Lean, Just-in-Time Recruiting!

Archive for the ‘Bradley Savoy’ Category

3 Tips to Deal with an Urgent Request

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

In the world of recruiting and HR, it seems that everything is portrayed as urgent requiring an immediate response, as though we’re living in a constant state of emergency! We’re under siege from a constant stream of urgent requests from internal business partners. For example, a talent acquisition manager of one of our clients recently shared that much of her time, and that of her people, was spent responding to “urgent” questions or issues from internal business partners, rather than managing the business of talent acquisition – sound familiar?

In reality, what is often labeled “urgent” simply is not. But because we live in the age of smart phones, everyone assumes we’re available 24/7.  So as we all know, people sit in meetings tapping away at their mobile devices and catch up on phone calls while walking to and from the bathroom. In some ways, technology has turned us into rapid-response junkies.

One of the most difficult aspects of this rapid-response culture is figuring out how to respond appropriately to clients and customers. On one hand, we know that our customers expect and value responsiveness, which we want to provide. On the other hand, not every request needs an instant response. In fact, doing so too often will not only reinforce the customer’s expectation of rapid-response on everything, but also might not always yield the best results.

So the next time you get that email with the little red exclamation point or the voicemail at 10 PM, try these three tips for determining how to respond:

  1. Don’t assume urgent means right now. Talk with your boss or your customer about what he/she wants to accomplish and when it’s really needed. His/her interpretation of “immediately” may be different than yours.
  2. Respond, but don’t necessarily act. Sometimes a client or colleague wants you to commit right away to a plan of action, but doesn’t need more than that in the short term. Explain what you will do and your intended timeline to be sure that meets his/her needs.
  3. Be prepared to say no. At times, you need to discern between a true crisis and a cry of wolf. Even if your customer thinks he needs it right now, it may be best to decline.

Have a great week!

Should You Keep Hiring Managers Waiting?

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

I read the Harvard Business Review www.hbr.org as often as I can.  We apply many of their concepts here at Lean.  This recent article caught my eye.  It ties in nicely to the approach we take with Hiring Managers regarding Service Level Agreements.

“Think Customers Hate Waiting?

How often have you found yourself staring at your computer screen as a progress bar tracks the machine’s fitful loading of an application or completion of a search and wondered, “What’s taking so long?” Good managers worry about wait time because a great deal of evidence (not to mention common sense) suggests that reducing it can increase customer satisfaction. Our research, however, demonstrates that a different approach — simply showing people what is taking so long — gets better results. Customers find waiting more tolerable when they can see the work being done on their behalf — and they tend to value the service more.

This holds true even when what’s shown is merely the appearance of effort. What we term the labor illusion — a demonstration of effort, whether literal or not, expended to meet the customer’s request — can be so effective, in fact, that many customers who endure waits but see a running tally of tasks end up happier than those who don’t have to wait at all. People even prefer waiting with the labor illusion to playing an interactive game of tic-tac-toe.

In one experiment we conducted, participants searched on a simulated travel Web site for a flight. Some watched the typical boring progress bar. Others could see each airline being canvassed. The second service received higher ratings, even when those using it were forced to wait for as long as a minute. In another experiment, each participant booked the same trip through two different sites and received identical results. One site delivered the results instantly but invisibly, whereas the other took either 30 or 60 seconds but showed the labor being done. A majority preferred the transparent — and slower — site.

Many of us have already experienced the labor illusion online: The travel Web site Kayak, for example, shows customers each airline it searches. We’ll increasingly encounter it in other environments as well. Apple recently augmented its automated voice response system with the prerecorded sound of typing, creating the impression that the digital operator is physically keying in the caller’s query. ATMs at the Spanish bank BBVA show an animation of bills being counted as customers wait for the machines to spit out their cash. The U.S. Postal Service has installed screens that show customers each step being taken by the postal worker who is helping them. Starbucks now requires that baristas steam milk for each drink individually — a process that increases wait time but allows customers to see what’s going on.

Transparency has long been heralded as a virtue in accounting and public relations. Our research suggests that operations can reap important bottom-line benefits from it as well.”

As we’ve discussed in our previous posts on Managing your Hiring Managers  and Mission Health System’s Lean Journey using a Service Level Agreement can improve customer satisfaction by communicating a number of actions that are occurring during the recruiting life cycle. 

Most relevant to Hiring Managers is communication about what is happening at each stage of the lifecycle and how much time each step usually takes.  The Service Level Agreement will outline this to both parties.  Hiring Managers will know, for instance, that in the first 10 days of a requisition being opened, Recruiting is sourcing and screening resumes to then forward along to them. 

