# Agile beyond IT – Streamlining The Recruitment Process

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Recruitment is a challenging, time-consuming and costly process. It is not only challenging for the recruiter, but also challenging for the candidates.

In one of my previous engagements, I had a chance to work with the hiring team to help streamline the Agile recruitment process and make it a wow experience for the recruiters as well as for the candidates. I would like to share the experience we had and how we built an improved Agile recruitment process by streamlining the process.

## The Challenge: Making the Agile recruitment process more streamlined and visible

For one of the organizations distributed geographically, we had vacancies across various skill sets to be fulfilled within a certain timeline. However, we faced certain challenges which were typical to any hiring processes.

Identifying the right talent and making the whole hiring process faster, visible and streamlined was an issue.

Few of the challenges which we faced are listed below:

• Usage of the traditional talent acquisition tool for tracking the candidate’s profile.
• Prioritization is usually by whoever shouts loudest.
• The process was not harmonized across all business units.
• Non-availability of interviewer to interview the candidates.
• No established feedback communication channel (candidate and all stakeholders).
• Usage of too many spreadsheets, recurring meetings, emails for synchronization resulting in:
• Delay in responding back to the candidates.
• Delay in sharing the updates on the fulfillment leading to dissatisfaction among the candidates, hiring managers as well as the client.

How did we get started?
To respond to the above challenges, a meeting was scheduled between the recruitment team, engineering team and we brainstormed and identified a few of the pain areas that needed to be addressed on priority.One of the things which the team identified was that with multiple meetings, e-mails with CV from various sources, there was a delay in identifying and interviewing the candidate and that made the whole candidates suffer.

At the same time, we had the executives and business heads across the various business units looking for a consolidated report on the status of the number of open positions and the hiring pipeline daily.

So, we planned with priorities and focused on resolving the following-

• Make the candidate interviewing and onboarding process faster.
• Provide better visibility and reports to the senior management.
• Faster feedback mechanism.

Agile and Kanban- Tools to make an Agile recruitment process efficient

We all know that the recruitment process is very dynamic. With every iteration, the requirement for the fulfilment may tend to change. To have a better control over the recruitment process and a quick adoption, Agile recruitment seems to be the way forward.

As a team, we decided to start with Kanban and the reasons for the same are mentioned below:

• There was no need to change the current workflow to adopt this process of visualization.
• We tweaked a little bit and used only the visualization principles to help visualize the flow.
• We wanted to ensure that everybody has a visual representation of the workflow to help identify the bottlenecks. All the stakeholders became aware of the profiles in the pipeline and how we are moving across the different stages. It helped identify any bottleneck in the flow and take remedial actions.
• Focus on flow
Our aim was to help decrease the candidate’s waiting time. By focusing on the flow of our hiring process, we wanted to spot issues before they arise and help improve communications as well as the candidate profile aging over time.
• Practice continuous feedback.
• Frequent connect to review, reflect and make suggestions for further improvement. Tweak wherever necessary.
• It offers the flexibility to the team.

How did the process work?

We started first with the candidate board to keep track of each of the candidate through the recruitment process. We started to map out the different steps that follow a candidate through our process and accordingly map each column

Below is the sample Kanban board in Trello-
This helped the team in visualization and identifying the bottleneck leading to a quicker resolution.

How did we improve?

We could see that the recruitment process was on its path to getting streamlined but as a team, we used to reflect and looked at ways of improving the process. We did the following:

• Had daily and weekly catch up and used to take feedback on what areas we can improve upon and accordingly modify the board.
• After a few months, we realized that we need to track the candidate’s onboarding to help the candidate’s experience to turn out to WOW. We updated the board to include the same.
• We also realized that the profiles can come from various sources (internal, referral, agencies etc.). We looked at updating the board to capture the source of the profile.

How Kanban helped in creating an Agile hiring process?
We knew that we were on the right track when we started visualizing the following:

1. Focus on Priority Items:

• Everybody knew what’s coming down the pipeline, and we were ready for it.
• Candidate profiles didn’t get lost in the process.
• Helped in better prioritization of the demand.

2. Increased Visibility:

• We could see the problems before they happened and pivoted.
• Greater visibility of the candidate status in the hiring process.

3. Increased Communication:

• Faster decision making on the candidature.
• Quicker feedback to the candidate on the profile status.
• Better communication between hiring, engineering, management and customer.
• Building and fostering a collaborative environment.

4. Time-saving:

• Time-saving by scrapping many meetings and e-mail loops.

Applying Agile principles to the hiring process is not simple. It involves re-inventing the current process and applying the principles.

However, Agile implementation in hiring process doesn’t need to be complicated in the beginning. We need to  look at the current process and identify the areas where we can leverage and improve the process.

### Lopamudra Misra

Blog Author

An agile practitoner passionate about working with people , teams and create a culture of WOW.