Monday, March 28, 2011

Using TOC for a hiring process

Let us begin by defining the goal of the process as finding a good enough candidate for the job. This is how a "Satisficer" would look at this. An "optimizer" will look for the best candidate possible and thus will take much more time and effort to fill up the opening – is this beneficial for the organization? I dare say it is not, since not only is the job open for a longer time, meaning that required output is delayed, the recruiting team also spends more time on this task and thus is not available for other tasks.
To recruit a good enough candidate you first must define the characteristics of a good enough candidate. It is important to keep some slack in these definitions to allow for variability between candidates, so recruiters have a real choice. In order to get a good understanding of necessary characteristics, just get a good understanding of the job this candidate will be doing.
Adding a person to the company's staff is a process of change and should be handled like such (as discussed here). Hiring managers should consider all 4 quadrants of this change first at the general level of hiring someone and then at the specific level of hiring a certain candidate. Throughput considerations should be used.
At the general level consider:

Hire new person (change)
"Pot of Gold" - increased throughput by manning position
"Pain" – losing throughput by paying more salaries (increasing OE) without sufficient return
Don't hire
(don't change)
"Mermaid" – low OE, business as usual, no need to train and bring someone up to speed….
"Alligator" – overloaded workers, missing capabilities….
This would be valid even when the manager leading the process is very willing to hire the new person. Also notice that these are very generic possibilities and should be replaced with the specifics of each situation in real life.
At the specific level each candidate is different so a generic analysis is not relevant. One point to consider, though, is how would the analyses differ between a candidate that is an acceptable fit on all parameters and one that is a very good fit on some parameters but poor on others. Which parameters are the most important to your throughput?

Continued here
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