How to identify your staffing needs to grow your business
With a new financial year upon us, businesses are busy with planning for the year ahead.

But while focussing on compliance and results, don’t forget to plan for the most important asset of all: your people.

Having a well-planned people strategy is essential for a happier, more engaged workforce and for business growth.

What is a people strategy?

Alex Hattingh is Chief People Officer at Employment Hero, an organisation which offers tools, resources and expertise for small and medium sized businesses and their HR needs. Hattingh says it’s vital that businesses develop a people strategy, which is a plan for how businesses will deliver their business strategy through people.

A successful strategy needs to consider current employees as well as roles that will be needed in the future, Hattingh says.

“Too often, business plans and goals are set without any corresponding detail describing how people will help to deliver and achieve what the business has set out to do.”

Why you need a people strategy

A people strategy will keep you aligned to delivering your business goals and increase employee engagement, Hattingh says.

“A people strategy will help you plan for the workforce you need to deliver your business plans. A robust people plan will help you attract, hire and retain the best talent.

“By taking higher-level human needs into account, such as people having more meaningful work and better careers, you will have a more engaged workforce.”

Key steps to developing a people strategy

  • Start with a vision
    A people vision should align to your overall organisation vision, purpose or mission, says Hattingh. “This gives you your underlying direction for what you want to achieve through your people strategy and plan.”

Next, cover all parts of the employee cycle and the employee experience, such as:

  • Workforce planning. 
    What talent or roles do you need to be hiring to meet your business strategy? When will you need these roles, and when will you have the budget to invest in them?
  • Attracting top talent.
    This comes down to your Employer Brand Proposition, says Hattingh. What is it about your employment brand that will make people want to work for you and want to stay with you, doing the best work they can?
  • Hiring.
    How will you make sure you hire the best talent for each role? And how will you make sure each person you hire is a cultural-add for your organisation?
  • Onboarding.
    How will you create the best and most effective on-boarding program for your new employees? “They need to learn about the company, your purpose, linking their role to your purpose, and they need to understand how your organisation runs: what are the functions in your organisation and what do they do,” says Hattingh. “They also need to feel welcome!”
  • Growth.
    Developing and growing your people, and having great people managers.
  • Engagement.
    Reward and recognition, wellness, and flexible working.
  • Data and analytics.
    What data will give you insights into improving your employee engagement and performance? What metrics does leadership want to see on a regular basis?
  • Diversity and inclusion.
    Make sure you have a section on meeting diversity and inclusion goals.
  • Employee experience.
     What does the employee experience look like through each of these steps in the employee life cycle?

Once you’ve identified your staffing strategy for the new financial year, think about where you can save money and time in the recruitment processes.

A great cost saver could be to purchase job ads in bulk for the roles you’re hoping to fill throughout the year. On SEEK, when you purchase multiple ads at once, you can save up to 29% on the total cost. And in terms of your recruitment strategy, ensure that you’re investing the time and focus required to find the best people that will help you grow your business.