APPLY SUPPLY CHAIN PRINCIPLES TO RECRUITMENT
If you’re like me, the words “supply chain management” can make your eyes glaze faster than an Easter ham. But by applying the principles that guide our supply chain colleagues to recruitment, we may do our jobs faster, better and more efficiently.
Let's look at an example. The supply chain for turning trees into paper you buy at Staples involves several steps:
- Locating a forest with mature trees
- Harvesting the trees
- Transporting the trees to a lumber mill
- Processing logs into pulp
- Transporting the pulp to a paper mill
- Turning the pulp into paper
- Packaging the paper
- Transporting the paper to a Staples warehouse
- Transporting the paper from the warehouse to individual stores
- Selling the paper to the consumer
At each stage, there are sub-processes which involve time, resource and cost. Supply chain management is all about looking at these individual sub-processes and identifying ways in which each one can be made to work more efficiently, whether that means less time, fewer resourcees, or less money. Locating a forest closer to the lumber mill might save on transport costs; using more sophisticated machinery in packaging might reduce the number of defective batches of paper, etc.
Each improved process may not save large amounts of time, money or resources on its own; together they might improve the bottom line by 25%.
Applying supply chain management to recruiting
So how can supply chain – management of the flow of resources, products and services into and out of an organization – apply to recruitment?
Most recruiters deliver against metrics such as cost and time to hire. But metrics can be more than tracking and benchmarking tools: supply chain professionals use metrics to identify weaknesses, develop suitable action plans, and then measure the effectiveness of their changes. With the help of a few spreadsheets, we can go beyond measuring the “what” to seeing that patterns that tell us “why” – why this was a good hire, why this strategy worked – and focus on those areas that are truly delivering value.
Effective forecasting is key to delivering products and services to meet fluctuating customer demands. While industry trends may feel as unpredictable as the morning weather report, forecasting initiatives can help predict changing needs for certain role types or skill specializations. Keep in touch with your company’s industry, then leverage the trends you see to build a pipeline of appropriate talent to meet upcoming demands. When the job order arrives, you’ll have the right candidates close at hand (and might seem a little clairvoyant).
By using key supply chain principles to improve our sourcing and recruitment processes, we can ensure that we remain cost-effective while supplying our organizations with the most important resource of all: people.