Strategic Workforce Planning for Small Businesses: Benefits, Challenges and Tips

Jennifer L'Estrange
October 15, 2021

Red Clover’s founder and Managing Director, Jen L’Estrange, recently provided her expertise to GoodFirms on strategic workforce planning.

We are a professional services firm, and our people are, in a sense, our inventory. We manage the workforce using a target utilization rate. We also know that it takes between 60 and 90 days for a new hire to be fully operational. So, when we are workforce planning, we loosely tie headcount growth to revenue projections, but we don’t lock in a hiring plan for the year. Rather, we will trigger new vacancies when we have an effective monthly utilization rate that is at target. It smooths out our hiring and ratcheting labor costs, and helps prevent employee burnout.”

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The Results

Construction and Contracting

A commercial roofing contractor was in hyper growth mode. They had goals to increase their field workforce to expand their service area to additional states and geographical locations. If they were to grow their field workforce, they would also need to increase their administrative, operational and sales headcount to support the additional workload created by increased field work. Additionally, they were challenged in workforce retention and development, experiencing high turnover, and did not have a dedicated Human Resources professional to manage employee relations and compliance issues that come with trying to scale a business.

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