What is Lean Recruitment?

By hrlineup | 22.08.2022

Finding qualified candidates to hire is a complex process, especially given the time-consuming labour involved. Due to these limitations, recruiters would likely choose the wrong candidates, which could result in increased turnover rates in the long run. For this reason, most businesses are streamlining their hiring procedures using lean recruitment strategies to eliminate this issue.

The Toyota lean manufacturing strategy, which attempts to cut costs and waste throughout production, is where the concept of lean recruitment originated. We will therefore go over the definition of lean recruitment, its benefits, and strategies. Hopefully, you will be able to improve your recruitment style and find talent fit for your business. 

Lean Hire Meaning

As mentioned above, the lean recruitment methodology was inspired by Toyota lean manufacturing system, which emphasizes cutting costs and waste in production. The fundamental goal of lean hire is to improve the recruiting process while using the least resources.

What then constitutes waste in a lean hiring process? Like any manufacturing process, hiring is based on supply and demand for talent. Delays will waste time and resources. In this case, the money used for the hiring process.

Why use Lean Recruitment?

The hiring process is streamlined using the lean methodology. Lean recruiting is proactive in contrast to conventional methods of recruitment, which are reactive. The proactive nature ensures that your employees concentrate on their work rather than on problems at work.

Applying lean recruitment strategies enables you to locate and eliminate time and money wasters, allowing for increased productivity. The lean recruitment process mandates that you only hire candidates that you require at the time, similar to the Toyota “Just In Time” method.

Additionally, lean recruitment methods push recruiters to create excellent talent pipelines continuously. When a post becomes available, this pool of competent candidates will aid in cutting down on time and money (wastes). Instead of looking for new hires, you can easily refer to your talent pipeline and find the top applicants.

Lean Recruitment Strategies

Success in sourcing talent depends on the methods of recruitment used and how knowledgeable your team is about current acquisition strategies. Many businesses have embraced lean recruitment strategies, and these efforts have produced fruitful outcomes. The lean methodology techniques that every recruiter should use are listed below.

  • Improve your Candidate Sourcing Style

You should improve the methods you use to find candidates, which might include reducing the number of recruitment channels. Eliminate sourcing platforms that don’t produce people of high calibre. To maintain clarity in the job advertisement, you should also reduce the amount of data you evaluate about job duties.

  • Spend Time on Productive Activities

Analyse your hiring process, identify the elements that add the most value, and give them higher priority. For instance, you can interact directly with candidates and employers rather than perusing resumes and searching employment databases. Additionally, reducing the time between steps will result in less waste and higher output.

  • Automate Repetitive Tasks

Constantly evaluate your company’s methods of recruitment and identify any areas that could be made more efficient. With the help of technology, you now have access to various automation tools, such as applicant tracking software, which helps shortlist prospects automatically. You would have used the lean recruitment method to save time.

  • Leverage Employee Referrals

Strong connections among your present staff members could enable you to find the best-qualified individuals. One of the most effective ways to find prospects is by tapping into your employees’ networks.

Your present employees know the best fit for the job because they have been with your organisation for some time. They will therefore introduce you to top talent, and this lean methodology makes everyone happy. The applicant will save time by not applying, the recruiter will save time and money by not recruiting, and finally, the employee will receive compensation for the referral.

  • Know the Recruitment Cycle

A skilled recruiter must know the hiring cycle, which has high and low points when more candidates may be needed. With this knowledge, you may research and keep up with hiring trends, enabling you to anticipate the business’s future staffing requirements. This method aids in carefully allocating resources so that you don’t overspend during one hiring season and have less available during another.

  • Involve other Stakeholders

For lean recruiting to be successful, you must effectively communicate with the human resource management team and other business stakeholders. Make sure everyone on the team is aware of their responsibilities and objectives to cooperate to achieve the primary goal, which is to hire the most outstanding personnel. Additionally, since these people spend more time with your employees, treating them with respect will improve their rapport with workers.

  • Implement Same Procedures Throughout the Recruitment Process

Make a workable, step-by-step approach that the management team may follow. Uniform practices will guarantee efficient operation at all stages and prevent incidents of incompatibility and confusion among team members.

Implementing Lean Recruitment Strategies

Lean strategies are applied to recruitment processes in various ways by different organisations. Follow the two steps below for assistance with this procedure.

  • Audit the whole recruitment strategy and hiring process, to help you assess areas that require improvement.
  • Create a trustworthy hiring procedure based on your research, including all relevant parties, for successful outcomes. Follow up after making the modifications to make sure the results are flexible.


Every organization that wishes to acquire talent effectively and over the long run must practice lean recruitment. Not only will you be able to source the best talent using limited resources, but you will also increase employee retention rates. As a result, productivity will increase, thus making it easier for you to stay on top of the competition. That being said, use the above-discussed lean recruitment strategies to reduce recruitment waste in your hiring plan.

Other benefits of lean recruitment include analysing your current hiring practices, making suggestions for enhancements, and monitoring the results to guarantee consistency in the workplace. Moreover, you save time and money, giving your workflow more time to concentrate on other work objectives like interacting with applicants and making plans.