Episode 01 – What is Strategic Planning?
Talent Marketing Solved: Why Do I Need a Strategic Plan?
What is a Strategic Plan?
Before we get into the importance of strategic planning, it would be helpful to define exactly what a strategic plan is.
A strategic plan is a combination of challenges, goals, objectives, strategies, and tactics that all work together to help you achieve your long-term vision. We at S2E use those 5 components (challenges, goals, objectives, strategies, and tactics) to provide both a broad overview of our clientâ€™s vision along with the specific steps weâ€™ll take to make it a reality.
So, whatâ€™s the difference between a strategy and a tactic? A goal and an objective? How do they interact with one another within the overall plan?
So glad you asked!
Hereâ€™s how we break down those terms and the role they all play in developing an effective strategic plan:
Elements of a Strategic Plan:
- Challenges: Consider exactly what your plan meant to accomplish, and define your specific challenge. Keep in mind that a challenge cannot be too broad. Everyone wants to hire more quality candidates, but how specifically are you trying to improve your recruitment process? Example: Improve our hiring speed and cost-efficiency.
- Goals: What am I trying to accomplish through this plan? A goal is a broad definition of what you want to achieve. Example: Increase hires, and reduce cost per hire.
- Objectives: Objectives are specific, measurable outcomes. These are the key performance indicators that will determine whether or not youâ€™ve been successful in achieving your overarching goal. Example: Hire 100 salespeople by the end of the year at a rate of $2,500 cost/hire.
- Strategies: Your strategies set the stage for each step you take on your recruitment journey. They provide broad overviews for how you will achieve your goals. Example: Engage our audience in more touchpoints to increase traffic to our career site.
- Tactics: What are the specific steps that you will take to implement your strategy? These are the actions youâ€™ll be doing on a day-to-day basis that will help contribute to your overall goals and objectives. Example: Run targeted Facebook ads and optimize our career site using SEO best practices to increase traffic to the site.
Why You Need a Strategic Plan
Weâ€™ve discussed what a strategic plan is and the elements that go into one, but we havenâ€™t yet answered the bigger, more important question: â€śWhy do I need one?â€ť
Another excellent question!
We could talk endlessly about the importance of strategy and thoughtful execution (after all, it is in our name), but here are just three key advantages of having a strategic plan in place:
- Gain Competitive Advantage in the Recruitment Market
Developing a strategic plan gives you the opportunity for self-reflection, allowing you to step back and really think about what youâ€™re currently doing and what you need to do differently to attract the best candidates in your industry.
Consider what youâ€™re doing now and what you could be doing differently. Then, using that information, you can fine tune your approach and tailor it to your unique needs and goals. That analysis and forethought will put you head and shoulders above your peers within this competitive labor market.
- Measure Effectiveness of Actions
Without a yardstick for success, how can you gauge whether or not youâ€™ve achieved your goals?
Developing a strategic plan not only helps you map out your steps in the future, it also shows you were youâ€™ve been in the past. Did reality live up to your expectations? Looking back at your plan at the end of the process will allow you to tweak your approach over time. It isnâ€™t enough to just throw more money into Indeed and hope for the best. You need to know just how your money and your time is being spent so you can improve the overall effectiveness of your recruiting efforts.
- Communicate Activities to Others Within the Organization
How do I explain all this to my boss? My bossâ€™s boss?
A concrete plan that you can distribute and present to others within the organization will make it easier to get the support (not to mention the budget) you need to implement your initiatives. Itâ€™s one thing to say, â€śHey, we need a budget increase so we can start running more paid social media campaigns.â€ť Itâ€™s another thing to be able to back that request up with detailed reasoning and a plan for putting those dollars to good use.
A simple, one-page strategic plan is all you need to start getting the most out of your recruitment efforts. Trust us, itâ€™s well worth taking the time to do it right.
Pull together a focus group. Discuss the specific challenges facing your organization with the people who know and can speak to those issues. Then figure out how to overcome those challenges. Without that information, youâ€™re really just taking a shot in the dark.
Ready to take a deep dive into the world of strategic planning? Stay tuned for the second episode of our Podcast, Talent Marketing Solved, for the detailed breakdown of a real-world strategic plan we developed for one of our clients. Or, contact S2E Solutions for expert help developing and implementing your own strategic plan.