Lean, Just-in-Time Recruiting!

Archive for the ‘Recruiter Sales’ Category

Jump Starting Your LinkedIn Network

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

At our Sister Company – - The RIO Group – - they like to have friendly competitions to bring fun/play to the work place (think FISH Philosophy!) and find/hire more quality people! :)

One contest they had recently was around “Growing your LinkedIn network”. Of course the value of growing your network is to gain access to the 120 million + (and growing) community.

During a recent meeting they were discussing how it was progressing and . . . one of RIO’s finest (Nicole) mentioned she had just jumped her network by over 800 contacts!

For most folks, this is a phenomenal ‘net growth’ in LI contacts in a short period of time. This spurred a ‘best practices’ discussion on growing your network.

Mike McLean (http://www.linkedin.com/in/mikepmclean), thanks for taking the time to consolidate the ideas you and the team had around this topic (see below)!

I hope everyone has a Perfect Day!


David -

Here are some of the top suggestions that were shared (thanks Nicole, Karen and Yvonne!).

If you have any questions – let me know. Mike

  • If you don’t know what a LinkedIn LION is . . . read the Wikipedia link for LION. This explains what a LinkedIn Open Networker (LION) is.
    • Anytime you see a profile with the following in their title – - LION, EMAIL ADRESS, A NUMBER SUCH AS 14,000+, A LION as a profile picture, etc – - -or on their page I would link with them! They are open networkers!
  • Here are some groups you can join that are loaded with Super Users!! All these folks “are open networkers”…
    • Members (123,300) TopLinked.com – I recommend signing up both within LinkedIn and also on their website. If you go to the website you can gain access for FREE to spreadsheets that have the contact information to close to 2000 Open Networkers. From these spreadsheets you can upload and send requests to link in. You can also pay a nominal fee to be added to the list.
    • Members (60,000+) OpenNetworker.com: part of TopLinked.com.
    • There are other groups that may also be more relevant to your industry so make sure to do a search under the Groups directory section and join.
  • When you have a candidate whether from Monster or LinkedIn or other sources, check to see if they have a Linkedin profile and have them connect with you. This does two things:
    • It keeps the candidate as part of your connections and if they leave their current firm or post they are now looking you know they are open game.
    • It connects you with co-workers of their past and present employers (easy to see the value in that!).
  • On your home page, in the upper right side, you’ll see an area called “people you might know.” Click on the See More. Linkedin provides an endless list of people related to you by keywords in your profile and their profiles. You can request to connect with people right from there.
  • Remember to diversify your group. Look for at least 1 person from every target company you have or link into a special Group that is for that skill set to get a good mix of professionals. The Open networkers group will always help put someone above the mark.

This is by no means an exhaustive list but it is a great starting point if you are looking to grow your network quickly with Super Users and/or folks within your industry disciplines.

If you would like to start growing your network feel free to LinkIn with me :) (Mike M).

How Does Your Email Look on a Prospect’s Phone!?

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Given the fact that a majority of people:

  • Don’t pick up the phone unless they recognize the phone # (myself included :( ).
  • Are addicted to their mobile media device (aka – smart phone)!

I would bet a good majority of your candidate prospects are receiving your “first contact” on their smart phone while at their desk, sitting in a meeting, at the coffee shop, etc. 

During a session on Monday, I received a great question from Ryan that honestly . . . I haven’t spent a ton of time researching.

“When sending an “Attention Grabber” email (Crafting and Delivering an “Attention Grabber”), how does it look when it is displayed on your mobile phone?”

My colleague (and our self-proclaimed resident “recruiting geek”), Mike McLean, had some excellent advice that I thought I would share with you all:

That is a great question. Having a uniform email that will display exactly the same on all smart phones would be extremely difficult (due to personal configurations, overrides, system setup/parameters, etc.). But there are a few things you can do to ensure that your emails will look the same to as many folks as possible: 

  1. Write all of your emails in Arial.  Arial is the default font for most applications and most people don’t change their settings off of it.   The 2nd most popular is Tahoma but not as many applications use it as a default.
  2. Compose your emails in Rich Text Format (also known as RTF) or HTML not text. RTF is the most common language used in word processing software so this will cause the least amount of issues.  If you are sending an email as HTML it is being sent just as it would present/look on a Webpage whereas if using RTF your email would look the same whether it was an email, word doc or webpage etc.  This means that an email in RTF is less likely to have its formatting changed when being read on different formats.
  3. Always send a test email to yourself and check it on your phone as well.

