How to Build a Strategic Hiring Plan for 2022

Whether you work for a small startup or a massive enterprise, you need to know how your team is going to grow over time—in other words, you need a hiring plan that determines how you’re going to hire and when.

Without a strategic hiring plan, hiring happens willy-nilly. That often means hasty decisions about positions that haven’t been well thought-through, the withdrawal of job positions that hurts your employer brand, or awkward conversations when positions become redundant. It’s also a disaster for your budget.

So while getting down a written hiring plan might seem laborious when you’re faced with urgency, it’s a vital document you can use to refer back to when moving towards your business goals.

And what better time than now to stop and think about next year’s goals and whether or not your organization’s existing talent meets your needs.


What exactly is a Hiring Plan?


In short, a hiring plan is a spreadsheet with accompanying financials and headcount (budget for each role and department.)

It should help you to answer the following questions:

  • What are our company goals for next year?
  • What are our strategic initiatives?
  • Do we have the human capital to meet those challenges next year?
  • When should we fill these roles next year? (Q1,2,3,4)
  • Can we adequately fund these roles?


How do you build a Hiring Plan?


1. Determine the Finances and Set Business Goals


Hiring plans are predicated on revenue, so you need to know what your financial resources are before you plan your people resources. Use the G&A team’s financials to guide your budgets for each line of business.

Your hiring is also directly related to your business goals. For example, if the sales team might set revenue targets to close X million in annual contracts next year, the hiring plan should help the Head of Sales achieve this goal by adding more salespeople.


2. Analyze your skillset and gaps


The first step to creating a recruitment plan is to identify your hiring needs and where there are skill gaps that your existing talent can’t fill.

Start by analyzing the growth of your company, taking into consideration important factors like employee turnover and anticipated promotions, as they will impact your hiring needs.

Estimate which departments and roles will need strengthening and why. Is a key member of the team leaving? Will a new project be kicking off?

By learning which skills your team will be missing and the ones you’ll need to tackle the future workload, you can take a proactive approach that better aligns hiring with staffing needs.


3. Put together a recruitment calendar


Next, you can put your analysis into practice and estimate how many people each department will need and approximately when they’re needed.

This will help you plan ahead and anticipate future needs in time to prepare for them. For example, if you need to fill a role in Q3, you might need to start your preparations in Q2 to make sure you fill the position in time.

With this information, you can build out a full recruitment calendar for the year. This should include the positions you’ll need to hire for per quarter, the total headcount for each department, and a hiring timeline for when each round of hiring will begin.


4. Identify the tools you need for a scalable recruitment process


Now that you have a recruitment calendar and a hiring plan, you can identify the tools you’ll need to execute your plan.

Some of the most critical solutions for your recruitment tech stack are an applicant tracking system (ATS), accounts on various online job boards, pre-employment assessment and screening tools, and analytics or BI software for data-driven decisions.

At Move, we use Workable, but there are a number of other great ATS tools out there to explore according to your budget and needs.


5. Build out a budget for recruitment costs


Based on your previous cost per hire, you can estimate how much your recruitment costs are going to be for the year ahead. Bear in mind various costs involved in the recruitment process that you’ll need to account for in your budget.

Some of the common recruiting costs include:

  • Advertising on job boards and social media
  • Job fairs and campus recruiting costs
  • Recruiting technology costs
  • Employer branding expenses
  • In-house salaries and benefits of the involved


6. Determine the requirements for each position


With a solid idea of which roles you’ll be hiring for, you can begin determining the requirements for each job opening.

What are the characteristics and skills that you want job candidates to have? What will their daily responsibilities be? And their goals?

To make sure everyone is on the same page and decrease time to hire, you should meet with hiring managers and talk through this step together. This will help you develop a thorough understanding of each role and what the needs are to fill it effectively.

You also need to look further than your current openings and think at your company culture and the general skills people should have to be a good fit.

At Move, we follow a process called Benchmarking – in which we meet with the hiring managers and present a series of profiles on a role, as well as ask detailed questions to gain deep understanding and alignment from all involved in the hiring process.


7. Prepare the job description/s


The role description is often the first thing a candidate will see about your company, so you’ll want to put your best foot forward. You can have a bit of fun here and show them what the culture of your company is like. Of course, you’ll need to set out the requirements and responsibilities you’re expecting from a candidate, as well as fill them in on what they can expect from you.

The more comprehensive your job spec is, the higher the chances of attracting the kind of candidates you want.

When preparing your job spec, it is also important to consider language and tone. Gender bias can creep into our language without us realising, but without being vigilant, it can also repel candidates who might otherwise be a great fit. At Move, we use a specific tool to assess job descriptions with the aim to make them balanced in the kind of language we use.


8. Develop your sourcing strategy


You’ve got the nuts and bolts of your goals, ideal candidates, and the job descriptions. From there, you can work out how you want to source your candidates. Which job boards are the best to reach your ideal candidate? Will posting on sites like LinkedIn suffice or can you do paid advertising? Depending on the response level you’re searching for, you can use this section to decide if posting on social media is the right avenue for you. It is also for deciding if you’re going to recruit from inside your company as well as outside.


9. Revising your selection process


When your selection process is up to scratch, it’ll mean the candidates will be up to scratch as well. You might find that there’s nothing you need to change when it comes to how you select the right person for the role, but if you don’t look, you’ll never know what could be lurking there that’s a possible hindrance to your hiring capabilities.

Here you can expand more on some of those high-level goals mapped out earlier. You can brush up on your DEI hiring strategy and introduce blind hiring and take a look at your metrics and see how your workforce can be more diverse.


10. Prepare your interviewing process


So, once you’ll be able to suss out the best candidate for the job, revisiting your usual interviewing process will help with this. Is it going to be a general conversation with questions and answers? Will you set tasks that they’ll have to complete? Will you do more than one round of interviews? It’s easy to forget you’ll actually have to conduct interviews once you’ve factored in everything else on your roadmap, but it is one of, if not the most, important elements.

At Move, we start with the hiring managers (once candidates have passed screenings and possible projects) before moving them to second and third rounds (some more formal, others less so) before a final Founders interview as the last check.

You’ll also need to determine when to involve leadership in the process. The C-Suite likely won’t be involved in all planning meetings at big organizations (more than 1,000 people) but will want a seat at the table early on at smaller businesses and startups. They might also want a final say before a candidate is hired, as mentioned.


11. Design your onboarding process


You don’t want to employ your dream candidate and immediately lose them because the onboarding process wasn’t up to it, was too confusing, or didn’t educate them thoroughly. Talking to your current employees about their onboarding process and brainstorming ways to improve it will be integral here. You want to facilitate an inclusive and welcoming work environment that will leave your new hire feeling excited, accepted, and informed.


Your Hiring Plan as a living document


A hiring plan is a living document that functions as a guide for your recruiting efforts as well as a yardstick by which to measure the success of your efforts.

But while it may take time to put together, it also needs to be adapted as the business needs change. You might hire faster than expected, or need to divert budget to new tools.

Continue working on your recruitment plan, measuring key metrics and enhancing it as you go to achieve the best possible results.

Now we’ve got you started on your road mapping adventures, go forth and hire your ideal candidate!

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