If Recruiting is using SLA’s often enough Hiring Managers become aware of what’s taking place, and by whom, at any given time in the process. The relationship between Hiring Manager and Recruiting immediately improves  simply because they know there is effort taking place on their behalf, even if Hiring Managers cannot physically see it!

If you’d like to learn more about Service Level Agreements and how you can apply them to your organization please contact us.

Have a great week!

Lean Journey at Mission Health System

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

If you missed it last week, Lori Halula, Manager of Recruiting for Mission Health System, and I conducted a webinar in partnership with HealthcareSource discussing how Mission engaged Lean Human Capital to conduct a Lean, Just-In-Time transformation.

During the webinar, Lori recapped the major milestones over the last year including:

  1. How Position Manager data and Lean Human Capital’s Healthcare Recruitment Benchmark Study uncovered areas for improvement – As you may have seen from our press releases and other blog posts, we are now an integrated partner with HealthcareSource. As a part of this partnership, any client of Position Manager will now have a FREE automatic data feed from Position Manager. This feed will allow you to seamlessly participate in our benchmarking study, as well as build deeper analytics to measure your process efficiency.
  2. Creation of a new, benchmarked analytics and performance metrics scorecard – As many of you have heard from me, you can’t improve what you don’t measure. It’s also more difficult to make key decisions and manage customer expectations without objective data to drive behaviors. A metrics scorecard can lead to a continuous improvement approach that drives the desired behaviors from your key stakeholders by using factual data that is very difficult to argue with.
  3. Mission’s transition to an optimized recruiting structure including new roles & responsibilities – Early in the engagement, Mission conducted a 360 degree assessment with their recruiters where they evaluated their competencies and skills compared to other healthcare recruiters, to uncover areas for improvement. Sourcing candidates and building pipelines scored lower than other areas. Based on this data, as well as additional research, we decided to migrate the team from a generalist recruiting structure (where recruiters do everything for everyone) to a model that includes talent and sourcing specialists. In the new model, talent specialists work primarily with the candidates and hiring managers while sourcing specialists work to source candidates and build active and passive pipelines.
  4. How conducting a Lean process audit and time-value mapping of Mission’s recruitment process reduced waste – In this exercise key stakeholders were documented for each step in the process as well as the process and delay times for each step. At the end the team worked on techniques to positively impact time to fill and improve customer service.
  5. How Mission implemented Service Level Agreements to better manage the hiring manager relationship and expectations – Lori shared their experience about how hiring managers can negatively impact time to fill by delaying the movement of candidates through the hiring process. By putting in place service level agreements, Mission has created greater accountability for hiring managers as well as recruiters.

Mission’s ROI since going live has positively impacted time to fill, reducing it from 48 days (2010) to 42 days (2011)! We look forward to seeing more improvements over time.

If you have interest in hearing the entire presentation, here is the link to the recorded webinar: Mission Health System’s Lean Journey Webinar.

We are excited to have Lori participate in our Advanced Metrics pre-conference workshop on Tuesday July 12th at NACHR’s Annual Image conference! If you would like more information about this workshop, please contact us.

I would also encourage you to participate in our Healthcare Recruitment Benchmark Study. For more information, please contact us.

I hope you’re having a great week!

Mindful Recruiting/5 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Recruiting Stress

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

My wife and I just completed a course on Mindfulness.  Yes like most husbands I didn’t go willingly, as it was her idea!  But, by the end of the class I learned quite a few tips that I thought I would share with all of you.

Now you should know that I am the king of multi-tasking and a type “A” personality.  I’ve tried these techniques myself and many of them have worked for me.  I believe that if applied consistently these techniques will help many of you in your stressed recruiting lives. 

The idea of mindfulness began at U Mass under Jon Kabat-Zinn.  He sums the concept in this way.  “Mindfulness is about being fully awake in our lives.  It is about perceiving the exquisite vividness of each moment.  We gain immediate access to our own powerful inner resources for insight, transformation, and healing.”   

