Welcome to the Lean, Just-In-Time Blog and Resources Page

Our published "Best Practice" recruitment tools, tips and thoughts are stored here. Each blog is keyword searchable (use the search function in the top right hand corner of the page). You can utilize these resources to immediately impact and improve recruitment performance! Our clients use these materials to guide continuous improvement learning sessions and to assist with the "behavior modification" process.

Are You An Effective Recruitment Manager? Mentor? Coach?

April 22nd, 2015

Are You All Three?

Over the years I have found that the “glue” in the elite recruitment organization is their leader.

As much as we talk about there being an Art & Science of being a great recruiter . . . the same can be said for a great recruitment leader.

Over the years we have wrote about this subject. Some past blogs include:

§  The Art & Science Of Becoming An Elite Recruitment Mentor/Coach

§  Coaches And Mentors – Do You Have A Weekly Communication Rhythm?

Another great article related to this subject: The Five Traits of Amazing Recruitment Managers.

Heck – We offer an entire Certified Education Program for the development of Recruitment Leaders – Recruiter Academy Certified Mentor Program .

If you are a recruitment leader (and or inspire to be one) . . . I would check out these posts.

I hope you find them worthwhile!



David Szary

LinkedIn Has Made Significant Changes To Their Search

April 15th, 2015

How will it affect you?

In early January, Linkedin.com made a very strategic change to their search availability. The change comes with both a challenge and an upside. The upside is that now you can see the entire profile for all of your 3rd degree connections. Prior to this change, you were only allowed to see a name, title field, location, and their picture.

The challenge comes if you hit what they are calling the Commercial Use Limit. If you find that suddenly your search results go fuzzy and you can no longer see the profiles, you have hit your Commercial Use Limit. This indicates to LinkedIn “that you’re likely using LinkedIn for commercial use, like hiring or prospecting”. Prior to hitting your limit, you will notice a status bar indicating when you have 30% of your searches left and will continue in 5% increments until you are locked out.

What is the number of searches until you hit the Commercial Use Limit? Ah, here’s the tricky part.

It’s different for every user. Per LinkedIn’s description “The limit is calculated based on your search activity since the first of the calendar month”. The good news is that your limit is reset at the beginning of each month. Wait until midnight PST and you will be able to search again. It is important to note that this search change does not affect your ability to search your 1st degree connections, but you do have to search them from your connections screen.

So what do you do if you hit your limit and you have searching to do before the first day of the next month? There are two simple answers:

  1. Use the Google X-ray command. The x-ray command allows you to run searches from google.com with results extracted from LinkedIn only. Regardless of the person’s relationship to your network, you will be able to see their profile. Even if you have no relationship to the profile, you will be able to see it. You can learn more about this and other LinkedIn search techniques in our Recruiter Academy Certified Recruiter Program.
  2. Buy a Linkedin.com product. Of course, this is the reason why LinkedIn has made these changes, to push power searchers to buy one of their many products. And frankly, it might be something you should consider.

This change can be frustrating for many. But the good news is that while you have searches available to you, you can see more profiles fully. If you find you are hitting your limit early and often, consider one of the above solutions.


Karen Antrim

A Common Objection Recruiters Get From Hiring Managers

April 8th, 2015

And 3 key ways to overcome it!

A very common objection from hiring managers (especially those inexperienced with hiring) is:

“I like ‘Sue’ but . . . I want to see more candidates . . . “

Of course, if you are on the fence with Sue, then it makes sense for the search to continue.  But for those times when you know Sue would be a great addition to the team, how do you get the manager to understand and react accordingly?

I’ve found three very important ways for overcoming this delicate objection:

1.      Empathy – Make sure they understand you truly empathize with their situation. If you were in their shoes (needing to hire someone), you would be just as cautious to ensure you hire the right person! In addition, make sure the manager understands that you WISH you had more candidates for them to interview. But at this time you don’t. The last thing you want your managers to think is that you just want to ‘fill reqs’ to get them off your plate!

2.      Comparison – While most managers want to ‘compare’ candidates available in the marketplace, a better comparison would be comparing the candidate (Sue in this case) with recent new hires that are performing well. How does their experience stack up? Education? Competencies/skills when they hired them?  Comparing an “unknown” (Sue) to a “known” new hire Rock Star is a much better comparison and can often make a manager feel more comfortable making a hiring decision.

3.      Keep them informed – You need to consult them on making a good hiring decision but . . . the decision is theirs.  With that said, if you know that there is a good likelihood of Sue not being available a week from now (someone else swoops them up), inform the manager.  Again – have empathy for this situation.

