Startups often cannot afford to invest large amounts of money into human resource planning and management. However, manpower gaps can be a serious downfall of any startup or small business.
Manpower gaps are situations where the existing personnel and their skills do not match the actual requirements of the company – demand does not match supply. For example, a company may have many staff, but they are fresh graduates and hence not experienced enough. Or a company has highly skilled staff, but they are overworked (or underworked!).
Such gaps in human resource can result in missed deadlines, unhappy employees, and even more losses for the company as it tries to correct such gaps too hastily. Fortunately, there are many platforms available to help plug manpower gaps more effectively, which are cheaper than hiring a full-fledged HR team.
HR experts are trained to conduct needs analyses for companies to figure out the exact number and qualifications of staff needed to fulfil the demand of the business. There are some sites online like 3M and CPS that make a good attempt to talk you through the process, however it is quickly obvious that this is not an easy task for a layman.
Because of the qualitative and subjective nature of the exercise, not many platforms exist that are able to do this analysis for you. However IFCA SmartHR has developed a Manpower Planning Management module that closely approximates a professional HR needs analysis. The module’s headcount and salary analysis tools allow you to determine if you are overstaffed or understaffed based on your yearly budget.
If your needs analysis reveals that there is an employee deficit, you can choose to either hire new talent or train your current talent to fulfil higher qualification requirements. If the analysis reveals otherwise, you will have to decide who to make redundant. The following platforms can help you with these difficult decisions.
Finding the Right Talent
Almost everyone is on Linked In nowadays – it is currently the world’s most popular web-based recruiting tool. Linked In provides an easy way to view a candidate’s job history, and will also allow you to search beyond your network for a fee.
Once you have identified a candidate, you can make use of applications such as Fuze or Jobatar to take interviewing to the next level. Fuze allows you to simultaneously hold a video interview while testing the candidate’s skills, and Jobatar lets you set up and record a virtual interview to view later.
Platforms like The Resumator and IFCA SmartHR’s Recruitment Management module help further automate the hiring process. The Resumator helps you post on multiple recruitment websites and filters the resumes you receive. SmartHR tracks internal recruitment needs, identifies candidates and arranges interviews from a broad talent pool, and instantly integrates successful candidates into your employee database.
Nurturing Your Talent
Sometimes it may be better to train your current talent pool rather than hire new ones. This solution is often more cost-effective and less disruptive to the work atmosphere.
There are currently many top universities that offer free online courses that your employees can take as part of their job advancement. For more control over content, you can also design your own training programmes for your staff using learning management systems like TalentLMS and Mindflash.
To help you determine who needs training in what, IFCA SmartHR has a powerful Talent Management module that records the employee’s Current Competency Level (CCL), determines which employee has the closest CCL for a task, and assists you to arrange and monitor the employee’s training and progress.
Monitoring Efficiency and Performance
One of the toughest tasks in any company, especially smaller, more personal ones, is to fire someone. Hence, the decision to terminate an employee must be made very carefully.
Productivity levels are a good indicator of whether employees are pulling their weight, or if there is inadequate workload. iDoneThis is an easy way to monitor who is doing what in a team, and who is slacking off. Another application, Hppy, tracks your employees’ engagement levels and allows employees to give anonymous feedback on team members. This will help you determine who is holding the team back.
Applications like Workforce Growth and the Appraisal Management module under IFCA SmartHR can help small companies assess staff performance against agreed upon Key Performance Indicators. When combined with the other SmartHR modules, the Appraisal Management tool can even flag learning gaps. If a learning gap is too big, it may be more prudent to replace the employee rather than train them.
With all these affordable applications easily accessible on the web or cloud, human resource planning no longer has to be a daunting task for a startup. Investing in all-in-one HR platforms are a cost-effective and time-saving way to ensure that your company’s manpower levels are always at its most optimum.
The Internet is an infinite space that holds limitless possibilities for entrepreneurs to harness. Know of any more useful online tools that will help entrepreneurs like you? Let everyone know in the comments below!