Whether you’re a full-time recruiter or working independently, you might be wondering how to improve your recruiting efforts so you can more accurately hire the right talent. One of the most frustrating parts of recruiting is the sometimes laborious recruiting process that loses candidates, prolongs the process and creates havoc in the candidate experience. There are many ways to make your hiring process more efficient, and they will all depend on the unique variables of your recruiting team. Creating the right hiring workflows can help your most qualified candidates and recruiters achieve their hiring goals more effectively by learning from Tesla’s approach to manufacturing efficiency.
According to Bloomberg, Tesla’s factory in Fremont, California, produced an average of 8,550 cars a week in 2021. That’s more than Toyota Motor Corp.’s juggernaut in Georgetown, Kentucky (8,427 cars a week), BMW AG’s Spartanburg hub in South Carolina (8,343) or Ford Motor Co.’s iconic truck plant in Dearborn, Michigan (5,564), according to a Bloomberg analysis of production data from more than 70 manufacturing facilities. To frame just how much more productive Tesla is over its competitors, it’s noteworthy to mention that its factory in Fremont is 40% smaller than its closest rival Toyota.
So how did Tesla achieve such efficiency with less space and produce more?
Tesla’s Fremont factory was originally built by General Motors Co. in the 1960s and jointly operated by GM and Toyota until 2009. Toyota added new footage to the site which made it function more like a conglomerate anthill of manufacturing. The design was put together so hastily that a rear parking lot was converted to an extension with a pair of industrial tent structures provide shelter for bustling assembly lines.
“When we first went in there, we were like a kid in his parent’s shoes,” Musk recalled at a shareholders’ meeting in October. “Now we’re like spam-in-a-can here: How do we fit more stuff?”Bloomerberg.com
It’s not surprising that Tesla’s approach to factory design is more intentional, each one further refining the diamond shape developed for its Nevada battery factory. The revolutionary shape allows for long stretches of uninterrupted manufacturing lines, with parts access available along its length. Compared to the large, boxy designs of other car manufacturers, Tesla’s team is able to produce more with less space and increase both efficiency and quality of the product.
What can recruiters learn from Tesla’s approach?
Break the Norm
Tesla has disrupted an archaic industry and won both praise and scorn. Tesla’s approach to designing any process values efficiency over tradition. Elon Musk, a modern-day Tony Stark, has proven that a single person can still have a huge impact on the world around them while remaining unafraid to disrupt norms. That’s why investors have kept Tesla Masks No. #1 on our list of the most innovative companies of 2016.
The recruiting processes within most organizations is similar to that of the automotive industry-no updates since the late 80s. In order to revamp your process, you will have to have some thick skin as you align your thoughts and priorities to efficiency and innovation versus the status quo.
Invest in Technology-Stop seeing it as an expense
Tesla’s innovation strategy to transform the automotive industry as a whole offers valuable lessons for any innovator, especially in terms of how to build support for an idea and how to bring new technologies to market. Studies have found Tesla’s innovation strategy to transform the automotive industry as a whole has many lessons for any innovator, especially in terms of how to build support for an idea and how to bring new technologies to market.
Tesla’s core culture, led by CEO Elon Musk, and its unique approach to the brand has allowed it to stand out from other automakers and attract loyal customers. The interface built into the cars allows customers to provide instant feedback, giving the company the opportunity to receive comprehensive and detailed information. From those 100,000 drivers’ feedback Tesla has continued to innovate vehicle design and dominate the ELV market.
Most Talent Organizations view technology as a spend versus an investment. The rate of advances in recruiting technology over the last four years is just short of mind-blowing but unfortunately, only the top 10% of talent organizations embrace and spend on such solutions. If you really want to drive efficiency, why wouldn’t you want to have AI or other tech to handle some of the mundane processes so your recruiters can focus more on the human elements of the process?
When exploring possible tech solutions, I always look for and stress the efficiencies gained by such a solution. If I want to implement an AI to help engage candidates and move them through the process, I need to measure the amount of time recruiters would have back to dedicate to engaging hiring managers or further evaluating top talent in the industry. This is a soft costs but if unmeasured, will further the notion that you’re “spending” money versus “investing” in your talent process.
I can’t think of any organization that has the spending capacity of Tesla in the recruiting space but we all can take small steps to update our processes from the early 2000s with the right investment in technology.
Make feedback move at WARP SPEED
Tesla’s culture of innovation reduces friction and allows ideas to be quickly promoted and implemented. There is a premium placed on grass roots ideas that make it to decision makers in the fastest manner possible. Accomplishing such a feat in HR can be a tedious but highly needed process.
Sprint Recruiting has daily stand up meetings built into the model. This time serves to not only update leaders and key stakeholders the progress of roles within the sprint but serves to answer two basic questions:
- What’s working?
- What’s not working? OR What are your obstacles?
This quick meeting daily or every other day can allow TA Leaders to hear from their team what processes are creating backlogs or preventing the team from meeting their goals for that sprint. We don’t wait for a monthly or quarterly business review to suggest ideas that will then be moved to some master agenda six months from now. Instead, we capture those ideas and obstacles in the moment and begin working immediately to resolve what is not working and scale what is.
If you find your process needs a serious upgrade to compete in the war for talent, I’d suggest implementing these stand up meetings and start moving quickly. You will need to create a safe space for your team to not only identify the weak areas but also provide ideas on how to solve for them. You might be surprised with just how easy it would be to make some minor tweaks to elevate your talent delivery.
Regardless of your views of Tesla’s future success, the company has developed a fascinating multi-pronged strategy for fundamentally changing an industry. The core strategy has unique elements at each level of the ecosystem: overturning the core product architecture, positioning themselves in key bottleneck components and resolving system-level limitations that slow the adoption of the technology.
The recruiting industry has a lot it can learn from such an innovative and challenging innovator like Tesla.
and Sprint Recruiting
I joined the HR industry in 2004 after working as a sales leader in the Financial Services Industry for eight years. After spending his first couple of years in HR trying to fit in, I found my voice. Now I leverage all of the things I once hated about HR to become a consultant and invaluable partner to the businesses I support. I contribute to the HRGazzette and to DataDrivenInvestor on Medium. WARNING: my writing style is raw and in your face, not what you would expect from an HR executive.
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