If you have any other great advice to share on this topic, please let me know!

Another Approach to Recruitment Resource Planning!

Friday, August 5th, 2011

For those that follow us, you know we are not fans of the “Requisitions per Recruiter” formula used for recruitment resource planning.

Our reasons include:

  1. It doesn’t take into consideration hiring demand/workforce planning (IE – what types of people do you need? How many? When? ).
  2. It doesn’t factor in the amount of time to source/find candidates to fill difficult/critical/visible positions.
  3. It doesn’t factor in staffing supply chain efficiency (IE – how many applicants must be dispostioned? how many candidates must be routed to the hiring manager to fill a position)? 

Our more advanced resource planning methodology is aligned with Materials Release Planning (MRP) methodology that has been used in JIT production manufacturing environments for years. 

We wrote an article on this subject that you might want to check out .

Ultimately, we believe that you should use this methodology for recruitment resource planning BUT . . . .you must have accurate process efficiency metrics for it to be a useful tool. 

If you have those metrics, we can assist in your planning efforts. Contact us.

If you are working towards developing the systems, ATS status codes and reporting required to use this methodology :) . . . another simple solution is utilizing your Annual Recruiter Productivity Metric. 

This is a simple calculation: 

# of positions filled (internal & external) / # of recruiter FTE

In our Healthcare Recruitment Metrics Benchmark Study, the Mean productivity per recruiter was: 243 positions filled per recruiter (over 100 healthcare systems are participating)!



25th Percentile

50th Percentile

75th Percentile

Total Positions filled /Total # of FTE Recruiters






So if you know historically that a recruiter can fill 243 positions a year. And FY2012 hiring demand is 2543 positions filled.  You would need 10.46 FTE recruiters to meet hiring demand. 

Now I know this is a fairly simplistic model that doesn’t take many things into consideration (including those outlined above) BUT . . . if you do not have the metrics required to migrate to staffing supply chain model, I would encourage you to consider this method OVER “req’s per recruiter” (which I still don’t understand how it works :) ).

Have a great week

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!

‘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!

The 80/20 Rule

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Author: Karen Antrim – Lean Human Capital  

Years ago, my boss said to me “this place has too much of the 80/20 rule.”  “80/20 rule?” I asked.  “It’s when 80 percent of the work gets done by 20 percent of the people.” he answered.

In my real life, when I’m not sourcing or teaching sourcing, I’m a mom.  I volunteer at my kids school, at our church, and for little league.   I often observe the 80/20 there.  You’ve probably noticed this in your real life too.  80 percent of the work is done by 20 percent of the parents.

Weekly, I read about a new tool, technique or process that is going to change the way we source.  Or, I get an email for a class on how to improve and write better Boolean strings to find resumes or lists on the net.  I’m all for constant learning and constant improvement.  It’s the mantra our firm is based on.  However, I work for recruiters who have very little time and a mountain of openings to fill.  So my ability to get them accurate prospective candidates in a short time is a priority.  My sourcing techniques must provide the biggest return for the effort.  They must adhere to the “80/20 rule”.

The principle applies to recruiters who do their own sourcing. They have even less time for each activity in the recruitment process without a sourcing staff to assist them.  The “80/20 rule” should become a guiding principle.

Simply put, the 80/20 rule is how to get 80% of your candidates with 20% of the tools and processes of sourcing.

Let’s take some specific examples.  We all know that Linkedin.com has the largest community of profiles of any social professional network.  If you have time constraints on your recruitment process, why use any other network?  Get 80% of your prospects, build 80% of your network, start 80% of your conversations in LinkedIn.

Here is an inverse example.  I understand the appeal of long and sexy Boolean search strings.  As a Boolean geek, I dig‘em.  But as a person who must be pragmatic in her practices, they do not return enough bang for the buck.  They don’t adhere to the 80/20 rule.  For example, the popular string (Intitle:resume OR inurl:resume OR intitle:cv OR inurl:CV  OR etc..) generally finds resumes that have been posted on a personal website or perhaps a university faculty bio. There just isn’t a large population of these out there.  One can spend a great deal of time playing with keywords in this string and not get a large return for their time investment.  This is an example of the 20/80 rule.  20% return on 80% of the investment.

