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Dilanka Dilanka is a Business Development Manager at IceHrm. You can contact her at dil[at]

How to Create a Hiring Plan That Works

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Imagine working in the tourism industry and starting posting ads for seasonal positions a month before the season starts? We all know this will be a disaster. Because we all know that finding and hiring good seasonal workers takes time and money, and that poor planning can result in significant losses.

But why should it be different in another industry? If you look at it that way, you will soon realize that it shouldn't be that way.
Hiring is much more than just posting a job online and searching for your future colleagues. Achieving good results requires good planning and a strategic approach right up to the C-level. However, if you can develop a strategy that guides the entire HR and talent acquisition team, you can not only take a more structured approach to hiring and know your goals, but also realize significant savings.

What is a hiring plan?

At first glance, a hiring plan is no more than a spreadsheet with budgeting and an expected headcount for the following year. But to get to these numbers, the leadership needs to make some significant strategic changes.

Therefore, you need to create a strategic hiring plan if you don't want to make your hiring process wishful thinking.

But each strategy needs solid ground and suitable steps to kickstart your efforts.

Here are some core steps you should take to create a strategic hiring plan:

  1. Gather relevant data about your current hiring process
  2. Determine goals for your annual hiring plan
  3. Determine timeline: When should we fill these positions

Collect relevant data about your current hiring process
The key to success is having insight into relevant data and knowing how to turn that data into action. When creating a hiring plan and determining your hiring strategy, the same rules apply - you need data to plan your hiring.

The first step in creating a good hiring plan requires a good understanding of the current hiring timeline, resources currently spent, and average headcount. Once you know the numbers for two key steps in the hiring process - cost per hire and time to hire - you can create a plan for future improvements.

Set hiring goals
After carefully analyzing the current state of your hiring process, it's time to take your hiring plan a step further. What are your hiring goals? Is your company spending too much money on new hires and having a high turnover rate? Is the time to hire too long making the process inefficient?

Only when you know your goals can you set about achieving them. For example, let's say the time to hire is too long and you're spending too many resources. In this case, you might consider setting better hiring practices, planning more in advance, or using hiring resources more wisely.

For example, let's say you know you want to hire two new employees in the marketing department in the next six months. Based on your current hiring data, you know it will take two months to find enough relevant applicants to fill your positions. In this case, your hiring plan should take these elements into account and require you to obtain all approvals and budgets for these two hires.

Set a schedule
Similar to setting hiring goals, your hiring plan needs a timeline. Without a proper schedule, there is no good planning. For many recruiters and managers, hiring goes in cycles with months where it feels like you don't have a free minute and months where there is too much free time. But with a coherent annual plan, good goal setting, and a realistic timeline for all future hiring, you can manage your budget and time so that your hiring process is highly efficient.

Formalize your hiring plan with job postings
Once you have your hiring plan in place, you can formalize it with job postings. A job application is a formal document that department heads use to request the hiring of new employees.

A job application is important because it indicates the department head's need for new employees. It serves as an application for the new hire and provides an explanation for this need and determines the budget required for a new hire.

The problem with job applications is often the wait for approval, especially when there are many people involved in the process. Luckily, we have solved this problem for you. Read this article to get a comprehensive understanding of job requirements and how you can use them to streamline the hiring process!

Use Job Requisitions the Right Way: Approvals Made Easy: How to Solve the Job Requirements Problem for Hiring Managers.

What are the core benefits of having a hiring plan

Setting in place a hiring plan with predetermined actions will improve the success of your hiring process in several elements:

  • Align all departments
  • Identify your hiring needs
  • Plan & track your budget
  • Plan recruiter's workflow
  • Save time & money

Align all departments

Strategic hiring requires involvement from management, and the responsibility of executing it goes all the way to a specific recruiter. Therefore, having all levels of the organization aligned on the goals and objectives will lead to more structured and goal-oriented hiring. Once the management sets goals for the upcoming year with predefined resources, talent acquisition can move forward to plan hiring for each department and prioritize their hiring needs based on a reasonable timeline.

When the management and the rest of the organization aren't aligned on the goals and hiring needs, confusion quickly occurs, and dissatisfaction creeps in. Therefore, avoiding practicing ad hoc hiring and having plans change every few months by having everyone aligned on priorities and goals will improve the success of your hiring department and the entire organization.

Identify your hiring needs

A critical benefit of a well-planned and executed hiring plan is identifying future hiring needs. Once you have all elements gathered in one place, including turnover rate, cost per hire, the average time to hire, headcount, and organizational goals for the upcoming year, you will confidently identify your future hiring needs.

A plan that was originally set in place may change once you have all those numbers in front of you. For instance, your organization might initially allocate a budget to increase the headcount by 20% of the development department. Still, once all expenses are calculated, you realize that the budget leaves space for hiring additional people to the team (or to another team in need of personnel). Therefore, a hiring plan helps you allocate your resources wisely and maximize your time and budget.

Plan & track your budget

Planning and monitoring your budget is one of the most important benefits of an annual hiring plan. A clearly defined budget and a schedule for using that budget will make this plan successful. Only when your departments are aligned, budgets for different functions are set and approved, and everyone is spending their hiring budget accordingly will your HR and TA departments be able to do their work uninterrupted.

Plan the recruiters’ workload
Does your company hire a lot of new employees every year? Or do you want to hire seasonal workers in the summer or during the Christmas season?

All of this impacts recruiters' workloads if these hiring peaks are not planned accordingly. It doesn't make sense for your recruiters to work overtime a month before seasonal hiring and have too much free time the rest of the year. Additionally, having a structure and plan in place for busy hiring periods due to graduate hiring drives reduces and optimizes recruiters' workloads.

Ultimately, such a plan leaves no room for different interpretations and does not leave recruiters guessing. This leads to better performance and increases the well-being of recruiters and HR managers because everyone knows when to focus on which task.

save time and money
The better organized your processes are, the more money your company saves and the less time everyone has to spend implementing the hiring plan. Additionally, leadership can ensure there is a unified strategy that is known to all levels of the organization, saving time that would otherwise be spent reassessing various situations.

Thanks to a coherent hiring plan, the HR managers of all teams and the recruiters can also be confident that they know the company-wide goals and their personal goals to achieve them within a year. By creating a hiring plan that works, you can increase the quality of hires and increase the productivity of hiring managers, all while saving time and money for the company! Explore IceHrm for streamlined HR solutions.

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