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2. Planning Staffing Needs

Quick Planning Tips


Every time a position becomes open, managers should develop a search plan to fill the vacancy. Although there may be a sense of urgency to begin the search for candidates immediately, the following questions should be considered and addressed before posting the job vacancy. Strategic planning on the front end is essential to successful outcomes. Managers should consult with Human Resources or their department's human resource representatives from the start and throughout the course of the recruitment process, as needed.

  • Have the job duties changed since the last posting?
  • Does the current organizational structure operate efficiently?
  • Should other positions within the area that work with this position be reviewed?
  • How will this position help meet the department’s short-term and long-term goals?
  • What’s happening that might prompt different approaches to the role of the position?
  • Why is the incumbent leaving?
  • How much turnover has there been in this position? Can specific reasons be identified?
  • What would happen if the position were not filled? Is there another more efficient way to get the work done?
  • If appropriate, should team members or internal customers be consulted about suggestions for modifying the position?
  • How will the duties of the departing employee be distributed while the search is being conducted?
  • Should a temporary employee be hired to handle some of the duties?
  • Can the budget sustain overtime or additional compensation?
  • What measures can be taken to support the remaining staff while the search is being conducted?
  • What are the budget/salary considerations? (See chapter 4 for more information.)
  • Does the current workspace work well?
  • Could this be an opportunity for career advancement for an internal candidate within the department or within the University?
  • If appropriate, should the departing employee be asked for feedback?
  • Are the appropriate parties prepared to dedicate time to the search process?
  • When is the best time for the new employee to start? (Consider the cyclical nature of work in your area, vacation schedules, etc.)
  • How long can a temporary employee continue to cover a position without violating University policy or the terms of a collective bargaining agreement?

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Quick Planning Tips

  • Consider some or all of the questions on this page.
  • Gain awareness of current staffing needs.
  • Work with Human Resources to develop a full, up-to-date job description or, when applicable, to modify an existing standard job description or posting. (See Job Postings for information about support for creating job descriptions.)
  • Decide the type of recruitment support needed. Have a signed contract when using an executive search firm.
  • Determine your anticipated fill date and budget for the search.

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