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.

Struggling to Prioritize Lean Solutions?

October 7th, 2015

3 Non Negotiable Practices Elite Recruiters Use!

Conducting a Rapid Improvement Event (RIE) on your recruitment process is perhaps the most effective practice an organization should initiate using Lean methodology. I perform several of these monthly for organizations across the country. The more RIEs I conduct, the clearer it is that there are three fundamental, high impact lean improvement solutions where you will gain the largest ROI. The biggest win… these solutions don’t cost you anything but a little bit of time.

These three practices are:

  • The Intake Session
  • Service Level Agreement
  • Weekly Communication Rhythm

When standardized and executed consistently by each member of the recruitment team, not only will you hire quality candidates who stay long term, additionally your customers will become raving fans of what you do!

The Intake Session – Meeting with the hiring leader, you gain targeted intelligence on the qualifications, skills, culture, and leadership style for the open position and department, allowing you to:

  1. Assess applicants for the best fit.
  2. Sell the candidate on the role.
  3. Draft a sourcing strategy to find top quality talent, quickly.

Service Level Agreement – During the intake, acquiring consensus on responsibilities and agreed upon time frames for each key process step between the recruiter and customer is a fundamental necessity for building a true partnership between both parties, and provides:

  1. Definition of the necessary time, including target dates, needed to complete each step in the process.
  2. Clarity on the hiring leader’s role in this shared responsibility.
  3. Education for the hiring leader on the hiring process itself, market conditions, and the nuances required for each step.

Weekly Communication Rhythm – Implementation of a weekly update with hiring leader that provides the leader with a status update of efforts and candidate flow of their opening. Benefits gained include:

  1. Helps build trust and credibility within the relationship with your customer.
  2. Notifies the hiring leader where candidates are in the process for effective communication.
  3. Notifies the hiring leader of their required actions moving candidates forward.
  4. Keeps the hiring process moving, minimizing delays.

These three lean practices are part of core curriculum taught during our 11 week, online Recruiter Academy Certified Recruiter Program. Our next class begins November 2, 2015.

I hope you are having a Perfect Week!

Deb Vargovick

ASHHRA 2015 – Lessons Learned

September 30th, 2015

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend Peter Segall’s learning session at the American Society of Healthcare Human Resources Administration (ASHHRA) conference in sunny (and humid!) Orlando. Peter is the President and CEO of HealthcareSource, a leading provider of talent management software solutions in the healthcare industry. As the President and CEO, Peter has a unique perspective on the market. He thinks macro economically. He thinks globally, the big picture if you will. While the presentation was directed to HR professionals and leaders in healthcare, his message transcends industries and is relevant to all those passionate about talent management. Peter’s message was simple; successful companies do six things exceptionally well:

  1. Find People for New Roles. Companies that sustain consistent and long-term growth will undoubtedly deal with drastic changes in the marketplace. In healthcare, for example, we’re seeing a new business model of ‘minute clinics’. CVS and Walgreens are now more than just your local pharmacy. They’re building clinics to care for patients on everything from flu vaccines to sinus infections and back pain. New business models mean new jobs. Organizations with an innovative and proactive recruitment strategy have a competitive advantage to attract talent with skills and qualifications to meet changing consumer demand.
  2. Train Employees on New Skills. When demand exceeds supply in labor markets, organizations often deal with rising turnover rates and difficulty retaining entry-level employees. In this type of labor market, successful organizations build ‘career pathing’ programs for entry level employees. When recruiting for entry-level positions, helping candidates understand career progression opportunities is critical. How does one get from bank teller to branch manager? How does one get from a call center to product manager? For a deep dive and further insight, my partner, David Szary, is hosting a free webinar on Career Pathing – JOIN US!
  3. Drive New Performance Goals. Harvard Business Review recently highlighted Deloitte’s redesign of the traditional performance review process (Reinventing Performance Management. April 2015. Harvard Business Review). Essentially, the traditional performance management process, cascading objectives, backward-looking assessments, once a year rankings and review and 360 degree feedback are providing very little insight when evaluating employees. Deloitte’s new approach separates compensation decisions from daily performance management measures and produces actionable insights that managers can use in weekly check-ins with employees.
  4. Optimize Process across New Organizations. When market dynamics shift, companies react. Mergers, acquisitions, strategic partnerships and joint ventures become commonplace. Merging two distinctly different HR functions is difficult. Companies that successfully merge people, processes and technologies gain tremendous competitive advantages when competing for talent.
  5. Sustain Employee Engagement in Times of Change. No secret here; employees are engaged when there’s a clearly defined path for promotion and their passion aligns with organizational goals and objectives. In growing industries, like we’re seeing in healthcare currently, top talent has options. Employee engagement in dynamic markets is mission critical. Is your organization creating action plans and employee development initiatives from engagement surveys? Or is the survey simply ‘checking the box’?
  6. Develop the Leaders for Tomorrow. Leading organizations have mature employee development programs. These organizations are using workforce planning analytics to define leadership needs in the coming years and are diligent about grooming their mid-level managers for success as leaders. Building a ‘leadership bench’ not only increases employee engagement and decreases turnover but also establishes the foundation for years of continued success.

