Lean, Just-in-Time Recruiting!

Archive for the ‘Just-In-Time hiring’ Category

Seeking Presenters to Share Thier Story!

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

As I reflect on the unofficial close to ‘Conference Season’ for the holidays, I am further convinced that what makes a conference great (to me) are the dynamic presenters that:

  • Are motivational
  • Are funny
  • Have real life experiences/case studies to share
  • All of the above!

From my conversations with other professionals at these events, I seem to be part of the majority that think this way.  There’s nothing worse than listening to a person pontificating on the abstract theory of a topic telling you ‘what’ you should be doing.

I would rather hear the un-sanitized ‘real life’ case study related to something we all struggle with or want to learn about. I want the ‘how to’ strategies. I want to hear about the challenges and the success story regarding the journey!

We try to provide this type of experience when presenting at conferences or via our webinars.  So, I’d like to shamelessly plug our next webinar!

Henry Ford Health System’s Journey to Migrate to a Lean, JIT Recruitment Organization!
Presented by Barb Matti, Director of Talent Acquisition at Henry Ford Health System
November 2, 2011 from 1:00-2:00 PM EDT
Register Now

In addition, I want to encourage all of you folks that are motivational, funny or . . . have real life experiences/case studies to share . . . TO SHARE YOUR STORY WITH US!

The National Association for Health Care Recruitment (NAHCR) is currently seeking presenters (Call for Presenters) for their Annual IMAGE Conference which will take place in Indianapolis next July!  They’re seeking presentations that involve “real life” programs and case studies including topics such as: Allied Health/Nurse Recruitment, Behavioral Interviewing, HR Role in Investigations, Health Care Best Practices, Health Care Recruitment in Non Acute Care Settings, Recognition Programs, etc.

If you have not attended IMAGE before, I can assure you that it is a great conference!

ALSO…..If you have  a case study to share, we would love to discuss spotlighting you on one of our webinars! Just email us.

The benefits of being an industry presenter include:

  • Being recognized as a credible spokesperson within our industry
  • Public recognition for your peers/team
  • Forcing you to document your case study for internal customers to learn about
  • Getting a chance to network with other industry thought leaders :)

I hope you take the opportunity to share your story!

PS – Take a look at the poll results from last weeks blog show below.


Are you a 'fan' of video interviewing?


Are you considering utilizing video interviewing in the next year?


Are You Currently Utilizing Video Interviewing in Your Hiring Process?

Overall Average Time to Fill Metric – Does it Really Capture What is Going on?

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

One of the most compelling things we identified from our inaugural Healthcare Recruitment Benchmark Study was related to time to fill (TTF).  We first reported on this back in November, 2010.

The data clearly demonstrated that average TTF does not represent what is actually going on with respect to staffing performance.  

For most organizations, it showed that roughly 75-80% of the positions were being filled very quickly (20-30 days) while the other 20-25% of the positions were being filled in 90-100+ days! 


Recruitment organizations are designed (and excel) at filling what we call “business as usual” req’s with internal/referral/active candidates.  However, they struggle to fill “critical/difficult/visible” req’s that typically require a more proactive, aggressive sourcing strategy (targeting passive candidates). 

Based on these findings, we added the following TTF related questions to our study:

  • Number of positions filled in less than 60 days
  • Ave TTF for positions filled in less than 60 days
  • Number of positions filled in 60 or more days
  • Ave TTF for positions filled in 60 or more days

Of our Benchmark Study respondents so far, the data continues to support what we initially found:

  • % of positions filled in less than 60 days:  73%
  • Ave TTF for positions filled in less than 60 days:  23 days
  • % of positions filled in 60 days or more:  27%
  • Ave TTF for positions filled in 60 days or more:  113 days

If you do not currently measure TTF thru this lens, we encourage you to do so!

It will help you:

  • Understand how you’re currently performing with respect to time
  • Provide clarity around staffing/sourcing priorities
  • Provide guidance around developing a staffing model that will help you reduce TTF for critical/difficult/visible positions.

