Talent Management

5 steps every HR team should take

Think your business plan and strategic vision are important? Well, your human resources plan is just as critical.
An HR plan gets your people ready. It allows you to anticipate your future. It prepares you for employee turnover and allows managers to make hiring decisions more strategically. A solid HR plan that includes a succession plan can also help limit disruptions to your business in the event of an organizational change.

To create an effective HR plan, follow these five steps:

1. Review your roster

Identify your current employees’ knowledge, skills and abilities by evaluating their strengths, education levels, training and certifications. To find this information, review your personnel files for resumes, continuing education histories, performance appraisals and documentation of completed projects. A system that helps you to capture and archive your employees’ information (like an organizational chart) can make it easier to track your employees’ talents. In addition, use performance reviews to determine when employees are willing and able to take on additional responsibilities.

But don’t stop there. Consider the talent on your team that goes beyond current job descriptions. For example, is your data entry specialist also great with customers? You can discover these subtle talents by having formal and informal one-on-one conversations with your employees.

2. Create employee development plans

Creating an employee development plan will help ensure that your employees make a real impact on your organization’s goals. As your employees increase their skills and advance their careers, your business will be better equipped to forge ahead.

To keep your employees’ development plans on point, consider these tips:

  • Analyze business goals. Before setting objectives, align your employees’ development plans with your company’s needs.
  • Meet with your employees. Don’t assume that you already know your employees’ skills and aspirations.
  • Find out what skills are needed. After looking at your employees’ abilities and experience in relation to your company’s needs, determine what skills each employee needs to develop.
  • Develop a plan. Once you know your objectives, figure out how to help your employees achieve them.
  • Apply new skills. Create opportunities where your employees can use their new skills and get feedback.

It’s important that your company doesn’t neglect the employees you already have — especially the top performers. Even with high achievers, there’s always room for improvement, so make sure you attend to their professional development.

3. Create a succession plan

Change is inevitable with business growth. A succession plan can help you minimize disruption. When you identify critical roles in your business and the employees who have the skills for those roles, you’re better prepared to fill a position in the event of an employee departure.

You may choose to directly involve employees in the creation of your succession plan. This would mean having conversations with all of your employees to find out what their career goals are, where they see themselves in the future and what development they need to get there. In addition, you should always be prepared to keep your employees well informed about changes and explain how exactly a change may affect them. Transparency eases anxiety.

4. Complete a gap analysis

Use a gap analysis to identify what resources your company has now and what you need for the future. Begin by assessing your HR practices and infrastructure to find out where your company is falling short. For example, are your HR practices out of date? Some practices may have been designed to fit where your company was five years ago, but don’t meet your needs today.

When conducting a gap analysis, take a look at your:

  • Job descriptions: Do they match your current expectations?
  • Employee handbook: Has it been refreshed in the past two years? You must verify that policies are still aligned with employment laws. This is especially important if you’ve expanded into new cities or states with different regulations.
  • Training programs: Is employee training aligned with your current business needs?
  • Health benefits: Are you in compliance with the Affordable Care Act while also meeting the needs of your employees?
  • Sick days: Are there new regulations for sick days in your area? These are emerging in a few states and a growing number of cities.
  • Business performance: How is performance tied to benefits? If revenue is climbing, you might increase your contributions to your employees’ retirement accounts or award more vacation days. If revenue is down, you may consider scaling back.

5. Decide how to increase resources for the future

To find the best hires, you need to know what you’re looking for. Start by reviewing the information you gathered about your current workforce. Determine if you have enough people and if they have the right skills to help you reach your goals. As you decide what jobs need to be filled, you can determine whether you can make promotions or if you need to recruit new talent. Your skills inventory will be especially helpful in making these decisions.

Now look at your potential staffing challenges. There’s a chance that your current total rewards package doesn’t meet the needs of your ideal employee. Upcoming technology changes or factors in the current economy could also pose a challenge. For example, say you need a new technology, but there is a shortage of candidates familiar with this software. Being aware of these challenges can help you avoid recruiting roadblocks.

Remember: HR planning is ongoing. Review your strategy regularly and update it continuously as your organization grows.

Ready to begin developing your HR plan? Insperity can help you create an HR strategy that puts you on the path to success. Download our complimentary e-book: 7 Most Frequent HR Mistakes and How to Avoid Them.

Category: Talent Management

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About the Author: Emily Dusablon

Emily Dusablon is Supervisor of Human Resource Operations for Insperity.Emily Dusablon has more than 12 years of HR experience and is currently an HR advisor at Insperity. She is part of a team that provides assistance with HR client service…

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