Terry Thompson, Surrey, BC, CYBF Mentor, tesh@shaw.ca

Managing Corporate Culture article series

Most CEOs and managers are familiar with the need to have a three or five-year strategic plan. What often gets missed in these plans though is the personnel organization plan, particularly at a management level. The failure to plan what personnel need to be in place to accomplish goals will seriously compromise the probability of effectively executing the strategic plan – in fact, it is probably the number one factor that causes plans not to be achieved.

How does one approach personnel planning in the strategic planning process?

  1. Take no more than a three-year look ahead. I have found that there is little to gain from planning beyond three years given the uncertainties beyond that time frame
  2. Look at your three-year growth plans and map out the management team that you will need (both senior and middle management)
  3. Outline the basic job descriptions for each management position and the profile of the individuals needed
  4. Determine how you will source the individuals needed, the benchmarks that need to be achieved before you will bring that person on board and the lead time needed to bring the person on. This will involve:
    1. Looking first at your existing personnel to determine who might fill these roles (current and future) and  what is necessary for them to become self-sufficient in the role (i.e. training, other personal development, experience, etc.). This includes assessing the people in their current roles
    2. Determining which positions (current and future) will need to be filled from the outside (i.e. hiring people who are not presently with your company)
    3. Determining how to source outside people (i.e. doing it entirely with internal resources or outsourcing through a recruitment firm)

When it comes to finding and recruiting the right outside people, I have always used recruitment firms that specialize in recruiting for the position that we were looking to fill. I did this, particularly for management positions, because I found the cost/ benefit of using outside experts to do the recruiting portion to be worthwhile in my situation rather than using internal resources. This does not mean that for those of you with the internal resources to complete this task that you should not go ahead and recruit yourself. However, do not be penny-wise but pound foolish by avoiding to use a recruitment firm simply because you want to save money. Depending on your situation, it could turn out to be a very expensive mistake.

There are certain steps you should take in order to choose the correct recruitment firm. I will describe these steps more fully in my next article.

Should have any questions or feedback regarding the content of this article please email me (Terry Thompson) at tesh@shaw.ca. ©

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