Lean, Just-in-Time Recruiting!

Archive for April, 2012

Keep Hiring Managers Engaged and Responsive

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

…holding them accountable!

I had the recent pleasure of creating a podcast titled “Hiring Manager Accountability” with Carol Statter, Employment Manager at Infirmary Health System and Rebecca McNeil from HealthcareSource.  During this podcast, we discussed service level agreements, value stream mapping and how to keep hiring managers engaged and responsive during the recruitment process.

Please Listen Online or feel free to Download the MP3 file now.

Managing the search process, setting service level agreements and holding managers accountable are critical keys to managing time-to-fill and maintaining excellent customer satisfaction ratings.
Some other educational tidbits on this subject that you might want to check out include:

I believe this topic is so important that we dedicated one full module to it (Tactical Client Management) in our Recruiter Academy Certified Education Program.

I hope you are having a Perfect Day.

Give Your Candidates the VIP Treatment….

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

……and set yourself apart from the crowd.

In the competitive landscape of recruiting, we often pride ourselves on the ability to attract top talent.  Yet it’s the way we treat that talent throughout the staffing lifecycle that defines our brand.  Elite organizations discovered long ago that top talent needs to be given a memorable experience as they consider employment.

We have found that these types of organizations have a five star approach for their candidate interaction, i.e. they give them the VIP treatment.  


Apply simple, straightforward, LEAN Recruiting Processes

A great deal of our work with clients is around finding and improving efficiencies in the recruiting process.  In addition, we have found that Elite organizations focus on a positive candidate experience which includes:

  • A streamlined assessment process that is effectively communicated up front in the recruiting process.
  • Job descriptions that are clear, informative and enticing.
  • Recruiting practices that ensure that recruiters are responsive to star candidates by returning emails and phone calls within 2-3 days, rather than weeks.

These might sound like fundamentals, but many organizations skip these steps.  However, they go a long way towards delighting the candidate and getting your organization noticed.

Impress from the first greeting 

Make it a point to make eye contact and smile as you greet the candidate.  In our Smartphone-addicted culture, it’s rare that people make eye contact with one another, let alone do it from a distance. When a candidate walks in and is greeted by a heads up smiling face, it sets the perfect tone.  

When the recruiter has the same approach during that first introduction, it will send a refreshing message that applicants don’t often receive; You’re important to me and you have my attention.

Treat your finalists like finalists

Many employers may not realize it, but they frequently treat job applicants with discourtesy (e.g., unreturned phone calls). Turn that into your advantage by treating your finalist candidates with a Midas touch.  When calling them to schedule a final interview, turn the conversation into more than a robotic calendaring exercise. 

Mention how excited everyone is to meet them, and how glad you are that they’ll be paying you a visit. Apply the same approach when the candidate arrives onsite. Don’t treat them like a number or shuffle them around like a piece of paper — focus on making them feel welcome.

Anticipate their needs

Any five star experience involves someone anticipating your needs in advance.  Depending on how long their trip was to your location, they may appreciate a bottle of water or directions to a restroom. If you have a receptionist greeting visitors, have them offer these things to the applicant upon arrival (or, if not, offer them yourself). 

Even if the candidate declines, they’ll appreciate the offer and view it as a signal that you actually care about the well being of others.  

Provide directions

We often forget that even local candidates may not have been to our office before.  When scheduling the onsite interviews, ask them if they would like directions to and from your location, and send them out.  In the old days it would be written directions, now it can be as simple as sending them the links to the Google map information.

For your company, if they’re finishing interviews around a meal time, highlight some local restaurants on the map. 

Give a “swag” bag

As your list of finalists starts to emerge, consider giving them a basket of promotional items (a mug, t-shirt, etc). This would be reserved just for the final few candidates, so it wouldn’t cost much, and is guaranteed to make a memorable impression. After all, how often is it that a candidate goes to an interview and leaves with a gift?

Offer a shadow session

Candidates may be thrilled with everything they hear about your business and the role, but they may be left wondering — what’s it really like working there? If you have confidence in the quality of your work environment, consider offering the most promising candidates a “shadow session” with an existing employee who is already doing the job.  Even if it’s just for one hour, it gives them a real view of the role they’ve applied for, and an opportunity to pepper a future potential colleague with questions. It’s a pleasant surprise for the candidate because it reflects uncommon transparency, and a genuine effort by the employer to ensure a good mutual fit.

