Lean, Just-in-Time Recruiting!

Archive for October, 2010

Managing Your Hiring Managers, Part Three

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

We recently posted the first of three parts in our series about Managing Your Hiring Managers. (Part One, Part Two)   We discussed how to understand what your hiring manager’s want through Voice of the Customer (VOC) and how to build credibility with your hiring managers.

Our final post of the series will focus on how to effectively manage the hiring manager relationship.

Effectively Managing the Hiring Manager relationship   

So, you’ve spent a great deal of time assessing your hiring manager’s needs through Voice of the Customer, and you’ve worked hard to establish credibility.  Now, if you don’t effectively manage the relationship with them then all of your efforts will be wasted!!

One important step in the management of any consultative relationship is the ability to establish a strong foundation to the partnership (yes, you’re the recruiting consultant to your hiring manager!).  This starts when consultants engage with clients in the initial intake session.  

Intake Session = Foundation:  If you have a good intake session then you have a strong foundation to build a relationship! A good intake session is not only about uncovering the basic wants and needs of your hiring manager but it will allow you to explore the position in great detail as well, including: 

  • Why is the position open?
  • What are the top 3-5 key objectives for someone in this position?
  • What are the challenges a person will face in this position?
  • How is performance measured?
  • What is your hiring managers style/personality/culutre
  • Sourcing Strategy questions
    • Who are some of your top performers that I could network with?
    • Who are some of the top performers externally that you’re aware of?
    • Are you aware of any companies that might be struggling that I could tap into?
  • What are the selling points of the position?
  • What “knock out” questions do you suggest I use?
  • What is our Service Level Agreement?

Establishing a Service Level Agreement (SLA) is a key step in effectively managing the hiring manager relationship.  It sets expectations in advance, for both you and your hiring manager about who is going to do what during the hiring process and how long it’s going to take.

For example, a well crafted SLA will outline how quickly you will be expected to provide qualified and interested candidates as well as how quickly your hiring manager will respond once you have submitted an initial slate of candidates.

If you’d like to see an example of our intake and SLA documents please contact me.

Finally, best in class organizations use detailed analytics, trend tracking, and ongoing voice of the customer sessions/surveys to consistently check on hiring manager satisfaction and correct areas of concern proactively. 

If you’re effectively managing the relationship, you’re not only talking with your hiring managers often about the day to day aspects of candidate flow, but you’re also meeting with them at least quarterly to look at your high level results as a team to mitigate any areas of risk.

Have a fantastic week!

Pragmatic, NO COST Solutions to Reduce Time to Fill

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Over the last month, I have facilitated four LEAN Value Stream Mapping exercises.  As mentioned in a recent blog, I am always amazed at how little time is spent in “Process Mode” and how much time is spent “Waiting”.  With the four organizations I recently worked with, the average Process Time was less than 10% of the total Lead time (AKA – Time to fill). 

Of course the key reason you perform a value stream mapping exercise is not just to map out your current state process but rather to identify solutions to reducing waste and wait time.  In evaluating all four staffing processes, the most wait time “variation” centered around . . . . now don’t be shocked . . . ok I am going to say it . . . HIRING MANAGERS!

Yep, most wait time is centered around:

  • Defining the requisition once it was approved (getting enough information required to begin the search)
  • Managers selecting candidates to interview
  • Managers being available to interview
  • Managers making a decision on hire

Some simple, but highly effective strategies to reduce wait time that resulted from our value stream mapping exercises:

