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.

Eating Frogs for the Holidays

November 23rd, 2015

With the holidays fast approaching, you are probably feeling increased pressure to meet deadlines and get things done before you take a few days off.

With work stress increasing due to requisition loads on the rise and increased competitiveness of the market, we are all feeling the crunch and working at maximum capacity. This means that you have little room for error and/or time to waste on non-productive, non-value added tasks!

In an effort to improve your time management/planning skills, we have studied experts in time management, personal achievement and behavior modification which has resulted in the creation of The Perfect Week, A Perfect Day planning methodology.

I thought I would share a couple of simple, yet powerful, concepts from this methodology to ensure that you finish the year productively!

  • To maintain focus and sanity in extremely busy times, you must INVEST more time in planning your weekly/daily activities. Spending a half hour creating a time-based daily schedule will allow you to be 25-30% more productive during the day.
  • Make sure you identify and ‘Eat your Frogs’ early in the day. Embedded into our methodology is Brian Tracy’s Eat the Frog philosophy. If you have never watched the Eat That Frog Movie – DO SO NOW! In one minute, you will grasp the invaluable concept. ‘Eating Frogs’ early on will build positive momentum and provide energy for the rest of the day!

Some other helpful hints are outlined in our Free Resources portal under time management/planning.

I hope that your next week is hyper productive so you can enjoy the holidays!

Deb Vargovick

A Recruiter and HR Business Partner Go Together Like Turkey and Stuffing!

November 18th, 2015

Why you need an HR Shared Services Model

HR leaders are changing their business models significantly in order to manage the ebb and flow of our economy and job market. I am seeing an increase in shared services models; enabling HR to be flexible and strategic in supporting the business and the changing needs of their teams. The strategic partnership that must occur between recruiters and HR business partners is a necessary ingredient in the shared model. It’s like turkey gravy overflowing on top of your mashed potatoes. (I had to go there, it’s the Holidays!)

Recruiters are not as effective without leveraging the expertise of their business partners and, it goes without saying, business partners need a strong recruitment partnership to positively impact the services provided to customers. Gone are the days when each role operates separately, whether it be recruiting new employees, or helping managers performance coach their teams.

There are established and fundamental pillars successful organizations have in place where this partnership is a solid, cohesive unit supporting their common customer, the operational leader. It starts with Centers of Excellence (COE). There are three core pillars within successful HR shared service models:

Optimized Recruitment Structure

A sourcing team and consultant team are aligned by business line and divide the recruitment process. On the front half of the process, a team of sourcers, who possess a unique skill set, proactively implement search strategies to build networks and pipelines of candidates. The second half of the process is facilitated by consultants, adeptly managing the candidate and hiring manager relationships.

Many inaccurately describe this as a centralized model. Recruiters and/or sourcers do not have to sit in one location to be effective. In our virtual world, recruiters and sourcers can work anywhere and be extremely effective. The key is to be accessible, visible, and highly communicative with your clients.

Optimized Business Partner Structure

A team of business partners and employee relations experts are also aligned by business line. Business partners drive the strategic people initiatives such as workforce planning, diversity efforts, succession planning and people growth strategies. The employee relations experts advise managers on performance improvement plans, ensure EEOC compliance, etc.

Shared Services Department

A team of detail oriented staff members who are responsible for facilitating:

  • Background and reference assessments
  • Onboarding newly hired employees
  • Benefit and payroll questions
  • Application status questions
  • Credentialing, license verification

When both the recruitment team and business partner team are aligned by business line, they become closely united in their efforts supporting the organization and managing hiring demand.

The shared services team helps support all of these functions, creating a united and seamless customer service center, or center of excellence.

Happy Recruiting!

Deb Vargovick

Recruiters – Are Your Schedules “Free” of Interviews and Meetings Today?

November 11th, 2015

A tip to make you 25% more productive!

If you are like me, one of the best surprises you can get is coming upon a work day with no (or few) meetings scheduled!

With the workloads you are all experiencing, I bet these days are rare but . . . I am sure welcomed!

These days give us a chance to “catch” up on the mountain of TO-DOs we have piled up on our desk. With that said, the challenge most of us will have during these days are prioritizing what gets done and efficiently getting things accomplished without being distracted.

Most people utilize a electronic calendar software (outlook, etc.) to manage time during the day. And most of us are conditioned and actually pretty good at showing up for scheduled meetings, interviews, etc. as we flow through the week.

