Sometimes a single IT project establishing infrastructure requires staffing just 13 temporary employees, while a creating a new product requires a permanent team of 50. The staffing team in a human resources department is responsible for filling these needs, although some companies outsource this function.


Staffing is a multistep process, beginning with the human resources department identifying the company's hiring needs. Human resources personnel understand these needs by working with management teams. Creating job vacancies is another step. To perform this role, staffing employees write an explanation of a job's necessary functions, qualifications needed to perform the task and salary requirements. Filtering and hiring candidates are additional components to staffing. When the organization receives resumes, the staff members assess the most qualified candidates and perform interviews.

Role and Purpose

The human resources team ensures new staff members can meet the needs of the organization, have a positive transition into the company and have the immediate necessary skills to perform the task at hand. HR eases the transition by providing orientation and, in many cases, a booklet of employee expectations.

The HR team also manages the staffing aspects of an employee leaving the firm. In this instance, the role and purpose of staffing is offering an exit interview to understand why the employee is leaving and under what conditions. Such interviews provide the HR team with pertinent trends, such as employees routinely leaving to work with competitors. Another ancillary role of staffing is ensuring the organization has enough workers to meet its labor demands. To do this successfully, strategic human resources personnel partake in the forecasting process with the management team.


Donald Caruth, author of “Staffing the Contemporary Organization,” explains that staffing is critical to short- and long-term performance, vitality and growth of the company. Caruth says that even in an era where technology can fulfill so many tasks, people are ultimately responsible for achieving organizational objectives. Additionally, a well-staffed company contributes creative energy necessary for the business’s growth and innovation.


Some businesses select staffing firms to find short-term, contract-based workers. In these instances, the role and purpose varies: Staffing firms select the workers based on the organization’s description and the company then pays the staffing firm a percentage of the worker’s salary as a retainer fee. Max Messmer, author of “Human Resources Kit for Dummies” explains an advantage of using a staffing firm includes using the firm’s well of experienced, recommended workers. Such firms also handle the paperwork and tax issues. However, Messmer warns companies not to use staffing firms if the worker must possess specific knowledge related to the company.