Forecast Future Hiring Needs With Precision

Projecting upcoming staffing needs is a vital necessity for growing companies. Here are some insights on doing it right.

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By Heather R. Huhman

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Forty-three percent of HR professionals say human capital is the largest "investment challenge" for employers, according to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management. That's why employers should focus on forecasting future hiring needs before they're needed.

When it comes time to hire more talent, determine the type and how much talent is needed and whether there will be a talent gap within the organization. Here are some other considerations to take into account when forecasting future hiring needs:

Related: How to Manage the Unsexy Side of Rapid Expansion

1. Product launches.

Companies preparing to release a new product or service must determine whether more talent is needed to ensure that the launch runs smoothly.

For example, if a company is planning to launch an additional product line, will it need more staff to meet the demands of production?

In December, Ford announced 23 global product launches for 2014. To support the company's growth, Ford plans to add 5,000 new jobs this year.

2. Company expansion.

Companies charting an expansion to additional cities, states or even another country must determine their talent needs. Even if a business decides to simply create a new department, determining staffing requirements is critical.

For instance, Gap announced last month a plan to expand a distribution center in upstate New York. This decision is prompting the company to add 1,200 jobs over the next five years.

Related: Seeking to Expand Overseas? First Determine If Your Firm's Ready.

3. Employee turnover.

Companies that normally experience a large amount of employee turnover must calculate when such transitions are likely to occur and how to hire talent that will be a good fit for the organization.

OfficeVibe created a useful formula for calculating employee turnover. By using this formula, employers can better forecast their hiring needs.

4. Changes in the workforce.

The economy and the workforce are constantly changing. Employers need to forecast when they might next have the opportunity to hire additional talent.

For example, the U.S. economy will experience significant change as baby boomers continue to retire and more millennials enter the workforce. Kenan-Flagler Business School has estimated that by 2020, 46 percent of U.S. workers will be millennials.

Related: An Executive's Tale of Persistence in Hiring a Diverse Workforce for a Scrappy Startup

5. New business investment.

After a company decides to invest in new software or hardware to make its organization more efficient, managers must determine whether to hire new employees to run these systems. The same kind of calculation should be made if the company undergoes expansion as a result of attracting new investors or venture capital.

6. Changes in company goals.

Organizations planning to significantly revise their overall goals need to determine whether they'll require additional staffers to carry them out.

For example, if a company sets a new goal to recruit more clients, managers must determine whether to hire more employees to meet the demands of the additional clients.

How does your company forecast its future hiring needs?

Related: Seeing the Future of Wearables in the Workplace

Heather R. Huhman

Career and Workplace Expert; Founder and President, Come Recommended

Waldorf, Md.-based Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager and president of Come Recommended, the PR solution for job search and HR tech companies. She writes about issues impacting the modern workplace.

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