If you’re interested in participating in our Healthcare Recruitment Benchmark Study please contact us.

I hope you’re having a perfect day!

Just in Time Hiring – Is It a Dream?

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

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!

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!

Lean, JIT Transformation – Simply Brilliant ideas!

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

If you missed NAHCR’s webinar last week, Miranda Maynard (Employment Supervisor for EMH Healthcare) updated us on their Lean, JIT transformation initiative of 2011. 

It was an excellent ‘case study’ of what a continuous improvement journey is all about.

  • Incremental improvement over time can provide exponential returns.
  • Innovation doesn’t have to be rocket science. The best solutions are often simple which make them brilliant.

Some of the Simply Brilliant solutions EMH is implementing include:  

Capturing accurate Metrics – To migrate to a Management by Fact/Data Culture:

  • Eliminating “Other” and “EMH Career Site” as options for a candidate to choose for source of hire.  This has helped identify where top candidates are coming from to further develop cost effective sourcing strategies.
  • Recognizing that a sharp increase in TTF was a result of closing requisitions that have been open for a long period (a positive thing)!

Eliminating unqualified applicant flow – To spend Quality time with Quality Candidates:

  • Implemented pre-screen “Knock-out” questions prior to candidates applying for a particular position (most organizations implement these questions as part of the application process).
  • Implemented a behavioral-based online assessment (HealthcareSource’s Test source).

Make Time to Fill Service Level Agreements public and hold Managers accountable for achieving them:

  • Holding managers accountable for a 40-day Time to Fill metric ensures they are engaged in process. Currently evaluating  adding this SLA to their performance evaluation in 2011. 

Define/separate processes for ‘Business as Usual’ vs. ‘Critical/Difficult/Visible’ positions:

  • Immediate recognition of CDV positions and elimination of the time and cost associated with the “wait & see”/”post & pray” process.

We are excited to have Miranda 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 hope you’re having a great week!

‘Two cents’ from the road

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

As I have mentioned in the past, I am one lucky “recruiting guy” because I get to interact with talented recruitment professionals throughout the world on a daily basis. 

With our Solution engagement, I also get to become a ‘teammate’ of many recruitment organizations!  With our Benchmark Study, I have intimate interaction with many, many more!

This unique opportunity always provides me with many thoughts/observations/insights! 

Some  recent “Lean, JIT ‘Elite’ Recruitment Thoughts” from the road:

Discipline, sense of urgency, and self-direction are a few of the most important ELITE recruiter competencies you can possess.

  • The busier you get, the more time you need to plan your perfect day. If you are not planning at least 30 minutes a day . . . I bet you are 10-50% less productive than those that do!
  • You can plan all you want but . . . if you are not “true to your schedule”, if you do not commit to crossing off your TO DOs (ETFs, MTNs), starting/stopping meetings ON TIME, etc., IT IS WORTHLESS!

Trust is also very important.  If your hiring managers don’t TRUST that:

  • You understand their business
  • You have an eye for the talent they want/need
  • You know how to find top talent
  • They will continue to:
    • Ask to see all resumes before setting up interviews
    • Always want to “see more”
    • Not listen to your salary/offer recommendations, etc.
  • To earn trust, you must learn their business by attending staff meetings, learning from employees/candidates AND become an expert at performing intake sessions and setting SLAs

A strong ability to solicit interest is equally important.  With technology, social media, it is much easier to FIND passive candidates . . . but still very difficult to SOLICIT THEIR INTEREST.

While there are many facets to recruiting, if you:

  • Are able to plan for, and execute more Perfect Days (with passion :) )
  • Have earned the trust of your hiring managers via knowledge and engaging/executing flawless intake/SLA sessions.
  • Have mastered the ability to engage and recruit top talent.

You are pretty darn ‘elite’ in my book!

My ‘two cents’ from the road . . . Please share any of your ‘two cents’ from the field!  :)

I hope you have (or had) a good spring break!

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.

