Image of planning a game winning strategyA new year brings the chance to reflect on how far you have come, how far you want to go, and 365 opportunities to get there. Chances are you have some pretty lofty goals for the coming year as an organization, and those goals could very well include some important hiring decisions.

With unemployment low, and with businesses competing for the same talent, there is no better time than right now to strategize how your business will win the war for talent

Step 1: Evaluate the Prior Year

While last year’s hiring may not be a complete picture of the year to come, it does provide you with some valuable information to use as a starting point for strategic planning in the new year. Take note of production spikes, unexpected turnover, and growth-related additions.

In addition, it is helpful to reflect on how long positions remained open and some of the challenges you had filling them. 

Step 2: Get Your Department Managers Involved

Bringing your department managers into the discussion early on in the planning process can help you plan more effectively and anticipate hiring needs you may not have considered. Not only will you gain insight into the forecasted needs, you also have the opportunity to explain the market conditions which could impact the hiring turn-around, prompting them to help by providing as much advanced notice of hiring needs as possible.

Step 3: Develop Your Recruiting Strategy

Now that you know who you need and when you will need them, it is time to get strategic. Where are you most likely to find the right candidates? How long do you anticipate the recruiting process to take? Are the right candidates more prone to use one job board over another? Is social media where you will find them? Not only should you be considering where to find the candidates, but also making job advertisements that draw those particular candidates in.

Step 4: Bring In a Recruitment Partner Early 

Adding more tools to your toolbox early can be a huge benefit when it comes to hiring in a tight employment market. Managing multiple job boards, social media profiles, resume databases, and screening applicants is all-consuming, and let’s face it – hiring is not the only job you have. By bringing on a recruitment team you will not only ease the load, you will also gain immediate access to a larger candidate pool

Step 5: Expect the Unexpected

You have your plan and you are ready to work it. What could possibly go wrong? You have been in the hiring business long enough to know that even the best of plans run into roadblocks. Whether you are faced with a hiring freeze, unexpected turnover, or even a massive expansion – it’s important that you don’t let it rattle you. If you expect it and plan for it as part of your overall strategy, you will be in a position of strength.