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December 9, 2016 Agile Recruiting 1
Integrating Agile
Development Methodology
into Talent Acquisition
RaaS, Recruiting as ...
December 9, 2016 Agile Recruiting 2
Contents
Executive Summary...............................................................
December 9, 2016 Agile Recruiting 3
Executive Summary
Digital is revolutionizing all products, services and industries at ...
December 9, 2016 Agile Recruiting 4
*(1) Source: The State Of Digital Business 2016 to 2020
Introduction
Agile Recruiting:...
December 9, 2016 Agile Recruiting 5
This allows us to commit more efficiently, as well as analyze data to make more accura...
December 9, 2016 Agile Recruiting 6
There are additional factors that can influence priority such as: Can we group a set o...
December 9, 2016 Agile Recruiting 7
One of the fundamentals of our process is constant collaboration and visibility intern...
December 9, 2016 Agile Recruiting 8
There are many factors that contribute to sizing reqs. A few can be seen above. In som...
December 9, 2016 Agile Recruiting 9
Innovate & pivot at a moments notice
Our customers’ priorities can change at any momen...
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Agile Recruiting White Paper

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Agile Recruiting White Paper

  1. 1. December 9, 2016 Agile Recruiting 1 Integrating Agile Development Methodology into Talent Acquisition RaaS, Recruiting as a Service An alternative recruiting model used in digital recruiting White Paper By Amber Grewal and Dave Putterman grewal@ge.com dave.putterman@ge.com
  2. 2. December 9, 2016 Agile Recruiting 2 Contents Executive Summary.............................................................................Error! Bookmark not defined. Introduction..........................................................................................Error! Bookmark not defined. RaaS Overview .....................................................................................Error! Bookmark not defined.    
  3. 3. December 9, 2016 Agile Recruiting 3 Executive Summary Digital is revolutionizing all products, services and industries at an incredible pace. By 2020 executives predict 47% of revenue will be influenced by digital.(1) That begs the question, “How do we adapt to keep up with the change?” The ways in which our customers engage with us challenges the current operating model and requires innovative approaches to thinking about talent and create value. The war on talent is a driving force in rethinking the approach to attract, retain and develop talent. GE Digital was founded with a focus on digital revolution to bring together the world of OT & IT. To do so, GE is creating a cloud-based platform and an app economy. GE Digital set up shop in Silicon Valley and is scaling from scratch, building teams, growing a global footprint, building operations and processes for scale, and doing all of it quickly. Digital has gone from a few hundred employees in 2013 to being an organization that has over 28,000 employees today. This transformation required and continues to require new skills and capabilities from the external market in an incredibly short timeframe. To meet this need, Talent Acquisition needs to have incredible speed, efficiently, agility and reliability for all phases for the digital journey. In today’s competitive world, our ability to recruit talent is critical. At GE, we were challenged to hire a huge volume of the highest quality, external digital talent across the globe. Not only that, but we were challenged to do so effectively, with speed and reliability, all while dealing with unpredictability. To do this, we needed a sophisticated, innovative approach to recruiting that could handle all of these challenges. Disruption and Innovation in the talent acquisition model was a core driver needed to enable this transformation and keep up with the pace of change in the digital world. We created an agile recruiting model called RaaS (Recruiting as a service): to meet this need. This model is an alternative to the traditional recruiting model used across the digital industry. The Agile recruiting scrum team is structured to operate with speed and manage unpredictability in the same way agile software teams build software. We took an approach that was focused on the customer, the highest quality output, maintaining key priorities, and maintaining the ability to change direction and pivot as quickly as the business changed direction, all without losing productivity.