‘Beware of overall TTF |All req’s are not equal |Do you measure sourcing time per submittal?’

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

I am a lucky guy!  Why? Because I get the opportunity to work/consult with recruitment teams throughout the country.  This provides me a unique opportunity to not only meet some very good, talented people but also gather perspectives from multiple recruitment teams working in multiple industries.  

Here are some of these thoughts/perspectives (and recommendations) from my last few months of travel:

  • Beware of the overall TTF metric! – The analysis of data from our clients, as well as those involved in our benchmark study, clearly shows that overall average TTF is not indicative of performance. Specifically:
    • TTF for positions filled with internal/active candidates is significantly less than TTF when filled by “sourced” candidates. In a recent analysis, we found overall TTF for an organization was 33 days.  90% of these positions were filled in an average of 23 days while 10% were filled an average of 92 days!  ‘Average TTF’ clearly was not indicative of performance.     
    • We recommend you track TTF for critical/difficult/important to fill job categories. This will help assess performance and improve hiring manager satisfaction.
  • Most organizations treat all new requisitions equally! – When a new requisition comes in, it is worked through the same staffing process regardless of how critical it is to fill and/or how difficult it is to fill. 
    • When a recruiter takes on a position where there is no internal candidates and . . . NEVER has been filled through a posting and/or advertisement, why do we start the search using these tools that do nothing but create waste/time?
    • Make sure your staffing process has a step to identify when a position is ‘business as usual’ (high probability it will get filled by an internal/active candidate) or ‘difficult/critical to fill’ (need to escalate a sourcing strategy ASAP) and work it accordingly.   
  • It takes exponentially longer to source top talent! – Search firms have known this for years!  Just look at how they are staffed.  To fill difficult/critical to fill positions, most recruiters get paid very well to manage a half dozen req’s or less. They are often supported by a research team to do deep Internet mining to fill their positions.  But corporate recruiters are loaded up with 20, 30, 50+ req’s and . . . we are unsatisfied  when they can’t fill them all?!
    • To understand how much time you need to spend sourcing candidates, we recommend tracking a key metric:  Sourcing time per candidate submitted.  This will provide you with a key metric to define how many hours sourcing it takes to fill your critical/difficult to fill positions.   

If you would like to investigate these thoughts/recommendations further, don’t hesitate to email me

I hope your having a productive week.

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!

Compelling Time to Fill (TTF) data — It can be misleading

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

In a recent blogcast, (Time to Fill – Are You Managing A Key Metric You Are Measured On?), we discuss how time to fill can be misleading and . . . not a good indicator of hiring manager satisfaction and overall “responsiveness” to the truly critical hiring needs of the organization.

While most organizations might be able to track TTF by job category, they only report the overall average to key stakeholders. Unfortunately, this statistic becomes a “blended” rate of all positions regardless of priority, cost of vacancy, criticality to organization, difficulty to fill, etc.

And if an organization is not structured to truly support priority, critical to fill, or difficult to fill positions, there often is a big gap with respect to TTF between what we call Business As Usual Req’s – (AKA – BAU’s – repetitive positions that most often are filled by active, internal or referral candidates) and  priority/critical/difficult to fill ones. 

Some very intriguing data from one of our healthcare clients illustrates this point.

While there overall TTF for Q2 was 33 days (very, very good especially compared to our benchmark median of 41 days.

  • 300 positions were filled in an average of 23 days
  • While 49 positions took on average 89 days to fill!

This provokes the questions:

  • Do you have the right organizational structure to support BAU and priority/critical/difficult to fill positions?
  • Do you have the right process to support these distinctly different types of positions?
  • Do you have the right resources to effectively screen through the active pool of candidates while proactively sourcing top talent not found in those circles?

If you haven’t done so recently, I would slice your TTF data by BAU and priority/critical/difficult to fill categories and analyze how well you are performing. 

If your data is similar to the organization outlined above, then seek to develop strategies, processes, etc. to improve timeliness on the positions most critical to your organization!

I hope you’re having a good week.