.

Although it's only our first year using the 3-year Staffing Plan system, we have received positive feedback from our employees. Traditionally, employees are used to feeling "in the dark” at work or receiving information only on a “need to know” basis. Under-communication in the workplace is common and typically leads to doubt, fear, and mistrust. But our employees tell us that our 3-Year Staffing Plan exceeds their communication expectations because it is transparent and honest.

As we grow this program, we'll update our Staffing Plan every year so that it is always a rolling 3-year view. At any time, internal and external candidates can explore expected opportunities for this year, the following year, and 2 years down the road. Of course, plans might change and a position that we hope to hire for next year might not happen. But even if changes occur every so often, we believe that it still provides useful visibility for all into the driving goals and direction of the company.

How to Create Your Own 3-Year Staffing Plan

The 3-Year HQ Staffing Plan works for our business because (1) we continue to grow rapidly, and (2) we have a large seasonal workforce who consistently ask us for more opportunities with the company. That said, every company is unique and I would never suggest a “plug and play” model for something like this.  However, I do believe that every purpose-driven company can commit to certain key action steps.

Here's how to get started:

1. Create a long-term vision.  Having a vision in place helps align everyone in the company and creates a roadmap for where the company is headed.

2. Assess staffing needs and changes in the coming years. Your vision statement is your destination, and your Staffing Plan will be part of the strategy that charts how you'll get there. What roles will change as you grow? Who do you need on board to achieve your vision?

3. Share your Staffing Plan. Exceed communication expectations by sharing your long-term staffing predictions with stakeholders and potential applicants. You'll attract motivated new candidates and open doors for current employees to grow. 

Want even more purpose-driven leadership articles delivered to your inbox?  Subscribe ! 

About Paul Dreyer

Born in South Africa, Paul Dreyer moved to the United States as a small child and has continued to seek out travel, adventure, and education ever since. He has worked in and around the worlds of experiential education, leadership development, and group psychology for over eighteen years. Across a diverse spectrum of organizations, Paul's scope of practice has also been varied; he has worked as a facilitator, curriculum designer, expeditionary leader, risk management consultant, staff trainer, and counselor. Currently, Paul serves as the CEO with Avid4 Adventure. He also actively consults with the Cottonwood Institute, the Tandana Foundation, Where There Be Dragons, NOLS, and private clients. Much of his experience comes from teaching, leading, directing, and counseling groups or organizations in remote and challenging settings or environments around the world.

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Staffing Agency Business Plan Template

Staffing agency business plan.

If you want to start a staffing agency, recruiting agency, nurse staffing agency, or temp agency or expand your current one, you need a business plan.

Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 8,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their staffing agency businesses, employment agencies and recruitment agencies.

How to Write a Staffing Agency Business Plan

Below are links to each section of your staffing agency business plan template:

Next Section: Executive Summary >

Staffing Agency Business Plan FAQs

What is the easiest way to complete my staffing agency business plan.

Growthink's Ultimate Staffing Agency Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily complete your Salon Business Plan.

Where Can I Download a Staffing Agency Business Plan PDF?

You can download our staffing agency business plan PDF template here . This is a business plan template you can use in PDF format.

What Is a Staffing Agency Business Plan?

A staffing agency business plan provides a snapshot of your staffing agency as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategy for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans.

Why Do You Need a Staffing Agency Business Plan?

If you’re looking to start a staffing agency, or grow your existing staffing agency, you need a business plan. A business plan will help you raise funding, if needed, and plan out the growth of your staffing agency business in order to improve your chances of success. Your staffing agency business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes.

This is true for an employment agency business plan, a recruitment agency business plan, a healthcare staffing agency business plan or a plan for any type of staffing agency.

What Are the Sources of Funding for Staffing Agencies?

With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for staffing agencies are personal savings, credit cards, bank loans and angel investors. With regards to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to confirm that your financials are reasonable. But they will want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business.

Angel investors are also a common form of funding for staffing agencies. Angel investors are wealthy individuals who will write you a check. They will either take equity in return for their funding, or, like a bank, they will give you a loan. Venture capitalists will not fund a staffing agency. This is because most venture capitalists are looking for extremely fast growth and millions of dollars in return when they make an investment, and staffing agencies, while great businesses, don’t fit this criteria.

STAFFING AGENCY BUSINESS PLAN OUTLINE

  • Staffing Agency Business Plan Home
  • 1. Executive Summary
  • 2. Company Overview
  • 3. Industry Analysis
  • 4. Customer Analysis
  • 5. Competitive Analysis
  • 6. Marketing Plan
  • 7. Operations Plan
  • 8. Management Team
  • 9. Financial Plan
  • 10. Appendix
  • Staffing Agency Business Plan Summary

Other Helpful Business Plan Articles & Templates

Use This Simple Business Plan Template

How to write a business plan for a staffing agency?

staffing agency business plan

Putting together a business plan for a staffing agency can be daunting - especially if you're creating a business for the first time - but with this comprehensive guide, you'll have the necessary tools to do it confidently.

We will explore why writing one is so important in both starting up and growing an existing staffing agency, as well as what should go into making an effective plan - from its structure to content - and what tools can be used to streamline the process and avoid errors.

Without further ado, let us begin!

In this guide:

Why write a business plan for a staffing agency?

  • What information is needed to create a business plan for a staffing agency?
  • How do I build a financial forecast for a staffing agency?

The written part of a staffing agency business plan

  • What tool should I use to write my staffing agency business plan?