When we have no appointments to guide us, we often become very unproductive at managing our time. Let’s face it, all day long we are bombarded with inbound calls, interruptions and emails (CIEs). If you do not have a well-designed plan, it is easy to be distracted by accomplishing unimportant tasks during the day.

In our Perfect Week, Perfect Day Recruiter Academy Module, we provide a road map for being productive and efficient throughout day in spite of all the CIEs we encounter.

One of the key principles of our methodology is Time-Based Planning.

This is a simple but very powerful concept. For all the blocks of time you do not have a scheduled meeting, interview or appointment, it is very important to schedule in specific, important tasks to be completed. Get these tasks outlined directly into your schedule (much like a meeting). Don’t assume you can work off a ‘TO-DO’ list to accomplish these tasks WITHOUT documenting them into your schedule.

Remember – you have conditioned yourself to follow your electronic calendar system. When you don’t have something outlined to accomplish during a specific time during the day, your natural tendency will be to focus on CIEs and/or unimportant tasks you can accomplish easily (versus important tasks that need to get accomplished).

I highly encourage you to build a time-based schedule the next time you have a day relatively “Free” of scheduled meetings.

I bet you will be 25%+ more productive that day!

David Szary

Can’t Find Enough Experienced Nurses Or Engineers?

November 4th, 2015

Keep Tabs On Your College Graduates!

If I had a dollar for every time I have heard “I can’t find enough experienced nursing or engineering professionals,” I would be retired!

The demand for experienced personnel in these two occupations is sky high with no end in sight.

In the short term, you need to deploy a variety of sourcing tactics to find and entice talented professionals to consider your organization.

But long term, the simplest, most pragmatic solution is build and maintain relationships with college graduates.

Most organizations that hire experienced nurses and engineers also hire their fair share of entry-level graduates. They spend time on the “college recruitment circuit” meeting with and collecting resumes from graduates around the country. Unfortunately, most organizations do not keep in contact with those graduates they do not hire!

Fast forward 3-7 years and these are the experienced professionals you can’t get enough of!

With that said, a strategic approach to hiring degreed professionals in high demand occupations like nursing and engineers should include:

  • Build a database of quality graduates by occupation.
  • Reach out to them 90 days after graduation to see how they are doing:
    • Congratulate them on finding their first opportunity out of college.
    • Ensure you get correct contact information from them.
  • Ensure you Link In with these individuals – (90% +) will be in LinkedIn.
  • Reach out to each individual every 90 days to 6 months to keep in touch. A great time to reach out is around the holidays (i.e. “Hope you are doing well – enjoy the day!”).
  • If you find that when you reach out you have outdated contact information, invest in finding new contact information.

Over time, you will be amazed:

  • How much these individuals appreciate that you are keeping in touch with them (99% of the other recruiters they met won’t!).
  • That many of these individuals will express interest in your organization as they gain experience and their careers progress.

I know this strategy won’t help fill a positions you have open TODAY but . . . long term, it should become the #1 sourcing solution to meet hiring demand!

I hope you are having a Perfect Week!

David Szary

Easing Employment Challenges Facing Service Members, Veterans and Their Families

October 28th, 2015

We Can Make a Difference!

With the increasing number of service members re-entering our workforce, Veterans and their families are quickly becoming a valuable talent pool to develop candidate pipelines. Over the past few months, I’ve shared best practices on recruiting these highly skilled job seekers and would like to share details in one key area that will help ease their employment challenges; streamlining licensing and credentialing.

The Obama Administration has worked aggressively to reduce the barriers of entry for Veterans re-entering the workforce. The Department of Defense Military Credentialing and Licensing Task Force, established last year at the direction of President Obama, has identified and created opportunities for service members to earn civilian occupational credentials and licenses. The Task Force has focused its efforts on well-paying industries and occupations that have a high demand for skilled workers, including: manufacturing; information technology; transportation and logistics; health care; and emergency medical services.

The Obama Administration is now launching the next phase of its military credentialing and licensing efforts, partnering with state legislatures to streamline occupational licensing for veterans. The Task Force will continue to work with states and institutions to streamline licensing for service members and veterans, specifically targeting the occupations of bus and truck drivers, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, and licensed practical nurses.

There are currently 360,000 military spouses who face unique challenges when searching for employment. Some of the most popular professions, teaching and nursing, require licensure. Due to the frequent transfer of their military spouse across state lines, it is often a lengthy and expensive process to re-licensure. Many are unable to work in their chosen profession causing undue hardship on their families.

In February 2012, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden called upon all 50 Governors to help advance legislation to expedite professional licenses or certification for military spouses when they move to a new state. As of February 20th, there are 28 states that have passed spousal licensing legislation to expedite professional licenses for military spouses when moving to a new state.