Brian Brazda

5 Serious Risks With Hiring Managers Driving The Recruitment Process!

September 23rd, 2015

During the last month, I have had the opportunity to perform Value Stream Mapping of the hiring process with 5 different recruitment organizations.

With all 5 organizations, requisition loads per recruiter have increased significantly (3 of them are now averaging 100 openings per recruiter).

Based on work volume, 3 of the 5 have shifted the majority of the assessment/interviewing process to the hiring manager.

The basic process is as follows:

  • The recruiter qualifies/posts the position.
  • The recruiter visually qualifies candidates for minimum qualifications.
  • The recruiter routes (or makes reviewable) candidates to hiring manager.
  • Hiring manager schedules interviews, interviews candidates, and selects finalists.
  • The recruiter then makes the offer.

When you have limited resources, I can understand how organizations end up “shifting” work to the hiring manager to assist in moving the process along.

With that said, our research indicates this process poses serious risks to quality, speed, cost, time/efficiency and candidate experience.

  1. Time/Efficiency: When you only screen for minimum qualifications, you naturally will send more candidates to the hiring manager to review. This increases the time managers spend reviewing and interviewing unqualified candidates. These are non-value tasks for the hiring manager.
  2. Speed: Managers are busy doing the work they are responsible for. If they are hiring, odds are they are understaffed with little time to coordinate/set up interviews. Even if their assistant is responsible for setting up interviews, we have found significant increase in wait time associated with this process.
  3. Quality of Hire: When you send all the candidates that meet minimum requirements, you are shifting risk and hoping that the manager would select a top-notch candidate. The issue is that most are not very savvy at assessment and vulnerable to hire an unqualified referral (peer pressure) and/or fill the position (manager pressure). We have found organizations with this process experience much higher 90 day and 1st year turnover than those that have the recruiter drive the process.
  4. Cost: Increase in Time-to-Fill (waiting for managers to schedule/process candidates) increases Cost of Vacancy (overtime/agency use).
  5. Candidate Experience: Most hiring managers think about their hiring needs with less regard for the candidate experience, especially those that they deem are not qualified for their positions.

If this is your process, I would encourage you to consider how you would shift the value-added steps of candidate assessment, candidate experience and driving a lean efficient process back to you!

The potential risks can have a serious, negative impact to your organization.

David Szary

4th Quarter Planning – Don’t Be The Last To Know!

September 16th, 2015

Does this sound familiar? The recruitment team receives a requisition for 20 openings for a new unit, department or organizational expansion. The business unit leaders want a candidate pipeline immediately and new-hires onboarded in 30 days. Frustration and perhaps a bit of panic sets in.

It’s easy to play the blame game here, but ultimately it falls on Talent Acquisition (TA) to ensure they have a seat at the table alongside senior leadership during business planning strategy sessions. TA’s involvement at the beginning of strategic planning allows for the building of effective sourcing strategies in order to attract and hire top talent. Otherwise, TA is struggling to reactively come up with a recruiting plan to fill these critical jobs. You can’t call this type of reactive recruiting “sourcing.” Sourcing is a proactive strategy that builds networks and pipelines of candidates using a variety of sourcing techniques and tools. This reactionary method isn’t that.

Though the timing of fiscal years may vary across organizations, one thing that does not vary is the budget planning process for next year during the 4th quarter. The 4th quarter is the perfect opportunity for TA to partner with key departments and gain access to next year’s business plans, getting a jump start on creating strategic sourcing plans.

