All You Need to Know About the Lean Recruitment Method

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According to some research, 60% of job seekers aren’t impressed with a time-consuming recruiting process. More and more candidates are taking job offers from companies with a more modern recruiting process.

To keep up with this demand, companies are going to need to have a faster recruitment process. Still, with it becoming more challenging to find recruiters and companies preparing for a looming recession, companies are wondering how to do more with less.

That’s where lean recruitment comes in. Keep reading to learn all you need about lean recruitment and how it can benefit your company.

What Is Lean Recruitment?

Lean recruitment is sometimes referred to as the agile recruitment process. Lean recruitment aims to bring more value to the process without as many resources. Many people might know about lean processes when it comes to manufacturing.

Toyota was the company that initially started lean strategies, and they created a system where any expense or resource that didn’t contribute to customer satisfaction was wasteful. This was a successful strategy, and many companies adopted it afterward.

However, the Toyota production system ensured that they created long-term principles to guide the system. They also had respect for people and their employees. They wanted to develop the people and partners to add value to their organization over time. They focused on organizational learning to improve the lean methodology. They also wanted to solve problems by going towards the root and fixing that.

Recruiters can use this same strategy. While there isn’t a supply chain and raw materials, recruiters have to move candidates through a pipeline from the source to the company, so they can still use a supply chain technique. They’ll have to source candidates, use tools for hiring, and pick the best ones for the client.

You can evaluate your hiring process and figure out what steps or tools have value and which do not. The goal is to get the most value possible with fewer wasted steps.

How It Works

One way to use this strategy in your lean recruiting process is by being proactive. It would be best if you had a large pool of talent that you could pull from.

That way, when a new position does open up, you have access to all of these qualified candidates and their contact information. You won’t have to spend as much time sourcing and attracting new candidates every time you have a job opening up. This will help you reduce waste by saving time.

Many manufacturers call this method “Just In Time” (JIT) production. This lean manufacturing strategy is a way to encourage business owners to use the needed resources. So to ensure that you follow this, only keep qualified candidates in your talent pool. It’s better to have quality versus quantity.

Remember that this system may not always work for every job opening or every company. If you don’t have a pipeline of candidates to fill that specific position, you’ll need to find applicants the traditional way.

Benefits of Lean Recruitment

While most companies have a reactive recruitment process, you can have a head start with a proactive recruiting method. You’ll need to analyze your strategy, find ways to make improvements, and monitor the results all before you need to hire someone.

Lean recruitment can help you reduce how long it will take you to hire, how many recruiters and hiring managers you’ll need, and reduce waste. This way, you can free up your recruitment team from worrying about other administrative or time-consuming tasks. This way, the recruiters can focus on other essential aspects of providing a good candidate experience.

When recruiters don’t have to spend their time scheduling interviews, sourcing candidates, or answering candidate questions, they can focus on other tasks, like:

  • Attending networking events
  • Developing and maintaining a talent pipeline
  • Improving their recruiting strategy
  • Focusing on professional development
  • Forecasting for needs
  • Developing relationships and networking
  • Meeting with other businesses or candidates

With lean recruitment, you’ll need to find ways to help your recruiters save that time. It may be worth investing in recruiters that you only hire whenever you need them or using AI to enhance and speed up your recruiting process.

Lean Recruitment Strategies

To implement lean recruitment, you need to focus on the strategy. At the core of everything, you should focus on giving value to your candidates. Lean means that it’s focused on the customer, but in a recruiter’s case, it should be focused on the candidate.

Whenever you do anything, ensure you’re asking how the candidate will be affected by what you’re doing. Will it be a positive experience? If the strategy you’re following doesn’t benefit or affect the candidate, it might not be worth your time.

If there’s a problem, you’ll also want to find a way to fix it. Go to the root of the problem, try to solve it, and figure out what’s happening. But as you try and fix it, make sure that you don’t hide it from the team. Rather, involve the team and see if there is a way to solve the problem with everything.

Even if there are no problems, you need to have continuous improvement and analysis and see if there are anyways that you can improve the process. You’ll need a baseline to measure your processes against to know if you’re doing the best option possible.

Encourage the team to try and think of any quick, cheap, simple, or easy solutions that could set your entire team up for success. As the leader, you’ll need to remove any obstacles hindering those improvements.

For example, if you have five stages in your interview process, you’ll want to evaluate whether all of those stages are necessary. When you have a longer process, you can make your candidates happier while reducing the work your recruiters need to do.

You can challenge the standards by analyzing your process with a fresh perspective and finding new ways. The worst problem you can fall into is doing something because that’s how you’ve always done it. If you can’t justify doing something, then change it! Let the team try out new ideas and provide feedback on how poor recruitment and improved processes work.

You’ll also want to engage and respect your recruiting team. It would be best if you acknowledged how important your recruiter, hiring manager, and other team members are in the process. They’re the ones who will be interacting with your candidates, and they’ll have the most knowledge on what is best for your candidates.

How to Incorporate a Lean Recruitment Strategy

Now that you know a few of the popular lean strategies keep in mind that implementing those strategies will look different for every company. It’s also more complicated to implement than it sounds.

However, you can follow some general phases to implement this strategy. The first stage is auditing the entire recruitment strategy and hiring process. You can identify any issues or areas where you can improve the process.

The next phase is to create an efficient hiring process based on your findings. Once you make the changes, you’ll need to monitor and adapt the results as required.

However, remember that doing this for a large business might be more complicated than doing this for a smaller company. A small business or startup might have more of an advantage because they have more flexibility and can pivot quickly.

Learn More About Lean Recruitment

These are only a few things to know about lean recruitment, but there are many other ways you can improve your recruiting process as well.

Thankfully, is here to make improving your recruiting process easy. As experts in recruiting, we not only have the knowledge to help you hire quality candidates, but we also have the tools and resources to do the work ourselves.

Contact us today if you’re interested in improving your recruiting process.


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Alyssa Harmon is the content manager of Recruiter Today.