by Jonathan Lister , Demand Media
The difference in a proactive versus reactive human resource management strategy comes down to planning and forethought. As a small-business owner, a proactive strategy can help you anticipate problems in staffing levels and employee training. A reactive strategy, while less devoted to planning and risk management, is definitely cheaper and may be more cost effective for your small business.
Employee Recruitment Strategies
A proactive recruitment strategy in human resources management emphasizes anticipation of your small-business’s staffing needs. This can manifest in several ways, including keeping promising job applications on file to provide a ready pool of prospective workers as well as conducting rolling interview cycles to keep a constant flow of new employees entering your company. Conversely, a reactive human resources strategy only works to meet an identifiable need. That means no interviews or advertising for employment opportunities until your business has an immediate job opening. Your company may still take submitted employee applications but will not review these applications until the need arises.
HR Risk Management
The planning associated with a proactive human resources management strategy allows your team to anticipate crises in staffing levels and employee training. By anticipating these shortfalls, your HR team can develop strategies to mitigate the damage and keep productivity at a relatively constant level. This keeps your revenue stream flowing evenly. A reactive model of human resources management responds to crises as each occurs. As a result, you could experience a sudden drop in productivity due to fluctuating staff levels or lagging employee training while your company’s HR department scrambles to develop workable solutions.
Attracting Top Talent
Attracting the best employees in your business’s industry doesn’t happen by accident. A proactive human resources strategy coupled with a competitive benefits package is necessary to make the brightest workers notice your business and apply for jobs. A proactive strategy involves advertising the strengths of your business, its position in the industry and the long-term goals of your company. A reactive human resources management strategy is only going to secure the best workers who happen to apply for open positions with your company — not the best the entire industry has to offer.
The Money Problem
A proactive human resource management strategy takes the devotion of an entire department in your company. This may be difficult to pull off in the early years if you are a small-business owner with tight overhead and an unreliable revenue stream. Your company may find a reactive human resources strategy a necessary evil until you can generate enough revenue to fund a full HR department. A reactive HR strategy may sound like no strategy at all, but if you devote your attention to staffing problems as soon as problems occur, your business can mitigate the damage and continue operating.