  1. Do one thing at a time.  Single tasking may sound archaic in our multi-tasking world, but it can be quite powerful and can renew your focus.  The concept comes from the Zen proverb “When walking walk, when eating, eat.”  If you’re on the phone with a candidate or hiring manager, focus on the phone call.  Don’t try to juggle your emails, IM, or other distractions.  Just focus on the phone call.  Simple focus on the one task at hand leads to better focus on your objective, and better service to your customer!
  2. Put space between things.  Putting space between calls and meetings throughout the day, even if it’s only 10 minutes, will give you a more relaxed schedule, and leaves space in case one task runs longer than another.  It can also give you a chance to take a mini-break (note the next tip).
  3. Spend at least 5 minutes a day doing nothing.  I know you’re thinking “Oh No!  But what will my boss, or partner, or kids say!” Yet sitting in silence, and simply breathing (yes breathing) can give you renewed focus for the next task, or the remainder of the day!
  4. Stop worrying about the past or the future. Just focus on the present.  We all do it, we spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about the last call or meeting, or thinking about the one you have next week or in an hour, during the call or meeting you’re currently in!  How many times have you missed an important point from your customer (candidate, hiring manager) or your family member, because you weren’t focused on the here and now?  If you shift your focus to the present, you’ll see your stress drop, and your satisfaction with key relationships improve.
  5. Enjoy the silence.  On your next commute, when you come to a red light, try to just sit back for those 30 seconds and relax.  Don’t pick up the phone and check email or voice mail.  Just sit quietly.  Another technique to try is to not use your commute time for phone calls, but as time for you to reconnect with yourself.

Keep practicing.  When you feel yourself frustrated or stressed with your day try one of these tips.  Or simply close your eyes for 10 seconds and breath.  For home practice there’s a website called www.emindful.com that has online classes.  Also if you’re an iPhone user a good app to try is SimplyBeing! 

Finally I’ll leave you with this brief saying from Saki Santorelli, a mindfulness teacher.  Try repeating this to yourself sometime.

May I be safe and protected from all inner and outer harm.

May I be happy, peaceful, and calm.

May I be as healthy and strong as possible for me.

May I care for myself with joy and ease.

Have a great week!

2011 Recruiting Trends

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

As many of us begin to wrap up the first quarter of 2011, I’d like to explore some of the trends that we’re seeing and how they may affect the remainder of the recruiting year. 

Heightened Focus on Employee Engagement

As the economy continues to recover this will be an interesting indicator to watch.  Employee Engagement and retention were two of the biggest concerns for HR professionals in 2010, according to a survey conducted by Human Resource Executive magazine, and will continue to be in the year ahead.  Based on 2010 survey data of employees from HR Solutions, only 27 percent of employees are ‘Actively Engaged.’  The remaining 73 percent is divided between ‘Ambivalent’ employees (60 percent) and ‘Actively Disengaged’ employees (13 percent).  To address this issue, organizations are utilizing their most Actively Engaged employees as mentors to motivate and re-energize their disenchanted peers.  According to the 2010 HRE survey of 802 HR Executives, 48% of participants responded neutral when asked about the current state of Employee Morale/Engagement at their organization. Such ambivalence has lead more organizations to increasingly focus on the results of their annual satisfaction surveys.  This has included conducting break out focus groups or additional surveys to address engagement.

Voluntary Attrition Increases Dramatically

Most employers have been concerned about this for some time, as the past few years may not have been kind to their employees with regard to pay freezes, lack of bonuses, and increased workloads.  The importance of retaining employees, especially high performers and those in critical roles is paramount.  According to Harris Interactive, 54 percent of employees plan on looking for a new job once the economy improves. In an effort to thwart this, one trend we’re starting to see is the formation of strategic retention plans that go beyond just focusing on traditional compensation, to include professional development, career pathing and succession planning.

Jury’s Still Out on Social Media, LinkedIn becomes More Dominant

While we still haven’t seen strong ROI from the use of social media, organizations are still “dipping their toe” in its use.  Within our client base we’re seeing little success with the usage of Facebook & Twitter beyond simple brand recognition efforts.  But, we expect that over time these mediums will become more important once the mysterious ROI equation is solved and there are strong success stories as a result of their use. LinkedIn has continued to be the dominant player in the social media recruiting space but we expect to see even more pronounced usage this year. Our clients are adopting its usage at a more rapid pace and beginning to see the results from its use.  The primary driver of return for LinkedIn seems to be finding enough time to use it.  If you have enough time you’ll see the return. 

We’ll continue to add to this list as we see more trends develop to keep you informed. 

Hiring Manager Intake Sessions: Poll Results

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

One of our recent polls asked:  “Do you meet in person with your hiring managers to qualify a new open requisition (IE – Intake Session)?”

The results of our poll confirm that we’re seeing a positive trend with more and more organizations migrating towards “best in class” methods of managing their hiring managers.

“Do you meet in person with your hiring managers to qualify a new open requisition (IE – Intake Session)?”

40%:   Yes – 100% of time. It is the most important step in the staffing process. 

42%:   Most of the time – if not, I schedule a meeting via the phone to perform the intake session.

5%:     Sometimes – if we don’t meet, they send me the position description. 