Here are my top 5 recommendations for effective workforce planning:

  • Conduct an annual (at a minimum) workforce planning meeting with key leaders to identify department growth and business expansion
    • Even if an exact head count is not available, understanding approximate needs gets the sourcing strategy going.
    • Educate key stakeholders on timeframes for each step of the recruiting and hiring process – sourcing time, recruiter screening process, the interview process, offer and onboarding. Discuss service level agreements. Often times our customers do not understand the nuances and time needed for key steps.
  • Assign a resource trained in strategic workforce planning and provide a tool that provides the appropriate workforce planning metrics for you. Vizier is an example of one such tool.
  • Identify the aging population, retirement projections and turnover history for key positions that impact Cost of Vacancy. You can implement a sourcing strategy for these openings long before they become vacant.
  • ‘Just in Time’ recruiting. This takes #3 to a whole new level. Imagine if you had hiring projections and turnover history for positions which you hire regularly. Having a hiring target for the next six months based on this data allows you to build a pipeline of candidates and begin the interview process.
  • Quarterly Meetings. There is no more effective method to building strong relationships with hiring leaders and proactively understanding their workforce needs than quarterly meetings. This is a terrific opportunity to share metrics, identify successes, discuss strategies for improvement, and understand what their future workforce looks like.

Happy Recruiting!

Deb Vargovick

Barracks to Business! Why North Shore-LIJ Health System Is An Awarded Industry Leader In Recruiting American Veterans.

September 9th, 2015

I’ve recently had the pleasure of partnering with several Veteran recruitment experts in order to provide actionable strategies to Healthcare systems in recruiting Veterans. Today, I would like to highlight how Mary Comerford–Hewitt (AVP of Talent Acquisition at North Shore-LIJ Health System) has achieved award winning results (recently named a 2015 Military Friendly Employer™) by offering unique benefits tailored to meet the needs of American Veterans and their families.

During my many conversations with Mary, it is evident that her passion, as well as the commitment from executive leadership to hiring Veterans, has been key drivers in making their program so successful.

Here are some of the Veteran specific benefits that North Shore-LIJ offers:

  • VALOR – Veterans and Allies: Liaisons of Reintegration (VALOR) is North Shore-LIJ’s first Business Employee Resource Group.
    • VALOR’s goal is to positively impact the health system’s measurable goals and objectives as they relate to recruitment, talent development and mentorship, in addition to increasing community outreach and awareness of available treatment and services to best care for veterans and their families.
    • VALOR members have a vested interest in military and veteran’s affairs and aim to set a new national standard of care for the U.S. military, veterans and their families – and will work collaboratively to better meet the needs of those who have served our country.
    • The following VALOR project-focused volunteer committees have been established to address the specific business objectives of the health system:
      • Ambassador Team – Expand market-reach and build community partnerships.
      • Navigator/Mentor Team – VALOR “Navigators” assist newly hired veterans with navigation and integration within the health system.
  • Military Cultural Competency Team – A system team of employees who identify transferrable military skills for the North Shore-LIJ workforce.
  • Office of Military and Veterans’ Liaison Services – It is a priority of North Shore-LIJ to help support and care for service members, veterans and their families in the New York metropolitan area.
    • To meet this commitment, the Office of Military and Veterans’ Liaison Services was created to serve as a health and wellness resource. In an effort to recognize those who served, they have also created the following initiatives:
      • The Rosen Family Wellness Center – A health and wellness center dedicated to enhancing the well being of law enforcement and military personnel and their families living on Long Island and in the New York metropolitan area. The Rosen Family Wellness Center serves:
        • Local, state and federal law enforcement officers and their families.
        • Active duty military personnel and their families.
        • Members of the Reserves, Naval Militia, National Guard and Service Academies, and their families.
        • Veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom/Enduring Iraqi Freedom, Desert Storm, and other qualified veterans and their families.
  • Pay Differential Programs – Are available for employees who are Reservists or members of the National Guard, for qualifying deployments.
  • Barracks to Business – These informative workshops provide assistance with resume writing, guidance on proven interviewing techniques and the opportunity to network with recruiters and other Veterans:
    • A training program for the hiring leaders is also offered as to why they should hire Veterans.
  • Incentives – To recruiters to hire Veterans.
  • LinkedIn Group – Both military veterans and their spouses to connect online within this group to find and share job opportunities, share local networking events, build relationships and grow your network.

For more information on Veteran recruitment initiatives, I invite you to Visit Their Website:

I hope you are having a Perfect Week!

Deb Vargovick

RECRUITERS: Stress Management 101 – Manage The Number Of Emails In Your Inbox

September 2nd, 2015

This summer I have had the opportunity to facilitate training for a number of organizations. School was literally in session for many this summer (including me)!

One of my favorite topics is The Perfect Week, A Perfect Day Time Management module.

In that module we discuss the significance of managing your inbound emails and limiting the number of messages to less than 10-20 when you leave work each night.

I have written on this topic before and provide some practical advice on how to accomplish this.

