You’re more likely to get the extra staff members you need if you focus your energy on telling your employer how the new hires will benefit the company, rather than yourself. Quantifying the financial, customer service and productivity benefits will help improve your chances for getting the help you need.

Step One: List The Problems and Opportunities

Write a list of the reasons you need the additional staff members. You might have competent staff, but not enough. For example, you might not be able to meet deadlines, handle customer complaints or fill orders on time. Your need for staff also might result from not having the right employees. This can lead to errors, increased expenses, lost sales opportunities or legal liabilities. Issues caused by improper staffing can include:

  • Low productivity
  • Reduced efficiency
  • Increased injuries
  • Poor customer service
  • Customer defections
  • Increased expenses
  • Decreased morale
  • Higher employee turnover
  • Lost sales
  • Bottlenecks

Step Two: List the Benefits

Write a list of benefits that adding staff offers the company. This will mirror your list of problems and opportunities, but show how adding to the workforce provides the company a return on its investment. For example, problems caused by a lack of sales reps includes a lack of ability to prospect new clients, increase sales from existing customers and provide customer service. The benefits of adding staff can include increasing sales and revenues – provide numbers, if possible – as well as improving customer retention and decreasing product returns.

Step Three: Calculate The Expense

Determine how much the requested hires will cost the company. Include wages, salaries, payroll taxes, benefits, equipment and software, so the company knows you have done your homework. You don’t want to provide a cost/benefit ratio in your request based just on wages and salary, only to have the finance department knock that number down by adding overhead costs.

Step Four: Write Job Descriptions

If you are able to convince your company it needs to hire additional staff, management will want to see information about the positions you’re proposing. Get a copy of the company’s organization chart to determine where the new hires will fit. Decide on job titles and create detailed job descriptions that show these new positions will address the needs or solve the problems you’ve highlighted.

Step Five: Organize Your Document

Decide how you will present the information in your letter. Start with a strong opening that calls attention to the fact that the company has a problem or is missing an opportunity. Connect a tangible impact to the problem or opportunity so the company knows how much money it is losing, either through increased expenses or missed sales. Once you’ve demonstrated that the company has a concrete problem, provide your solution. Compare the benefits the company gains by adding the new hires to the cost of bringing them on board. Show the losses the company faces if it doesn’t hire the new workers. Don’t forget to include potential lost sales and revenues if the company doesn’t address the under-staffing situation. Choose an important piece of information you want to stand out that you can include in a postscript to your letter.