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The Importance of Lean Six Sigma in Hiring

Without a Lean Process Hiring the Best Candidate is Unlikely.

According to Barry Shore, co-founder of the Six Sigma Global Institute, SSGI, finding the right person for the job is arguably the most important step that can be taken by an organization. “Hiring the wrong person”, he says, even for the right process, can lead to disappointing results.

While many companies have a formal recruiting process, too often those involved in the process are so busy with other responsibilities that the length of time that a prospective new hire remains in the recruiting process is far too long. And the longer this process stretches the greater is the likelihood that the candidate is no longer available.

Take a Close Look at Process Flow. Is it Lean?

Consider the process flow associated with many companies in search of finding the ‘right’ person for the job. lean six sigma project

  • Job opening announced
  • Resumes collected
  • Applications reviewed
  • Best candidates identified
  • Screening calls made by HR department
  • Candidate list reduced
  • Second screening call conducted by hiring department
  • Decisions made to invite candidates for in-person interviews
  • Interviews takes place
  • Comparison of candidates
  • Hiring decision made
  • Candidate notified

Process Delays Are Costly

Delays commonly occur between every one of these steps. Some of them extending for days or weeks. When they are long, the best candidates are likely to be lost to competitive offers, and the company forced to consider applicants further down the list. At worst, the process is started all over again.

Review the Process and Eliminate Delays lean six sigma project

Indeed, many companies suffer from inefficient hiring processes, but in periods when the job market is soft there are likely to be many good candidates from which to choose. So, inefficient processes in that situation have few consequences. But in tight labor markets, or when the kinds of skills that are in demand are scarce the consequences are significant. In these tight markets every competitive organization needs to eliminate process delays.

Quick Action to Hire the Right Person

There is one problem, says, Shore, “When re-engineering the hiring process, it must be lean enough to assure that the right person is hired, but not so lean that the wrong person is hastily hired. The challenge is to strike the balance.”

Nonetheless, for most companies there are many opportunities to improve process efficiency and eliminate delays, errors and waste. Together these problems prevent efficient hiring practices. But in addition to process efficiency, these processes must be monitored and controlled to assure that efficiency is maintained.