Have a More Efficient Hiring Process Through Lean Recruitment

man doing recruitment plan

As a recruitment professional, having many applicants for your organization is a good thing. This means that your job postings and advertisements are reaching your target audience. You also have more chances of screening and talking to qualified individuals who can be good additions to your team.

However, screening various candidates is not always easy. Reading through several CVs and interviewing many applicants can become too tedious. This is especially true if you have limited access to resources, such as manpower.

Being required to find and hire a qualified professional under time constraints can also make your job harder. As a part of the company, you know that any delay in filling open job positions can cause your organization to lose productivity and revenue.

Dealing with this kind of pressure can cause any recruiter to experience stress. When this happens, your job performance might be affected, causing you to become purely mechanical in what you do. This can lead to poor outcomes that can affect the company.

To help your recruitment team avoid stress and burnout, you need a more efficient and effective recruitment process. One way you can achieve this is through the lean methodology.

History of Lean Methodology

The term lean was first used in the manufacturing industry and made famous by Toyota. Lean manufacturing is a type of supply chain technique that was created to reduce costs incurred and waste created during production. It also aimed to help the company create better outcomes for their products and employees.

employees having a discussion on the reports

The lean methodology follows six main principles. Following these will help any individual or organization in experiencing the benefits provided by this approach:

  1. Continuous improvement
  2. Respect for people
  3. Long-term principles
  4. The right to produce the right results
  5. Adding value to the organization by developing people and partners
  6. Continuously solving root problems and driving organizational learning

Based on the principles listed above, it is evident that the lean methodology focuses on the people involved in the processes instead of the pieces of equipment needed nor the output. This approach aims to empower individuals to become more proactive in improving their workflows and learning from their mistakes. Through this technique, employees are more inspired to do better at their jobs.

employee reporting a chart

The lean methodology can also be more sustainable for companies in the long run. Because this approach encourages individuals to strive to learn and better themselves, organizations do not need to spend as much money on seminars and trainings. Companies can also avoid additional costs due to mistakes committed during production.

What is Lean Recruitment?

Lean recruitment is a type of hiring process where the lean methodology is applied. This approach consists of a variety of tactics aimed to improve the recruitment process by making it more efficient for both the candidate and hiring professional.

Similar to the methodology created and implemented by Toyota, lean recruitment aims to reduce the costs and waste associated with the hiring process.

What is Waste in Recruitment?

It might not be apparent, but manufacturing and recruitment are similar processes. Both aim to supply a demand through a systematic process. The more efficient the supplying process is, the better the outcome for the user or party is. In the context of recruitment, this end-user refers to the organization hiring a new employee.

stacks of papers

For a supply and demand process, such as recruitment, producing waste is inevitable. Some of the kinds of waste generated by the hiring process include the following:


Sometimes, a few steps in the recruitment process can take up time. If a stage constantly consumes excessive time, it might be affecting your efficiency and can be considered wasteful.

Ineffective Sources

Finding and attracting applicants is one of the most important steps of the recruitment process. To make this step easier, some recruiters use expensive sources and systems. However, this approach may not always be effective.


Side of tired sad office worker in glasses with closed eyes

As a recruiter, you should know how important it is to contact promising applicants as often and as soon as possible. Doing so allows you to reassure candidates that they are still being considered for the role. But if you delay contacting an applicant, they might lose interest in the job and move on to other companies.

How Lean Recruitment Reduces Waste

One of the ways that lean methodology is used in the hiring process is through proactive recruitment. The main purpose of this approach is to prepare a pool of high-quality talents and treat it as an inventory.

That way, when the need arises, you have access to the contact information of qualified prospects. This means that you do not have to source and attract new candidates every time your organization has an opening, saving you time and reducing waste.

employee analyzing different charts
Courtesy of Pexels

This approach was called Just in Time (JIT) production in lean manufacturing. Simply put, this concept encourages business owners and officials to only use resources when they are needed instead of stocking up on them without knowing if they will ever be used.

The JIT approach works best if you have already established a pipeline that will provide you with an expansive list of highly qualified candidates. When the right time comes, you would not have to scramble to make job ads. Instead, you only have to tap into your resources and get in touch with your prospects.

However, you should know that this approach does not always work. Creating a pipeline for every job type in your company is hard, if not impossible. When you need to fill in a position that you do not have a pipeline for, you need to source applicants the old-fashioned way.

Implement Lean Methodology in HR Processes

There are various ways that you can use the lean methodology in the recruitment process. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Optimize Your Process

Look at your candidate journey map and determine which steps provide the most value to your recruitment process. You can optimize these stages by putting more resources towards them, such as time, manpower, and systems.

Automate Tasks

The recruitment process involves tasks that can become repetitive over time. To make hiring more efficient, automate these tedious and time-consuming responsibilities to free up more time for your team.

recruitment documents

One of the ways you can achieve this is by using a social recruiting software that will allow you to reach applicants where they spend most of their time—social media platforms. With this software, you can automatically send emails, schedule interviews, and complete other tasks when you make contact with a candidate.

Launch Referral Programs

Candidates referred by existing employees often do better at their jobs compared to non-referred individuals. Make sure to leverage your network by incentivizing employees whenever they make a referral. Then, use the information they have provided in preparing your pipelines for a more effective JIT recruitment.

To make the process more efficient, use a referral recruitment software. This tool allows you to easily keep track of referred candidates and manage the incentives given to employees who made a referral.

Make Use of Your Data

Analyze the data you have to determine any repetitive recruitment trends and cycles. You can use this information to see when and how often you need to ramp up your recruitment efforts each year. Additionally, you can use your data to plan how and when to use your resources.

Talk to Your Team

woman presenting a proposal while holding her tablet

The best way to make the recruitment process more efficient is to come up with a uniform process that your team can follow whenever they interact with a new hire. You can accomplish this by setting up a meeting with them and discussing the best approach that suits your organization.

Get Started With Lean Recruitment Today

Almost, if not all, companies aim to reduce waste as much as possible to conserve time, effort, and resources. This applies to the hiring process as well. Luckily, with lean recruitment, you can ensure an efficient way of filling in vacant positions in your company while also reducing waste.

Implement lean recruitment for your company today and experience its benefits. For more information, get in touch with us.

Get rid of manual processes with our recruitment automation tool.

We’d love to have a chat with you about improving your recruitment process. Fill up the form and let’s get started.

Scroll to Top