Lean, Just-in-Time Recruiting!

Journey from Good to ‘Elite’ — Observations from the Road

Over the last few months, I have met with dozens of recruitment organizations regarding their overall performance and their journey from good to ‘elite’ (either in-process or in the planning phase). 

As always, during these peak periods of heavy analysis, I have learned some interesting things and. . . . I have participated in leadership discussions that have validated many of my convictions. 

 Some interesting observations:

  • Process improvement is a journey, not a one-time event!  This thought was validated by a few organizations that have improved performance significantly in areas of responsiveness, productivity, process efficiency and customer satisfaction.  They all commented, “This has not happened over night! It has taken us a couple years to get to this point.”  

So much goes into analyzing problems, developing and implementing solutions, and then managing the change management process for all key stakeholders (recruitment team, internal/external customers, etc.).  It’s hard work to do!  It’s tough to turn critics into allies.  But it can be accomplished by those that develop a project plan and are committed to the journey.  

  • A well-balanced Scorecard is 100% essential.  I have personally facilitated a year-to-date review with senior leadership at seven respected organizations over the past month. As I compared each organization’s performance against the previous quarter, year-over-year and industry benchmarks, I was truly amazed to see how engaged senior leadership was!  The scorecard that was created for each organization provided the recruitment staff with instant credibility!  While each team may still not be perfect, they each have a solid plan of action in place. 

Here are some of the comments I heard: 

  1. “Wow, I didn’t know you were performing this well. This is great!”
  2. “Look at these metrics!  I can’t believe how much work your team has done to improve performance.”
  3. “We need to take this information and ensure that all leadership sees how well you’re doing and what you’re doing to continue to improve.”
  • Organizations don’t invest enough resources into sourcing!  Typical organizations fill 75% of their requisitions with active/internal candidates very quickly.  However, 25% stay open 100+ days.  The primary reason (outside of managing the requisition process with the hiring managers) is that not enough time is being spent sourcing to fill difficult positions. 

Our studies suggest that it takes 3, 5, even 20 hours of sourcing to identify one qualified and interested candidate for a difficult to fill position.  If the average # of candidates needed to fill a position is four (that is being conservative) then it will take 12-80 hours of just sourcing time to fill a difficult position.  As a typical corporate recruiter, how many hours do you spend sourcing?  Our research suggests the average recruiter spends just 1-3 hours per day.  Do the math!  And…we wonder why 25% of our positions remain open 100+ days! :)

I am always inspired by the organizations that, in spite of heavy workloads, shifting priorities, ornery managers :) , etc. have the passion for continuous improvement and lifelong learning!

If you are interested in embarking on a journey and/or have a story to share – - I would love to hear from you!

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