Simplest Way to Create a Staffing Model Plan for Small Business

Staffing a small business requires a fine balance. You need to ensure that you have enough staff on hand to meet both the needs of your business and those of your clients. But, having more people on the clock than you actually need leaves staff members idle on your business's dime, resulting in wasted money that could be put to better use elsewhere.

Creating and following a staffing model plan will help your small business run efficiently by ensuring you have the right number of skilled and general team members on hand to cover each shift. Your staffing model is crucial to the success of your small business because every single position is vital. Large companies can often get away with correcting staffing mistakes over time, but every team member can mean success or failure for a small business.

How to Create a Staffing Model

Let's take a look at the steps required to create a staffing model plan for your small business.

Step 1 Identify

The first step in creating a staffing model plan requires identifying how many team members you need to have on hand at any given time. Consider which job roles need to be filled and what skills are required for those positions. The goal during this step is to define your baseline staffing level by identifying which positions are vital to the basic operations of your small business.

Step 2 Locate Current Gaps

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Now, you need to assess and identify any gaps in your current staffing pool. Are there any essential positions or skill sets that are not being fulfilled by your current team members? Can those gaps be filled by transferring or providing additional training to existing staff? This step will help you decide if you need to hire additional people to meet your baseline operational needs.

Step 3 Forecast

The next step in creating a staffing model plan for your small business involves forecasting the future needs of your business. Assess your company's goals, plans for growth, and mission. Where are you expecting growth in the coming year? Will you be expanding your product line or breaking into a new market? How many new customers do you expect to gain? Now, think about which skill sets and additional team members you will need to fulfill those goals. Will those needs be short term, or will you need to hire additional permanent staff to fulfill them? You may be able to fulfill short-term needs with temps, interns, or independent contractors.

Step 4 Account for Deficiency

Your staffing model should also account for inevitable staffing deficiencies. Absences such as terminations can be controlled. Other absences, such as medical leaves, cannot. Don't forget to consider any team members who may be eligible for retirement or advancement soon. Will you need to hire and train additional staff to cover those positions? Or, can they be covered by cross-training current team members?

Step 5 Develop Talent Acquisition Plan

Now that you have determined your needs, your next step is to create a recruitment plan to address any staffing deficiencies that cannot be meant by reassigning or providing additional training to current team members. Decide when you will need to have additional staff and skillsets available.

If you need to recruit new team members with specific skills or certifications, it may be a good idea to hire them whenever you find someone with the right qualifications. Even if you don't need them right away, you want to make sure you have the right people available when the time comes. Your talent acquisition plan should be defined and written out in detail but be prepared to adjust it as your business goals change.

What to Remember When Developing a Staffing Model

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While a staffing model does consider many of the same aspects as a staffing plan, it's intended to be a framework that defines your staffing needs in general, rather than at a specific time. Developing a staffing model can be approached in different ways, depending on your industry. For example, a staffing model for a factory operating on three shifts would be entirely different from the staffing model for a hospital, school, or a business that conducts most of its operations from 9 to 5.

When developing a staffing model for your small business, think about the following key points

  • How many team members do you currently have on the clock for each shift? Are they reasonably busy, overwhelmed, or do they have a lot of idle time?
  • Do your staffing needs change throughout the day? Which times are busier or slower?
  • Has your business grown or shrunk over the past one to five years? How much?
  • How many skilled team members do you currently have? How many are general labor? Is there a shortage in either area?
  • Do you have plans to expand your business in the coming year? What are your business goals further into the future? Will you need to acquire more general labor or skilled team members to meet those goals?
Assessing these key points can help you determine your general staffing needs during busy and slow times throughout the workday. Once you've determined your basic operational needs, categorize those needs according to management staff, skilled employees, and general labor.

With this baseline framework in hand, you can forecast your future needs for the coming year and beyond based on past business trends. This framework will help you create your current staffing plan and schedule, as well as any adjustments you'll need to make in the future.

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