Lean, Just-in-Time Recruiting!



7 Deadly Sins of Waste in Recruiting: Overproduction/Inventory

For those of you that missed our recent webinar – 7 Deadly Sins of Waste in Recruiting – -one ‘deadly sin’ always seems to drive a lot of feedback/discussion - Overproduction/Inventory!  In the Lean Six Sigma world, the word “Overproduction” is defined as “Production ahead of demand.”  The word, “Inventory” is defined as all components, work in process and finished product not being processed. 

Arguably these are the biggest offenders to creating waste and . . . the time/cost required to eliminate them.   

Examples of these areas of waste in talent management and solutions: 

  • Overproduction/inventory in postings.   Most organizations, as part of their staffing process, post each and every position to their website and a large job board (like Careerbuilder or Monster).  While this seems to be a quick, cost effective sourcing solution, for those positions that do not require additional applicant flow and/or positions that have a very low probability of being filled by this source – - the cost/time associated with managing the unqualified applicant flow far exceeds the benefits.

Solution(s): When you receive a new position, evaluate the historical source of hire.  If 80% of the time this type of position was filled through internal applicants or referrals, why not exhaust those channels before publishing the position to the masses?  If less than 5% of the time a position is filled by large job boards, investigate more effective sourcing solutions (direct sourcing, niche job boards, etc.) before generating a routine posting on a large job board.  Also remember that job aggregators (simplyhired.com, indeed.com, etc.)  are going to “wrap”  any posting you put on your own site anyway.  

  • Routing multiple candidates to the interview stage.  Historically, managers have requested (and we have provided) a ’slate’ of candidates for each and every position.  Minimally, the rule of thumb has been the magical  ‘3′ candidates per position.  In some cases, we find recruiters routing 5, 10 or worse yet – – – all the candidates that applied for the position.  To the definition, every candidate routed to the hiring manager that does not get hired is WASTE. 

Solution:  While psychologically I can understand that a manager wants to review his/her ”options” before making a critical decision like hiring a new employee, if they trust that the recruiter has exhausted all candidate/sourcing options in order to come up with the best, and they understand the concept of waste, then there is no reason that there should ever be more than 3 candidates routed for consideration unless of course those first three don’t meet the requirements. If this happens, it indicates that not enough time was spent up front understanding the requirements of the position and how each candidate would need to demonstrate that they are able to perform the required tasks. The more time spent up front with the hiring manager and those participating in the interviewing process to ensure all are in alignment and to validate how the candidate will be selected; the less time wasted in sourcing. 

For high volume hiring and/or for managers that have experience hiring for a certain position, evaluating each candidate against previous hires (and more importantly – - the competencies/skills necessary to excel in the position) is a much better predictor of success than evaluating one candidate against another. Challenge the old-school mindset of “3+ candidates routed per position!”

  • Developing a slate of candidates for positions that go on hold.   Ok – – how many times have you developed a slate of candidates for a position that . . . goes on hold!  Now in fairness to hiring managers, there are legitimate reasons that this happens that for the most part are out of their control.  But unfortunately, we know that other managers often post positions ahead of approval that have a high probability of never being approved.  Talk about WASTE!  The time spent sourcing/pre-screening candidates for positions that go on hold for some organizations is astronomical! 

Solution: Consider making approval processes mandatory, or holding off on the sourcing process for 48 hours to double check the position approval status.   For those of you that want to be more progressive – gain approval to implement a “charge back” policy!  Charge back to the manager/line of business for openings that are put on hold and waste the valuable time and effort of the staffing function!

While we will never eliminate all of the overproduction/inventory in our hiring process, taking simple steps to incrementally remove waste will exponentially save you time and money!

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