On one hand there is mounting workload while on the other hand the response from HR office is that, they are and have been doing their best- they have personally looked out for good candidates, contacted several recruitment companies to get biodata of suitable candidates, yet they haven’t been able to find a correct fit for the open roles. Many a times supervisors and department heads term such HR responses as ‘excuse’.
But believe me this is absolutely possible. Despite genuine efforts, recruitment goals are unmet in big and small companies. Recruitment gets more complicated when knowledge workers and people with special skill sets or registration needs are being sought.
Although one can’t completely discount out that there might be a chance where up-to-date efforts may not have been put in by those involved in the recruiting process, but usually HR guys are genuine with their responses. Positions remain unfilled for long times, HR tries hard on their bit, while the department which owns those open positions burn mid night oil by asking existing employees to work overtime to meet quarterly work targets.
If you have such situations in your organizations then your company needs bigtime process improvement in its HR function!
Process improvements in HR departments can impact recruitment goals in many ways.
Let me give you a short case study- Few years ago, I was hired by a Canadian company which dealt with recruitment challenges similar to the ones stated above. Post situational analysis, I recommended them to improve the recruitment process via a combination of Kaizen and Lean Continuous Improvement techniques. We designed a strategic process improvement plan for their recruitment process.
The picture below is self explanatory.
As you will notice, the process improvement exercise speeded-up filling up of open positions that were stagnating for over 2 years. Process improvement also saved advertising costs, decreased candidate screening time which in turn translated into improved HR productivity. By fifth month of initiating the process change campaign, 18 out of 21 open positions (lying open for over two years) were filled up!
Another place for HR process improvement is- Avoiding ‘firing’ employees by ‘right hiring’.
No one likes to fire employees, even if that person is truly lousy at whatever they do and makes everyone else around them miserable. Much has been written on ways to fire kindly, diplomatically etc., but what is discussed less is- ‘how to avoid (improper) hiring in the first place’.
Almost on autopilot, most HR departments post new job offerings and begin the process of filling a position as soon as that position’s previous occupant departs.
An employee’s departure must be used as an introspection to re-evaluate that role from several perspectives, for example- Do we even need this role? Can we reduce this full-time role to part-time or switch to a contractor or outside vendor? Do we need someone with a different skill set? Is there someone within the organization who can be trained and relocated to a new position? How does this position contribute to achieving our corporate goals for the next three years etc.
And such introspection must be done via strategic design of HR Continuous Improvement plan and its flawless implementation.
I recommend Kaizen, Lean, ISO and CMMI (Capability Maturity Model Integration) for Process Improvements in HR function; though, cost-effective and best results are observed with Lean Kaizen.
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Dr. Shruti Bhat is an award-winning Business Excellence Leader, Global Continuous Improvement Mastermind, Best-selling Author and Speaker. She is Continuous Improvement Advisor to several start-ups, mid-size and growing firms in Canada, USA, India, Africa and Emerging markets. She has authored eight business books and is an invited speaker at several national and international conferences, symposia and workshops.
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