Finance’s hiring plan problem: Why it’s such a pain to maintain plan accuracy and visibility

This blog takes a look at why it’s such a pain to build and maintain an accurate hiring plan that’s visible to all key stakeholders in the process.
min read
January 6, 2023
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Finance teams are often held accountable to the annual hiring plan for their organization. 

Unfortunately, many Finance professionals dread this process. It requires a significant level of information-sharing across teams and disciplines. In other words, Finance can’t do it alone – but collaborating in an effective way is really challenging. 

That’s typically due to the tools that most companies use to build and execute these plans: spreadsheets.

Let’s take a closer look at Finance’s hiring plan problem and why it’s such a pain to organize the team around one unified and approved process.

What is a hiring plan?

A hiring plan outlines the steps and strategy that a company will use to recruit and hire new employees. A hiring plan can help an organization to effectively identify and attract the right candidates, and to ensure that the hiring process is smooth and efficient.

It typically includes information about the types of positions that need to be filled, the qualifications and skills that the ideal candidate should have, compensation bands for the different positions, and the timeline for conducting interviews and making offers.

Why is the hiring plan a problem

Let’s be clear. The hiring plan is not the problem. But building and maintaining it creates significant challenges, especially for Finance teams.

For most companies, the hiring plan lives in a spreadsheet, which then gets duplicated and edited so that everyone in the org can view and use it. Meanwhile, Finance owns the “master” spreadsheet because they provide the overall company budget. They also have to use the master sheet to forecast revenue, burn rate, runway, and more. 

However, when Finance owns the master spreadsheet, it means that each department, including HR and Recruiting, needs to provide information to the Finance team about their hiring needs and expectations so that Finance can maintain an accurate record of the plan and forecast. 

It also means that Finance needs to remain in constant communication with other leaders as the plan is carried out and as it changes. The fact is that the hiring plan is always evolving throughout the entire year, so new information is always needed in the spreadsheet. 

Why building and maintaining the hiring plan is so painful

There are two main reasons why many finance leaders hate maintaining the hiring plan. 

1. They don’t have the right tools to collaborate on the plan.

While many Finance processes are cross-functional, few require more collaboration and transparency than a hiring plan. But very few Finance teams have access to the collaborative tools they need to streamline communication, decision-making, and approvals.

They end up having headcount discussions with dozens of people across multiple channels and threads that are difficult to track and audit. This leads to unreliable data in the master spreadsheet and miscommunications about the hiring plan. 

This level of manual effort also takes a huge amount of time, a problem that gets magnified as the plan changes.

2. The plan is constantly changing

Building a plan is tough, but keeping it up to date is even tougher. Once the plan is created, it quickly becomes outdated as hiring begins, teams achieve goals (or miss them), and people leave the company.

As the plan changes, Finance leaders often end up relying on Talent and HR folks to update their own spreadsheets so that Finance can reconcile the data with their master spreadsheet. 

But due to the many iterations, the spreadsheets end up becoming unreliable and inaccurate. Not to mention, in fast-changing business environments, recruiters and hiring managers are often moving very quickly, so updating the spreadsheet falls to the bottom of their to-do list.

Finance tries to remedy this by setting recurring meetings to review and analyze the plan in detail, maybe each month or quarter. However, because the meetings and data reconciliation aren’t happening in real-time, the spreadsheet is outdated almost as soon as the data is entered. Old data is detrimental to Finance’s ability to forecast accurately.

This type of reliance on in-person meetings and manual data reconciliation is not only challenging, but again is very time-consuming. For some companies, it eats up 35-40 hours a month.

Making hiring plans easier with TeamOhana’s headcount management platform

Our platform was designed to make building and maintaining hiring plans easier than ever. All hiring plan information is housed in one central location that all stakeholders in the hiring process can access with the right permissions. 

The platform is equipped with attribute-based permissions so everyone – Finance, HR, Recruiters, and hiring managers – can use it and gain visibility into the plan and how it’s going. 

Finance streamlines their approval process so that every new headcount is approved before hiring starts. 

Most importantly, all headcount are synced between TeamOhana, ATS, and HRIS systems. Any time a change is made in one of those systems, such as an offer is sent to a candidate or a start date changes, the update automatically pushes to TeamOhana. You can cancel your recurring “spreadsheet update” meeting - or shift the focus to be more strategic and meaningful.

TeamOhana gives you trustworthy data around the hiring plan so you can calculate your current and future effective headcount and drive real-time, accurate forecasts.

Solving Finance’s hiring plan problem

While hiring plans are always going to change, having the right tools in place can really help Finance solve their hiring plan problem.

With a headcount management platform like TeamOhana, Finance can collaborate across teams and get access to always-updated headcount information that enables them to create more accurate forecasts and guide the business.

We created an e-book for Finance leaders to go deeper into how they can improve hiring and headcount planning at your fast-changing business. Download it now → 

To learn more about TeamOhana and strategic headcount management, contact us.

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