7%:    Rarely – they send me information on the position and/or input into our ATS system.

6%:    Never – my managers expect me to know what they are looking for!

82% of respondents conduct an intake session with hiring managers.  A critical 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 manager’s style/personality/culture?
  • Sourcing strategy questions
  • Who are some of your top performers that I could network with?
  • What are the selling points of the position?
  • What “knock out” questions do you suggest I use?

I hope you are including some of these questions in your intake sessions!  Remember, a well conducted intake session goes a long way to assure that your position will be filled by the best possible candidate and in as little time as possible!

Planning Your Time – Perfect Week/Perfect Day

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Recently we hosted a poll to see when some of you plan for the next day of work. The results were interesting in that 76% of you do plan ahead either when you’re wrapping up your day or the next day with your cup of coffee.  However 27% of you either don’t have time to plan or only plan a couple of times a week.

When do you plan your day?

I plan for the next day before I leave each day — stress reliever!                    51%
I am a morning planner — with my cup of coffee                                                  22%
Plan? I barely have time to go to the restroom!                                                    20% 
I sometimes plan my day — maybe 2 to 3 days a week                                         7% 

If you’re like me it’s difficult to manage your schedule and complete your “To-do’s” while operating in an environment of constant change, fire drills, etc. One of the techniques we teach to overcome this obstacle and become more productive and efficient is to adopt what we call “A Perfect Week, The Perfect Day” routine. This routine can help you and your team improve time management, planning, and organizational skills, manage multiple projects and tasks, and get more accomplished!

“A Perfect Week, The Perfect Day” routine helps set a strategic course for the week and allows for changes.  The best time to develop “A Perfect Week” is in advance of your week (maybe Friday afternoon or early Monday morning). 

Begin by listing all the activities you want to accomplish into two categories:

  1. Billable. Billable activities directly relate to hiring new employees. Obviously this activity contributes to making money for your organization. Examples of billable recruiting time might include prospecting for candidates, making offers, attending job fairs, setting up interviews with hiring managers, qualifying a requisition, etc.
  2. Non-billable. Non-billable activities are things that you must accomplish and typically support your billable activities. Examples include entering candidates into your ATS, developing postings for the Internet, activity reporting, department meetings, training, paperwork, etc.

If you’d like to see an example of the template we use to document our “Perfect Week” please contact me.  At a high level it would look something like this:

  • Source six hours for BM position. Get three submittals to Kendall – Billable
  • Get requisition from Szary for the SVP of IT – Billable
  • Source four hours for SVP position – submit two candidates – Billable
  • Spend 2 hours in staff meetings – Non-Billable

The next step is to plan your days differently, something we call “Time Based Planning.”  Most people manage their schedule using outlook or some other online scheduling system with a “To-do” list.   Most of these “To-do” action items are not sequenced in order of priority and most people don’t embed their “To-do’s” into their daily schedule.  Time-based planning allocates a specific time during your day to accomplish your “To-do’s” based on their priority.

In the example below I’ve taken the perfect week list above and mapped out one of my days through time based planning:

7:30 – 8:30           Planning, return emails, call Bob about Sue
8:30 – 11:00        Sourcing for SVP position
11:00 – 12:00      Interview with Joe Edwards for SVP of IT
12:00 – 1:00        Lunch – call Mom for birthday!
1:00 – 2:00           Interview Bill Wallace
2:00 – 3:00           Schedule Lisa & Catherine interviews
3:00 – 4:00           Phone screen BM candidate
3:00 – 5:00           Return all emails from net postings

Rather than having my day scheduled and then trying to map my “To-do” list to it, the two are embedded together! 

Of course each week and every day won’t go perfectly!  If activities you’ve documented in your perfect week change during the week then readjust and develop a new plan of action. Plans were meant to be changed!   

Try this routine as a pilot.  We think you’ll find it improves your planning, time management, and organizational skills.   

Results of Our Quality of Hire Poll

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

A few weeks ago I posted some thoughts on Quality of Hire, and asked you to share the ways in which your organization measures this metric. 

  • 33% of respondents measure Hiring Manager Satisfaction:  This is an indication of Hiring Managers’ overall satisfaction with recruiting, gathered through surveys or focus groups, or in our terms, Voice of the Customer work. 
  • 29% measure New Hire Turnover:  This is turnover of new hires versus their peer group.  Most organizations & systems we work with measure voluntary terminations, but some also measure involuntary terminations.
  • 17% don’t currently measure Quality of Hire but would like to.
  • 13% measure New Hire Performance versus Their Peer Group:  How does the performance of the individuals that were hired in the last six months/year compare to their peers?  Are they meeting, or exceeding expectations?
  • 8% measure various Other Aspects of Quality, such as turnover of top performers or voluntary versus involuntary termination rates.

