Building candidate pipelines to migrate towards JIT hiring has been talked about for years with little to no progress towards a solution.
From all the benchmark data I have seen (including our recent Healthcare Recruitment Benchmark Study), most organizations have time-to-fill metrics that hover between 25-90 days+ depending on the type of position they are trying to fill. While most discussions around this topic focus on the challenges of pulling off this feat, I want to discuss some pragmatic solutions that are realistic and achievable to implement.
- Develop a hiring forecast in advance of need – I think we are missing the boat on this one. While everyone is working on very complex workforce planning models (I’m not saying stop doing this – - I still think this is a worthwhile activity), most every organization I know of:
- Has a budget headcount forecast
- Tracks employee turnover
- Can predict (to some degree of certainty) headcount needs related to new business growth 90+ days out.
- Can identify employees that are flight risks, on the fast track to be promoted, or about to retire
This data will allow you to predict hiring needs with a variance of say 10% +/-. Is it perfect? No. Will it give you a road map of what you need to recruit for 90 days out. . . Heck ya!
- Identify the resources required to develop candidate pipelines to meet hiring needs. In manufacturing, this is called Materials Release Planning. Based on your process (and efficiency flows, time/resources required at each step, etc.) – you can identify the resources required to meet hiring demand throughout the ‘Staffing Supply Chain’. Richard Newsome provides a glimpse of this in his recent article. I have been using a more complex model with recruitment organizations for years!
- Get Leadership to hold hiring managers accountable for time to fill. Over the last 2 months, I have performed value stream mapping exercises with 7 recruitment organizations. On average, less than 10% of the total time to fill was ‘processing candidates’. 90% of the time was ‘wait/delay’ time between processes. Of the wait time, over 50% was directly caused by managers (I know you are shocked with these findings) sitting on resumes, not making decisions, ‘waiting’ for a purple squirrel candidate, etc.
If managers were/are held accountable, you can expect to reduce TTF by 30-50%. PS – I know this idea is probably the toughest to get implemented.
- Have dedicated sourcers for Critical/Difficult/Visible (CDV) positions – I know this is not a new concept but . . . it works . Most everyone underestimates how much time (sourcing) it takes to identify and recruit for these positions (no matter how savvy you are). I would invest in doing a pure time study to understand how much time it takes to ‘source’ a candidate for each of your critical job categories. Then you can truly identify how many resources you need to support hiring demand (again – check out Richard’s article ).
For many of you, these are not profound ideas and/or thoughts. For some of you, you’ve probably implemented a few of these ideas with some level of success.
So why are most organizations struggling to migrate to a JIT hiring solution?
- We are not managing customer expectations and/or educating them on what is required to meet their needs JIT (what they ask for when they say I want a req. filled ‘ASAP’ or ‘Yesterday’). Basic concepts like Production Planning and Materials Release Planning have been used in manufacturing organizations for years. We need to adopt them.
- We are not investing the time to work with customers to understand hiring needs. We are not investing the time to implement Material Release Planning concepts into our Staffing Supply Chain to identify the resources required to meet hiring demand.
I don’t want to make this sound simple. But let’s not make this harder than it needs to be. If hiring quality (quality is #1) employees in a timely fashion is very important to your organization, it is time to take control!
I would love to hear success stories from organizations that have implemented these concepts to substantially reduce lead time/TTF without any decrease in quality or increase in cost.
I hope you are having a perfect day!