How to Create a Hiring Plan

Shot of a group of young professionals planning hiring strategy on a glass board writing with pens on sticky notes

From small businesses with under 50 employees to massive brands with staff numbering in the thousands, hiring great team members is a top organizational priority. Something so important can’t be left to chance or conducted by multiple people operating with their own ideas of how things should be done. That’s why it’s essential to have a hiring plan. 

A hiring plan can ensure you attract the right people, get the most out of your recruiting efforts, and hire as efficiently as possible. We’ll explain what goes into a hiring plan and how to create one to accomplish your organization’s goals.   

What is a Hiring Plan?

A hiring plan is a formal strategy that outlines a company’s approach to hiring. It includes how many people will be hired, for which positions, and the timeline for that hiring. It also details how those people will be selected. 

Hiring plans can be short- or long-term and can contain different components to suit your needs. For example, a short-term hiring plan might address your staffing needs to get through the busy holiday season, whereas a long-term hiring plan could cover how you plan to grow in the market over the next two to three years. 

Benefits of Having a Hiring Plan

Optimize use of resources

One of the biggest advantages of a hiring plan is that it puts everyone involved in recruiting on the same page. It prevents team members from unintentionally working against one another. Your hiring plan dictates what qualities you’re looking to hire for at what time, along with how fast you can feasibly hire. This way you don’t waste resources recruiting for roles that aren’t actually a priority or hiring people you can’t afford to hire. 

Provide a better candidate experience

When a company’s hiring process is sloppy and disjointed, candidates can tell, and it’s a big turnoff when they’re considering your offer. Having a strategic hiring plan forces you to get intentional about every step in your recruiting process and fine tune it so that it’s aligned with the image you want to convey to candidates. 

Hire faster

It’s all too common for HR staffers to reinvent the wheel each time they hire. They lack a structured set of steps to follow, so they waste time repeating work and performing manual tasks that could be automated. A hiring plan outlines a methodical process for attracting and onboarding talent, which means you can move through the steps efficiently each time you hire. Moreover, you can continuously refine the process to become even more efficient over time. 

Make more accurate hires

Because a hiring plan is a concrete breakdown of who you want to hire, it cuts down on hiring mistakes. Hiring mistakes are costly, but these costs are in large part avoidable if you invest the time to create clear and strategic hiring criteria. 

10 Steps to Create a Hiring Plan

1. Set strategic goals

Begin by aligning your hiring plan with your company’s strategic goals. These could include growing revenue, bringing new products to market, expanding your territory, or improving your sustainability–any overarching objectives the business wants to achieve. Identify key areas where hiring new talent can contribute to these goals.  

2. Understand your budget

We can’t emphasize this enough: before diving into recruitment, it’s crucial to have a clear picture of the financial resources available for hiring and to ensure that everyone is on the same page about those resources. This conversation should include company accounting leaders looking at the bigger financial picture and talent acquisition specialists who can weigh in on market conditions and competitive salaries. This will arm you with a firm understanding of how much you can allocate to things like advertising, sourcing tools, and recruiting personnel. 

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3. Prioritize hiring needs

Assess your current workforce and identify areas where additional talent is needed most urgently. This could be because of skills gaps, head count shortages, leadership vacancies, upcoming retirements, or any other factors that are creating a high-priority need. Prioritize roles based on business needs and the impact hiring will have on the business goals you identified in step one.

Related: How to Identify and Set Hiring Priorities

4. Coordinate across teams

Collaboration is key to effective hiring. Involve relevant stakeholders, including department heads, hiring managers, HR professionals, and third-party recruiters in the planning process to ensure everyone is working toward the same goals.

5. Put it in writing

Document your hiring plan, including details like roles and responsibilities, timelines, budget allocation, and performance benchmarks. Then, circulate the plan among the relevant parties. This ensures clarity, creates accountability, and promotes alignment across the organization. 

6. Define your selection process

Now that you know who you need to hire, it’s time to define how you’ll hire them. Develop a structured selection process that includes screening resumes, shortlisting candidates, conducting interviews, assessing skills, and determining culture fit. Clearly outline the steps involved, designating who is responsible for each step and how long it should take. This promotes a smooth and efficient hiring process. 

7. Allocate proper recruiting bandwidth

You know how many people you want to hire; now, do you have enough specialists to hire those people? Whether it’s internal HR staff, external recruiters, or a combination of both, ensure you have sufficient recruiting bandwidth to manage the anticipated volume of candidates and deliver a positive candidate experience. 

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8. Create a job description template

This is the perfect example of not reinventing the wheel that we touched on earlier. While you want to create compelling job descriptions, you shouldn’t write them from scratch each time. 

Develop a standardized template that includes a job overview, core responsibilities, required qualifications, and company selling points. When it’s time to hire, all you have to do is update anything that’s changed since you last used the listing and potentially freshen it up with some new language. Using a consistent format for every posting helps promote a strong employer brand and streamlines the requisition process.

9. Envision the candidate experience

Put yourself in the shoes of a prospective candidate and consider the experience throughout the recruitment process you’ve outlined. What does the first interaction with your company look like? How does the relationship develop from there, and what happens in each phase between the application and the job offer? What communications are sent at every stage in the process? 

From the first point of contact to new hire onboarding, aim to create a positive and engaging experience that embodies your company culture and values. 

10. Incorporate your employer brand

Your employer brand plays a significant role in attracting top talent and should be infused into your hiring plan. Strategize how you’ll showcase your employee value proposition, company culture, benefits and perks during the hiring process. 

By following these 10 steps, you can create a comprehensive hiring plan that not only addresses your immediate staffing needs but also contributes to your organization’s long-term success. Remember to regularly review, update, and optimize your plan in accordance with performance analytics and changes in the market. With a well-defined hiring strategy in place, you’ll be better equipped to attract, hire, and retain top talent in your industry. 

Pete Newsome

About Pete Newsome

Pete Newsome is the President of 4 Corner Resources, the staffing and recruiting firm he founded in 2005. 4 Corner is a member of the American Staffing Association and TechServe Alliance, and the top-rated staffing company in Central Florida. Recent awards and recognition include being named to Forbes’ Best Recruiting Firms in America, The Seminole 100, and The Golden 100. Pete also founded zengig, to offer comprehensive career advice, tools, and resources for students and professionals. He hosts two podcasts, Hire Calling and Finding Career Zen, and is blazing new trails in recruitment marketing with the latest artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Connect with Pete on LinkedIn