What are the 6 functions of staffing?

Staffing plays a crucial role in the success and growth of any organization. It is the process of finding, selecting, and hiring the right individuals to fill various positions within a company. Though often overlooked, staffing involves much more than simply recruiting employees.

In fact, there are six key functions of staffing that are essential for building a talented and productive workforce. These functions include manpower planning, recruitment, selection, placement, training and development, and performance appraisal. Each function serves a unique purpose in ensuring that the right people are in the right roles, equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to contribute to the organization’s goals.

In this article, we will explore each function in detail, examining their significance and how they collectively contribute to the overall success of an organization. Whether you are a business owner, a human resources professional, or simply interested in understanding the intricacies of staffing, this article is a must-read. Join us as we delve into the six functions of staffing and unravel their importance in building a strong and capable workforce.

💡 Helpful Statistics About Staffing:

 During the course of a year, America’s staffing companies hire over 14.5 million temporary and contract employees.
       - Most staffing employees (73%) work full time, comparable to the overall workforce (75%).

 More than half (52%) of hiring managers say one of their main challenges in the recruiting process is gaining access to candidates with 
   the right skills. (Career Builder) 

 In the U.S., there are around 25,000 Recruiting and Staffing Agencies. (American Staffing Association) 

 Temporary employees make up about 2.1% of the U.S. workforce, which equals roughly 3.1 million people. 

 3.6 million Temporary Employees are Hired Every Year

 64% of Staffing Agencies Believe Remote-Jobs will be More Common Post-COVID-19

 There are About 25,000 Recruiting and Staffing Agencies in the U.S.

 Approximately 89% of US companies use staffing agencies to find executive-level talent.

Function 1: Planning and Forecasting Staffing Needs

Manpower planning is the foundation of effective staffing. It involves analyzing the organization’s current workforce and projecting future staffing needs based on business goals and objectives. By conducting a thorough analysis, organizations can identify any gaps in their workforce and develop strategies to address them. Manpower planning considers factors such as employee turnover, retirements, promotions, expansions, and technological advancements that may impact future staffing needs.

Forecasting staffing needs is a critical component of manpower planning. It involves estimating the number of employees required for each department or job function. This process considers factors such as workload, productivity targets, and changes in the market or industry. By forecasting staffing needs, organizations can ensure that they have the right number and type of employees to accomplish their goals effectively.

Successful manpower planning requires collaboration between human resources and other departments within the organization. By involving key stakeholders in the planning process, organizations can gain valuable insights and ensure that the staffing strategy aligns with the overall business strategy. This collaborative approach helps organizations make informed decisions and develop effective staffing plans that support the organization’s objectives.

Function 2: Recruitment and Selection

Recruitment and selection are crucial functions of staffing that focus on attracting and identifying the right candidates for job vacancies within an organization. Effective recruitment and selection processes ensure that the organization hires individuals who possess the skills, qualifications, and experience required for a specific role.

Recruitment involves sourcing potential candidates through various channels, such as job boards, social media, professional networks, and employee referrals. Organizations may also use recruitment agencies or headhunters to identify suitable candidates. The goal of recruitment is to attract a diverse pool of qualified candidates who meet the job requirements and align with the organization’s values and culture.

Once potential candidates are identified, the selection process begins. This process typically involves reviewing resumes, conducting interviews, and assessing candidates’ skills through tests, assessments, or work samples. The selection process may also include reference checks and background screenings to verify the candidates’ qualifications and suitability for the role. The goal of the selection process is to identify the best candidate for the job based on their skills, qualifications, experience, and cultural fit.

Effective recruitment and selection processes help organizations build a talented and diverse workforce. By attracting and hiring the right individuals, organizations increase their chances of success and create a positive work environment. Employees who are a good fit for their roles and the organization are more likely to be engaged, motivated, and productive, contributing to the overall success of the organization.

Function 3: Orientation and Onboarding

Once new employees are hired, it is crucial to provide them with a smooth transition into their roles. Orientation and onboarding are essential functions of staffing that focus on integrating new hires into the organization and setting them up for success.

Orientation programs provide new employees with an introduction to the organization’s policies, procedures, and culture. They typically cover topics such as employee benefits, workplace safety, company values, and expectations. Orientation programs help new hires familiarize themselves with the organization’s structure, processes, and resources, enabling them to navigate their roles more effectively.

Onboarding, on the other hand, goes beyond orientation and focuses on integrating new employees into the company. It involves providing the necessary resources, support, and training to help new hires become productive as quickly as possible. Onboarding programs may include mentorship programs, job shadowing, training sessions, and ongoing support from managers and colleagues. The goal of onboarding is to help new employees feel welcomed, valued, and equipped with the tools they need to succeed in their roles.

Effective orientation and onboarding programs have several benefits for both the organization and new employees. They help new hires feel more connected to the organization, reducing the likelihood of early turnover. They also increase employee engagement and job satisfaction, as new employees feel supported and prepared for their roles. Additionally, effective onboarding programs accelerate the learning curve, enabling new hires to contribute to the organization’s goals more quickly.

Function 4: Training and Development

Training and development are critical functions of staffing that focus on equipping employees with the necessary skills, knowledge, and competencies to perform their jobs effectively. These functions ensure that employees have the opportunity to develop and grow within the organization, enhancing their performance and contributing to the organization’s success.

Training programs provide employees with specific skills or knowledge required to perform their jobs. They may include technical training, soft skills development, leadership training, or compliance training. Training programs can be delivered through various methods, such as classroom training, e-learning modules, workshops, or on-the-job training. The goal of training is to improve employees’ performance, enhance their job satisfaction, and increase their value to the organization.