There is nothing more frustrating than knowing a manager should pull the trigger and make the offer and . . . they don’t and the candidate goes to the competition.

Be a good consultant and coach them through these delicate situations!


David Szary

Hiring Managers’ Input Drove Significant Process Improvements

April 1st, 2015

The Recruitment Process Should be Continuously Evolving

We’d like to thank Ashley Bicknell and Kara Schymanski, Talent Acquisition Specialists at MidMichigan Health, for this blog. You may connect with Ashley Bicknell and Kara Schymanski via LinkedIn.

A few years ago, MidMichigan Health System shifted from a generalist HR model to a shared services model with HR ‘Centers of Excellence’. As part of this change, a new recruitment team was formed and the immediate focus was to improve efficiency in our hiring process. Although the team had exceeded goals for time to fill and time to hire, our quarterly manager satisfaction survey did indicate two areas where improvement was needed:


  1. My Recruiters Ability to pre-screen my applicants
  2. My Recruiter spends time with me to learn about my open positions

The results of our LEAN Human Capital Benchmark Analysis reinforced that as a team, we needed to spend more time effectively partnering with hiring managers to learn about their vacancies and to improve the quality of applicants sent on for review.

We knew any changes to current processes would be a cultural shift in the recruitment department, but we could no longer ignore the fact that we were sending hiring managers triple the recommended amount of applicants per open position. Our data showed on average we routed 9 applicants per opening when we should be routing 3-5 per opening.  Now that the problem had been identified, we needed to find a way to improve.

Our organization turned to Lean Human Capital for guidance by attending The Recruiter Academy RACR program  in 2014. We had been sending a larger number of candidates to hiring managers, asking them to review and narrow down to the best qualified. As a result of the training, we learned about recruitment best practices, applying Lean principles by partnering with managers to only send them a small pool of  the best qualified candidates.   Our goal was to give back hiring managers the time wasted reviewing candidates not best qualified, so they could spend more time coaching and mentoring their teams.  We also finally had Lean’s Benchmark data to compare ourselves against.

We implemented the following best practices:

  • Manager intake session
  • Improved pre-qualification and ranking questions on postings
  • Applicant pre-screening materials (phone screens) and pilot
  • Manager training on full-cycle of hiring process

While the changes to our standard operating procedures are still in their infancy and will be under constant evaluation, we have already noticed improvements in our relationships with hiring managers and on our quarterly satisfaction survey.

Our “ah ha” moment was the realization that the hiring process is a dynamic one. As a recruitment team, we need to be constantly reviewing our standards and benchmarking with similar organizations to ensure we’re providing top-level service to our hiring managers. We need to be flexible and open to change in order to recruit top talent to our health system. For more information on MidMichigan Health, please Click Here.

Are You Recruiting People Stuck in Traffic?

March 25th, 2015

16 years ago, I did an onsite Training session for a company based in Seattle.  We were trying to recruit top IT talent in the land of Microsoft!

During a Mindstorm session (something we teach in Module 5 of RACR,  someone said,“Let’s do a billboard. Folks are stuck in traffic on this main highway. If we come up with a compelling message, a lot of technology folks will see it on their commute.”

After considerable laughter (who does billboards anymore) they executed this idea and it had a great return on investment.

16 years later, in this crazy world of technology, social media, and virtual connectivity . . . the tech industry is reverting back to this “old school tactic” .

Lesson Learned! Regardless of the industry you recruit in, you need to keep innovating how you find talent and effectively communicating why they should consider your organization. You need to stay one step ahead of your competition.

We can’t assume that tactics in the past won’t work now and/or that new ones are just a  ‘thought away’.

Innovation and creativity is key for finding and recruiting Top talent.

I hope you plan time into your schedule to think of new, innovative ways to find talent by Mindstorming.


David Szary

Peer Interviews Place Value In TEAM!!

March 18th, 2015

Why it is important to include a candidate’s future peers in the interview process

We would like to thank Erin Wright, Manager of  Recruitment and Onboarding at Lakeland HealthCare for this blog. To connect with Erin on LinkedIn please follow this link to Erin Wright.

2015 is the year we are going to make a difference! As I am sure most individuals working in recruitment can relate to, we understand how important it is to our health system to select the best of the best. Recruitment best practices, particularly manager and peer interviews, are critical. However, when it comes to real life, some of you may be able to relate to what our team at Lakeland deals with more often than we would like to admit – those hiring managers who do not understand the importance of behavioral team interviews. Many times, what it comes down to is – TIME & STAFFING. They simply do not feel like they have the time or staff readily available to properly interview potential new hires. So this is the year, our recruitment team is going to make a difference!

