I recently shared one of our team’s success tips in a post on how to use blocks of time to launch a recruiting strategy. Time blocking in recruiting is a great tool but you may wonder when you’ll have the time to actually plan your activities. This is one of the key benefits of prioritization and WIP limits in recruiting. They allow you to quickly review your workload and identify how to organize your sprint to be successful.
Let’s look at a job board that includes the number of candidates in each stage of the process. We have the points assigned by the client indicating the priority in the sprint. The following three columns are our candidate swimlanes:
- # Recruiter- The number of candidates being screened by the recruiter
- # HM Screen- Number of candidates presented to the manager for review
- #HM Interview- Number of candidates actively interviewing with the manager
|Job Title||Manager||Points Assigned||# Recruiter||# HM Screen||# HM Interview|
|Project Manager||John Smith||40||3||3||5|
|Business Analyst||Jane Doe||20||0||2||1|
|Call Center Rep II||Will Smith||20||5||5||5|
|Call Center Rep I||Will Smith|
|IT Coordinator||Mariah Carey||10||1||1||0|
|IT Manager||J. Bourne||10||2||2||0|
|IT Support Rep||Bon Jovi||5||5||5|
|IT Analyst||Adam Levine||2||4||4|
|Front Line Analyst||Brad Cooper||4||3||3|
In earlier posts on Sprint Recruiting, we discussed how we leverage a point system in recruiting to allow our clients to determine which roles are most critical in a sprint. The budget of points we gave our client in this example is 100 points. They used these points to assign priority and define success for the sprint. The allocation of points allows recruiters to prioritize their sprint and time block accordingly.
The first step of Sprint Recruiting is prioritization but adding the swim lanes showing the number of candidates in each stage of the process adds another level to consider. Let’s assume the WIP limit for each stage is 5 candidates meaning your goal is to reach the max of 5 candidates in the Hiring Manager interview phase for this exercise.
Let’s start with our priority role of 40 points for John Smith. At the beginning of the sprint, you would use this dashboard to determine what needs to be done to move this position to the Done stage so you can begin working on the next priority. John’s role shows we have reached our WIP limit with 5 candidates interviewing with the manager. Although we’ve reached the WIP limit for the final swim lane, we do have capacity in the number of candidates submitted for him to review if the 5 he is interviewing do not meet his needs.
We see that we have interviewed 3 candidates we have not submitted to him to review so for John’s priority role, the only tasks for the recruiter to complete would be to first identify the top two candidates they’ve interviewed and not submitted to him to review. The secondary task would be to schedule a quick call with John to gather feedback on interviews completed and on the candidates submitted. It’s a good habit to also inform the hiring manager that you’ve reached your WIP limit and are moving on to the next role in priority until you receive feedback on the candidates in process.
Now that we have our big pointer at WIP limit, we move on to Jane Doe’s role. If I’m reviewing our candidate lanes for this role, I would be a little worried as a recruiter. I have no one in my back pocket to interview and only have one in the interview stage and two awaiting feedback after I’ve submitted them. In this scenario, I’d probably make it a point early in the sprint to touch base with Jane to see if I am on track but also time block some of my week to do additional sourcing and screening. I would not move on to other roles until I felt certain I was in a spot where I could hit my WIP limits for Jane within 48 hours.
This is the difference in Traditional and Sprint recruiting. My tendency in traditional recruiting would have been to move on to identify some quick hit roles like the ones for Bon Jovi where I have a lot of candidates and can make a quick hire. While this is not necessarily a bad idea, the client has used their points to focus my attention on Jane’s role which is more important to them than Bon Jovi’s. My behaviors and focus are now aligned with the client and I can plan my week accordingly.
Notice how quickly this process takes when we have the prioritization and our WIP limits in place. Every day can begin with a recruiter quickly reviewing progress made the day before and charting their course for success. I don’t have to wonder where I am in the process or which positions should be filled quickly. The data tells me what I need to know and now I just have to act on it.
Let’s look at Will Smith’s roles. I would definitely want to get feedback from Will on the process early in the sprint since we’re at our WIP limit. If he avoids my calls or is slow to respond, this is the perfect time for me to engage our Sprint Owner in the process. They’ve identified this is a key role to fill during the sprint and can leverage their influence to light a fire under Will to respond. Traditional recruiting does not provide a way to do this. In Sprint Recruiting, there is a motivation for the Sprint Owner to work with me to ensure every role assigned points is closed because they’re equally as responsible for the success of the sprint. I promise that in our world, if I called a sprint owner to inform them I’ve been waiting beyond the agreed upon time for feedback on ten qualified candidates, the hiring manager would promptly receive a call from the sprint owner and have a lot of explaining to do.
The beauty of the process is that it provides mutual accountability and enforces a team effort to fill the critical roles. The ability for recruiters to quickly assess their progress and identify where their focus should be creates an addictive level of efficiency in the process. While WIP limits take a bit of adjustment, the benefits far outweigh the mindset shift you and your client will endure as you adapt to Sprint Recruiting.
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