What would businesses be like if companies didn’t effectively manage their supply chains? What if they failed to line up the product parts they need in advance? Or if they simply waited for parts to run out, then scrambled to replace them, not knowing where to look?
You can agree that would be a disastrous way to run a supply chain business, but it’s the exact approach that many companies take to staffing. Despite the growing challenge of finding skilled supply chain employees, most companies today do not manage their talent supplies like they manage other supplies.
So what is the answer? Strategic staffing.
Strategic staffing means :
- making staffing into a proactive process, not reactive. As with just-in-time supply chain management, it involves managing your talent supply to ensure your company always has the right people in the right jobs at the right time.
- looking at the big picture, rather than your day-to-day staffing needs. You need to know your firm’s business plans and strategies – and address the staffing implications of those plans and strategies.
- helping you stay a step ahead of your staffing needs.
- retaining your top performers and identifying and overcoming talent gaps before they become an issue.
- helping you achieve short- and long-term goals by creating a workforce that is flexible and responsive.
So where do you start? Here are four steps:
Step 1. First, take a look at your current workforce.
What are the demographics and capabilities of your current staff? What are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities for growth and the potential threats of your employees, both individually and as a whole?
Step 2. What competencies, or skills, will be required in the future?
Review your firm’s mission and vision, and its short-term and long-term plans to determine what kinds of capabilities you’ll need to fulfill your vision and company goals.
Step 3. Where are your skill gaps and surpluses?
After Steps 1 and 2, you should have a better understanding of where you are in terms of the skills you have and the skills you need. In terms of surpluses, will these skills be obsolete down the road? In terms of gaps, in which areas is your company most at risk?
Step 4. What’s your plan of action?
From developing a training program to streamlining your recruiting and hiring process to using temporary staffing, you can employ a variety of solutions in order to meet your company’s staffing needs and position yourself for success.
Strategic staffing is a continuous process. As 2013 progresses, your plan should be revisited and revised as needed. And if you need help, contact ZDA. As supply chain staffing experts with years of experience, we can help you develop a strategic staffing plan that can improve your flexibility and productivity.