  4. 4. December 9, 2016 Agile Recruiting 4 *(1) Source: The State Of Digital Business 2016 to 2020 Introduction Agile Recruiting: Whether it’s development, company culture, or new age thinking, Agile has become the core of many efforts for change and transformation. Unique to talent acquisition and the RaaS model, we take pieces of the Agile software development methodology to build a recruiting process that is streamlined, efficient, responsive to the customer, measurable, and predictable. The goals of agile recruiting are to: • Focus on priority items • Limit work in progress • Provide visibility daily to the team & stakeholders • Measure performance • Predict future performance • Innovate & pivot at a moment’s notice While this seems straightforward enough, we must ask; how do we go about achieving these goals? And how does it impact traditional recruiting methods? The model consists of four key elements: 1. The Recruiting Scrum Team (RST), built as a cross-functional team with all the skills necessary to complete any backlog item; focused on the execution and delivery of 2–5-week sprint cycles. 2. The Recruiting Scrum Master, a new role created in the recruiting industry, is a certified agile coach that facilitates the scrum rituals and retros, execution and prioritization of headcount backlog, and shields the team from interruptions during the sprint. 3. The Headcount Owner, responsible for representing the voice of all hiring managers on their backlog and setting the priority of each req. 4. Technology, a talent platform that connects talent pipelines, skills, technical assessments, and headcount backlogs as well as feeds a Kanban board, enabling visualization of work in progress. RaaS allows us to: keep priorities top of mind during sprints, be consistently aware of real-time statuses and activities, identify bottlenecks, see historical velocity, and provide visibility and accountability to our customers. The process helps us react quickly to changes within the business, our global markets, and shifts in stakeholders’ requirements. We’ve also implemented a point system associated with every item in our backlog.
  5. 5. December 9, 2016 Agile Recruiting 5 This allows us to commit more efficiently, as well as analyze data to make more accurate predictions and estimates for our sprint cycles. Data helps us quickly determine how difficult it will be to find and attract certain skill sets, to understand the talent supply and demand, the desirability of the location, and be cognizant of the perception of the product or business for which we are recruiting. Below are two examples showing the types of learnings we have made by using the data. Example 1: We determined XXX was one of the best locations to yield the most qualified software engineers in the fastest time. We also narrowed down XXX as the ideal place for Machine Learning talent. Using these learnings, we could target our pipelining efforts and suggest regions for hire that managers weren’t even considering. Example 2: By looking at sub-cycle time for each requisition, we determined that we had a bottleneck with our interview scheduling team in the United States. We then created a project team to build a new automated interview-scheduling tool to reduce this portion of our cycle time, as well as shift headcount to this task in the short term. Additionally, the data and model allow us to make split-second decisions around allocation of work based on bandwidth, locations, businesses, and skills. This model and approach resulted in 70% faster results in hiring. A process that previously took over 15 weeks was completed in 3–6-week cycles, and it yielded 54% higher customer satisfaction from the business groups due to the delivery of the right talent for the most critical priorities. Focus on Priority Items: What is a priority backlog? Who sets the priority? How do we use the priority backlog? For recruiting, our priority backlog is a list of requisitions (reqs) that are ready to be worked on, in priority order. For a req to be considered “ready,” it needs to meet a set of defined criteria. For example, it needs to be fully approved, the funding allocated, and the business need to identify a contact (typically the hiring manager) who will be available and responsive to the scrum team working on the req. Without all of those criteria being met, the req is not considered ready to be prioritized on the backlog. This strict set of criteria ensures we do not expend resources on a role that may not be approved, may be canceled, or doesn’t have a contact who is ready and willing to be responsive to the team. Once we have met the criteria to be included in the backlog, how do we prioritize the list? This is a great question, and perhaps one of the more challenging questions to answer. Many factors play into the priority of a req. See the chart below for a few examples:
  6. 6. December 9, 2016 Agile Recruiting 6 There are additional factors that can influence priority such as: Can we group a set of roles in similar locations together to gain efficiency? Can we group roles requiring similar skill sets, aiding in candidate sharing? Ultimately someone must make the final call. We call this person the Headcount Owner. The Headcount Owner role is similar to the Product Manager role in the software development implementations of Agile. The Headcount Owner is responsible for representing the customers and stakeholders in the process, prioritizing the backlog and ensuring all reqs in the backlog meet the start criteria. Limiting Work in Progress In the typical talent acquisition org, roles were opened and worked on in various states of approval and levels of urgency. This previous, standard mode of operation calls for constant context switching between different roles based on which hiring manager yelled the loudest. Operating in this manner was not only incredibly inefficient, but it also broke the cardinal rule of continuously focusing on our priority items. We use a few different methods to ensure we are limiting our work in progress. First, the req being worked on must be on the priority backlog, and there are no allowances for side reqs or special favors for a hiring manager. The Recruiting Scrum Team (RST) works on reqs that have been approved by the Headcount Owner, and on the priority backlog. This reinforces the focus on only priority items, promotes efficiency, and leaves less room for distraction. Secondly, we set a limit or provide guidance on how many reqs should be worked on in given amount of time (sprint cycle). Data analysis shows us the historical velocity of a team. Historical velocity is essentially the average amount of work an RST has completed over past sprint cycles. Provide visibility daily to the team and our stakeholders
  7. 7. December 9, 2016 Agile Recruiting 7 One of the fundamentals of our process is constant collaboration and visibility internally within the RST & Agile Recruiting Managers (ARM), and externally with our customers. To achieve this goal, we hold Daily Scrum Meetings, utilize a Kanban board, and use standard tools and templates. Daily Scrum Meetings, as the name suggests, are quick, 15-minute daily check-ins for the RST. Our Kanban board tracks the flow of candidates through our recruiting process, provides a visual representation of the states of our candidates, allows for quick visual inspection of bottlenecks, and provides our first level of common reporting. Utilizing a standard Kanban board and standard reports eliminates individualized spreadsheets, paper tracking, and offline data. Customizable, cloud-based boards track progress and allow instant visibility to all our stakeholders directly with little to no effort. This reduces time and effort spent handling stakeholder requests, allowing the RST to focus on recruiting and operate more efficiently. This level of visibility and transparency is uncommon in the industry, and it not only builds trust but also ensures the team stays focused on the priority deliverables. Measure & Predict Performance Measuring execution and predicting completion time was one of our primary goals. The largest shift in thinking we faced was the common misconception that all reqs are equal and productivity should be measured as such. However, an entry-level role in Atlanta is very different than an executive role in San Francisco. To measure and predict, we assigned a “size” to each of our reqs.
