Strategic Staffing

A Comprehensive System for Effective Workforce Planning

 Strategic Staffing

Author: Thomas P. Bechet
Pub Date: May 2008
Print Edition: $35.00
Print ISBN: 9780814433010
Page Count: 352
Format: Paper or Softback
Edition: Second Edition
e-Book ISBN: 9780814412824

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C H A P T E R 1

An Overview of This Book

This book describes pragmatic approaches for developing and implementing

practical, effective, targeted strategic staffing/workforce planning

processes. It includes process descriptions, actual examples and case studies,

advice and hints, a series of spreadsheet templates that can actually be

used to develop strategic staffing models, and PowerPoint presentations

that can be used to communicate (and train others on) the strategic

staffing/workforce planning process. Specifically, the book is divided into

five sections.

Section 1: Setting the Stage

Section 1 sets the stage for effective strategic staffing. It provides an overview

of the strategic staffing process and its objectives and describes the

context in which strategic staffing works best. The section focuses on descriptions

of specific nontraditional approaches to strategic staffing/workforce

planning that have proved effective in a wide variety of organizations

and industries. The section also includes a description of a new ‘‘hybrid’’

approach to strategic staffing/workforce planning that combines some aspects

of a companywide approach with the focused, targeted process that

I strongly advocate.

Section 2: Developing the Strategic Staffing/Workforce

Planning Process

There are many approaches that can be used to organize and structure

your strategic staffing/workforce planning efforts. Section 2 describes in

detail an effective, practical approach that can be (and has been) implemented

effectively in a wide variety of situations. This approach includes:

• A detailed description of the process itself (creating both long-term

staffing strategies and short-term staffing plans)

• Specific examples of how required staffing levels can be determined

(including actual, numeric examples with solutions)

• A discussion of various techniques that can be used to define useful

staffing plans even when specific business plans are not complete or


• A complete numerical example of a staffing strategy (and the staffing

plans that result)

• Three detailed, ‘‘real-world’’ case studies, each of which describes

the issues that an organization was facing and the staffing strategies

and plans that the organization developed to address those issues

• A series of less detailed summaries of projects in which strategic

staffing was implemented successfully

Section 3: Implementing and Supporting Your Strategic

Staffing/Workforce Planning Process

Developing the right strategic staffing process won’t help if that process

is implemented incorrectly. Section 3 describes the context within which

strategic staffing is best implemented. It includes:

• A framework that ensures effective implementation of the process

• A diagnostic tool that you can use to define the strategic context in

which the process will be implemented in your particular situation

• A form that you can use to evaluate your company’s current strategic

staffing process and identify opportunities to improve its effectiveness

• Specific suggestions on how you can engage and involve line managers

in the process, including an interview guide that can be used to

help identify staffing issues and define staffing requirements

• A description of what might be included on a strategic staffing web

site that could reside on your company’s intranet

• A description of the HR functional structure that best supports strategic

staffing/workforce planning (including some of the skills and

capabilities the staff will need)

• Detailed suggestions and notes (almost a script) that you can apply

when using the PowerPoint presentations that are available to you

on the web site

Section 4: Beyond Staffing Plans: Analyzing and Applying

the Results

One of the key deliverables of the strategic staffing process is a set of

very specific staffing plans that should be implemented to address critical

staffing needs. There are times, though, when a broader analysis of your

results will be needed if you are to select the appropriate course of action.

The fourth section of the book describes what those analyses might look

like, including:

• A discussion on how strategic staffing/workforce planning can be

used to identify and address the impacts of retirements on your organization

• A description of how some of the quantitative aspects of workforce

planning can be used to strengthen your management succession

and development process

• A case for including workforce planning (‘‘talent planning’’) as a

mandatory first step in any talent management process

• Specific suggestions on how to structure strategic staffing/workforce

planning processes to support common business initiatives (e.g.,

opening a ‘‘green field’’ site)

• A description of how workforce planning concepts can be used to

define and implement staff reductions more effectively

• A description of how to measure the effectiveness and efficiency of

your staffing practices

• A discussion of how an analysis of staffing costs can be integrated

into your strategic staffing process


The appendices include a number of supporting materials that will help

you implement an effective strategic staffing process. Specifically, the appendices


• Frequently asked questions (with answers, of course!)

• Specific instructions for modifying the generic spreadsheet staffing

model templates (made available on the web site when you purchase

this book) so that they can be used to support the development of

your own staffing models, strategies, and plans

• Instructions for retrieving the computer files that come with this book.


While no approach is foolproof, this book is designed to help you get an

effective strategic staffing/workforce planning process up and running

quickly and easily. If your organization is not yet creating staffing strategies,

these tools will ensure that you will get off on the right foot and avoid

many of the pitfalls that other companies have encountered. These tools

can also be used to jump-start or improve the effectiveness of an existing

strategic staffing process. If you are already developing staffing strategies,

the approaches and tools provided in this book will help you improve the

quality and effectiveness of your results. In either case, be forewarned:

Many of the ideas in this book may differ from what you think strategic

staffing/workforce planning is and what you think the process entails.

Just read it with an open mind and be ready to consider alternative approaches—

approaches that many organizations have found to be realistic

and helpful.

Search the full text of this book


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