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Develop a staffing strategy when making hiring decisions
By Tom Mochal
September 10, 2003, 7:00am PDT

Think about the many places where staffing decisions come into play. In an average company, you have several managers at many levels who are all thinking about whether they have too much (or too little) work for their staff, what training they should provide, and whether they should hire employees or contractors. These can be project managers and team leaders, department managers, directors, or the CIO.

Hiring decisions are more complex than they used to be. Not only do you have to think about whether you want an employee or a contractor, but you also need to think about offshore options, diversity, and legal obligations. And once the person is brought in, you need to think about skills development, morale, retention, and the work environment.

Companies that have the most difficulty in hiring are those that make decisions on a case-by-case basis. These companies make staffing decisions based on what makes sense for a particular situation or team. But there's a difference between what makes the most sense for an individual manager and what makes the most sense for the entire organization. For instance, a manager may need someone to fill an opening. The manager may think that a contract resource will be required, since the need may not be long-term. That may be the best decision for the manager, but the company may have projects ending in other areas and people who need to be reassigned. So, from a company perspective, perhaps the best course of action would be to look for an internal transfer, even if the person is not a 100-percent, skill-set match.

If everyone makes staff-related decisions based on their individual needs, you'll typically end up being inefficient from an organizational perspective. To avoid this, your company should develop a staffing strategy.

The staffing strategy
A staffing strategy is established at an organizational level....
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