Demystify the compensation package

Eventually, you’ll make a job offer to an applicant. But the games not over there, because the individual might still be considering competing offers — the opportunity remains to influence them with a pleasant surprise. 

After making a verbal offer, follow-up with a polished information packet that clearly and simply describes all the elements of the package — benefits, training programs, and other unique offerings (e.g., employee discounts).  Many businesses view this as an “administrative” communication with a prospective employee. View it instead as a final sales pitch, a platform for making their decision easy and straightforward.


Consider incorporating these simple VIP treatments into your recruitment strategy to create positive, memorable impressions. They can be very powerful sources of differentiation in any type of business interaction. 

Presuming you’ve got the recruiting basics nailed, it’s the pleasant surprises that applicants will remember when they return home and evaluate their employment options.

Have a phenomenal week!

Data-Driven Healthcare Recruiting

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Predictive analytics are driving many healthcare organizations’ hiring decisions in today’s competitive market.

 I was recently interviewed for an article regarding the use of metrics to manage and streamline hiring processes in today’s competitive marketplace.

The focus of the article includes: 

  • Significance of organizations capturing the right data to help optimize their recruitment strategies and eliminate the time and money holes spent on untargeted recruitment campaigns.
  • Predictive analytics and hiring.
  • Prioritizing hiring.

I thought you might find this article called Data-Driven Healthcare Recruiting worthwhile!

It is true, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure”. And if you don’t have a predictive, performance management scorecard – it will become more difficult to manage recruitment as the market for talent continues to heat up!

PS – If you’re seeking to learn more about how you can use metrics to:

  • Quantify ROI to key stakeholders
  • Drive performance improvement initiatives
  • Celebrate success

I would encourage you to become a LEAN Healthcare Community Member so you can participate in the LEAN Healthcare Recruitment Metrics Benchmark Study

I hope you are having a Perfect Day!

David Szary

Using a Mindstorm to Drive Your Search Strategy

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

The Perfect Storm – For the Mind!

From our work with clients, and through our extensive training experience, we have found that recruiters often struggle to source quality candidates because they:

  • Can’t think strategically or innovatively about new ways to source candidates 
  • Lack time to execute new sourcing ideas
  • Do not create a written plan of action – aka a Sourcing Strategy

To address these missing actions, we pioneered a concept called Mindstorming. This approach enables the use of the collective knowledge of you as a recruiter, your team, your customers, and others to formulate a way to capture passive candidates where they “live, work, or hangout.” Mindstorms inject creativity into your search, help you to create a Sourcing Strategy, and give your hiring managers the confidence that you have a formal plan of action to source quality candidates that match their requirements. Mindstorms are commonly used by elite recruiting organizations for all critical, difficult, or visible to fill positions, as well as any volume hiring positions that they consistently struggle to find top talent for.

The Mindstorming process should start with your hiring manager during your intake session.  During this session, you’re asking the hiring manager questions about their star employees, where they came from, who they know, what associations they’re involved in, etc.  After you’ve gathered this intel from your hiring manager you are fully prepared to create the shell of your sourcing strategy, but why stop there!

Elite organizations will also include a team approach to Mindstorming, in which the recruiting team (or a subset of it) will meet and strategize on other creative sourcing channels that may not have been tapped yet. The team might discuss a strategy for tapping into their new hires for referrals, or mining references from recent hires that might be in the critical jobs the team is recruiting for. These elite organizations will conduct these every few weeks, or once a month, or as often as needed based on their open positions and the difficulty to fill them.

Here are some real life examples from a recent Mindstorm with one of our clients:

  • Employee Referrals – Each recruiter decided to pick 10 top performers within the line of business they support. Then they engaged these employees for specific referrals for openings within the organization.
  • Association Membership Lists – Each recruiter was tasked with “harvesting” the most qualified association membership lists from their hiring managers, peers, employees, etc.
  • Hires from References – Each recruiter targeted 10 of their recent hires and sought to engage qualified references from those hires for their key positions.

As you can see from the above list, the ideas were ones that were simple, but had probably been neglected. The key was that the entire team (hiring managers, recruiters, etc.) came up with this list together as well as the approach they would take to make this strategy happen.

So try a Mindstorm with your peers or team in the next week, even in its most basic form, and see what creative ideas you can come up with to drive your search strategy!

And if you’d like additional sourcing ideas, check out our Just-In-Time Educational Recruitment Resources.