Lean, Just-in-Time Recruiting!

Archive for September, 2009

Are you a strategic recruitment business partner?

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

Last week David spoke about the “backlash” and he promised some examples of 10 fundamental “game changers” that Elite recruiters execute flawlessly 95% of the time. This post will be the first of those.

From leading staffing and HR functions as well as consulting with clients, I have learned the balance amongst recruiting and Hiring Managers is an age old problem. To ensure internal corporate recruiters are seen as more than administrative job fillers they must effectively manage the perceptions of hiring managers. Recruiters must be seen as strategic business partners!

Tips to becoming a strategic business partner!

In order to effectively understand the job, you must first understand the business. How do you do this effectively? Spend time with your hiring manager!!  Spending time with your hiring manager and focusing on the nuances of their business will allow you to relate better to the talent you are searching for and the job you are recruiting for. This time spent with the hiring manager can really impact their perception of you as a true strategic recruitment business partner.

Questions recruiters can ask the manager: 

  • Who is your external and internal competition for talent?
  • What are your key business initiatives for the next quarter, the next year?
  • What are the critical skills and competencies you require in your workforce to meet and exceed your business objectives?
  • Who are your top performers?
  • What characteristics do they have?
  • What characteristics exist in those employees who are less successful?
  • What are the top 3 aspects that are critical for success in each job that I should be looking for?
  • What is your work style?
  • How do you define the culture of your department?

Just by asking these simple questions, recruiters begin to develop a collaborative partnership, earn the respect of their hiring managers as well as demonstrate the desire to not just fill orders, but to build the business.

Critical Steps to further strengthen the relationship between the recruiter and hiring manager:

  • Setting Service level agreements (SLAs): Setting SLAs will help the hiring manager develop an understanding of the recruiting process and their defined role within that process. This process will act as an opportunity to define how the process will work. A SLA is also critical to managing expectations especially with new hiring managers. This meeting can cover everything from timelines, who are key interviewers, and how the day-to-day interactions will occur. If you are interested in an example, please contact me.
  • Defining the position description: Recruiters need to drive the hiring manager to ensure they are not working on “weak job descriptions.” The job description is critical. It not only helps sell the position but also ensures that the recruiter delivers the right candidate. The recruiter is only as good at filling the position as the information they are provided during the intake session qualifying a new position. With that said, for each new job that is created, have a meeting to discuss it in depth. When we conduct our training programs, we teach our students to use a Hiring Manager Consultation/Intake form. If you would like an example of a well-structured Intake Session, please contact me.
  • In addition,we recommend that you have quarterly business review meetings with your hiring managers to discuss:
    • Key business objectives for the upcoming quarter/year
    • Future hiring needs based on business growth, turnover, and succession planning
    • Performance of the recruitment function using key performance indicators (KPI’s) for quality, delivery, and cost
    • Process Improvement initiatives/recommendations

Implementation of these simple practices will ensure that the recruiters have done their best to further understand the job and built a more solid foundation of partnership with their hiring managers. 

We have created a Strategic Partner Competency survey to help assess if you truly have a “seat at the table”. Feel free to take the survey.

If you would like your entire team to take it contact me and we will set up a personal link so you can evaluate the results.

The backlash is back!

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

It seems like déjà vu. About 10 years ago the art of crafting Boolean search string commands, “peeling back URL’s” took the recruitment industry by storm.  Much like the Job boards did in the mid to late 90′s .   These new sourcing techniques were claimed to be the next ‘silver bullet’ with respect to finding that elusive passive, high quality candidate.  Recruiters raced out to learn more about these techniques and if . . .they executed the techniques properly. . . on certain types of positions . . . they found success. 

Fast forward and 10 years later and the same phenomenon is occurring again. We have a new set of technology based sourcing tools to find candidates.

  • Blogs have replaced internet “chat rooms” (isn’t a blog what we used to call a “chat room”?)
  • Searching the Internet via powerful browsers and Boolean search string logic has become even more advanced and powerful
  • Huge databases of people have emerged in social networks

Web 2.0 is what we are calling it this time around and again . . . like 10 years ago . . . on certain types of positions . . . these are powerful tools that work!

But just like last time, the pendulum that probably “swung to far to the right” is coming back.