The obvious reason to manage inbox and limit the number of emails that reside there is to save the countless hours most spend reviewing/re-reading these emails (regardless of how well you use outlook features like flagging, etc.).

But I personally find the most beneficial reason is stress management.

Over the summer, I have consistently ended the day at around 10-15 emails in my inbox. The feeling I get when I accomplish this is amazing. When I end the night with less than 15, I basically don’t have to scroll down to see all emails. I have this sense of accomplishment that all my TO-DOs are organized on my schedule or my master to-do list. I feel organized and ready for the next 200+++ emails that find their way into my inbox the next day! I feel a sense of relief. I feel less stressed. I feel prepared.

I have never talked to a person that does this (keep inbox to less than 15) that doesn’t feel the same way.

Conversely – anyone I know that has 100, 200, 1000 emails in their inbox usually feels very stressed!

For those that have converted from many to less than 15 – - they tell me how it literally has changed their life!

How many emails do you have in your inbox and . . . how do you feel?

David Szary

Why You Need A Mobile Responsive Application Process

August 26th, 2015

It’s been well documented, more and more candidates search for jobs using their smartphones or tablets. In 2014, Glassdoor’s Rise of Mobile Survey found that 89% of respondents reported using mobile to job search and Beyond reported 77% of job seekers on their site use a mobile device. More importantly, Google changed their ranking algorithm to include evaluating if the site is mobile responsive or not. If it is not, the site will actually be penalized in rankings.

So more and more companies are making their websites, career webpages, and even job postings mobile-friendly. But what about the actual application process? Once a job seeker clicks on the Apply Now button, what happens? Are they taken to a mobile responsive application process or passed back to the traditional ATS application process?

In a survey of job seeker habits, Censusworld found that 78% of job seekers would apply via a mobile device if it was available. In a case study provided by iMomentous on Einstein Healthcare’s implementation of a mobile application process, they hired 68 people for positions they had not been able to fill previously.

With a positive and growing economy, most companies can’t afford to lose quality candidates.

How does your application process become mobile responsive? A lot depends on your website and your ATS:

  • Talk to your IT department to determine their plans for a mobile responsive website and application process if they have control over it.
  • Talk to your ATS provider to determine their ability/plans for a mobile responsive application process.
  • Consider 3rd party providers (such as iMomentous) of mobile responsive application sites and native apps.

Putting the user experience at the top of your list of projects is critical to attracting and keeping quality candidates. An important but under looked part of the user experience is the application process.

Karen Antrim

Healthcare Is Off The Mark With Employee Referrals

August 19th, 2015

How to Build a Business Case to Create an Effective Employee Referral Program (ERP)

As I continue to evaluate healthcare recruitment processes across the country, I am amazed by the extremely low number of employee referrals. Healthcare is missing out, in a huge way, on this readily available source of quality talent. Our annual Healthcare Recruitment Metrics Benchmark Study is averaging a mere 16% of openings filled by employee referrals in 2014.

My impression is there is a perception that the cost of an Employee Referral Program (ERP) does not provide a good return on investment, making it difficult to build a business case to executive leadership. I believe the exact opposite is true. Allow me to share some data:

  • Referred Employees rank as the #1 source for new hire quality in two studies – 61% are hired from referrals on social media or company career page compared to 14% hired from job boards. (Staffing.org 2011 and Aberdeen Group 2013)
  • Referred Employees have a higher retention rate – 43% of hires from referrals and company career page stay longer than 3 years.
  • 14% of hires from job boards stay longer than 3 years. (*Jobvite Social Recruiting Survey 2013)
  • A faster Time-to-Fill, coupled with recruiting costs that are a mere fraction of traditional recruiting sources, the ROI of referred employees becomes exponential!

Think about the cost of vacancy when a direct patient care RN position is vacant for one day. Lean Human Capital partnered with a healthcare system in Michigan whose financial team researched that every day a RN position went vacant; they were losing $211 per day in agency and overtime spend.

Hypothetically, if you invest $3000 in one referral bonus for a critical nurse position that on average, stays vacant for 60 days x $211 per day = $12,660; you will save your organization $9660 just on this one hire! Multiply this by the number of critical nurse positions currently open and… you can do the math!

The objective of an effective ERP is to motivate your workforce to leverage their social and professional connections to recruit top talent! And is it not difficult to build, implement and maintain, especially with the technology available these days (Rolepoint; iMomentus; Careerify) to manage it. It merely takes a solid business case using data and fact, and engaging your workforce to make it happen.

Happy recruiting!