Being clear on the scope and goals of the document will make it easier to understand its structure and content. So before diving into the actual content of the plan, let's have a quick look at the main reasons why you would want to write a staffing agency business plan in the first place.

To have a clear roadmap to grow the business

Small businesses rarely experience a constant and predictable environment. Economic cycles go up and down, while the business landscape is mutating constantly with new regulations, technologies, competitors, and consumer behaviours emerging when we least expect it.

In this dynamic context, it's essential to have a clear roadmap for your staffing agency. Otherwise, you are navigating in the dark which is dangerous given that - as a business owner - your capital is at risk.

That's why crafting a well-thought-out business plan is crucial to ensure the long-term success and sustainability of your venture.

To create an effective business plan, you'll need to take a step-by-step approach. First, you'll have to assess your current position (if you're already in business), and then identify where you'd like your staffing agency to be in the next three to five years.

Once you have a clear destination for your staffing agency, you'll focus on three key areas:

  • Resources: you'll determine the human, equipment, and capital resources needed to reach your goals successfully.
  • Speed: you'll establish the optimal pace at which your business needs to grow if it is to meet its objectives within the desired timeframe.
  • Risks: you'll identify and address potential risks you might encounter along the way.

By going through this process regularly, you'll be able to make informed decisions about resource allocation, paving the way for the long-term success of your business.

To maintain visibility on future cash flows

Businesses can go for years without making a profit, but they go bust as soon as they run out of cash. That's why "cash is king", and maintaining visibility on your staffing agency's future cash flows is critical.

How do I do that? That's simple: you need an up-to-date financial forecast.

The good news is that your staffing agency business plan already contains a financial forecast (more on that later in this guide), so all you have to do is to keep it up-to-date.

To do this, you need to regularly compare the actual financial performance of your business to what was planned in your financial forecast, and adjust the forecast based on the current trajectory of your business.

Monitoring your staffing agency's financial health will enable you to identify potential financial problems (such as an unexpected cash shortfall) early and to put in place corrective measures. It will also allow you to detect and capitalize on potential growth opportunities (higher demand from a given segment of customers for example).

To secure financing

A detailed business plan becomes a crucial tool when seeking financing from banks or investors for your staffing agency.

Investing and lending to small businesses are very risky activities given how fragile they are. Therefore, financiers have to take extra precautions before putting their capital at risk.

At a minimum, financiers will want to ensure that you have a clear roadmap and a solid understanding of your future cash flows (like we just explained above). But they will also want to ensure that your business plan fits the risk/reward profile they seek.

This will off-course vary from bank to bank and investor to investor, but as a rule of thumb. Banks will want to see a conservative financial management style (low risk), and they will use the information in your business plan to assess your borrowing capacity — the level of debt they think your business can comfortably handle — and your ability to repay the loan. This evaluation will determine whether they'll provide credit to your staffing agency and the terms of the agreement.

Whereas investors will carefully analyze your business plan to gauge the potential return on their investment. Their focus lies on evidence indicating your staffing agency's potential for high growth, profitability, and consistent cash flow generation over time.

Now that you recognize the importance of creating a business plan for your staffing agency, let's explore what information is required to create a compelling plan.

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Information needed to create a business plan for a staffing agency

You need the right data in order to project sales, investments and costs accurately in the financial forecast of your staffing agency business plan.

Below, we'll cover three key pieces of information you should gather before drafting your business plan.

Carrying out market research for a staffing agency

As you consider writing your business plan for a staffing agency, conducting market research becomes a vital step to ensure accurate and realistic financial projections.

Market research provides valuable insights into your target customer base, competitors, pricing strategies, and other key factors that can significantly impact the commercial success of your business.

Through this research, you may uncover trends that could influence your staffing agency.

You may find that larger organizations in your area are increasingly looking for staffing services. Additionally, you could discover that more small businesses are starting to consider hiring contractors for short-term projects, potentially creating new opportunities for your staffing agency.

Such market trends play a significant role in forecasting revenue, as they offer valuable data about potential customers' spending habits and preferences.

By incorporating these findings into your financial projections, you can present investors with more accurate information, helping them make informed decisions about investing in your staffing agency.

Developing the marketing plan for a staffing agency

Before delving into your staffing agency business plan, it's imperative to budget for sales and marketing expenses.

To achieve this, a comprehensive sales and marketing plan is essential. This plan should provide an accurate projection of the necessary actions to acquire and retain customers.

Additionally, it will outline the required workforce to carry out these initiatives and the corresponding budget for promotions, advertising, and other marketing endeavours.

By budgeting accordingly, you can ensure that the right resources are allocated to these vital activities, aligning them with the sales and growth objectives outlined in your business plan.

The staffing and equipment needs of a staffing agency

As you embark on starting or expanding your staffing agency, having a clear plan for recruitment and capital expenditures (investment in equipment and real estate) is essential for ensuring your business's success.

Both the recruitment and investment plans must align with the timing and level of growth projected in your forecast, and they require appropriate funding.

A staffing agency might incur costs for staffing such as wages to employees, payroll taxes, and employee benefits. Additionally, they might also incur costs for equipment such as computers, office furniture, and other supplies.

To create a realistic financial forecast, you also need to consider other operating expenses associated with the day-to-day running of your business, such as insurance and bookkeeping.

With all the necessary information at hand, you are ready to begin crafting your business plan and developing your financial forecast.

What goes into your staffing agency's financial forecast?

The objective of the financial forecast of your staffing agency's business plan is to show the growth, profitability, funding requirements, and cash generation potential of your business over the next 3 to 5 years.

