Budgeting for temporary/contract or permanent positions is a little like guessing how much gas you’ll use in your car next year. You might just need a little more or a little less – or let’s say you take a job further away from home; then you’ll need a lot more. The key is to gather enough information to get you close to the actual budget, then make sure you have resources in place in case you need more or less. The journey along the way may help you uncover bigger questions or issues – which can be as important as the final answer.
Tips to Plan Your Staffing Budget
Below are some simple keys to getting in the ballpark with budgeting for staffing.
Look at Past Usage
Take a look at what you spent this year on staffing. But, rather than just paying attention to the sheer numbers, look at how you categorize them and if you have all of the data. If you don’t have certain categories of spend (for example, independent contractors), or if you can’t get the data from the systems you have, you’re probably missing some of your spend. Focus on having all non-employee types accounted for, along with any hires that are obtained through outside resources like staffing agencies and executive search firms.
Talk To Your Hiring Managers
Get to know what types of positions they hire for and WHY they hire workers in the types of positions they do. For example, does the manager like to have temporary workers on a seasonal or project basis? Or, does the manager hire through a Statement of Work (SOW) process that is outside of normal temporary hiring? Or, are there certain departments that regularly hire temporary or direct hires outside of the normal processes?
Also, ask about duration – how long do they use the workers, or are they hired (or not hired) directly as employees? There are reasons hiring managers hire in different ways. Try to listen without judgment and understand how these actions impact how your organization hires overall.
Divide and Conquer Labor Pools
Group the types of hires you have into big buckets. This will help you determine which segment you can control or which ones you understand better than others. It’s a tall order to manage and control all types of hires (but it can be done!), and it’s better to be able to manage some or most, rather than trying to get your arms around them all at once.
Categorize them into groups like: critical skill positions, high volume positions, corporate positions, remote positions. The idea is to understand where and what is distinct about the populations of workers you hire.
If you take the data above from the three areas and list them in your buckets, you can start to get an idea of what you do know, and what you don’t know. Now assign values to these hires; numbers of workers potentially needed and where they will come from (internal resources, external partners, etc.). Lastly, assign dollar values to the workers as temporary hires, or fees for executive search.
By tackling the steps above, you can analyze your hiring needs, determine associated costs and start to make decisions on whether or not you have the resources (both dollars and manpower) to hire the workers you need. Or which areas you need to prioritize. There are many points in this journey that may be “Ah Ha!” moments. Those are the real keys to figuring out the costs and ways to get the right talent into your organization when you need them.
About the Author: Matt Rivera serves as Vice President, Marketing and Communications and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of Yoh’s marketing and brand communications. Matt holds a degree in Journalism/Public Relations and has been working in the staffing industry for more than 25 years. Prior to this role, Matt held many different roles from branch recruiting and proposal writing to technology management and online marketing.