How to make a hiring plan that stands up financially

Timothy Ware on November 25, 2021

As your user base increases month to month, you’ll naturally need more employees. Your customer success teams need to grow with your user base to maintain a high level of customer satisfaction.

Your marketing and sales budgets, and the personnel assigned to those teams, will also rise.

A hiring plan is the basis for growing your team and organizing your future payroll expenses. A hiring plan allocates expected future expenses based on your revenue forecasts.

A sound hiring plan allocates these expenses in advance so that your team knows when they need to attract new talent, as well as their budget for onboarding them.


What is a hiring plan?

The hiring plan is a list of all the expected roles you will hire for over the next year, along with the planned month of onboarding and the expected salary range. 

It can also include a column that describes the milestone that needs to be achieved to officially greenlight the hire.

Hiring plans are a strategic tool in supporting a team within the budget constraints of your company. 

A strong hiring plan will consider the growth trajectory of your company, the prevailing salary expectations of your market, and the staffing requirements to meet your needs. 

With all this information at hand, you can predict who you need, when, and at what cost. That way, you are never surprised by sudden payroll increases or finding yourself short staffed.


Why should you use a hiring plan?

Simply put, hiring plans help your company employ people and operate successfully. They help prevent situations like staff shortages, which can quickly lead to burnout within your department and increase employee turnover.

Other benefits of using a functioning hiring plan include: 

  • It helps prevent decreases in productivity.
  • It helps maintain consistent growth.
  • A longer lead time for recruitment means higher quality recruits.
  • Maintaining an ideal staffing level reduces burnout and employee turnover.
  • Training and HR can anticipate their workload.
  • The talent acquisition team can balance their weekly workload, which reduces stress.
  • You are more likely to find quality workers within your budget when you give your talent acquisition team a reasonable lead time for hiring.

Build a stronger team by using a hiring plan

Get deep insights into MRR, churn, LTV and more to grow your business

How do you create a hiring plan that stands up financially?

You can create your hiring plan by considering the following steps:

  1. Interview stakeholders.
  2. Assess your workforce.
  3. Evaluate your hiring process.
  4. Define your hiring resources.
  5. Create a timeline for hiring.
  6. Align hiring practices and resources with needs.

1. Interview stakeholders

A stakeholder is anyone who would be affected by hiring (or not hiring) new personnel. 

This includes three groups of people: department heads, the finance team, and individual employees.

The individual employees will give you an idea of how much each employee can reasonably do in a day. If they seem bored at work, you can slow down hiring. If they are overworked, you might need to hire more in the short term to catch up.

Individual employees are also going to give you an idea of who is interested in moving on and what higher up positions they are interested in. If your customer onboarding specialist wants to move into a sales manager position, then you should be aiming to hire a new customer onboarding specialist instead of a new sales manager.

The department heads are going to tell you where they see gaps in their talent needs, as well as where they anticipate further needs based on their strategic planning.

The finance team is going to tell you about the expected growth of the company and your overall hiring budget. They can also better define when new team members should be hired and at what salary.


2. Assess your team

You should inventory your current workforce, including their abilities, future expectations, and any specific skills that may be lacking. 

One important part of this is looking at your historic turnover. Let’s say you currently have 20 employees and will need 24 at the end of the year. How many new employees do you need? How much will your payroll increase?

The answers will depend on your employee turnover and the salary growth expectations of your employees. 

Employee turnover is the percentage of employees who will leave in any given year. If you have 20 employees and your turnover is 20%, then you will need to replace four current employees in addition to hiring four new employees.

Let’s say you offer all employees a generous 5% raise every year. That doesn’t mean you can expect to only spend 5% more on your current employees. You may need to promote one of those employees to a new management position because of all the new hires. You might also have a developer who deserves to be recognized as a senior developer.


3. Evaluate your hiring process

Part of a strong hiring plan for the year ahead is to evaluate the hiring and recruitment plans of the previous year. The following are just some of the questions you should be asking:

  • Are you finding quality employees?
  • Are there new hiring channels worth exploring?
  • Are you filling your positions in a timely manner?
  • Do you have any star freelance or contract employees who you should be locking down?
  • Is your employee turnover improving?

4. Define your hiring resources

You should be taking the time to create an accurate budget to support your hiring plan. It can be expensive and time consuming to find quality hires, and the best channel may change year to year.

You should consider the following when defining your hiring resources:

  • Expected average salaries and salary range for all positions
  • Recruitment budget
  • Recruitment channels
  • Timing of new hires
  • Training of new hires

5. Create a timeline for hiring

The timeline for your hiring plan should be as specific as possible while still being flexible. If you expect to hire four customer service team members, is it better to bring a new person on every quarter or hire and train them all at once? Do you expect all four will remain on the team or should you hire five in expectation of one not lasting till the end of the year?


6. Align hiring practices and resources with needs

This is where you take your financial forecasts and compare them to the number of employees on each team you need to achieve that growth and deal with it afterwards.

For example, if you want to double your number of leads and user base, does that require twice the marketing resources or three times the team members? 

Afterwards, will your success team be able to handle twice the users with only 1.5 times the number of employees?

To get automated profit and loss statements, cash flow statements, and balance sheets, use Forecast+.


Frequently asked questions about hiring plans

-> Who builds the hiring plan?

A hiring plan is typically a cross-departmental responsibility. First, the finance team projects the expected revenue and user growth for the year ahead.

Then, the department heads in collaboration with their team members propose their needed hires based on that projection. They also stipulate when during the year the recruitment should take place as well as any milestones that need to be achieved to officially go forward with the hire. 

Finally, the talent acquisition team takes over and begins work on their recruitment plan.


Forecast+ is a cloud-based, automated financial operating model for your SaaS business. Use Forecast+ to operate your financial models for real day-to-day work. 

Connect your Quickbooks or Xero to Forecast+ so you can bring in your actuals to populate your Profit and Loss, Balance Sheet and Cash Flow Statement. Then, using that data on your advertising spend, fixed costs, and total income, easily plug in custom equations for calculations such as CAC, LTV and gross margins.

Use the Forecast+ built-in forecasting tool to quickly model hiring plans for your company. Start a free trial today.

Build a stronger team by using a hiring plan 

Hiring and recruiting go hand in hand. And with a strong hiring plan, companies can attract competitive talent while maintaining strong financial health. 

Forecast+ by Baremetrics can help you build the right hiring plan for your company. 

To start modeling your finances and effectively operate your business, import your bookkeeping and accounting into Forecast+. Get accounting and business metrics all at once.

Timothy Ware

Tim is a natural entrepreneur. He brings his love of all things business to his writing. When he isn’t helping others in the SaaS world bring their ideas to the market, you can find him relaxing on his patio with one of his newest board games. You can find Tim on LinkedIn.