The four key outputs of a financial forecast for a staffing agency are:

  • The profit and loss (P&L) statement ,
  • The projected balance sheet ,
  • The cash flow forecast ,
  • And the sources and uses table .

Let's look at each of these in a bit more detail.

The projected P&L statement

The projected P&L statement for a staffing agency shows how much revenue and profit your business is expected to make in the future.

example of projected profit and loss statement in a staffing agency business plan

A healthy staffing agency's P&L statement should show:

  • Sales growing at (minimum) or above (better) inflation
  • Stable (minimum) or expanding (better) profit margins
  • A healthy level of net profitability

This will of course depend on the stage of your business: numbers for a startup will look different than for an established staffing agency.

The projected balance sheet of your staffing agency

The balance sheet for a staffing agency is a financial document that provides a snapshot of your business’s financial health at a given point in time.

It shows three main components: assets, liabilities and equity:

  • Assets: are resources owned by the business, such as cash, equipment, and accounts receivable (money owed by clients).
  • Liabilities: are debts owed to creditors and other entities, such as accounts payable (money owed to suppliers) and loans.
  • Equity: includes the sums invested by the shareholders or business owners and the cumulative profits and losses of the business to date (called retained earnings). It is a proxy for the value of the owner's stake in the business.

example of projected balance sheet in a staffing agency business plan

Examining the balance sheet is important for lenders, investors, or other stakeholders who are interested in assessing your staffing agency's liquidity and solvency:

  • Liquidity: assesses whether or not your business has sufficient cash and short-term assets to honour its liabilities due over the next 12 months. It is a short-term focus.
  • Solvency: assesses whether or not your business has the capacity to repay its debt over the medium-term.

Looking at the balance sheet can also provide insights into your staffing agency's investment and financing policies.

In particular, stakeholders can compare the value of equity to the value of the outstanding financial debt to assess how the business is funded and what level of financial risk has been taken by the owners (financial debt is riskier because it has to be repaid, while equity doesn't need to be repaid).

The cash flow forecast

A projected cash flow statement for a staffing agency is used to show how much cash the business is generating or consuming.

cash flow forecast in a staffing agency business plan example

The cash flow forecast is usually organized by nature to show three key metrics:

  • The operating cash flow: do the core business activities generate or consume cash?
  • The investing cash flow: how much is the business investing in long-term assets (this is usually compared to the level of fixed assets on the balance sheet to assess whether the business is regularly maintaining and renewing its equipment)?
  • The financing cash flow: is the business raising new financing or repaying financiers (debt repayment, dividends)?

As we discussed earlier, cash is king and keeping an eye on future cash flows an imperative for running a successful business. Therefore, you can expect the reader of your staffing agency business plan to pay close attention to your cash flow forecast.

Also, note that it is customary to provide both yearly and monthly cash flow forecasts in a business plan - so that the reader can analyze seasonal variation and ensure the staffing agency is appropriately funded.

The initial financing plan

The initial financing plan - also called a sources and uses table - is an important tool when starting a staffing agency.

It shows where the money needed to set up the business will come from (sources) and how it will be allocated (uses).

initial financing plan in a staffing agency business plan

Having this table helps understand what costs are involved in setting up the staffing agency, how the risks are distributed between the shareholders and the lenders, and what will be the starting cash position (which needs to be sufficient to sustain operations until the business breaks even).

Now that the financial forecast of a staffing agency business plan is understood, let's focus on what goes into the written part of the plan.

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The written part of the business plan is where you will explain what your business does and how it operates, what your target market is, whom you compete against, and what strategy you will put in place to seize the commercial opportunity you've identified.

Having this context is key for the reader to form a view on whether or not they believe that your plan is achievable and the numbers in your forecast realistic.

The written part of a staffing agency business plan is composed of 7 main sections:

  • The executive summary
  • The presentation of the company
  • The products and services
  • The market analysis
  • The strategy
  • The operations
  • The financial plan

Let's go through the content of each section in more detail!

1. The executive summary

The first section of your staffing agency's business plan is the executive summary which provides, as its name suggests, an enticing summary of your plan which should hook the reader and make them want to know more about your business.

When writing the executive summary, it is important to provide an overview of the business, the market, the key financials, and what you are asking from the reader.

Start with a brief introduction of the business, its name, concept, location, how long it has been in operation, and what makes it unique. Mention any services or products you plan to offer and who you sell to.

Then you should follow with an overview of the addressable market for your staffing agency, current trends, and potential growth opportunities.

You should then include a summary of your key financial figures such as projected revenues, profits, and cash flows.

Finally, you should detail any funding requirements in the ask section.

2. The presentation of the company

As you build your staffing agency business plan, the second section deserves attention as it delves into the structure and ownership, location, and management team of your company.

In the structure and ownership part, you'll provide valuable insights into the legal structure of the business, the identities of the owners, and their respective investments and ownership stakes. This level of transparency is vital, particularly if you're seeking financing, as it clarifies which legal entity will receive the funds and who holds the reins of the business.

Moving to the location part, you'll offer a comprehensive view of the company's premises and articulate why this specific location is strategic for the business, emphasizing factors like catchment area, accessibility, and nearby amenities.

When describing the location of your staffing agency, you may point out the potential of the area, including its access to public transportation, prominent business districts, and vibrant cultural scenes. You could also highlight the potential for growth in the area, with the potential for steady population increases and the potential for increased investment in the local economy. Additionally, you might discuss the potential for the area to become a regional hub for businesses in the staffing industry, as well as the potential access to a wide variety of qualified and experienced workers.

