A “staff” is the collection of employees who work for a company. “Staffing” is the act of maintaining a staff, of hiring and firing, recruiting and training employees. Essentially, staffing covers much of what the human resources department accomplishes for a company, but human resource duties go far beyond just staffing.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
Staffing is a collective term for any action that maintains the human resources of a company. It covers everything from hiring and firing to training and developing the company's people.
Why is Staffing Important?
When it comes to a company, breaking down the assets might mean adding up dollar values on real estate and equipment, but one thing is invaluable: good employees. Without a quality staff, a company cannot succeed. From productivity to innovation, it all comes down to who’s working on the front lines and behind the scenes.
A company that has a staffing management plan will value and nurture those they have working for them, but also be attractive to outsiders, too. Recruiting new talent and freshening up the workforce over time is how a company sustains success and creates a positive corporate environment.
What’s A Staffing Management Plan?
Staffing management plans are essentially a hiring strategy. They include:
- The staffing needs
- When hiring needs to begin
- Ideal starting dates for new hires to begin work
- Budget considerations for payroll range
- Creating and implementing strategies for acquiring talent
- Outlining needs and methods for a new hire's onboarding program
- Devising training materials and techniques for new employees
- Creating a method for evaluating and tracking effectiveness of staffing regimen
By having a plan, those involved in the quest for quality staff can identify challenges and opportunities while staying ahead of what’s needed to ensure the company stays productive and profitable.
Professional Staffing Solutions
The human resources department has its hands full with the current staff, because they need to stay on top of everything from administering and modifying the benefits plans to mitigating problems between colleagues and management. HR oversees training and dispute management and everything else that comes up in the day-to-day of having employees. Sometimes, recruiting new staff can be too taxing for the HR department to accommodate in their schedule.
Companies experience far more than just having to hire new employees because they’re expanding. They may have valued employees needing maternity or paternity leave. Perhaps someone develops a medical situation that requires prolonged absences. Maybe there’s a temporary project that needs all hands on deck, and additional help is required temporarily.
All these situations can be helped with the professional guidance of a staffing agency, which are tasked to find the right candidate to solve the need. Staffing agencies often deal with a stable of temporary employees, people who work on call for anything from a day to a year, as well as handling the recruiting of both passive and active job seekers.
Staffing: In-House vs Agencies
Even if an outside agency gets involved with solving staffing needs, the final say comes down to the company doing the hiring. Agencies often have a satisfaction guarantee – the new employee will be competent and well-suited to the role or the company can get their hiring fee back or try a new replacement for that role at no cost.
In-house staffing may mean having a better grasp on whether a candidate on paper fits the firm, but it’s a time-consuming and costly endeavor, too. As previously mentioned, human resources departments can face strain from all the other personnel demands they face on a daily basis, and staffing agencies can help lighten any overloads when new hires are urgent.
Whichever way a company goes, staffing is an integral part of keeping things running smoothly while also investing in their future success.
Steffani Cameron is a professional writer who has written for the Washington Post, Culture, Yahoo!, Canadian Traveller, and many other platforms. Some writing projects have included ghost-writing for CEOs and doing strategy white papers. She frequently writes for corporate clients representing Fortune 500 brands on subjects that include marketing, business, and social media trends.