Staff planning

Organizing employees’ tasks and jobs is essential for an SME. With this in mind, various internal and external parameters should be considered.

Within an SME, it is important to carry out an evaluation of the number of employees with the necessary skills in order to respond to the company’s current and future tasks.

As a general rule, planning human resources is divided into three sections:

  • The need to replace employees
  • The need to hire new employees
  • Reducing staff

Planning the workforce consists of a series of activities, the aim of which is to evaluate the supply and demand of work. Initially, therefore, the entrepreneur has to evaluate his or her company’s staff requirements in the short-, medium- and long-term.

It is necessary to plan the future and ask where the company will be in two, five or ten years’ time. An analysis of both the external and internal environments is needed.

This means knowing the target customer base, assessing the company’s strengths and weaknesses, and taking into account any scheduled departures as well as the status of the labor market, the competition, customer expectations and, of course, the profile of the workforce.

Evaluating skills

Once this analysis has been carried out, it is necessary to ask what skills the company needs and how many employees are required to do the work.

Before hiring new employees, it is helpful to ask how many people can do this work from the company’s current workforce, either directly or after appropriate training.

It is therefore necessary to be aware of the exact skills of all employees of the company, but also their experience, training, interests, aspirations and areas of expertise. This analysis can be carried out during an annual evaluation interview with each employee.

Evaluating discrepancies

If there is a discrepancy between availabilities and requirements, it is necessary to think about hiring one or more new employees. But it is also possible to find a surplus workforce or mismatched skills and therefore, the need to divest the company of one or more employees.

Hiring or dismissing employees are not the only options available. Companies can consider reallocating the workforce according to their profiles, setting up development programs, even reducing working hours on a temporary or permanent basis.

The mismatch of requirements and profiles available can occur if a subsidiary is opened overseas. Specific knowledge, particularly in terms of language, legal or market-related skills may then become necessary, even essential.

The same kinds of questions can be asked if the company is diversifying its activities in new sectors, or if it is taken over by a third company, for example.


Last modification 07.05.2021

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