Deb Vargovick

How to Position Healthcare as an Industry of Choice with American Veterans

August 12th, 2015

How to gain buy in and leverage your Veteran employee base

In preparing to facilitate our first Community Think Tank earlier this year, I partnered with subject matter experts at North Shore Long Island Jewish Healthcare, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, RecruitMilitary, LLC, and US Chamber of Commerce Foundation, and gained a slew of valuable tactics and long term strategies. I would like to highlight a few of their strategies and demonstrate how gaining buy in and support from hiring managers and employees is critical to Veteran hiring initiatives.

1. There are Veterans already serving on your team! Harness their support:

  • Reach out to employees with a Veteran self – identification initiative.
  • Highlight their successes both inside and outside of your organization.
  • Establish an employee resource group – Utilize them to “translate” and interpret military resumes.

2. Support the Veteran and their family when deployed:

  • Send gift baskets to deployed employees or their families to keep them engaged in the company and show them your support.
  • Find out ways to help the spouses who may be working and having to manage the family and household while their spouse is deployed—mowing the lawn, minor household repairs, child care, etc.
  • Invite the spouse to company events when the employee spouse is deployed.
  • Recognition of and honoring service to our country during team meetings or national holidays.

3. Hire a Veteran recruiter.

4. Create a manual for hiring leaders:

  • Mary Comeford Hewitt and her team at North Shore Long Island Jewish created a manual called “Hiring Outside the Gridlines”
  • Incorporate onsite training for hiring managers on translating military resumes and the benefits of hiring ex–military.

5. Gaining executive sponsorship and a commitment to hiring Veterans is critical to the success of your strategy.

6. There are tax credits for hiring American Veterans:

  • The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) contains provisions for both the Returning Heroes Tax Credit, which provides incentives of up to $5,600 for hiring qualified unemployed Veterans, and the Wounded Warriors Tax Credit, which provides credit for long-term unemployed Veterans with service-connected disabilities to up to $9,600.
  • Returning Heroes Tax Credit –
    i. Short-term Unemployed: A credit of 40% of the first $6,000 of wages (up to $2,400) for employers who hire Veterans who have been in receipt of unemployment insurance or compensation for at least 4 weeks.
    ii. Long-term Unemployed: A credit of 40% of the first $14,000 of wages (up to $5,600) for employers who hire Veterans who have been in receipt of unemployment insurance or compensation for longer than 6 months.

For a more in depth discussion on this and more, please join me for my free, public webinar on Wednesday, August 12 from 1:00-2:30 p.m. ET to hear, first- hand, from these subject matter experts about the effective strategies they’ve implemented to recruit and hire American Veterans.

Deb Vargovick

Weekly Communication With Applicants

August 5th, 2015

How committed are you to your applicants/customers?

We’d like to thank Danielle Pietz, Talent Acquisition Recruiter at Avera Health, for this guest blog. You may Connect with Danielle via LinkedIn.

It is important to know who your customers are. For me as a recruiter, my customers include: managers, applicants, employees, and the community. So how do I meet the demands and expectations of this extensive group? I like to start with communication; an open door for communication provokes:

  • An environment of change and improvement
  • Shows transparency to all customers
  • Sustains employee empowerment and morale

Many of us have methods of accomplishing this with our managers, but communication with applicants, both internal and external, are often times challenging due to volume. Here at Avera St. Luke’s, we have committed to following up with our applicants at the minimum of once a week. How, you may wonder, with 100+ applicants is this possible.

  • We note all communication throughout the week in our hiring database, whether it is a call to start references, schedule an interview, or even to discuss pay.
  • Every Friday our Administrative Assistant runs a report and sends us a list of those applicants who have not received any communication within that work week.
  • This serves as a great clean-up to close out those positions that we can and the remaining receive one of these two emails as a weekly follow-up:
  1. Thank you for applying for the _______ position _______. Your application has been forwarded to the hiring manager to review. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
  2. Thank you for interviewing for the ______ position at _______. You are still being considered for this position; if your status changes or you have any questions please feel free to contact me.
  3. Signature and contact info

Results – In our most recent survey to new hires when asked, “How would you rate your hiring experience, beginning with the application, your interview, the offer from Human Resources and the communication about today’s orientation?” – Six percent replied ”met my expectations”, 38% “better than expected”, and 56% “WOW.”

We are hoping to have a similar result from The Non-Hired Applicant Experience Assessment Survey from Lean Human Capital as a result of our communication efforts and weekly commitment.

How will you create that wow experience with your customer?

Danielle Pietz