8 types of wastes (muda) in LEAN recruitment process - Identifying non-value adds

 LEAN focus on adding value to customers. Identifying and removing non value add or waste plays a key role in making a process lean and efficient. LEAN talks about '8 types of waste' (or muda in japanese) which if identified and eliminated can significantly improve the process efficiency and speed. These 8 wastes may be represented with an acronym 'TIMWOODS'. Lets explore TIMWOODS in the context of recruitment process with some examples.

8 wastes of LEAN recruitment process

T - Transportation : Any conveyance of a product is considered as a waste. Moving of an item or an information is a typical waste that may be targetted. An example of transportation waste in recruitment process is emailing of CV between line managers and recruiter which could be avoided by providing managers access to the candidate file right from the beginning.

I - Inventory : Any type of material or item kept in excess over the minimum required to get the job done is considered to be a waste.These are information customers don't receive but is processed within the process. Excess number of CVs screened during a recruitment process for initial shortlisting may be considered as an inventory. 

M - Motion : Un necessary or excess movement of item or information is considered as a waste in LEAN. An example of motion could be interviewing too many candidate face to face which could be avoided if the need is to hire one person by doing pre-screening via telephone, assessment, etc.

W - Waiting: Waiting for information or item to arrive is considered as a waste in LEAN.  Waiting creates delay. Waiting for a background check to be completed or medical test result could be considered as a waiting period in a process. 

O - Overprocessing: Doing more work than necessary or unnecessary process step that customers do not care is considered as a waster in LEAN. An example of an overprocessing may be reimbursement of interview expenses that may not be necessary in all the cases and may be not something all candidates expect, so only providing these option for those who ask may avoid overprocessing.

O - Overproduction: is considered to be the mother of all waste. Producing too much or performing work before it is needed is considered as over production. An example of over production could be too many candidates passed on to line manager for interview right in the initial stage when it isnt actually required. 

D - Defects: is mistakes or errors that need to be re-worked. An example of defect could be withdrawn candidate, especially no shows after offer acceptance. Adopting right engagement strategy and practices with candidate to weigh up if they are actually going to join can save a lot of re-work time.

S - Skills : Un-utilised or under utilised intellect or skills of people is considered to a waste in LEAN. This is often ignored however a critical waste if addressed can make significant shift. An example would be not using subject matter expertise during an interview process may be considered as a waste. If right people are utilised in the initial interview can signifantly reduce the risk of poor quality hires. 

Opportunity exists to improve the process untill all wastes are removed. Typical process will have over 85-90% non value added tasks or waste, so there is always opportunity to improve processes applying LEAN technique.


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  9. The LEAN recruitment process aims to minimize various forms of waste, known as "muda," to enhance efficiency. Eight common types of waste in this context are:

    Overproduction: Generating more candidates than needed.
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    Transportation: Unnecessary movement of documents or candidates between departments. I Got a Reckless Driving Ticket in Virginia

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