  • In advance of a requisition being approved (if it is pending approval), set up a meeting with the hiring manager to qualify the requisition (AKA – Intake Session). If for some reason the requisition doesn’t get approved, you can cancel the meeting.
  • If one recruiter fills a position with an internal candidate, let the recruiter assigned to back fill the position know ASAP. This gives them a heads up on a future position and they’ll be able to qualify the requisition with the hiring manager long before it hits the “system”.
  • “Batch” candidates for consideration and review with the hiring manager prior to submitting.  Instead of routing candidates as you receive them, wait until you have 2 or 3 candidates.  Then set up a quick con call to review them with the hiring manager. NEVER send resumes or paperwork WITHOUT  a discussion with the hiring manager first.  Call and say “I have 2 candidates I want to review with you that I really like.  When can we discuss for 5 minutes?” Search Firm recruiters have been doing this for years!
  • Of course the ultimate way to remove wait time in the “route-review-interview” process is to eliminate the “route-review-interview” process.  During the intake, identify times when the manager is available to interview (give yourself sufficient lead time) and then just schedule the top 2-3 candidates within those time slots.  Why does the hiring manager need to review candidates before the interview? That is our job :)
  • Schedule a 15-minute “debrief” meeting with hiring managers immediately after the interview.  Send an outlook request to meet to debrief at the same time you send the interview request.

While these seem like simple things to do . . . they can have a huge impact on overall TTF!  We often get so obsessed with trying to reduce sourcing time, pipelining candidates, workforce planning, etc to reduce TTF when . . . while I encourage you investigate all of those things . . . the quickest, lowest cost strategy is just working on your current WAIT time bottle necks!

NOTE: Most of the above are based on the assumption that YOU control the interview/hiring process. I.E. – you assist managers with facilitating the interview/selection/offer process.  If your process is to route candidates to managers and let them control the process . . . I would consider changing it ASAP. While it does take more time, in the long run you will save time/waste by being more efficient. For more information on this – Check out our Blog site and search under “process efficiency”.

If you are interested in more information on Value Stream Mapping, please connect with me

Have a productive day :)

Managing Your Hiring Managers, Part Two

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

Last week we posted the first part in this series on Managing Your Hiring Managers.  We discussed how to understand what your hiring manager’s want (or just as important – need) through voice of the customer (VOC).

A key to building a consultative partnership with your hiring manager is by getting to know them personally and building credibility with strong functional knowledge of their organization, business unit and staff.  

How do you accomplish this? The following questions will help guide you so that you can become recognized as a true staffing partner with your hiring managers.

Knowing Your Hiring Managers & Building Credibility – Self Assessment!

  • Do you have strong, personal relationships with your hiring managers? Do you know where they are from, their hobbies and interests?  You don’t need to be best friends.  But, you should have some basic knowledge of your customer and who they are. 
  • Do you know their administrative assistants or other support staff well? Often the most important contact you’ll have is the Administrative Assistants and other support professionals aligned to your hiring manager.  They can be your best ally to ensure you’re given access to the hiring manager’s schedule and they always have an ear to the inner workings of the hiring manager’s department.
  • Who are their top performers?  Do you have a relationship with them?  If you’re trying to build a business for your hiring manager, you should always look at their leadership team.  From the successor of the department to the top performers, the traits from these team members are what the hiring manager is seeking to build in his/her department and what you should look for when courting talent.  Also building relationships with these leaders will ensure your opinion is vetted throughout the key influencers in your hiring manager’s world.
  • Do you have a strong functional knowledge of what they do?  What does the hiring manager actually do every day?  You should have a basic understanding of how they spend their time.  They should also know how you spend yours. :)
  • Do you keep up with the industry?   Sure, you should be reading Workforce & HR magazines, but you should also be reading up on the latest trends in your industry. Whatever the industry (i.e. healthcare, banking, home building), you should stay abreast of trends there.
  • Have you visited the department or met their staff?  If you have the ability to make a visit in person do so.  One of my clients within the insurance industry conducts site visits once a month to make sure they have a face tied to the name.  
  • Do you understand the career progression for each department?  How do people move up, or transfer out of their department.  This can be a key selling point if this particular manager has a track record of creating star performers for your organization or system.
  • Do you meet with your managers quarterly to quantify your performance/ROI?  As part of a quarterly touch base (or onsite visit), do you present meaningful data to your hiring manager to show what you or your function has done for them in the past 3 months?

We have added this self-assessment tool to our Good to “Elite” competency/skills self assessment library (see below).

Click here to participate.

If would like a copy of your (or your team’s results) results, please email us.

Join us for our final installment next week when we’ll focus on how to effectively manage the hiring manager relationship.

Have a great week!