Lastly, you should introduce your esteemed management team. Provide a thorough explanation of each member's role, background, and extensive experience.

It's equally important to highlight any past successes the management team has achieved and underscore the duration they've been working together. This information will instil trust in potential lenders or investors, showcasing the strength and expertise of your leadership team and their ability to deliver the business plan.

3. The products and services section

The products and services section of your staffing agency business plan should include a detailed description of what your company sells to its customers. 

For example, your staffing agency might offer temporary staffing solutions, where it provides businesses with temporary staff for short-term projects or work; recruitment services, which help businesses find the best qualified candidates for permanent job openings; and payroll services, which manage payments and deductions for the staffing agency's employees. These services provide businesses with access to quality staff and help them save money on both time and resources.

The reader will want to understand what makes your staffing agency unique from other businesses in this competitive market.

When drafting this section, you should be precise about the categories of products or services you sell, the clients you are targeting and the channels that you are targeting them through. 

4. The market analysis

When presenting your market analysis in your staffing agency business plan, you should detail the customers' demographics and segmentation, target market, competition, barriers to entry, and any regulations that may apply.

The goal of this section is to help the reader understand how big and attractive your market is, and demonstrate that you have a solid understanding of the industry.

You should start with the demographics and segmentation subsection, which gives an overview of the addressable market for your staffing agency, the main trends in the marketplace, and introduces the different customer segments and their preferences in terms of purchasing habits and budgets.

The target market section should follow and zoom on the customer segments your staffing agency is targeting, and explain how your products and services meet the specific needs of these customers.

For example, your target market might include fast-growing companies with limited staffing resources. These businesses may need to hire quickly and in bulk, but may not have the internal infrastructure or expertize to do so. Additionally, a staffing agency might target large companies that have short-term staffing needs or that need specialized workers.

Then comes the competition subsection, where you should introduce your main competitors and explain what differentiates you from them.

Finally, you should finish your market analysis by giving an overview of the main regulations applicable to your staffing agency.

5. The strategy section

When writing the strategy section of a business plan for your staffing agency, it is essential to include information about your competitive edge, pricing strategy, sales & marketing plan, milestones, and risks and mitigants.

The competitive edge subsection should explain what sets your company apart from its competitors. This part is especially key if you are writing the business plan of a startup, as you have to make a name for yourself in the marketplace against established players.

The pricing strategy subsection should demonstrate how you intend to remain profitable while still offering competitive prices to your customers.

The sales & marketing plan should outline how you intend to reach out and acquire new customers, as well as retain existing ones with loyalty programs or special offers. 

The milestones subsection should outline what your company has achieved to date, and its main objectives for the years to come - along with dates so that everyone involved has clear expectations of when progress can be expected.

The risks and mitigants subsection should list the main risks that jeopardize the execution of your plan and explain what measures you have taken to minimize these. This is essential in order for investors or lenders to feel secure in investing in your venture.

Your staffing agency could face financial risks if clients fail to pay their invoices. They may also face legal risks if they do not comply with labor regulations, such as ensuring that employees have the appropriate visas to work in certain countries. Additionally, they could face reputational risks if they do not properly vet their temporary staff and it results in a bad experience for their clients.

6. The operations section

The operations of your staffing agency must be presented in detail in your business plan.

The first thing you should cover in this section is your staffing team, the main roles, and the overall recruitment plan to support the growth expected in your business plan. You should also outline the qualifications and experience necessary to fulfil each role, and how you intend to recruit (using job boards, referrals, or headhunters).

You should then state the operating hours of your staffing agency - so that the reader can check the adequacy of your staffing levels - and any plans for varying opening times during peak season. Additionally, the plan should include details on how you will handle customer queries outside of normal operating hours.

The next part of this section should focus on the key assets and IP required to operate your business. If you depend on any licenses or trademarks, physical structures (equipment or property) or lease agreements, these should all go in there.

You could have key assets such as a client database containing contact information and specific hiring needs for potential employers. Additionally, the staffing agency could also have intellectual property such as the proprietary algorithms used to match employers and job seekers. These algorithms may be regularly updated to ensure that the best matches are being made.

Finally, you should include a list of suppliers that you plan to work with and a breakdown of their services and main commercial terms (price, payment terms, contract duration, etc.). Investors are always keen to know if there is a particular reason why you have chosen to work with a specific supplier (higher-quality products or past relationships for example).

7. The presentation of the financial plan

The financial plan section is where we will include the financial forecast we talked about earlier in this guide.

Now that you have a clear idea of the content of a staffing agency business plan, let's look at some of the tools you can use to create yours.

What tool should I use to write my staffing agency's business plan?

In this section, we will be reviewing the two main options for writing a staffing agency business plan efficiently:

  • Using specialized software,
  • Outsourcing the drafting to the business plan writer.

Using an online business plan software for your staffing agency's business plan

Using online business planning software is the most efficient and modern way to create a staffing agency business plan.

There are several advantages to using specialized software:

  • You can easily create your financial forecast by letting the software take care of the financial calculations for you without errors
  • You are guided through the writing process by detailed instructions and examples for each part of the plan
  • You can access a library of dozens of complete business plan samples and templates for inspiration
  • You get a professional business plan, formatted and ready to be sent to your bank or investors
  • You can easily track your actual financial performance against your financial forecast
  • You can create scenarios to stress test your forecast's main assumptions
  • You can easily update your forecast as time goes by to maintain visibility on future cash flows
  • You have a friendly support team on standby to assist you when you are stuck

If you're interested in using this type of solution, you can try The Business Plan Shop for free by signing up here .