  8. 8. December 9, 2016 Agile Recruiting 8 There are many factors that contribute to sizing reqs. A few can be seen above. In some scenarios “rules” can be set, often resulting in something resembling a “recipe.” San Francisco may add 5 points to your size, while Atlanta only adds 3. Executive level adds 10 points where as entry level only adds 4, etc. In our case, as a starting point, we compared reqs on our backlog, and relatively sized them. There are many different scales for sizing such as: animals (ant, mouse, cat, dog, horse) and T-Shirts (S, M L XL XXL),. We chose the Fibonacci sequence to allows the use of numbers to predict and forecast. Though arguments can be made against the accuracy of these numbers, we have found this method to be extremely efficient and directionally correct, especially given that previously we considered all reqs equal. Once a size has been assigned to a req, the Headcount Owner can use this information to inform priority decisions. For example, it may be more valuable to prioritize 2 “smaller” reqs, rather than one “large” req. Once sizes are in place, we can efficiently track historic velocity. We built velocity charts to track the number of points committed to by the team, as well as the number of points completed each sprint. The average number of points completed each sprint gives us an RST’s velocity. This velocity serves as guidance to the team as it decides how many points to take each sprint in an effort to not over-commit, and to maintain focus on limiting work in progress. Additionally, once points were assigned to all backlog items, we could fairly accurately predict how many sprints it would take to deliver the entire backlog, allowing us to better-set expectations. In reality, the backlog grows and shrinks as demand ebbs and flows, but this too can be tracked and predicted.
  9. 9. December 9, 2016 Agile Recruiting 9 Innovate & pivot at a moments notice Our customers’ priorities can change at any moment. By using Agile Recruiting, we have a set cadence to re- evaluate and adjust our priority backlog. By taking the time every cycle to hold a backlog-grooming meeting, we ensure our ability to pivot at a moment’s notice to adjust to the new priorities in the next cycle. After every sprint we take the time to gather feedback from our customers and hold a retrospective meeting to introspect. We use this information to improve our team and methods. In the retrospective, the RST discusses what went well, what didn’t go well, and determines which actions to continue, and what to try differently. By putting a focus on continuous improvement, the team is constantly innovating, trying new things, and working to drive higher business and candidate satisfaction. Since we are sizing our reqs, prioritizing our backlog, focusing on our top priority reqs and able to view and predict our velocity, are now able adjust our teams as needed based on the backlog. If we see our upcoming backlog contains a higher demand for a specific region or role, we can take action. Similar to how additional virtual machines can spin up to handle spikes, we can spin up additional RSTs, or reallocate existing RSTs. Conclusion We believe innovation is all about thinking differently, connecting all the dots, and providing a new solution or outcome to a challenging problem. We had a very clear challenge involving explosive growth, a highly competitive market, and a legacy practice. We took strands of Agile DNA, and embedded it into the RaaS model to deliver higher quality and streamlined hiring. We hired Agile coaches and developers to act as key contributors on the talent acquisition team, and built enterprise quality software to enable this process. We firmly believe that in a world that is becoming more and more digital, a recruiting model like RaaS is necessary to keep up with the incredible hiring demands associated with this transformational change.  

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