It is encouraging to see the efforts of our state governments to reduce obstacles that service members and their families, and Veterans face when trying to enter into the workforce, but we have a long way to go. As a registered voter, let’s use our power to influence our lawmakers to continue to find ways to reward and recognize them for their service to our country.
For more information on upcoming webinars and recent blogs, please click on LHC Link.

I hope you are have a GREAT week!

Deb Vargovick

Source: The Fast Track to Civilian Employment: Streamlining Credentialing and Licensing for Service Members, Veterans, and Their Spouses, Executive Office of the President / National Economic Council and the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, February 2013

Healthcare Recruitment 2015 Elite Honor Roll

October 16th, 2015

We’re pleased to announce and want to congratulate this year’s Elite Honor Roll award recipients!

Texas Health Resources – Arlington, TX (Four time winner)
Rush University Medical Center – Chicago, IL (Two time winner)
Atlantic Health System – Morristown, NJ

This is the sixth year of our annual Healthcare Recruitment Metrics Benchmark Study. Throughout the last 6 years, we have worked with 580+ hospitals collecting and analyzing recruitment metrics and best practices.

Criteria for Selection:

  • Performance in our 25 Key Recruitment Metrics Performance Outcome Index (a combination of key metrics from five performance areas: Responsiveness, Process Efficiency, Productivity, Cost, and Quality of Hire):
  • Utilization of the Recruitment Team’s Scorecard to manage their business and build a culture using data & fact.
  • Demonstration of a strong commitment to continuous improvement and lifelong learning.
  • Implementation of innovative solutions to improve key metrics and drive cost savings for their organizations.

This by far has been the most challenging year to date for Healthcare Recruitment organizations. All three of our winners have demonstrated a strong commitment to continuous improvement and their results prove that.

Over the next few months, we will spotlight the Best Practices these organizations have implemented.

Now, more than ever, it is critical for healthcare recruitment organizations to objectively quantify how they streamline processes to reduce costs, improve patient safety and reduce patient errors!

If you missed our live Healthcare Recruitment Metrics Benchmark Study Results webinar last week, we invite you to watch the 2015 Elite Honor Roll Webinar to learn how these organizations achieved Elite performance status.

I hope you are having a Perfect Week.

David Szary

Despite Recruiting Struggles, Hiring Expected To Be Strong

October 14th, 2015

Every month, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) publishes their Leading Indicators of National Employment (LINE) survey. The LINE Report surveys human resources professionals at more than 500 manufacturing and 500 service-sector companies across a variety of industries. The report examines 4 key areas; employers’ hiring expectations, new-hire compensation, difficulty recruiting top talent and job vacancies. It’s the only national employment indicator that includes hiring expectations for the month ahead – released a month in advance of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Employment Situation Report. Additionally, it’s the only published measure of recruiting difficulty of highly qualified candidates for the most critical positions. As you know, helping organizations conquer the difficulty of recruiting top talent IS our business so we analyze this report every month!

A few highlights from October’s edition:

  • Hiring rates will be steady in October; more than 40% of the manufacturing and service-sector companies surveyed will add jobs.
  • Pay rates improved for some new-hires in September; the index for new-hire compensation rose in both sectors compared with a year ago.

Perhaps the most interesting indication from October’s report:

  • Recruiting difficulty rose in September; for the 17th straight month, difficulty in recruiting candidates for key jobs reached four year highs in both sectors.
  • 55% of HR professionals cited difficulty recruiting highly skilled employees as their greatest challenge in Talent Management.

A surprise? No; nothing new to subscribers of this blog. That said, to see it writing, is quite an eye opener! With every passing month, it gets harder and harder to attract top talent to our organizations. Yet, many of the organizations we study and research are still relying on outdated sourcing strategies to fill their most critical positions.

In the last 8 months, my partner, David Szary, and his team of consultants have performed time studies with large recruitment teams to understand the time dedicated to sourcing difficult to fill positions. We’ve found, time and time again, companies are DRASTICALLY underestimating the time needed to source top talent. Underestimating the time required to source difficult to fill positions drives up costs and prolongs unnecessarily high vacancy rates. David recently held a webinar, Just-in-Time Hiring Will Never Be Accomplished Using a Requisition Based Hiring Model, where he takes a deeper dive into this concept and the profound effects limited sourcing time has on the organization. If you share our passion, check out the webinar. A lot of great pearls to take away as you develop proactive sourcing strategies!

Have a Great Week!

Brian Brazda

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