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Screenshot from The Business Plan Shop's Financial Forecasting Software

Hiring a business plan writer to write your staffing agency's business plan

Outsourcing your staffing agency business plan to a business plan writer can also be a viable option.

Business plan writers are skilled in creating error-free business plans and accurate financial forecasts. Moreover, hiring a consultant can save you valuable time, allowing you to focus on day-to-day business operations.

However, it's essential to be aware that hiring business plan writers will be expensive, as you're not only paying for their time but also the software they use and their profit margin.

Based on experience, you should budget at least £1.5k ($2.0k) excluding tax for a comprehensive business plan, and more if you require changes after initial discussions with lenders or investors.

Also, exercise caution when seeking investment. Investors prefer their funds to be directed towards business growth rather than spent on consulting fees. Therefore, the amount you spend on business plan writing services and other consulting services should be insignificant compared to the amount raised.

Keep in mind that one drawback is that you usually don't own the business plan itself; you only receive the output, while the actual document is saved in the consultant's business planning software. This can make it challenging to update the document without retaining the consultant's services.

For these reasons, carefully consider outsourcing your staffing agency business plan to a business plan writer, weighing the advantages and disadvantages of seeking outside assistance.

Why not create your staffing agency's business plan using Word or Excel?

Using Microsoft Excel and Word (or their Google, Apple, or open-source equivalents) to write a staffing agency business plan is a terrible idea.

For starters, creating an accurate and error-free financial forecast on Excel (or any spreadsheet) is very technical and requires both a strong grasp of accounting principles and solid skills in financial modelling.

As a result, it is unlikely anyone will trust your numbers unless - like us at The Business Plan Shop - you hold a degree in finance and accounting and have significant financial modelling experience in your past.

The second reason is that it is inefficient. Building forecasts on spreadsheets was the only option in the 1990s and early 2000s, nowadays technology has advanced and software can do it much faster and much more accurately.

And with the rise of AI, software is also becoming smarter at helping us detect mistakes in our forecasts and helping us analyse the numbers to make better decisions.

Also, using software makes it easy to compare actuals vs. forecasts and maintain our forecasts up to date to maintain visibility on future cash flows - as we discussed earlier in this guide - whereas this is a pain to do with a spreadsheet.

That's for the forecast, but what about the written part of my staffing agency business plan?

This part is less error-prone, but here also software brings tremendous gains in productivity:

  • Word processors don't include instructions and examples for each part of your business plan
  • Word processors don't update your numbers automatically when they change in your forecast
  • Word processors don't handle the formatting for you

Overall, while Word or Excel may be viable options for creating a staffing agency business plan for some entrepreneurs, it is by far not the best or most efficient solution.

  • Using business plan software is a modern and cost-effective way of writing and maintaining business plans.
  • A business plan is not a one-shot exercise as maintaining it current is the only way to keep visibility on your future cash flows.
  • A business plan has 2 main parts: a financial forecast outlining the funding requirements of your staffing agency and the expected growth, profits and cash flows for the next 3 to 5 years; and a written part which gives the reader the information needed to decide if they believe the forecast is achievable.

We hope that this in-depth guide met your expectations and that you now have a clear understanding of how to write your staffing agency business plan. Do not hesitate to contact our friendly team if you have questions additional questions we haven't addressed here.

Also on The Business Plan Shop

  • How to write a business plan to secure a bank loan?
  • Key steps to write a business plan?
  • Top mistakes to avoid in your business plan

Do you know entrepreneurs interested in starting or growing a staffing agency? Share this article with them!

Guillaume Le Brouster

Founder & CEO at The Business Plan Shop Ltd

Guillaume Le Brouster is a seasoned entrepreneur and financier.

Guillaume has been an entrepreneur for more than a decade and has first-hand experience of starting, running, and growing a successful business.

Prior to being a business owner, Guillaume worked in investment banking and private equity, where he spent most of his time creating complex financial forecasts, writing business plans, and analysing financial statements to make financing and investment decisions.

Guillaume holds a Master's Degree in Finance from ESCP Business School and a Bachelor of Science in Business & Management from Paris Dauphine University.

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staffing plan for a growing business

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Table of Contents

  • Introduction

Business plans help steer your staffing business

Two big benefits of a business plan for your staffing agency, securing the money needed to grow your staffing agency, plan to consider all of your funding options, how to write your staffing agency business plan.

Accelerate Your Staffing Agency's growth With a Focused Business Plan

Every good businessperson will tell you they “have a plan”. Sometimes it’s on paper, occasionally its formalized into a working document, but more often than not, it’s in their head. The problem with anything less than a formalized document is that the plan tends to get lost in the day-to-day demands of managing operations. Then a year passes, and we wonder why things haven’t progressed as we had hoped. Sound familiar? The bottom line is that a focused business plan can be a crucial document for your staffing agency, whether the business is a startup or is already established. It helps define your business priorities and creates a way forward to achieve your goals.

A good staffing agency business plan should lay out the long-term milestones that are most important to the success of your business and help track progress towards goals and objectives.

Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of having a business plan and then discuss how to develop an effective plan to guide your business decisions and keep your staffing agency on track.