The results are not surprising based on what we see and hear in the market.  I’m pleased to see that many of you are capturing the “voice” of the Hiring Manager as a customer and also looking at new hire turnover. 

New Hire Performance versus Peer Groups is gaining acceptance as a meaningful metric to use.  But, the percentage of use could still be improved upon.  The primary issue with this metric seems to be the inability to draw comparisons across performance management systems versus applicant tracking systems, such as integration (ensuring the two systems “talk to each other” to share data) and of course data integrity.

The key is to start to measure Quality of Hire any way you can!  Only then will you be able to communicate the impact your recruitment function is having on transforming the talent landscape.  Start somewhere, anywhere!

We’re working with a few systems on measuring quality of hire now.  If you’d like to discuss how we can partner with you on measuring Quality of Hire please contact us.

Measuring Quality of Hire

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

We’ve always had requests from our clients and network on how best to measure Quality of Hire.  For years there has been debate throughout  recruiting circles on how to effectively measure it.  I think the common consensus is that it’s one measurable thing. Right?  Some Holy Grail that once found will bring us everlasting happiness.

Our view is that the best way to measure quality is through a 360 degree view across your customer base. Quality of Hire is not simply one metric, but a host of them that when combined will give you an overall indication of the quality of the individuals your organization is hiring.   

Here are some of the categories we consider when measuring Quality of Hire.

New Hire Satisfaction:  After new hires complete the recruiting experience, ask them to rate the experience with your department through surveys or focus groups.  This is even more critical for your internal transfers, which in many organizations represent 30-40% of your annual hires.

External Candidate Satisfaction:  This measures the experience of those individuals that were declined by your organization.  These are the folks that will go back out into the market and speak about their experience with your brand.  Whether it was positive or negative, it will have a ripple effect through their network.  Right now, I’m working with a client who is measuring this across one of their critical job families which also has a high attrition rate.  Hence they’re constantly trying to re-recruit candidates they previously declined, so this metric is critical to them.

Hiring Manager Satisfaction. What is the overall hiring manager satisfaction rating of their overall experience with recruiting? Consider aspects such as:  Recruiters understanding of the business they support, responsiveness to the hiring manager, customer service, candidate quality, and others.  For those of you that have worked with us you know this as part of the Hiring Manager Voice Of the Customer (VOC) work that we do.

Retention rates:  What is the new hire voluntary termination rate for your new hires in their first year by department?  What is it for your critical job families?

New Hire Performance versus Their Peers:  How does the performance of the individuals that were hired in the last six months compare to their peers?.  Are they meeting, or exceeding expectations?

We’re working with a few systems on this now.  If you’d like to discuss how we can partner with you on measuring Quality of Hire please contact us.

We’d also like to know what your thoughts are on this subject.  To see the poll please click here.

Expectation versus Reality — Deliver on Your Promises Consistently

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Companies who are serious about their talent need to deliver on their promises consistently.

When a candidate goes to your career website they begin to research your company. They are looking for information, drivers, and attractors that make your company a more intriguing proposition than others. 

Let’s say they decide to apply, and they’re invited in for the interview.  From the moment they arrive at your office they are gauging if the company they saw online matches what they see in reality.  As you go further down the lifecycle of hiring someone, further expectations develop based on the information you portray to the candidate. 

If the recruiter or hiring manager driving the interview process makes statements such as:  “We have a strong work/life balance at our company.  We believe in learning and development.  We have an open door policy in which management is readily acceptable.”  Then the organization better be prepared to deliver on those statements consistently.

Take the Gen X group and the Millenials.  Both of these groups are getting a lot of focus from companies right now to ensure they fill talent gaps as boomers reach retirement.  From our research, one of the key areas of attraction for both of these groups is learning and development.  Another dynamic of these groups is a lack of long-term company loyalty.  If your company states a strong position on learning and development, whether online, during the interview process or during on-boarding, and you don’t deliver on that promise these groups will leave quickly.

Best in class companies ask employees if the expectation they have of the company is matching the reality they’re experiencing over time.  Results will show significant drop offs in satisfaction if companies aren’t effectively setting and managing expectations with their new hires. 

The organizations that effectively manage expectation versus reality make sure that the messages they state on their website, during the interview process, and beyond are consistent and truthful.  They also consistently ask the employees what they think.  If the perception of new employees is not aligning with what companies are expecting then they should begin to make changes accordingly.