While having a business plan is vital to starting a new venture and creating a strategic vision is necessary for success, few business owners think about creating a talent plan for their human resources department. An HR talent plan, however, is just as vital as a business plan. This plan allows you to prepare your team to fulfill your vision and execute your business plan. It helps you with employee onboarding process development, prepares you for turnover, and outlines a process for hiring.

Without an HR talent plan, your managers may not hire the best employees or be ready when employees leave. This can lead to disruptions, especially if a high-level executive decides to leave the company unexpectedly. With an HR plan in place, you’ll be ready for this situation and others. Since most businesses don’t have an HR talent plan, many don’t know how to go about creating one.

Here are four steps that will assist you in preparing your plan:

Step 1: Assess Your Team

If you already have a business but do not have an HR talent plan, the first step is to do an HR assessment. Look at the team you have and identify each employee’s skills, abilities, and knowledge. What do they bring to their position? Which of those skills and talents are necessary to the job? Which talents do they bring that allow them to work beyond their regular duties? Some employers take these extra talents for granted until that employee leaves. Understanding an employee’s potential, beyond his or her current role, is key to the talent plan. This assessment should be performed at all levels of the business from the newest hire to the CEO.

Step 2: Look at Succession

If a critical manager, supervisor, or executive leaves, it can be very disruptive to the company. Entire departments may suddenly be leaderless, which can lead to a drop in profits and productivity. A succession plan will reduce these disruptions by creating a clear path forward. When a vital employee leaves, you will know which of your employees have the knowledge and skills needed to immediately step up into the vacant position. This will ensure that there’s a seamless transition should the need arise.

Having a succession plan doesn’t mean a business never looks outside the company for new talent. The company should always be evaluating its internal talent against the outside market. There will be instances where there may be no likely internal successor. This is one of the key reasons to conduct succession planning. By understanding these gaps early on, one has the chance to develop an internal successor or, when hiring for other positions, look for someone that could be a successor for a gap in the organization.

Step 3. Have an Employee Development Plan

Employees turn to HR for some different services. HR support in the employee development process is vital for those employees who want to grow and move beyond their current position. By putting together a development plan, you can offer employees a clear path to learning new skills and moving forward in their careers.

Employees need to play a key role in developing this plan. While supervisors and HR personnel may have their own goals and ideas about how employees can move forward, it’s the employees themselves who will implement this plan. They should have a seat at the table during its development.

Step 4: Have a Plan for the Future

While a succession plan will ensure that your business doesn’t see a disruption when a critical employee leaves, it doesn’t necessarily touch on how you can increase your human resources when your company needs to grow—including your HR department.

Eventually, you will need to bring in more professionals to continue growing as a business.

Your hiring plan should look at what positions you need to create, which ones need to be filled first, and which potential employees will fit those positions the best. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be able to see if any of your current employees should be promoted or if it’s time to bring in outside talent.

This is also an area where you can look at bringing in contractors or outsourcing some of your functions. Fractional HR teams, for example, may offer you the skills you need during the awkward period where you’ve grown beyond what your current team can do but aren’t yet ready to create a new position.

Regularly Review Your Plan

HR planning isn’t something you do once—like all of your strategies—it needs to be regularly reviewed and updated as necessary. If you’re not sure how to get started with your HR talent plan, you can get assistance from Lauber Business Partners.

We’re experts in the area of HR strategy and planning. If you’re ready to develop an HR talent plan, contact us today. You can reach us by phone at 414-273-8060 or by email at info@lauber-partners.com.