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.



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

Role of Healthcare Recruitment in Addressing the Nursing Shortage

July 29th, 2015

The United States has the largest nursing workforce in the world with nearly 3.5 million nursing professionals. It’s hard to believe we’re expecting a shortage of 193,000 nurses over the next five years. Based on the demographics of the current workforce, the size of graduating nursing classes, and the direction of nurses’ careers, experts project the active supply of nurses will increase steadily from 3.5 million to 3.95 million by 2020. Despite this substantial growth in supply, researchers at Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce predict it still falls short of demand — estimated to be 4.14 million by 2020.

Unfortunately, we’ve been in the midst of a nursing shortage for quite some time, and it’s a staffing issue that extends beyond a matter of inconvenience. It’s dangerous for everyone involved — adding unnecessary stress to an already stressful occupation.

Additionally, the healthcare industry continues to evolve due to government regulations, shifts in care delivery models, and the expansion to new business verticals to address the needs of the aging population. In the past two years we’ve seen an influx of 32 million new patients to the national healthcare system with the passing of the Affordable Care Act. We’ve seen “Baby Boomers” begin to slowly but surely take advantage of healthcare services. Based on these factors alone, it’s likely the labor shortages are going to worsen until steps are taken to improve the situation.

This widespread shortage has reached a level so disconcerting that The New York Times recently ran an eye opening op-ed piece about our dire need for a solution to the all too common, dangerously imbalanced, nurse-to-patient ratio in hospitals nationwide. However, what the article failed to address, and what many people fail to realize regarding this issue, is it’s not only nurses who are struggling (and often failing) to keep up. But rather, this problem and what I believe to be its solution starts with recruitment.

Similar to nurses, healthcare recruitment and human resource professionals are more overworked and understaffed than ever before. Hospitals and health systems are growing and trying to hire like crazy, while their recruitment teams are scrambling to fill the ever-growing list of open positions (very often without the help of additional recruiters). While two years ago many recruiters were responsible for managing 40-50 requisitions, they’re now often required to manage 100 or more. Unrealistic requisition loads coupled with a dated and inefficient process have exacerbated the problem.

So, what can be done to assist overwhelmed recruiters so we can ultimately get more nurses hired, and hired faster? Well, first of all, add more recruiters to your team. There’s simply no way around it. Without adding recruiters to your team to help lower the number of open positions for which each recruiter is responsible, your organization runs the risk of promoting quantity over quality. Holding one recruiter responsible for managing 100+ positions is unrealistic, chaotic, and can lead to filling jobs fast, rather than filling jobs with the best candidates. Secondly, implement lean recruiting techniques to guide your organization’s recruitment processes. With lean principles in place, recruiters can focus on hiring the right person for the right job.

In a recent HR Pulse article titled, “Lean Recruiting Techniques Deliver Abundant Benefits”, my colleague David Szary discusses the processes and benefits of lean recruiting (e.g., using lean principles, Six Sigma, and/or Theory of Constraints to develop a more efficient recruiting process) as applied to healthcare organizations. In his words, “By applying these methodologies, you can look at how to reduce waste, wait time and errors, ultimately improving the customer experience, reducing costs and increasing revenue.” Lean recruiting is also defined by one HR leader Carla Kennedy MBA, Human Resources Manager at Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center, as “…continuously trying to remove activities that don’t provide value, and identifying waste and delay in our process so we can focus on providing more value-added activities.” Essentially, lean recruiting is about simplifying the process while simultaneously cutting cost and providing organizations with improved performance company-wide, and it’s been proven to work. In Rush’s case alone, as is highlighted in the HR Pulse article mentioned above, they have cut 20 days off their time-to-fill (from 60 to 40), as well as reduced their advertising costs by 41 percent.

Change is never easy, and gradual change takes patience, but it’s becoming painfully clear that change is needed in traditional healthcare recruitment process to meet the demands of the future healthcare environment. While there is no quick fix to our nationwide nursing shortage, lean recruiting is certainly a step in the right direction.

While there is no quick fix to our nationwide nursing shortage, lean recruiting is a great way to start remedying this problem, and Lean Human Capital can help your organization get started. In the past six years alone, Lean Human Capital has studied the recruitment processes, best practices, and performance metrics of 350+ hospitals, and our team has worked with more than 3,000 respected organizations throughout the world. As a result, Lean Human Capital can provide your organization with healthcare recruitment tools that have not only proven successful in facilities such as Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center, they’re legitimately backed by years of collective data and best practices.

