As a growing start up, we need to plan for new people in every deparment (some of these are just 1 person, but future departments).
So Sales has its plan to double sales this year; meanwhile other departments need to hiring ahead of time, in anticipation. Have you come across any templates or processes you would like to recommend for making this process streamlined. A simple spreadsheet for planning this quarterly may also be helpful.
Develpment, support, Implementations, sales...4 main departments. Need to hire in synch ahead of doubling our customers. Any help on organizing this discuission / planing exercise will be appreciated!
I would put it as a ratio of the effort you expect to get:
Is this kind of what you were looking for.
IF you can add in a bit more detail about your specific business model
Then we can start to understand more what your specific scalable metrics are going to be.
I know it may not exactly be the answer you are looking for, but one of the main things I have learned in 14 years in startups - planning headcount is like planning revenue - wasted effort.
I have been part of the fun of building 100+ person teams in less than 3 years. I know I get a certain "high" every time I get to bring on another great team member, but here are the realistic things to consider:
1. Your headcount will highly depend on every person you bring on. 2 people who work well together can often finish off work of 3. That is why I say first 20 employees will make or break your company.
2. You keep your pipeline of candidates full, but hiring plans lean. If you see folks running at 90% or so capacity (depending on your risk tolerance) - get more help. I personally don't like seeing 100% utilization and not having candidates in the final round. Overworked people create more mistakes that require more effort to clean up.
3. Eliminate BS tasks with fervor! Before anything new is assigned to someone, ask the question: "is there a particular activity this person is doing not worth the $ I am paying him/her". From what I have seen, 10%-20% of the day is often wasted on BS you could eliminate.
So here are just a few things for you to consider. Hiring in a startup is an art, not science.
Unfortunately I don't know of any simple ways. Like you mentioned I just do monthly projections and quarterly summaries. You just have to know what's an input and what's a result. With my business I have to go the other way, from how much I expect to hire to how much revenue that creates. There's not much more to it but you'll probably have a few more dependencies.
If there is a process, I would put it something like this - none of these are concrete facts so it's just a starting point for discussion:
Now to explain that: Like Apollo says, you need to be flexible. If you can, use contract/part-time work to get extra help and get to know people before you need them full-time (but find people who are actually good and have long-term potential so you can make them full-time later). Not being able to give firm commitments to everyone makes things more difficult but it also lets you prepare a lot further ahead.
Are the sales projections proven? Not just in the total revenue/customers but in when it will happen? If you're absolutely sure how much business you're going to get in the next quarter that's one thing, but if there's a range make sure you understand it and prepare for the full range of possibilities.
As a planning exercise, there are two things that stand out here: