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Staffing: Follow the K.I.S.S. Principal!

Many times, the simplest solutions are the best ones. This is especially true when it comes to staffing the successful organization. Too many managers complicate what can be an essentially simple process. The key is to function as an excellent investigative reporter.

The first thing a reporter learns is the importance of the "5Ws and an H!" The initial approach to a staffing opportunity should be to follow those same rules, but being sure not to overlook the obvious while investigating.

An obvious place to start is "who left?" What position did they hold? Why did they leave? Where did they go? When did we find out? How could we have retained them? Perhaps the initial question is "who has the opening?" What are the requirements of the position? Where can we find the person needed? When must the opening be filled? How was the need for the opening determined? Or, "who is the best candidate?" What are their credentials? Where have they worked previously? Why do we think they're the best? When are they available? How will they fit in with our group?

Beginning the process with a questioning motif keeps us from immediately plunging into the hiring frenzy. Stepping back and asking these simple questions can bring a wealth of information. If an employee left because of a problem in the organization, we cannot expect to retain a new employee in that position until the problem is fixed. An employee or employees who leave to take positions at the same position(s) at different organizations give us key information as to our competition - perhaps we need to examine our policies regarding salary or benefits or vacations. Why is a new position needed - could other positions be combined to free up a person? Is the manager merely empire-building? Analysis of a new position often leads to a reassessment of the organization and a regrouping that in the end is more effective than an additional person would have been.

Who, what, why, where, when and how. Six simple questions, but keeping it simple is the key in successful staffing!

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