Kaizen Recruiting

Calibrating for SuccessNoah Hendricks, Sales & Marketing Recruiter

By Noah Hendricks, Executive Recruiter, Sales & Marketing Division


“Kaizen, Japanese for “good change”. When used in the business sense and applied to the workplace, kaizen refers to activities that continually improve all functions and involve all employees from the CEO to the assembly line workers. It also applies to processes, such as purchasing and logistics, that cross organizational boundaries into the supply chain. It has been applied in healthcare, psychotherapy, life-coaching, government, banking, and other industries.” – This concise definition and context courtesy of Wikipedia.


This tried and tested work philosophy of continual calibration to business processes in order to improve upon them led to many management strategies and workplace revolutions. It is a mindset that all great businesses share, whether they call it as such or not.


In recruiting, things are always changing: technologies, ATMs, job boards, social networking fads. And each and every hire is unique. It doesn’t matter how many Sales Managers in EdTech for example that we recruit in a year, each of those requirements is different – even when using the same job description!


While skill sets may be a fast requirement, the team and the dynamic are unique. No matter whether it is the same product, the opportunities and challenges will be different over time. Despite a consistent process (hallelujah for those who have a consistent hiring process), personalities, timing, opportunities, location, competition, etc. are all factors in any hire, and so each talent search is unique no matter the similarities.


The best way to recruit top tech talent is to be constantly calibrating the search. Most of this calibration lies squarely on the shoulders of the recruiter. But a key hindrance to this process is lack of feedback, or lack of timeliness in delivering the feedback.


Whether it’s a simpler search for a tech support engineer or a more elaborate quest for the elusive purple squirrel, the success of the search is often proportional to the prompt feedback that is offered upon each candidate presented.


This feedback loop requires participation from the hiring manager and often others who will be colleagues or supervisors. Detailed feedback as to what was missing or not a good fit, as well as what was great about an imperfect candidate provides the necessary information for the search to be calibrated and improved if it is not 100% on target starting out the gate.


Often in the interview process, the hiring team finds that the job requirements they originally felt strongly about aren’t necessarily providing them with the candidates that feel like the right fit. Sometimes, an unexpected skill set or personality can be lured in, and the role may be redefined. Changes are fine; the important link is the communication and feedback loop that keeps the whole recruitment team’s collective eye on the prize.



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