Research showing the importance of behavioral interview practices and the importance of conducting team interviews is plentiful, but getting our managers to buy in has been our struggle.  Do you find a similar struggle at your organization?

In the past, our recruiters would provide ad hoc team interview training to their associates as hiring managers would request. While this worked, it lacked the ability to measure the effectiveness of team interviews. So we made the decision to roll out  “Team Behavioral Interview Training” sessions to high performers within our organization. We are providing the training on a quarterly basis to associates who have the recommendation from their manager.

Below are a few key highlights that have helped to spark the interest of our hiring managers and encouraged them to slow down and realize the importance of Behavioral Team Interviewing:

  • Interviews typically last between 30-60 minutes.
  • Research has proven that behavioral interviewing techniques and involvement of staff in the interview process have contributed to reductions in first-year turnover (Implementing the Chief Retention Officer’s Mission via The Advisory Board).
  • You are better able to identify individuals most likely to succeed by using behavioral interviewing to screen candidates for service aptitude, not just clinical skills. Engaging team members shows you value them and their feedback.
  • A Sense of Ownership – staff involved in the interviewing process are much more supportive of the new hires they help select. Individuals understand that they are part of the reason the new hire is there so they want to help the individual.

As a hiring manager myself, I would be very hesitant to go against a recommendation that my interview team made about a potential candidate. They are the ones that will be spending more time with the individual and I need their support to assist with the success of that person. Our first system wide training session was the end of February. So while behavior interviewing and team interviews have been in place at Lakeland since 2006, I am confident that by providing additional education, these interviews will be more productive with higher success rates.

For more information on Lakeland Healthcare, please Click Here.

Developing A Proactive Recruitment Strategy for ICD-10 Coders!

March 11th, 2015

Don’t wait until it is too late!

Every healthcare organization will be faced with hiring trained, competent staff in order to comply with Federal regulatory mandates and the new set of ICD-10 reimbursement codes this October 2015.

Failure to have the right staff in place puts a huge financial risk on your organization due to the potential lost revenue and Federal fines (that could be levied) for not complying with these new regulation/codes.

On a positive note, developing a proactive recruitment strategy for these key positions is a perfect opportunity to demonstrate your recruitment team’s ROI to your organization!

With that said, don’t wait until you receive “the job requisition” to start planning and working on this hiring initiative. The demand for professionals with these skills already exceeds supply in the marketplace. Failure to develop a holistic strategy to this hiring ‘challenge’ will put your organization at risk.

Here are some tips on creating a proactive strategy to prepare for the ICD-10 hiring initiative:


  • Partner with health information technology leaders to understand in detail how the new set of coding requirements will impact your organization.
  • Using turnover and predictive hiring analytics, identify the number of coding professionals you will need to manage demand.
  • Temporary staff may be needed to fill in gaps.
  • Conduct a thorough intake session with leaders to understand the competencies, skills, and experience required for this initiative.
  • Perform a gap analysis of existing ICD-9 Coders within your organization to understand if additional training or education will be required to bring them up to the new skill set.
  • Develop a search strategy (we call it a Mindstorm) with hiring leaders to identify talented ICD -10 Coding Professionals.
  • Implement a Proactive Employee Referral Program to leverage your employee base in referring top candidates.
    • A unique award system for this critical position will provide exponential payoffs!

The bottom line is this. DON’T WAIT FOR THESE REQUSITIONS TO COME IN! It will be too late!

Use this hiring “challenge” as an opportunity to show how you can be proactive, strategic and positively impact a huge initiative for your health system.

For more information on proactive sourcing solutions, please feel free to Reach Out.

Deb Vargovick

Sourcing Power Hour #2

March 4th, 2015

Engaging Top Talent in a Professional Discussion

A couple weeks back, we discussed the value of the Friday Morning Sourcing Power Hour .

This is a wonderful time to engage top talent and set a time to have a Professional Discussion!

Over the last month, I have had the opportunity to facilitate the candidate sourcing modules within our RACR program  numerous times.

As always, we have had great dialog amongst students discussing the best time to source and connect with top talent.  Some great times for sourcing that were recently discussed included:

These are great time to reach out via email (or in-mail) to those you find out there (Career Builder, Indeed, Monster, LinkedIn, etc).

