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Lean Works for Continuous Improvement in Recruitment

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Written by Donna Horowitz, Head of R&D and Quality

Good athletes win more often than they lose, but what separates good from great is what happens after the game, regardless of whether they win, lose, or draw. Does the athlete get complacent after a win or discouraged after a loss, or do they begin the process anew by examining their previous performance to find out what worked, what didn’t, and why? Do they seek opportunities for improvement in both good plays and bad? And do they apply these learnings to improve their performance or fall back into old habits? Let’s think of using lean tools as a method of constantly beginning anew.

In Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO), using lean principles, methodologies, and tools in recruiting leads to improved outcomes and more value for customers–hiring managers and their companies. Lean also helps RPO companies use fewer resources to get a job done, creating efficiencies for clients and better margins for providers. There are many lean principles, but four lend themselves exceptionally well to recruiting:

  1. Eliminate waste.
  2. Reduce variance to eliminate “product defects.” In recruiting, a “product defect” is a hire that takes too long or ultimately is not a good fit for the job.
  3. Streamline processes.
  4. Respect people, including hiring managers, candidates, and recruiters.

By leveraging these four lean principles, continuous improvement of the recruiting process will be achieved, a serious and never-ending commitment Personify makes to every client and candidate.

Personify uses multiple tools based on lean methodology, including value stream mapping, standard work, A3 problem solving, voice-of-customer, and more. The one I’ll cover today is called visual management. Visual management is a way to “communicate expectations, performance, and standards or warnings in a way that requires little or no prior training to interpret” (https://www.100pceffective.com/blog/what-is-visual-management/).  

We create what’s called a “QDIP” (Quality, Delivery, Inventory, Productivity) board for each customer. The QDIP board visually defines weekly targets for each of the following (customizable for each client depending on their priorities).  

Quality measures include:

  • Time-to-source (the number days it takes to source the candidate ultimately hired for the position).
  • Candidate quality of hiring experience.
  • Submission quality (number of submitted candidates who went on to interview)

Delivery measures including:

  • Candidate submissions per opening.
  • Interviews per opening.
  • Offers per opening.

Inventory measures reflecting the health of each candidate pipeline for each requisition:

  • Pipeline viability.
  • Requisition health.

Productivity which measures efficiency:

  • Opening to team member ratio (active openings compared to team members).

We capture QDIP measures daily and visually display the data on boards posted near each client team. Data shown in green indicate achievement of desired targets, while red highlights areas where performance is falling short. We frequently review the boards with individual clients to identify performance shortfalls and potential causes to gain input, ideas and apply problem-solving techniques to address them. The boards are regularly reviewed across client teams to share process improvements, insights, and ideas. In this way, each client benefits from the shared knowledge of different teams’ experiences. 

Here is a sample summary chart for one client for one month:

                    

Below is a sample delivery board for a month. The number of candidates submitted per day is tracked against the target. For each day the target is not met, the number of additional candidates needed to “get to green” is recorded, along with the reasons for the performance gap. Over time, data is summarized and analyzed to identify trends and insights used for problem-solving.  

Using the QDIP methodology, we achieve efficiency improvements in major areas such as time-to-source, time-to-fill, and quality of hire as well as improvements in the individual steps to get us there, such as frequency of interview reschedules. We are expanding the QDIP practice to gain efficiency in other business areas, including recruitment marketing and client billing.

So, if you are looking for an RPO partner with a deep commitment to and track record of continuous improvement through the rigorous application of proven lean tools and methodologies, then Personify is the partner for you. We are never satisfied with current performance and always strive to get better at delivering the best recruiting experience for our clients, hiring managers, and candidates. 

Exercising lean methodologies and processes is like an athlete training on a never-ending mission to be the best possible version of themselves. You have to work continuously to stay in shape. At Personify, we stay in shape, and our clients gain the benefit from ever-improving performance.

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