Brian Brazda

Recruiters: The Unfortunate Honor of Being a Member of the 100+ Club – Part II

July 21st, 2015

So if you are a member of the 100+ club (Read BLOG from last week), it’s not a good situation to be in for sure.

And no matter how good you are, how LEAN or creative you get . . . you will not be able to provide a quality recruitment service to meet hiring demand (if you can – CALL me ASAP since I have never seen it!).

You need to justify why you need FTEs and seek approval from your executive leaders (COO/CFO).

A starting point is to benchmark against industry peers.

We have been providing organizations staff productivity and requisition per recruiter benchmarks for years. These will allow you to frame a business case by showing leadership that you are managing 30, 40, 100% more openings, per resource, than your competition.

These simple benchmarking metrics will help your business case but . . . probably not by itself justify resources.

A more advanced methodology to quantify FTEs is using our demand-based staffing optimization methodology. We have been using a production/supply chain methodology for years (think Materials Release Planning – MRP – for you Lean junkies) to quantify FTE resources based on hiring demand. If you are interested in this – CHECK OUT an article I wrote on this subject.

Most importantly – you need to quantify what the investment in FTE resources will do for the organization. Three easy return on investment arguments include:

  1. Reduction in cost associated with turnover.
  2. Reduction in cost of vacancy (agency & OT spend).
  3. Reduction in time wasted in an inefficient process.

I provided some details to all three of these ideas in a blog I wrote last year.

If you want resources, you need to justify why and what they will do for the organization. I am proud to say that this year alone, we have helped 5 more organizations secure more resources using the ideas presented in this blog!

Good luck 100+ club members. If you need help – give us a call!

David Szary

Recruiters: The Unfortunate Honor of Being a Member of the 100+ Club – Part I

July 15th, 2015

It happened so quickly. Seems like overnight. Out of nowhere.

Since the start of the year, I have not experienced such a dramatic increase in hiring volume within an industry since the tech boom of the late 90’s.

While the structural supply/demand labor issues within healthcare is well documented, it really hasn’t fully reared its ugly head until this year.

And the Perfect Storm most predicted is upon us now.

Key catalysts of the storm:

  1. Most recruitment organizations reduced FTE resources during the last 6 years.
  2. Hiring volume (especially for specialty, experienced professions) is up.
  3. Retirement of healthcare leadership, nursing and physicians is happening.
  4. Consumer confidence is the highest it has been since 2007.

The reality – Fewer resources faced with filling more positions!

This has created a new community of recruiters who have the unfortunate honor of being a member of the 100+ club. Those are recruiters that on average are managing over 100 open positions at a time.

Now over the years, I have found it is not uncommon to find recruiters managing 50, 70, 80 open positions. But now, I am finding entire teams averaging 100+!  One team we are working with is averaging 130!

In future BLOGs – I will discuss how you can justify FTE resources to meet hiring demand.

If you have this unfortunate honor of being a member of this community and need help NOW – please
reach out to me.
We have helped organizations justify new FTE resources using ROI-based proposals that CFO’s understand and appreciate.

David Szary

One Easy Way To Reduce TTF By 25% Or More

July 8th, 2015

LEAN Interview Scheduling

In last week’s blog, I shared why I thought overall average Time to Fill is somewhat of a meaningless metric.

With that said, I would still track it (since many will ask for it) BUT be able to articulate the story behind this metric.

More importantly, how can you reduce TTF given the current state of the labor market and increased demand for services.

While nothing is ever ‘easy’, I want to share a practical way to reduce TTF by up 25% or more over the next quarter – something we call LEAN Interview Scheduling.

Over the last 17 years, we have performed hundreds of Value Stream Mapping sessions on the hiring process.  We have found that of the total time it takes to fill a position, 50% or more of the time is waiting for interviews to be set up.  In a typical hiring process: A recruiter routes candidates for consideration . . . . then a manager reviews the candidates credential . . . .then they decide who they want to interview . . . then someone (recruiter or admin) contacts candidate . . . then they schedule interview!  So much WAIT time!  And if the candidate needs to come back for a second or third interview . . . add on days/weeks to your TTF.