Over the past six months, many discussions have been focusing back on the fundamentals of recruiting. While technology-based tools and methodologies can assist in finding candidates and even developing relationships . . . we know that this is only one piece of the pie.

What about – -

  • Engaging hiring managers, identifying the skills and competencies that are required of a new employee
  • Setting Service Level agreements
  • Developing and communicating a value proposition to attract quality top talent
  • Skillful Assessment techniques
  • Candidate Interview Preparation
  • Effective Salary negotiation tactics
  • Having the discipline to manage priorities, daily time management, and goal setting, etc.

The Pareto principle (80/20 rule) probably applies somewhere in this conversation. Just like 10 years ago, with all these cool new gadgets – - it is hard not to focus 80% of your time, effort and energy trying to master them. But the reality is there is no silver bullet with respect to recruiting.  Recruiting is a balance between technology, “Boolean searches”, networking groups, and the bullets above!

These thoughts of mine were further validated at the ERE conference last week. While there certainly were some really cool technology-based sourcing and selection tools – - many of the sessions were focused more on the fundamentals, managing client relationships, and measuring success/ROI, etc.

Tony Blake from DaVita, in his excellent presentation, quoted a person stating – - “The next killer app. in recruiting is the recruiter!” (I love this quote!)

Mike Grennier from Wal-Mart in his presentation titled “What I have Learned” . . . stated – - “Don’t forget about the phone as a core fundamental recruiting tool!”

So just like 10 years ago, the pendulum is starting to swing back to the right…

“Mastering the fundamentals, while maybe not that sexy, is back in style!”

Richard Newsom from Fifth Third Bank stated the following during his sesession “Managing your recruitment department on a single metric”: “There is nothing more powerful in recruiting than a skillful recruiter managing the process artfully from “end-to-end” to achieve exemplary customer satisfaction ratings from your internal/external customers. ”

To this point, over the coming weeks we will be discussing 10 fundamental “game changers” that Elite recruiters execute flawlessly 95% of the time!

Solid Benchmark data – we need your help!

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

While there remains high interest around metrics and measuring the performance of the recruitment function, there is still very little data to benchmark/validate best in class performance with respect to process efficiency, service quality, and cost of vacancy.

To that end, over the next year, we are taking the initiative to develop relevant benchmarks in these critical areas. In doing so, we hope to augment what is currently available within the industry (not re-create the wheel on information you can already find!) We know this initiative will not be without challenges. We clearly understand the importance of segmenting data for solid “apples to apples” comparisons with respect to size of organization, industry, and geography (major metro markets, rural markets, etc.)

But we also understand that the core recruitment process is fundamentally the same across industries/geography and quality can be measured consistently across organizations if survey instruments are similar.

With that said, our first two benchmark studies will be specific to:

  • Healthcare organizations
  • Corporate recruitment organizations

We are most excited to provide process efficiency and cost of vacancy benchmarks. As we speak at conferences (and work with companies) regarding Lean, JIT recruitment strategies, usually the first question we get is “what is best in class/what benchmarks are available?”

To learn more about Lean, Just-in-time recruiting and this benchmarking study, please plan on attending a free webinar on 9/23. We will discuss the importance of measuring process effiency, the impact of cost of vacancy and the elements of this powerful benchmarking study.

In addition, we are looking for charter organizations (or partners) that would like to volunteer time/intellectual capital to this initiative.

This is a completely volunteer, no cost initiative. If you participate, you will receive access to the information we gather.

Please plan on attending our event on 9/23. If you have particular interest in becoming a charter partner – please contact us directly.

Little money/Even less time to grow your network – Quick Tip

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

 A quick tip/reminder as we head into the holiday weekend.

Linkedin!!! – Remember-when you interview a candidate that you perceive as high quality it only takes a few minutes to send them a quick linkedin invitation!

There couldn’t be an easier thing to do to expand your network. Get done with an interview, do to linkedin and invite that candidate in.

I bet many of you are thinking right now – - of course, I do that . . . BUT — do you do it 100% of the time with each and every quality candidate you interview?

If the answer is no – - Then I recommend that you put a POST IT note on your PC screen stating:

Invite all quality candidates to link in with me!

If you develop the discipline to do this 100% of the time, your network will grow exponentially over the next six months!

Have a great holiday weekend!