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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, companies have not been hiring to the same extent (or at all) during 2020. Now that businesses are reopening, they also seek to hire again. However, many companies will now work with a much tighter budget and the difficulty to forecast remains a challenge in all industries. This calls for adjustments in the recruitment strategy to be able to bring back the businesses in a sustainable way over long term. With these new conditions, Lean Recruitment is gaining a lot of attention and will continue to be a key element in most recruitment strategies moving forward.

What's Lean Recruitment?

In brief terms, Lean Methodology is about optimizing and improving the value creation process by reducing waste. To simply do more with less. In recruitment, waste can be considered as excess time spent on tasks in the recruitment process, such as sourcing, screening, scheduling or interviewing candidates. By reducing this waste organizations can create a smoother process of hiring a new employee. Cost for expensive external agencies, ineffective advertising or other services should of course also be considered as waste.

Just like the other areas where Lean Methodology is commonly used, recruitment is based on supply or demand. The organization has a demand (vacancies) and the HR/Recruitment department is tasked with supplying it (new hires). To meet this demand as efficient as possible, proactivity is key. Therefore, organizations need to empower the employees to strive for continuous improvement of their workflows instead of reacting to challenges as they arise.

How is it done?

The following actions will get you on the right path to Lean Recruitment:

  • Reevaluate the recruitment sources and channels and you use today. What sources and channels are producing quality candidates, and which aren't? Increase focus on the efficient ones and don't be afraid to cut out the channels that aren't producing as well. Reducing waste takes action.

  • Automate and create clear frameworks. Map out the recruitment process journey from identifying a need to filling the position. Identify what tasks can be automated by using software solutions and implement these solutions. Make sure there are clear and structured frameworks for the remaining tasks to keep the process smooth.

  • Build candidate pipelines and backfill with high-quality prospects. Automation and frameworks create room for these proactive tasks which often gets deprioritized. Continuous entertainment of the candidate pipelines provides an immediately accessible inventory of supplies (candidates) for when the demand (vacancies) appears.

  • Make use of your employees' network. Employee referrals is one of the best sources of quality hires, averages a 55% faster time-to-hire and is deemed five times as efficient as any other sourcing alternative. Developing a functioning employee referral program saves time, lower costs and increases employee engagement.

  • Get other stakeholders involved in recruitment. The success of the recruitment often relies heavily on how well the recruitment function works together with the hiring department. Frequent communication and streamlined goals between HR and other departments reduces the time spent on finding the right fit.

All organizations will find themselves in different stages toward a Lean Recruitment. These actions should be executed continuously to always strive to make the recruitment process leaner. Doing so will allow you to fit a smaller budget and not be as sensitive to changes in the forecast as the economy opens up again.

Lean recruitment through employee referrals

At irecommend we help organizations to develop a more sustainable recruitment strategy by boosting employee referrals. Our easy-to-use platform provides a structured employee referral program and helps to increase employee engagement through gamification and automation.