How to Plan for Your Information Technology Staffing Needs

Managers discussing plans for information technology staffing

Whether you're the sole proprietor of your own startup or the IT manager of a multinational corporation, you need a long-term plan to guide your information technology staffing needs.

Planning for information technology staffing

Instead of automatically replacing employees when they leave, managers can be more strategic by developing a comprehensive recruitment approach that takes into account both short- and long-term needs. Many IT projects don't require full-time hires but rather a mix of full-time and temporary staff carefully orchestrated according to a flexible staffing plan.

Having a strategic approach to staffing is especially critical in sectors like IT, where the industry is constantly evolving and employees with specialized skills are hard to find - and keep. IT talent is in high demand by virtually every organization in today's market, and flexible technology staffing solutions can help ensure your business is never without critical IT resources.

Establishing a hiring plan

Developing a strategic information technology staffing plan involves a lot more than ensuring you've got the developers you need to launch a new app and a network administrator on call 24/7. It also involves taking an in-depth look at workloads, future projects, the skill sets of current team members and budgetary priorities. A successful information technology staffing plan will consider all these factors in light of the short- and long-term goals of the company.

The plan should be developed in consultation with executives, as well as HR and IT management. Senior executives can provide details on future plans. Mid-level management often has the best understanding of what it's really going to take to get an IT project finished on time.

Finding the ideal mix of full-time and interim talent

One of the keys in developing a strategic staffing plan is to carefully consider your mix of full-time and interim resources. The idea is to thoughtfully supplement your full-time staff with skilled contractors to help manage workload spikes and access specialized skills that are needed only to complete important projects. For ongoing needs, a full-time hire can be brought in. Approaching information technology staffing strategically like this also gives you the flexibility to staff up when business is good and avoid layoffs during lean times.

Large complex projects, such as software development, often require specialized IT talent at distinct phases. Lining up the right people with the right skills at the right time takes some serious planning. For these kinds of projects, your best bet is to take advantage of the services offered by a specialized IT staffing firm, which can help you put together your information technology staffing plan.

Focusing on the long term

Taking time to develop a flexible, strategic staffing plan focused on both short- and long-term company goals will pay big dividends in the long run. Properly executed, it will help ensure you've got the talent you need — now and in the future.