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  • Writer's pictureKUSI Consulting

How to Avoid Overstaffing

A couple of months ago, KUSI Consulting was asked by a potential client to recruit a candidate for an available managerial role within their organization. Then a few days later, after we launched our massive global search for the best candidate to fill the role, I received an e-mail from the now client instructing us to halt with the search. When I asked if there was any particular reason, he stated that he along with other executives believed they already had a suitable candidate in mind; a current staff already working within the organization. They did not know whom specifically, but they believed one or two of their in house staff had the potential to be promoted into the role. After our conversation, they asked us to rather conduct an internal human resource audit to seek out this candidate. Following my conversation with the client, I asked our Human Resource Manager, Seth Osei Kodua, why the client hadn’t conducted an internal search before reaching out to us. That was when it dawned on us that many employers do not necessarily understand the human resource function within their organization.

In my five years of operating a HR Consultancy Company in Ghana, West Africa, I have come across plenty of businesses with more than the required staff strength; a surplus of employees with very little work to be done.

During a recent conversation with a HR colleague, who is becoming more of a mentor, he stated similar. In his own words, he stated, “a lot of companies in Ghana are overstaffed. I see it happen all the time.” I was glad to know I wasn’t alone in my observation but that reassurance was not going to solve this problem, which has now turned into a crisis.

A couple of weeks ago, the Bank of Ghana consolidated five local banks into what it calls the Consolidated Bank Ghana (CBG) limited after the banks had their licenses revoked.

Since the incident, it has been reported that one of the banks was overstaffed compared to others in the banking sector, causing a drain on its financials. Seriously? How? Where was their HR manager? These were just a few of the questions racing through my mind. How can overstaffing, something that could have been easily avoided be the downfall of a bank that has been operating for 20 years? Somebody dropped the ball, a ball, which now holds the fate of around 3,692 workers.

I am not one to dwell on the past. The damage has been done!

Now, how are we as HR professionals going to tackle this menace?

Overstaffing is a waste of human resources, human capital, human potential and no doubt a waste of time.

So why do it?

Often, companies hire without actually having a need. The solution to your employment needs can be very simple and found within your organizations human capital. Before you spend money, time and resources you may want to search within your organization for that ideal candidate and the way to do that is to conduct an internal organizational audit. Start by asking yourself some key questions like, “Do we really need to hire someone for this role and if so, what exactly will they be doing?”

Conduct an internal workforce analysis to determine your staff strength and ensure the right employees are matched with the right roles. Review your budget to make certain you can afford to bring on additional staff. Implement effective pay grade and salary structures and follow up with an external scan to see what others in your industry are doing. They say comparison is the thief of joy but in the world of employment, it is a smart tactic.

Unemployment is a bigger menace but overstaffing is not the answer to our unemployment issue. It is a selfish and temporary act that will do more harm than good in the long run. Do right by your employees and pay attention to the facts and figures within your organization because numbers do not lie.

Remember, establishing a successful business that will live onward require time, patience and the right team. Take the time to assess your business every quarter, hire the right people who care about your organization’s mission and vision and use what you have to operate within your means. It may surprise you when you are able to achieve more productivity with a smaller team.

At KUSI Consulting, we provide HR auditing services to save you money, time, and retain the talent that is already within your organization. Let us help “U” clean house and manage your current staff so that you do not hire on a want but rather on a need basis.

Our HR Auditing Services Include:

  • Current HR Procedures and Structures

  • Compliance

  • Leave and Absenteeism

  • Employee handbook review

  • Employee timekeeping

  • Payroll administration

  • Benefit administration

  • Performance management processes

  • Leadership development

  • Recruiting strategy

  • Employer brand

  • Employee training and development

  • Employee grievances

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