The search for a LEAN candidate – Joaquín Gregorio Bondía

“253 applicants for the current position … 186 registered candidates.”

Perhaps it wouldn’t be upsetting for a candidate to see those numbers? With what hopes do you face a possible answer? And on the other side, how is demand managed so optimally? How to pick the perfect candidate out of so many applicants?

This two-part article aims to explain the importance of having a suitable strategy in the field of Human Resources, with the intention of creating a competitive advantage that nowadays, with Big Data, connectivity, and digitalization, it turns out that’s it’s more complicated to find and differentiate the competition this way.

The proposal is a plan consisting of the combination of the use of LEAN management methodology with Customer Experience Management in Human Resource Management. The results: a streamlining of the journey the candidates take during the selection process and a larger knowledge of the employer’s requirements. Just as M. Porter described in his graphic of the value chain (figure 1), HRM contributes to the generation of value for the company. It’s basically the idea that turns the Candidate Experience Management (CdX in front).

1. The candidate is a client

When considering the candidate as if they are a customer, it is crucial to establish the steps during every phase of selection (“Candidate Journey”). One of the rules of CX management is to be obsessive with regards to the details (Bern Schmitt, CXM book 2010), as well as being thorough in this journey, even though the final answer is “no”, it is crucial for generating a positive perception of the brand. The organizations should consider this process, therefore, to get the most out of it. According to Glassdoor, 46% of their members search for online reviews when they have just started their job search (September 2013).

The intention is to contribute value to the candidate by offering an excellent experience to optimize their search and to facilitate their selection. Therefore it is important to identify the wastes that can occur during the selection process.

2. Lean Management in Human Resource Management

8 types of waste exist (figure 2) according to the waste study of Lean Management techniques. A brief look at these can give us an idea of how to translate and apply them to the candidate’s experience. Here they mention some relevant examples:
Waste of talent: a bad description of the position can attract unfit talent, and in turn waste HR time on candidates that don’t match the job. 67% of employers think that retention rates would be higher if the candidates had a clear idea of the job before accepting it (Harris Interactive Survey for Glassdoor, 2014).
Hopes: some of the selection processes are delayed over time and their management generates insecurity and anxiety in the candidates and negatively affects their online evaluation of the company.

Defects: Due to the avalanche of candidacies, there are numerous defects throughout the process that cause the candidates to have a really bad experience. Each offer of corporate work attracts around 250 curricula, of which, 4 to 6 will be selected and only one will get the position (ERE Survey, 2013).
Movement: Unnecessary displacements of candidates who don’t fit the profile mean an extra cost. Who will cover these expenses?
An improvement in the experience of the candidate means a series of business benefits, related to both operations and in terms of image and brand reputation. A 2011 study of LinkedIn demonstrated that a correct HR strategy can reduce recruitment costs by 50%, increase qualified candidates by 50% as well as doubling the speed of recruitment.

A LEAN candidate can become the perfect complement to success. However, the importance of knowing how to maintain harmony now arises. How to retain talent? What makes a candidate/ employee loyal to the firm? The second part of this article will help to understand these and other concepts.

Joaquín Gregorio Bondía

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