An effective staffing agency business plan will help you steer your business as it grows. Going through the exercise of building the business plan should help you in the following areas:

  • Establishing clear business goals and objectives
  • Bringing greater clarity to your competitive environment
  • Helping you better define and understand your audiences
  • Reduce the risk of pursuing misaligned opportunities
  • Defining marketing strategies
  • Crystalizing your recruiting and retention strategies
  • Brining clarity to your desired public brand
  • Refining your management structure to oversee advancement towards goals and objectives
  • Establishing timelines to meet goals and objectives
  • Establishing your metrics to measure progress

Separate studies confirm the two biggest benefits of having a business plan for your staffing firm:

1.)    Improved Business Performance –  The  first study , published in 2010, looked at the growth of more than 11,000 companies and discovered that planning did indeed improve business performance.

2.)    30% Faster Growth –  The  second study  revealed that businesses that create a plan grow 30 percent faster than businesses that do not have a formalized plan.

These studies also uncovered that startup businesses typically have shorter, less detailed plans. Younger companies are often still learning about their customers, with some companies fine-tuning service offerings. The size of the business plan didn’t matter as much as the quality of the information contained.

Action step:  If you don’t currently have a staffing agency business plan, start with the basics. Skip the 50-page business plan template. Focus on the essential parts of your staffing agency and create the first version of your business plan that covers the essentials. You can always grow your business plan to 50+ pages over time (if you really want to!). To start, get your vision on paper, then challenge and clarify your intent. At this stage, you can begin using it as a working guide that you can refine and add details to over time.

While improving company performance and faster growth are two significant benefits of creating a staffing agency business plan, another major benefit is using the plan to obtain financing.

New staffing companies typically boot strap their start-up costs with their own savings or money from friends and family. As a company grows and takes on more clients, the need for additional working capital arises, leading firms to look for other sources of funding such as a line of credit with a bank.

If you choose to pursue traditional forms of financing, lenders and investors will want evidence of financial viability showing how your staffing agency will attract customers and be profitable in the future. The best way to summarize this information is by presenting your business plan.

While a sound business plan can help secure traditional funding support, developing your business plan should also include a thorough review of your funding options. This review will help ensure that your route to success is anchored in sound financial principles.

For example, alternative lenders specializing in financing staffing agencies often offer  payroll funding , a mainstream financial strategy to support operations and fuel growth. These highly flexible funding solutions provide fast, reliable funding you can count on to meet each and every payroll burden. Qualification is fast, simple, and easy. Approvals are based not on your company’s history or performance but on your customers’ credit strength. As a result, considering the impacts of this approach in your planning process may be one of the most valuable outcomes of the exercise.

There are many approaches to staffing agency business planning, but they all essentially focus on common components. To expedite your process, consider crafting your business plan with the help of a template,  such as this one from HubSpot . Following are the major components of an effective business plan, along with tips on how to write each section:

Cover and Table of Contents –  Over time, your business plan may be shared with a range of professionals, so be sure the plan itself is professional, starting with the cover and table of contents. Make it easy for prospective investors and lenders to navigate your plan. Double-check that your table of contents contains valid and accurate hyperlinks if provided electronically.

How to design: 

Consider hiring a graphic design firm to create a logo if you don’t have one and include special typography to give your cover a unique look. While you don’t want it to look cluttered with too many images and graphics, having a polished look with strategic graphic elements will convey high professionalism.

Executive Summary –  Don’t make lenders and investors search for important information. An executive summary should be no longer than one page and highlight the main points of your plan.

How to write: 

A one-page document can contain between 300 to 500 words. This is the word count you’ll want to aim for when writing your executive summary. Consider creating several paragraphs to make the information easy to read and include bullet lists where applicable.

Company Description –  Include your mission statement, company principles or core values, a list of your ownership and or executive team, and your corporate structure.

Consider using a table format for your ownership and executive team, so the information is easy to follow.

Market Analysis –  This section is not a complete marketing plan. Instead, it is a competitive analysis of your market with a detailed plan on how you propose to capture a portion of this market. It should explain existing gaps in the market that your business will fill and what differentiates your business from your competitors. Also, this analysis should be based on reputable sources. Consider hiring an outside company to conduct this analysis and be sure to cite them in your report.

Explain who your ideal client is, their pain points, and how you can solve them as a staffing agency. And most importantly, articulate the reasons you are a better alternative than the competition. You’ll need to describe each competitor in your niche or geographic area and summarize their strengths and weaknesses.

Organization and Management –  This section explains your business’s management structure and often includes an organizational chart and salary forecasts. A management section is usually unnecessary if your staffing firm is small and only has principals involved with the day-to-day operations.

Include a short narrative detailing your management structure to complement an organizational chart. It should highlight how/why this structure supports your goals and objectives.  

Services –  Include detailed features and benefits about your firm’s services. While this may seem a bit obvious, taking the time to reflect on what you do and how you do it during the planning process may be invaluable. This exercise should reveal key insights into where and how you fit in the market and what you need to prioritize to stand out from the crowd.

Explain how your staffing agency’s services save your clients time and money. Describe how your company sources and qualifies candidates for open positions. Follow this by detailing how you take care of the paperwork associated with new hires, such as contracts, taxes, and other payroll tasks . Then explain how your company generates revenue. For example: “We charge 25% to 100% of a hired employee’s wages. For an employee with a markup of 25% who earns $20 per hour, our clients will pay us $25 per hour for that employee’s work.”

Marketing and Sales –  This section should answer three essential questions:

1.) How will customers find out about your services?

2.) What will be your marketing and advertising channels?

