The LeanCor Way Series: Recruiting The Right People


Throughout the years at LeanCor there has always been an emphasis on learning.

Traditionally, this has taken many different forms, from hosting an internal training program called “the LeanCor Academy” to having informal read-and-respond invitations from leaders, asking team members to check out an interesting book. 

It was this latter activity that inspired the more formal “LeanCor Book Club” that we now host with team members throughout the year. One of the early books that a small group of us read was Jim Collins’ Good to Great. In this book about company growth trends and best practices, Collins asserts that a core concept in spring-boarding your organization forward is to have a “first who - then what” mentality. It challenges organizations to prioritize finding great team members above all else.

This concept, along with several other best-in-class lessons around building strong teams, has empowered LeanCor to make sure that we have the right people “on the bus” and that they are in a position to succeed. 

One of the frameworks that we use in supply chain training is called the ten rights.  This concept is used to ensure that we truly know what good looks like.  This involves starting with the right products, at the right time, the right total cost, the right quantity, the right quality, for the right customer, at the right price, with the right sourcing and the right service level within the right complexity.  As part of launching our internal people management system - the TMATE Initiative (Team Member Advancement Through Engagement) - we modified these rights to describe our goals for attracting the ideal candidates for LeanCor.  The statement of “rights” for recruiting is:

We seek to have the right team members, in the right seats, with the right skills and the right attitude at the right time.

              What this means is that we put an extremely high value in finding team members that move the company forward.  The ideal candidate is talented, capable and aligned with our cultural values and principles.  As they grow their career here, we, as leaders, can put them into positions that will challenge and allow them to flourish. 

As skills and knowledge gaps are discovered along the way, we can help to close them.  The willing attitude of a deeply-invested team member can bridge these gaps when adequately supported by the organization.

We've learned that being successful in getting these “right” people through the doors and creating an environment that keeps them here requires more from our strategy and, especially, our interviewing and tollgate processes. Over the last three to four years, we have established the following tactics that have greatly improved our recruiting and hiring:

Rigorous Job Requisition

Instituting a playbook for our hiring managers to serve as a thoughtful documentation process for acquiring new team members has helped ensure any position we're filling is well defined and structured for success.

Multi-level Screening

Screening approaches that include a mix of phone and in-person interviews with various HR and operational leaders focused on different attributes (skills, vs. culture, vs. experience, etc.) has created healthy dialogue in advancing candidates.

Ongoing PDCA with Leadership

Weekly meetings between the hiring manager team and HR allow for focus and alignment in prioritizing the right candidates so that seats are filled as needed and new team members are placed in the right spot for them.

Leveraging What Works

Evaluating success rates among all modes of recruiting from career sites, to third parties, to employee referrals has allowed us to prioritize and reduce the noise in the talent search.

An additional, looming factor in our recent approach to recruiting is the importance of having a truly two-way interviewing process. We want candidates to learn as much about us as we will learn about them. We would never want to have someone make a major life decision that wasn't ultimately the right choice because they lacked critical information to assess if we were a strong match.

To call back to the principle from Good to Great, we are always keeping our eyes open for potential LeanCor team members who embody our values.  We seek respectful, driven, and accountable team players who will contribute with integrity to a work environment that promotes physical and emotional safety.  These qualities are consistent with The LeanCor Way and have yet to steer us wrong. 

As always, we’ll continue to learn and improve until we get everything right.

Posted by Clint McCrystal

blog author

Training and Development Manager at LeanCor | I am an individual with many interests, and I like to leverage both my creative and analytical skills.

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