How to build a business case for recruiting more staff

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If you’ve noticed that your team is stretched a bit thin, you may decide that you want to take on additional staff to help manage the workload.

The best way to go about getting what you need is by building a business case that you can present to higher management. The purpose of this is to display that you’ve carefully considered why you need more staff and how you will make it work. It could be in the form of a presentation or document, depending on what is most likely to appeal to the management in your company.

Before you start, have a conversation with the decision maker to gauge how they currently feel about the idea of recruiting. This will give you an idea of what kinds of barriers you may come up against, and how you can start to overcome these. Then, you should book a meeting with them, and start working on your business case. Make sure that you include these three key areas:

Review how your team are currently working

By auditing how productive your team are working at the moment, you will be able to find out how they would benefit from having more colleagues. Look into how the workload is distributed and how much time is being spent on each area. When presenting this to higher management, you should highlight what each member of the team works on each week, and stress the fact that their full schedule means that they are unable to take on any more work.

This is a great opportunity to explain how a new hire would improve the efficiency and output of your team. Establish that taking on new staff will not only benefit the team, but will also help to meet the wider business goals.

Highlight what will happen if you don’t recruit more staff

This should reiterate how important recruiting is to the success of the team, and company. Depending on what you found in your workload audit, you could include factors such as deadlines not being met, reduction in quality, customer dissatisfaction and the inability to take on additional projects.

Where possible, provide evidence. This could be figures, feedback or anything else that could strengthen your claim. Remind them that if a team feels stressed and overworked, their work suffers. This could lead to decreased staff retention in the long term, meaning you would have to recruit anyway. Position your idea to expand the team as the solution to all of these problems.

Outline exactly what you need

Naturally, management will want to know that the recruitment process will not be lengthy and expensive, which is why it’s a good idea to explain what kind of person (or people) that you are looking for. This should include a full outline of their role(s) and responsibilities, their job title, and who they will be working in collaboration with. This will allow you to decide what kind of skills and experience the ideal candidate would need to have.

From a higher management point of view, the new hire’s salary may be an important factor in their decision. You should give them a clear indication of how much you think the salary should be, with justification of why you have set this. Remember that while a lower salary may be more appealing to management, this could slow down the recruitment process and put applicants off. Try to argue a fair and appealing salary, suitable to the nature of the role.