How Top Recruiters Are Applying "The Toyota Way" to Talent Acquisition Part 2

Top recruiters are applying The Toyota Way — the famed comprehensive management approach practiced by the Japanese carmaker — to talent acquisition to help them deliver the talent that their organizations need in this tight labor market.

In Part 1 of this two-part series, we showed how to apply Principles 1–7 of The Toyota Way to create an effective, always-improving and holistic recruiting methodology. Now let’s do the same for Principles 8–14.

Principle 8: Use Only Reliable, Thoroughly Tested Technology That Serves Your People and Processes.

Main idea: Be as certain as possible that the technology you use will help you succeed.

Application to recruiting: The shiny new object isn’t always a good choice. And right now in recruiting technology there are a lot of shiny new objects for finding active and passive candidates — fancy new recruiting tools touting their artificial intelligence, neural networks, blockchain, machine learning, etc.

While it’s good to consider how new tools can help you, recognize that many of these claims are more marketing than reality. It’s important to carefully evaluate whether any recruiting technology will actually help you do a better job of delivering high-quality talent to hiring managers. Because ultimately that’s what you’ll be judged upon as a recruiter.

Principle 9: Grow Leaders Who Thoroughly Understand the Work, Live the Philosophy, and Teach It to Others.

Main idea: Leaders should be actively involved and lead by example.

Application to recruiting: If you’re a recruiting leader, you need not only to take an active role in the recruiting process, but also in guiding recruiting team members on key principles and best practices. When the team is aligned, it will improve recruiting efficiency and performance, ultimately increasing both hiring speed and quality.

Another key consideration is succession planning. Take ownership of both the present and the future of the recruiting function. Part of doing so is identifying and grooming future recruiting leaders.

Principle 10: Develop Exceptional People and Teams who Follow Your Company’s Philosophy.

Main idea: People and teams need to be aligned with the organization.

Application to recruiting: This principle applies in two key ways:

  • As we’ve stated, within the recruiting team, develop recruiters’ skills and guide them to follow your team’s philosophy and best practices.
  • Secondly, deliver candidates who, in addition to have the necessary qualifications, are likely to be a fit for your company’s philosophy. This should be a consideration from the top of the funnel through the candidate evaluation process. In sourcing, for example, consider the companies that people have worked for or applied for (Hirevisor gives you access to this information). If these companies have a similar philosophy to yours, the candidate is both more likely to be interested in your organization and a good philosophical fit. This philosophical fit will ultimately promote employee retention and happiness.

Principle 11: Respect Your Extended Network of Partners and Suppliers By Challenging Them and Helping Them Improve.

Main idea: Helping partners and suppliers do their jobs better benefits everyone.

Application to recruiting: Give feedback to others involved in the talent acquisition process with you.

This includes:

  • Giving feedback to the recruiting technology providers that you rely on to help you recruit better. At Hirevisor we love implementing features that have been suggested to us by users, as they only improve our product’s value.
  • Challenging your internal talent acquisition partners — particularly the teams and/or hiring managers to whom you are delivering candidates. Push them to create better job descriptions, and for managers to give you more time/thoughts during intake sessions, as both are keys for delivering better candidates and better hiring results.

Principle 12: Go and See For Yourself to Thoroughly Understand the Situation.

Main idea: Without experiencing a situation firsthand, managers will not have an understanding of how it can be improved.

Application to recruiting: If you’re a recruiting leader, don’t run your team from above. Dive in to see the issue and the challenges that your team is facing.

Further, don’t consider your job complete once candidates are delivered. Gain insights that will improve your recruiting efforts by following up, both with work teams to see how candidates are performing post-hire and with new hires to learn about the strengths and shortcomings of your hiring process from the candidate perspective. Such insights are critical for minimizing turnover among new hires — most executives say that 10–25% of new hiresleave within six months.

Principle 13: Make Decisions Slowly By Consensus, Thoroughly Considering All Options; Implement Decisions Rapidly.

Main idea: Weigh decisions carefully, but don’t hesitate once the decisions have been made.

Application to recruiting: With both recruiting technology and candidates, take enough time to determine the best choices, but then move quickly. With candidates, you especially can’t afford to dilly-dally considering the demand for top talent. A Robert Half survey revealed that when faced with a lengthy hiring process, nearly six out of 10 (57 percent) candidates will pursue other roles or stay put in their current job.

Principle 14: Become a Learning Organization Through Relentless Reflection and Continuous Improvement.

Main idea: Think critically about how every activity you do can be improved, and take advantage of learning opportunities.

Application to recruiting: Always be striving to be a better recruiter. This means staying up to date on recruiting and hiring trends and developments, and learning from other recruiters. We recommend attending large events such as SourceCon, and especially recruiter networking events in your area. We attend a regular biweekly recruiting meet-up here in the Bay Area, and it’s been great for educating ourselves, for bouncing ideas off others, for getting to know great people, and to have them get to know about us. Shout out to them as well — The Talent Thought Talk is a venue to share tips, trends, technology, wins & war stories — and generally network with other in-house recruiters in the Bay Area. Visit here to learn more -

The Importance of Being Strategic

Given the shortage of available talent, recruiters need to take a strategic approach, and that’s what applying The Toyota Way is all about. It’s holistic, promotes recruiting fundamentals, and fosters continuous improvement. Is applying The Toyota Way the only way to consistently deliver quality talent? Of course not. But it is an option to consider.

About Hirevisor

Hirevisor was founded on the premise that there is a better way to land top talent. We enable companies to find quality, actionable candidates in a data-driven way, all while delivering a stellar candidate experience at scale. Great companies are built by great people. Let Hirevisor help you find great people. 

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