Pick your top 3-5 successful sourcing activities, and stick with those.  Mine are:

  1. Site command to harvest linkedin.com
  2. Subscription resume database such as Monster
  3. My ATS
  4. Finding associations and membership lists
  5. Target companies to raid with call campaign

As a recruiter, you may change out #4 for working your own existing network.

Regardless of whether you’re a recruiter doing your own sourcing, or a sourcer supporting recruiters, putting 20% of your time in these activities will produce 80% of your prospect list.  That leaves a whole lot of time for other tasks, such as candidate interaction, building your network, or branding yourself and your organization.

Happy Sourcing!

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. 

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.   

Helping Job Seekers helps children in need! PLEASE READ!

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

As many of you know, with the help of recruiters across the country, I finished a book that I believe will help job seekers across the nation - Best (and Worst) Advice for Job Seekers.

The book is a quick read with ‘un-sanitized’ information that can immediately help you (or someone you know) with your job search, next interview, resume, etc.

Just as important, 100% of the proceeds on book sales will be donated to an amazing organization close to our hearts – St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

What a Win-Win!

For less than $10.00, you can help a job seeker and the children of St. Judes!

My goal is to raise over $2500 by the end of the year! 

So . . .

If you know of a job seeker in need, what a great gift!

If you counsel Job Seekers, what a great resource to have in your office.

If you just believe in the amazing work that St. Judes does – - please donate!

Please spread the word on the book.

Please share this message via Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, etc. to all your friends, co-workers, associates, etc.

I thank you for your assistance! 

I hope you have a wonderful and safe Holiday Season

David M. Szary



PS – If you have ideas of how I can market this book, I would appreciate your input .

PSS – Thanks again to all of the individuals that contributed to this endeavor.

Managing Your Hiring Managers, Part Two

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

Last week we posted the first part in this series on Managing Your Hiring Managers.  We discussed how to understand what your hiring manager’s want (or just as important – need) through voice of the customer (VOC).

A key to building a consultative partnership with your hiring manager is by getting to know them personally and building credibility with strong functional knowledge of their organization, business unit and staff.  

How do you accomplish this? The following questions will help guide you so that you can become recognized as a true staffing partner with your hiring managers.

Knowing Your Hiring Managers & Building Credibility – Self Assessment!

  • Do you have strong, personal relationships with your hiring managers? Do you know where they are from, their hobbies and interests?  You don’t need to be best friends.  But, you should have some basic knowledge of your customer and who they are. 
  • Do you know their administrative assistants or other support staff well? Often the most important contact you’ll have is the Administrative Assistants and other support professionals aligned to your hiring manager.  They can be your best ally to ensure you’re given access to the hiring manager’s schedule and they always have an ear to the inner workings of the hiring manager’s department.
  • Who are their top performers?  Do you have a relationship with them?  If you’re trying to build a business for your hiring manager, you should always look at their leadership team.  From the successor of the department to the top performers, the traits from these team members are what the hiring manager is seeking to build in his/her department and what you should look for when courting talent.  Also building relationships with these leaders will ensure your opinion is vetted throughout the key influencers in your hiring manager’s world.
  • Do you have a strong functional knowledge of what they do?  What does the hiring manager actually do every day?  You should have a basic understanding of how they spend their time.  They should also know how you spend yours. :)
  • Do you keep up with the industry?   Sure, you should be reading Workforce & HR magazines, but you should also be reading up on the latest trends in your industry. Whatever the industry (i.e. healthcare, banking, home building), you should stay abreast of trends there.
  • Have you visited the department or met their staff?  If you have the ability to make a visit in person do so.  One of my clients within the insurance industry conducts site visits once a month to make sure they have a face tied to the name.  
  • Do you understand the career progression for each department?  How do people move up, or transfer out of their department.  This can be a key selling point if this particular manager has a track record of creating star performers for your organization or system.
  • Do you meet with your managers quarterly to quantify your performance/ROI?  As part of a quarterly touch base (or onsite visit), do you present meaningful data to your hiring manager to show what you or your function has done for them in the past 3 months?

We have added this self-assessment tool to our Good to “Elite” competency/skills self assessment library (see below).

Click here to participate.

If would like a copy of your (or your team’s results) results, please email us.

Join us for our final installment next week when we’ll focus on how to effectively manage the hiring manager relationship.

Have a great week!