Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Just-in-time Recruiting

Glenn over at Boolean Black Belt has a great post that's the third in a series about pipelining vs. what he is calling "just in time" recruiting based on the Toyota quality program (Lean). When I briefly made the transition from agency recruiting to corporate recruiting, I started hearing a lot about pipelining candidates and how recruiting needed to be "proactive" rather than "reactive," in the context of developing candidate pipelines. This always seems to fall in line with discussions about employment branding and so forth.

I've run into similar attitudes on the agency side, particularly related to so-called "purple squirrel" job orders and candidates. I am 100% with Glenn on this one, however. I am not convinced that qualifying, establishing relationships, and keeping track of a pipeline of potential future candidates is worth any recruiter's time, whether on the agency or corporate side.

I think that the time spent on candidate pipelining would be far better served building your network of raw materials (resumes and profiles) so they are easier to pull when the need arises. This is done through capturing potential resumes from sources that are not permanent (like job boards), building your network on social networking sites, and continually acquiring referrals. One of Glenn's main points is that it takes time to "maintain your inventory" when you have active candidates without corresponding needs. Agency recruiters do some of this because having good passive candidates opens doors on the client side, but too much of it would too severely limit your time for active searches. There is little reason for this as a corporate recruiter.


I do not know much about Lean Manufacturing, but I know that it could be applicable in recruiting in more ways than this. Quality programs always start "closest to the dollar" (i.e. in Manufacturing, then Engineering, then Finance, then everything else). I would be very interested to learn of other applications of Lean or Six Sigma fundamentals being used in recruiting...perhaps that could be the source of a future post.

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