Bruce Groves |

There really is nothing more satisfying as a software provider than when a customer tells just how much they are benefiting from your products and services. More so when they can put real figures on it - time saved, money saved and so on. But it would be specious to suggest that software alone can deliver these benefits. In my experience the most successful projects always have a customer team who are prepared to challenge the way they do things. After all, there's no point buying new software that works the same way as your current processes, if your current processes are broken or inefficient.

Recently I spent some time with the learning disability charity, Mencap - now that their Eploy recruitment software has been live for 6 months.  The results they have achieved already are frankly staggering for such a short time frame.

  • 40% reduction in Time to Hire
  • 60% reduction in candidate drop-out rate
  • £145,000 p.a of cost savings
  • 50% increase in applications
  • 250 hours of resourcing administration saved per month
  • 500 hours of HR administration saved per month

So, why have they been so successful? 

Key to this has been implementing a Lean methodology and process review before they even started to look at new applicant tracking systems and recruitment software.
Lean, if you've not encountered it before, is a customer-centric methodology used to reduce waste in everything you do.  It is based upon the idea of 'Continuous Incremental Improvement' and 'Respect for People'...which makes it an ideal way to review your recruitment processes.

It's about maximising value while minimising waste... and who wouldn't aspire to that?

According to the Lean Enterprise Institute, The five-step thought process for guiding the implementation of Lean techniques is easy to remember, but not always easy to achieve:

  1. Specify value from the standpoint of the end customer.
  2. Identify all the steps in the value stream, eliminating whenever possible those steps that do not create value.
  3. Make the value-creating steps occur in tight sequence so the process will flow smoothly toward the customer.
  4. As flow is introduced, let customers pull value from the next upstream activity.
  5. As value is specified, value streams are identified, wasted steps are removed, and flow and pull are introduced, begin the process again and continue it until a state of perfection is reached in which perfect value is created with no waste.
So, how do you get started with implementing Lean across your recruitment processes? First, you'll need an 'agent of change', someone who will take the personal responsibility for the Lean project. They'll need some knowledge of lean techniques and how to implement them as part of a system. They will need to 'map the value streams' - a grand way of saying they need to understand the current 'state of play' in your recruitment processes.  But they must also be able to draw a new, leaner way of doing things.

And this is why I believe the learning disability charity Mencap have been so successful. They were able to map out their complete recruitment journey from job requisitions, through to onboarding and adding the new hire to the payroll, whilst simultaneously
understanding the costs and values accrued along the way. Then, by mapping out their leaner future, they had a blueprint for how they wanted to work, and what their new software would need to be able to support.

So yes, it's vital that your recruitment software is flexible enough to translate your processess, but the extent of your success will likely be driven by ensuring your processes are right in the first instance. Taking a Lean approach is one way to achieve this. Second, Lean emphasises continuous, incremental improvement - so it's vital that your recruitment software is similarly flexible enough to adapt incrementally.

To get a greater understanding of how the learning disability charity Mencap implemented Lean (and Eploy!) take a look at the full case study here.

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