3.) What is your growth strategy?

How to write:  Compose a narrative detailing why potential buyers will be interested in your staffing agency’s services. Then explain your primary customer acquisition channels, such as blogging, pay-per-click advertising, or word-of-mouth advertising and networking efforts. Next, outline how you will engage with new leads and whether you’ll pursue an inbound or outbound sales strategy or a hybrid of both. Lastly, write out the team members responsible for selling your services. Explain how sales and marketing will be working together.

Financial Analysis –  This is the key section for lenders, investors, and for business valuations. The financial analysis should include projections for three to five years. If you have been in business for a while, include historical results for the past three to five years. At a minimum, this section should include the three primary financial statements:

  • Balance sheet
  • Income statement
  • Statement of cash flows

Lenders and investors may also ask for more detailed financial reports such as sales forecasts, cost of sales, or cost per service.

How to write:  Include both narratives and tables to showcase financial information. A narrative could read like this: “Staffing Agency ABC is requesting funding of $250,000 of debt capital to expand its agency. The capital will be used for capital expenditures and office build-out, salaries, marketing expenses, and working capital.” Be sure to highlight any key assumptions used in your analysis.

Appendixes –  While the main plan should clearly describe your way forward, much of the content may raise questions and require additional support. Rather than bog down the plan with this detail, include appendixes. They should consist of items such as the resumes of principals, relevant legal documents, including the structure of your business, and financial statements.

How to write:  Appendixes can sometimes grow to be larger than the business plan itself. Be sure to organize your appendix in a way that is easy to follow so the reader can find specific documents.

A staffing agency business plan can help you strengthen the performance of your operations, whether you operate a startup or an established staffing agency. It can also help staffing firms grow faster than competitors who do not have a business plan. Companies also rely on business plans to help secure debt-based and equity-based financing.

Business plans can become voluminous – it is suggested that startups begin with a short but thorough document. While your plan should have enough detail to guide your startup company’s direction, don’t get bogged down thinking you need an elaborate 50-page business plan before putting it into action.

Finally, find a user-friendly template for your staffing practice and start writing your business plan today!

ABOUT eCapital

Since 2006, eCapital has been on a mission to change the way small to medium sized businesses access the funding they need to reach their goals. We know that to survive and thrive, businesses need financial flexibility to quickly respond to challenges and take advantage of opportunities, all in real time. Companies today need innovation guided by experience to unlock the potential of their assets to give better, faster access to the capital they require.

We’ve answered the call and have built a team of over 600 experts in asset evaluation, batch processing, customer support and fintech solutions. Together, we have created a funding model that features rapid approvals and processing, 24/7 access to funds and the freedom to use the money wherever and whenever it’s needed. This is the future of business funding, and it’s available today, at eCapital.

eCapital Corp

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eCapital Corp. is committed to supporting small and middle-market companies in the United States, Canada, and the UK by accelerating their access to capital through financial solutions like invoice factoring, factoring lines of credit, asset-based lending and equipment refinancing. Headquartered in Miami, Florida, eCapital is an innovative leader in providing flexible, customized cash flow to businesses. For more information about eCapital, visit eCapital.com.

More Great Reads

Payroll funding - what it is, how it works, and its advantages, how to set up your staffing agency to be profitable, slower growth for staffing industry projected: what staffing companies need to know, 2024 outlook for the staffing industry – it’s time to update your strategic plan, navigating the financial challenges of holiday season surges in staffing, understanding the gig economy - challenges & opportunities for staffing agencies, choosing the right lending partner for staffing agencies: boosting financial stability and growth, ai in staffing: how staffing companies are improving operations through artificial intelligence.

Copyright © 2024 eCapital, Inc.

All California loans made or arranged pursuant to a California Finance Lenders Law License, CA Copyright © 2024 eCapital. All Rights Reserved. eCapital is registered Trademark. Registration Number: 5,098,285

IMAGES

  1. How to Write a Staffing Plan for a Proposal

    staffing plan for a growing business

  2. Free Printable Staffing Plan Templates [Excel, Word, PDF] Sample

    staffing plan for a growing business

  3. What is a Staffing Management Plan? Definition and Examples

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  4. Staff Plans Templates

    staffing plan for a growing business

  5. How to Write a Staffing Plan for a Proposal

    staffing plan for a growing business

  6. How To Create a Strategic Staffing Plan for 2021

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COMMENTS

  1. How to Develop Staffing Planning (With a Staffing Plan Example)

    8 minutes read In an ever-evolving business landscape, staffing planning is integral for ensuring that an organization has the right people, with the right skills, in the right roles, at the right time.

  2. How To Create a Staffing Plan in 9 Steps (With Benefits)

    1. Determine your goals First, evaluate the goals you want to achieve by considering the organizational goals that might affect hiring. For example, if you work for an organization that has plans to expand into a new market, or expects to sell products to a new market by a certain date, consider how that might affect your staffing goals.

  3. How to Create a Staffing Plan: A Step-By-Step Guide

    Staffing plans look at the needs of your organization, its growth, focus, and long-term strategy, and work out what kind of skills and resource levels you'll need to ensure you can achieve your...

  4. How to Shape Your Staffing Strategy for a Realistic Growth Rate

    1. identify your business's main goals The first step to building a sustainable staffing strategy is understanding your company's goals for the future. You can't do any hiring until you know what departments need to be staffed or what skill sets will be required to realize growth objectives.