These are times during the night that folks are online and easy to connect with.  Now I wouldn’t reach out via phone during these times but . . . a nicely crafted, personal email can secure a professional discussion with a passive candidate curious about other opportunities.  Especially on Sundays when folks are reflecting on the long work week ahead of them.

While I don’t enjoy working on my personal time – - utilizing these ‘power hours’ to connect with top talent can save you hours of time sourcing during the work day!

David Szary

The Hidden Effects of High Turnover

February 25th, 2015

How to Combat the High Cost of Turnover

As the labor market tightens, it is more critical than ever to create a culture focused on retaining the top performing employees, especially for those working in hard to fill position. Some organizations are revisiting old “hostage practices” of requiring employees to pay back a portion of their salary for training costs and sign on bonuses if they leave shortly after their training regimen. Is that really best practice? Does that truly solve the problem?

Shouldn’t we work on solutions that help keep our most important employees employed in the first place? Haven’t we grown as a society to where we know people are motivated with positive rewards instead of fear of retribution? As organizations focus on cost reductions to achieve profitability, HR is tasked with decreasing turnover. In the fundamental spirit of Lean, You Can’t Manage What You Don’t Measure, how are you calculating organizational turnover costs? Lean Human Capital’s Turnover Calculator  is the first step in the process.

Understanding why top employees are leaving is the second step to developing solutions for retention.  A solid exit interview process will provide the top reasons for their departure, and you may be surprised to discover that pay is not #1. For many, the # 1 reason for leaving is because of a lack of opportunity for career advancement. Many organizations have career opportunities available, they just don’t do a good job of marketing to their employees.

The costs associated with sourcing and hiring an employee is higher than most executives think. We work with clients regularly to identify the cost of turnover for each employee in key job families, and they are astounded at the $$ that is identified.

Below, I’ve identified some best practices that will improve employee retention:

  • Design a clear succession plan for leadership and key positions.
  • Market and advertise employee development opportunities frequently using high visibility methods:
    • Cross training assignments are a terrific venue for employees to check out another department or position.
  • Develop an internal leadership development course/curriculum for those identified as high potentials.
  • Give internal employees the “white glove treatment” when they apply for positions outside of their department:
    • Offer an interview for every qualified and eligible applicant.
    • Provide immediate feedback post interview with the hiring manager for those not selected.
  • Reward and recognize those employees who perform well.
  • Engage folks in projects and other opportunities outside of their immediate job description.
  • Provide additional learning and educational opportunities.
  • Ask for their feedback on how to keep them highly engaged, a lot!

Have a Perfect Week! – Deb

Friday Morning Sourcing Power Hour!

February 18th, 2015

Engaging Top Talent in a Professional Discussion

Arguably, there is nothing more impactful you can do then sourcing for your critical to fill positions.

Think about it. Your ability to fill these positions quickly with top talent impacts:

  • Revenue
  • Cost Savings
  • Employee Morale/Turnover
  • Organizational Performance
  • Patient Safety/Satisfaction (if you are in healthcare)

With that said, when you are carrying 20, 30, 75+ requisitions, it is not an easy task to plan it into your day!

In our Recruiter Academy Education Program, we discuss the significance of:

  • Planning time for sourcing
  • Reaching out to top talent at the right ‘time’

A tried and proven Best Practice we recommend is Friday Morning Sourcing Power Hours!

As simple as it sounds, if you don’t plan time for sourcing, it probably will not happen. And even if you plan time for sourcing, if you have not identified the tasks (and or prepared your call list) you plan to achieve, you will probably see minimal results.

Why Friday Morning Sourcing Power Hours work so well:

  • Catching someone in the morning before their day starts is a best practice. They might not be able to engage in a long conversation but if your message is compelling, they will set a time to talk.
  • Fridays are great times to reach out to candidates as they wind down the week. And if they had a frustrating week, even better chance they will pick up phone or return your message.

Power Hour – Keys to Success:

  • Be prepared. Prior to the session plan the tasks (and or call list) you want to complete.  THIS IS KEY.
  • Source with a friend.  Planning and performing a Power Hour with a friend helps with accountability, etc. A friendly competition makes session that much more fun!
  • Think Positive thoughts.  The tonality of your messages (either verbal or written) have a big impact on your success.  Transfer the knowledge you have about the opportunity with feeling and excitement.
  • Do it regularly.  I would schedule out a Friday Sourcing Power Hour for the entire year.  While this one-hour will not fill all your positions, it will help!

David Szary