Staffing management means more than finding the right people to fill each role in your finance organization or to provide support on a special project. Like a coach assembling an all-star team, you need to make sure every player’s skills complement the other team members' abilities, while also ensuring all positions are covered and objectives met. In short, you need a well-thought-out staffing management plan.
But with so many moving parts to consider, where do you even begin with developing your strategy? Answering these questions can be a good first step:
- What type of staff and skill sets are required?
- How will you acquire the staff?
- How long will you need the staff?
- What training will the staff need? And what will be the training procedures?
- What is the timeline for the project?
- What budget is available for the project and staff?
The staffing management plan you develop should also help you to achieve the following objectives:
1. Building a strong team
Building a strong team requires you to define strategic roles for each team member and detail the tasks those roles will encompass. It’s also important to consider the group dynamics of your team and incorporate staff members who will not only work well together but also bring different strengths to the table.
2. Boosting collaboration
These days, finance and accounting are becoming a more integrated part of the total organization. Financial staff must be good communicators and able to successfully collaborate with other departments.
3. Maximizing efficiency
A successful staffing management plan can ultimately increase your entire company’s productivity. When creating your plan, consider not only the staff you need to include, but also any processes that can be improved by technology advances or additional training. Investing in these types of improvements can maximize your staff’s productivity in day-to-day operations.
Include consultants and project professionals
Making your staffing management plan flexible by using a combination of full-time employees and highly skilled consultants and project professionals will enable you to staff up or down based on project workload demands.
Financial consultants can be a valuable asset to your company by supporting key projects, providing specialized expertise and filling senior-level roles on an interim basis.
To help determine whether to bring in consultants, ask yourself these questions:
- Is there an upcoming project of finite duration (even if it covers a long time period)?
- Are there skills not available in-house that will be required for an upcoming project?
- Is there a vacant specialized senior-level position?
- Will upcoming initiatives demand time, resources or knowledge current staff members do not have?
- Are there cyclical demands such as tax season or recurring annual projects that require extra support?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, your organization could benefit from working with consultants and interim staff.
Consider the big picture
When bringing in consultants, make it clear to all parties how they will fit into the big picture. All employees, including project specialists, will need to understand how their individual roles contribute toward both the project and the company’s overall strategic goals.
Also encourage collaboration and equal participation from both interim professionals and in-house staff so everyone feels his or her input is valued. Working with a staffing firm that specializes in placing senior-level consultants is an excellent way to find specialists for your needs.
Remember, a well-developed staffing management plan can get projects started on the right foot before you even brief your team. Answering the who, what, how and how long questions while developing your plan will help you find, train and lead the best team possible.
This post was originally published in October 2014 and has been updated to reflect more current information.
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