  5. How to Develop a Staffing Plan

    Step 1: Evaluate Goals. The first step in developing a staffing plan is to evaluate the needed goals to achieve. By recognizing the targets employees will be working toward, human resource ...

  6. 5 Steps to an Optimal Staffing Plan

    1. Determine Your Goals Simply put, the staffing plan must support the business plan. What is the organization's plan for growth? Does it need personnel to staff a new office or retail location? Is it hoping to multiply the size of its sales force to support a significant sales push?

  7. Staffing Plans: Everything You Need to Know

    A staffing plan is a living human resources (HR) document that a company makes and uses to understand and address the staffing needs of a business, department within a business, or particular project. The plan maps out how the company will fill those personnel needs.

  8. How to Develop a Staffing Plan

    Streamline business growth. Having a clear staffing plan helps prevent issues that could delay growth or hinder the quality of your products and services that could result in unhappy customers and lost business opportunities.

  9. How to Create a Staffing Plan Your Employees Will Approve

    For example, imagine you establish a ratio between sales revenue and staffing. You currently make $200,000 a year and employ 10 staff. That's a ratio of 20:1, where one staff member equates to $20,000 of revenue. If one of your organizational goals is to increase your sales revenue to $500,000, you can predict you'll need 25 members of staff.

  10. 7 steps for creating a staffing strategy that works

    1. Determine your business goals. The best starting point for a staffing or people strategy is your organization's business plan, which should contain both short term and long-term goals for the company. Whether it's to increase turnover, expand into new sectors, launch new products or grow through acquisition, these goals are all ...

  11. How to Create a Strategic Staffing Plan for 2023

    When your business is growing or changing, addressing your staffing needs is critical. If you wait too long to develop a hiring game plan, you risk not having the staff to keep up with operations or accomplish your goals. A staffing plan will help as the economy shifts and changes in this post-COVID world.

  12. Staffing Plans: What Every Manager Should Know

    Here are the basic steps to take to create a staffing plan that aligns with your organizational objectives: 1. Identify your business goals. Identifying your business goals helps you anticipate staffing changes. They're usually outlined in a strategic business plan. Use this plan to clarify your company's objectives and evaluate how that ...

  13. Small Business Staffing Strategies That Work in 2022

    SMALL BUSINESS STAFFING PROCESS STEPS. Here are the basic steps that every hiring manager or business owner must take if he/she wants to get a job through small business staffing. 1. Assessing Manpower Needs. Depending on the work you need to do, you can easily determine the needs of your staff.

  14. How to Develop a Staffing Plan

    Evaluate and refine the plan; 1) Evaluate Business Goals. The first step of the process is to carefully consider short- and long-term goals for the business as it pertains to staffing. Virtually every company has a strategic business plan which outlines the business' goals and plans for growth.

  15. How to Develop a Staffing Plan for a Business Organization

    Analyze Labor Market Trends Creating an effective staffing model template must include an evaluation of the labor market, not only of the geographical region, but also of the trends in your...

  16. Staffing Strategies for Growing Companies

    One Strategy vs. Multiple Strategies A comprehensive strategy isn't a blanket policy that addresses staffing issues for the entire business. Instead, multiple strategies address needs and focus...

  17. Staffing Success: Strategies For Long-Term Workforce Planning

    3. Plan Your Operating Model And Use Skill Assessments. A workforce planning strategy starts with an operating model: analyzing business objectives, the scope of related work, expertise needed ...

  18. Growing Fast? Here's the 3-Year Staffing Plan You Need to Know

    The 3-Year Staffing Plan. Last year, we developed our 3-Year HQ Staffing Plan to stay ahead of our increasing staffing growth curve. Our theory is that transparency and over-communication around predicted future staffing needs will lead to better applicants and better hires — in other words, more of the right people in the right seats.

  19. 11 Strategies for Staffing Business Development

    To begin with, the market is looking for quality candidates - with 40% of employers looking to hire full-time employees and 47% looking for temporary employees - and as such, it's your responsibility as a staffing firm owner to deliver. However, it's not as simple as just having quality candidates to fit within a company and its expectations.

  20. Staffing Agency Business Plan Template [Updated 2024]

    A business plan will help you raise funding, if needed, and plan out the growth of your staffing agency business in order to improve your chances of success. Your staffing agency business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes. This is true for an employment agency business plan, a ...

  21. How to write a business plan for a staffing agency?

    How to write a business plan for a staffing agency? Why write a business plan for a staffing agency? What information is needed to create a business plan for a staffing agency? How do I build a financial forecast for a staffing agency? The written part of a staffing agency business plan

  22. Business Plan to Accelerate Your Staffing Agency's Growth

    Action step: If you don't currently have a staffing agency business plan, start with the basics. Skip the 50-page business plan template. Focus on the essential parts of your staffing agency and create the first version of your business plan that covers the essentials.

  23. Assignment 1 Staffing Plan for a Growing Business

    Part 1: Staffing models The two sorts of staffing model that could be connected to the aforementioned situation are: • 4-stage Staffing procedure • Strategic staffing - another methodology, beating the customary methodology a. 4-stage Staffing procedure (Tarleton State University, 2014) The four stage model of Staff arranging is in light of the ...

  24. Expert Staffing on Instagram: "Expert Staffing is experiencing

    0 likes, 2 comments - expertstaffing on May 9, 2023: "Expert Staffing is experiencing tremendous growth and is seeking a Business Development/Account M..." Expert Staffing on Instagram: "Expert Staffing is experiencing tremendous growth and is seeking a Business Development/Account Manager to cover Central MA.