Here are some LEAN Interviewing tactics to reduce TTF:

  1. For your high volume positions, pre-schedule Interview ‘Blitz’ days for the entire year:
    1. Get with the department, identify hiring demand (pretty easy – usually turnover rate x current headcount = demand for year).  This will tell you how many interviews you will need to conduct monthly to meet hiring demand.
    2. Identify a day (or days) that you will conduct interviews onsite each month. Plan out this schedule for the entire year.
    3. Develop a process with hiring leaders to facilitate multiple interviews over a 3-4 hour period of time.
    4. As you source and screen candidates, you can immediately set the candidates up for an interview on that day without having to seek hiring manager approval.
  2. For exempt level positions, ask for the managers approval to allow you to schedule interviews on their calendar when you identify a promising candidate. This will eliminate the back and forth associated with routing candidates for review, etc.
  3. If the hiring manager won’t go for option 2, then set up a weekly status call (or bi-weekly) to review candidates to interview. This will eliminate the time wasted routing and waiting for feedback. You can meet with hiring manager, review slate and slot interviews all within a ½ hour of time.

Now – I know these three options won’t work with every manager or every scenario BUT . . . If it works with 50% of your managers – - you will see an immediate reduction in TTF.

David Szary

What Is The Industry Average TTF

July 1st, 2015

And Why It Is Meaningless!

We just finished our annual Healthcare Recruitment Metrics Benchmark Study.  While demand for talent has skyrocketed over the last 6 months, our benchmarks year over year remained relatively consistent (FYI – I expect that to change this coming year).

So what was the Average TTF this year? 49 days (last year it was 48).

Average Time to Start? 67 days (66 last year).

That is across all job families for respected health systems around the country.

So why do I believe this metric is somewhat meaningless?

Because it doesn’t truly reflect what is going on within the organization (I wrote about this last year).

While average TTF is 49 days, 74% of all positions are being filled in 25 days! While the other 26% take 115 days to fill.

Think about that. For 3 out of every 4 hires, a typical recruitment organization is very fast.  While the other 1 out of 4 times, it takes close to 4 months to fill a position!

These data points have been very consistent since we started tracking this 5 years ago and is one of the key underlining reasons why hiring manager perceive that positions aren’t filed “fast enough.”

The reality is . . . 76% of the time – we do it very fast. It is the other 24% that form their perceptions related to “speed.”

Now to be fair, many of these positions have a high cost of vacancy and are critical to the organization. So they should be concerned about speed. I will discuss HOW to reduce TTF for these positions in a future blog.

But to say that recruitment just doesn’t do things fast enough usually is an inaccurate, blanketed statement.

While I know most organizations want to track overall average TTF and TTS, I would encourage you to start isolating how well you perform across all job families and ensure managers understand the true story with respect to Speed.

If you are interested in our Benchmark study, and how you can use this data to manage client expectations and perceptions – let me know.  We can be your advocate for change in your organization!

David Szary

What Candidates Say About Recruiters

June 24th, 2015

And the impact it has on your organization

If you have recruited for any length of time, you have heard countless stories of crazy candidate experiences. From your serial applicants to phone stalkers . . . we capture our fair set of stories to share at happy hour on a Friday night.

On the flip side, we have been analyzing the candidate experience utilizing our validated Voice of the Customer Assessments. And as you can imagine, there are plenty of things recruiters do that drive candidates crazy.

LinkedIn had a great post on this recently called

Five Things Recruiters do that Drive Candidates Crazy

In summary – I am sure you would not be too surprised of what made the Top Five:

  1. Recruiters don’t keep candidates up-to-date.
  2. The hiring process is sloooooooow.
  3. They don’t give straight answers.
  4. They reach out despite knowing nothing about the person.
  5. They don’t know the job – at all.

Through our research, we have found that an applicant’s experience directly effects their intentions moving forward.

Some interesting statistics from a recent survey:

  • Of all the applicants that did not get hired, 21% said they had a positive experience while 45% said they had a negative experience.
  • Of the individuals that had a positive experience:
    • 80% were likely to speak to others about their experience.
    • 97% were willing to apply in the future.
    • 95% were likely to refer someone to the organization.
    • 42% were likely to change their consumer habits related to the organization (i.e. use them and/or buy there products or services).

The power a positive applicant experience has on recruitment and the organization is very, very important.

I encourage you to self reflect on what your candidates would say about you!

If you are interested in our Validated Voice of the Customer Assessment Services – let me know.

David Szary