Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on discussing hiring and staffing needs.
Any time we plan a new project, develop a new product, open a new office, or expand a business operation, we need to discuss staffing needs. How many people do we need? What type of work will they do? What qualifications do they need? Where can we find them? What will we pay them? These are all questions that must be resolved if we are to make sure we’ve got the right people in the right jobs.
As they discuss staffing, the speakers in today’s dialog will use many expressions that we call “collocations.” Learning collocations will help you improve your vocabulary and help you sound more natural in English. But what exactly is a collocation? Simply put, a collocation is a natural combination of words. It’s an expression that English speakers commonly use. For example, we often say that something “meets a need” or “fills a need.” That sounds natural. But if you say “take a need” or “makes our needs”, people won’t understand. Those combinations aren’t natural collocations.
As you listen to the discussion, try to pick out some of these English collocations and we’ll discuss them later in the debrief.
In the dialog, we’ll hear a conversation between three managers who work for a fiber optics company that is starting a new production line. Carla works in the finance department, Hank is the HR manager, and Paul is a production manager. Together, they’re talking about how to staff, or recruit new workers, for the new venture.
1. Why does Carla think it will be difficult to bring in 15 new people?
2. What does Hank suggest about staffing the new project?
3. What kind of work does Paul say they will need to hire new people for?