Use a mix of short and long term goals for recruiting

February 22, 2012 12:00 am | Updated 04:01 am IST

Planning and forecasting for the future is an important part of the recruitment game plan, but despite this, much of the hiring (large companies are no exception) is done ad-hoc. Often HR departments choose to hire and fire in a completely haphazard fashion, recruiting people as and when a need crops up and then showing them the door when they are not needed. This is particularly true when firms experience rapid growth. Companies that are growing fast tend to hot-foot the recruitment process to meet immediate needs, hastily adding a large number of staff without proper planning or vetting of candidates. Suddenly when market conditions change, they find themselves saddled with more people than they need.

Such unplanned and knee-jerk response to market swings can be very disastrous for companies in the long run. They will not only be wasting precious resources in hiring people they don't need, but staff morale and reputation of the organisation can be irreparably damaged because of a reckless attitude to the recruitment process.

Short-term goals related to staffing are easier to identify and fulfill, but they fall short of what is needed to create a cohesive staffing policy. Companies cannot survive in a competitive market without a long term plan and vision with regard to its human resources. Employers of choice who have a culture of developing and retaining talent generally tilt towards the long-term approach to meet their staffing needs, even though they may have a few short term goals as part of their recruitment strategy.

To retain employee loyalty, service and engagement, a recruitment plan should have the right mix of short-term and long-term objectives. Here are some of the things that are important for a cohesive staffing strategy:

Companies need to consider the implications of staffing plans before implementing them. It is even more important for them to recognize and respond effectively to change (as in changes in market, economic or organisational conditions). Staffing policies should be carefully assessed and reviewed for both long-term and short term repercussions whenever there is a change in the offing.

A one size fits all approach to staffing does not work even within the same company. Customized unit-wise staffing strategies are more practical and pocket friendly when compared to a single company-wide staffing policy. For example, short term staffing strategies are ideal for entry level or low-skilled jobs, while long term staffing strategies work best for positions requiring specialized skill, experience or talent.

A strong internal talent development program that is linked to defined organisational objectives will ensure that the company has a ready pool of talent for future needs. Linking employee growth and development to long term plans of the company works out to be beneficial for both employer and employee. The employer is assured of a stable, committed and loyal workforce, there is no reason to worry about mounting costs of hiring new workers and the management is left free to focus on growth and development. For the employee the prospects of assured growth and stability in what is increasingly an unreliable job market is equally attractive. It is highly imperative for organisations to have the best available pool of talent possible to cope with increased competition and performance expectations they have today. A dynamic recruiting strategy that addresses both short term and long term goals will help businesses retain an edge and succeed even in uncertain market conditions.

Bindu Sridhar

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