University of Minnesota
Office of Human Resources
http://www.umn.edu/ohr
612-625-2016

Evaluate Job

It is important to consider how your vacancy fits into your unit organization. Has the work changed since the last time a job description was written? What are the work processes that need to be done? How does this work fit into the overall unit mission?

The goal of a staffing assessment is to create a structure that will support the work of your unit and should identify elements such as:

  • unit goals as a part of your department's strategic plan
  • the type of tasks required to meet unit goals
  • roles and responsibilities of unit staff
  • the number of employees needed to accomplish unit goals
  • skills required to perform those tasks
  • training and professional development plans for unit staff

A staffing assessment can be an informal process of reviewing your unit's current goals to fill a vacancy, or a more lengthy process involving information gathered from unit staff, clients, and upper management to fill a new position or redesign your unit's business processes. For more in-depth assessments, Human Resources Consultants are available to assist in project planning.

Staffing Assessment Approaches

Internal Approach

such as work activity, workload cycles, productivity levels, changes in technology, and changes in roles and expectations.

Questions to ask include:

  • What are we doing?
  • Why are we doing it?
  • When should it be done?
  • Who should do it?
  • Where should it be done?
  • How should it be done?
  • What support systems need to be in place to do it?

External Approaches

Analyze external units to see how they are handling similar goals and problems. Are there other units at the University that do similar tasks? Do you have contacts with supervisors of similar units at peer institutions? It can be useful to gather information on how other organizations structure their work.

In some cases, a more formal research process may be useful, such as:

  1. Benchmarking within higher education such as world-class organizations within higher education, with similar staff size and composition: How do other Big 10 schools staff similar units? How do the top schools in your field staff these units? How do they handle specific processes that you have identified as problem areas?
  2. Benchmarking outside of higher education: Identify highly successful organizations with similar goals and study the processes they deem most important. How do they solve similar problems?