Development programs, on the other hand, focus on broader skills and competencies that enable employees to take on new challenges and advance their careers. Development programs may include mentoring, coaching, job rotations, stretch assignments, or educational opportunities. These programs help employees expand their capabilities, develop new skills, and prepare for future roles within the organization. By investing in employee development, organizations can create a pool of talented individuals who are ready to take on leadership roles or contribute to the organization’s growth.

Effective training and development programs have several benefits for both employees and organizations. They improve employee performance and productivity, leading to better business outcomes. They also increase employee engagement and job satisfaction, as employees feel valued and supported in their professional development. Additionally, training and development programs help organizations attract and retain top talent, as employees are more likely to stay with an organization that invests in their growth and development.

Function 5: Performance Management

Performance management is a crucial function of staffing that focuses on monitoring, evaluating, and improving employee performance. It involves setting performance goals, providing feedback, and addressing performance issues to ensure that employees are meeting the organization’s expectations.

Performance management begins with setting clear and measurable performance goals for employees. These goals should be aligned with the organization’s objectives and provide employees with a clear understanding of what is expected of them. By setting goals, organizations create a framework for assessing and improving employee performance.

Regular feedback is an essential component of performance management. Managers should provide constructive feedback to employees on their performance, highlighting areas of strength and areas for improvement. Feedback should be specific, timely, and actionable, enabling employees to understand how they can enhance their performance. Regular feedback sessions help employees stay engaged, motivated, and focused on achieving their goals.

Addressing performance issues is another critical aspect of performance management. If an employee is not meeting the organization’s expectations, managers should address the issue promptly. This may involve providing additional training or support, revising performance goals, or taking appropriate disciplinary action if necessary. By addressing performance issues, organizations can ensure that employees are performing at their best and contributing to the organization’s success.

Effective performance management systems have several benefits for both employees and organizations. They improve employee performance, productivity, and job satisfaction. They also enable organizations to identify high performers and provide them with opportunities for growth and advancement. Additionally, performance management systems help organizations identify and address performance issues before they become significant problems, ensuring that employees are meeting the organization’s expectations.

Function 6: Succession Planning

Succession planning is a forward-thinking function of staffing that focuses on identifying and developing internal talent to fill key leadership positions within the organization. Succession planning ensures that the organization has a pipeline of qualified individuals who can step into critical roles when needed.

Succession planning begins with identifying key positions within the organization that are critical to its success. These positions may include executive roles, department heads, or other key leadership roles. Once key positions are identified, organizations assess the current talent pool to determine if there are individuals who have the potential to fill these roles in the future.

Development programs play a crucial role in succession planning. Organizations should provide identified high-potential employees with the necessary training, experiences, and mentoring to prepare them for future leadership roles. Development programs may include leadership training, stretch assignments, job rotations, or educational opportunities. By investing in the development of potential leaders, organizations ensure that they have a pool of qualified individuals ready to step into key roles when the need arises.

Succession planning also involves creating a formal process for identifying and evaluating potential successors. Organizations should regularly assess the performance and potential of high-potential employees, providing them with feedback and guidance on their development. By actively managing the succession planning process, organizations can ensure that they are prepared for leadership transitions and can minimize disruptions to the business.

Effective succession planning has several benefits for organizations. It reduces the risk of leadership gaps and ensures a smooth transition when key leaders leave the organization. It also motivates and engages high-potential employees, as they see a clear path for growth and advancement within the organization. Additionally, succession planning helps organizations retain top talent, as employees are more likely to stay with an organization that invests in their development and provides opportunities for career progression.

Common Challenges in Staffing

While staffing is essential for organizational success, it is not without its challenges. Organizations often face various obstacles that can hinder their staffing efforts. Some common challenges in staffing include:

  1. Talent shortages: Finding qualified candidates for specific roles can be challenging, especially in industries or regions with a limited pool of talent. Talent shortages can result in increased competition for skilled individuals and longer recruitment cycles.
  2. High turnover: Employee turnover can disrupt organizational productivity and increase recruitment and training costs. Organizations must address the root causes of turnover and implement strategies to improve employee retention.
  3. Cultural fit: Ensuring that candidates align with the organization’s values and culture can be challenging. Hiring individuals who do not fit the organizational culture can lead to employee dissatisfaction and conflicts within the workplace.
  4. Bias in recruitment and selection: Unconscious biases can influence recruitment and selection decisions, leading to unfair practices and limiting diversity within the workforce. Organizations must implement strategies to mitigate bias and promote diversity and inclusion.
  5. Training and development gaps: Providing continuous training and development opportunities for employees can be challenging due to budget constraints, time limitations, or a lack of resources. Organizations must prioritize employee development and allocate resources accordingly.
  6. Succession planning complexities: Identifying and developing future leaders can be complex, especially in large organizations with multiple departments and functions. Organizations must establish clear processes and criteria for succession planning to ensure fairness and consistency.

Despite these challenges, organizations can overcome them through effective planning, implementation, and continuous improvement. By investing in staffing functions and addressing these challenges proactively, organizations can build a talented and capable workforce that drives their success.


Staffing plays a vital role in the success and growth of organizations. The six functions of staffing – manpower planning, recruitment and selection, orientation and onboarding, training and development, performance management, and succession planning – are essential for building a talented and productive workforce. Each function serves a unique purpose in ensuring that the right people are in the right roles, equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to contribute to the organization’s goals.

By understanding the significance of each staffing function and addressing common challenges, organizations can improve their staffing processes and build a strong and capable workforce. Whether you are a business owner, a human resources professional, or simply interested in understanding the intricacies of staffing, it is important to recognize the importance of effective staffing and its impact on organizational success. By investing in staffing functions and continuously improving them, organizations can create a competitive advantage and drive their success in today’s dynamic business environment.