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Applying Lean recruitment processes when hiring

Lean recruitment

August 7, 2017

Recruiting a new member of staff can be a costly business, with some reports suggesting a figure north of £30,000 for every new employee search. So, given the time, effort and financial resources required, it makes perfect economic sense to employ Lean recruitment processes when hiring. Even better, I also believe you’re more likely to find the best candidate for the job.

Just as Lean puts the customer at the heart of the process, Lean recruitment needs to position the candidate front and centre. The best businesses attract the best applicants, so if you have a reputation for sloppiness and your process is shambolic, it’s inevitable that you’ll struggle to find top notch candidates. Not surprisingly, organisations are fast realising that their employer brand is an important competitive advantage.

Know what you’re looking for

Before even announcing a vacancy, Lean recruiters should map out the candidate’s journey through the process. Look at the current recruitment procedures and identify where there are problems, examining all stages for wastefulness and inefficiency. In order to attract the right candidates from the off, you need to know exactly what you’re looking for; is the job description accurate and up-to-date?  What qualifications are essential? What are the deal-breakers? Be clear about what you’re looking for from the start and then you won’t waste your time or that of the candidate.

Choose your team carefully

As with any Lean project, make sure you have the right team of people managing the process. Each team member needs to understand their role in the process and focus on making the recruitment process smooth and easy for the business as well as the candidates. Your team could include people from different levels of the organisation, including potential co-workers of the new recruit, so it’s important that their expectations are aligned.

Share information

Communication is very important in Lean recruitment, so consider how you can share information efficiently, both internally within the team and with external candidates. This applies to unsuccessful applicants as well as those who are shortlisted for the job, as you never know when your paths might cross again. Provide constructive feedback at every stage and keep candidates informed as the process progresses, and don’t forget to loop back any key learnings internally which might help you improve your recruitment process in the future.

Focus on continuous improvement

Remember, the recruitment process doesn’t end when the new employee starts work. The final phase of the Lean recruitment programme comes when you focus on continuous improvement, working with the new employee to find out how you can further hone the process. During the induction period ask the new recruit for their honest feedback on their experience during the application and interview stages. Where were the glitches?  What could be done differently? Does the reality of the job meet their expectations?

It’s clear to me that by applying Lean thinking to recruitment, it’s possible to improve the process significantly for both employer and employee. After all, finding the right candidate for the job shouldn’t be a test of endurance for either party! 

If you need help bringing Lean thinking into play in your organisation, I’d be happy to assist.

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