A Lean methodology for process improvement helps an online brokerage firm hire and onboard talent faster—with a better experience for all
West Monroe helps reduce costs by 20% and identifies $5 million in opportunity cost
Date : October 22, 2014

This online brokerage firm provides investing and trading services for nearly six million client accounts that total more than $600 billion in assets, and custodial services for more than 4,000 independent registered investment advisors.

Streamline, simplify, standardize
To improve the recruiting experience for hiring managers and job applicants, the client’s talent acquisition team initiated a project to streamline and simplify recruitment processes and standardize those processes across its lines of business. By doing so, they sought to:

  • Reduce the lead time for filling a position—from identification of a recruiting need to day-one onboarding of a hired candidate
  • Improve hiring manager and job applicant experience
  • Provide transparency and free information flow throughout the process and to all participants
  • Reduce complexity and work effort

A value stream approach to better operations
West Monroe combined deep capital markets experience with a proven methodology rooted in Lean principles to achieve simultaneous improvements in service, cost and quality. Lean continuous improvement is a comprehensive strategy and approach for improving business performance by focusing on the reduction of end-to-end lead time. In simple terms, it maximizes customer value by eliminating common forms of waste that cost organizations valuable time and money.

Our efficient project approach enabled the talent acquisition team to develop and test key process changes and realize tangible benefits within just a few months.

From issues to improvement in less than 20 weeks
Key elements of the project included:

Assess current environment. Through stakeholder interviews and workshops, data collection, "voice of the customer" focus groups, and process observation, we helped identify and synthesize more than 80 issues within the recruiting and onboarding value stream. West Monroe then prioritized those issues based on impact to key performance metrics, estimated effort to resolve, and potential for "quick win" solutions.

Define improvement opportunities. Two teams—one focused on recruiter intake and one on job posting and approval—developed and prioritized countermeasures to address issues. We then led detailed design sessions to define and document future state processes.

Pilot changes. After selecting and training pilot participants on the new procedures, the project team monitored multiple job requisitions through the redesigned processes to solicit feedback and validate the expected benefits.

Faster hiring, faster contribution
Key process changes were designed to meet improvement objectives:

  • Formal communication plan to alert recruiters as soon as a hiring need is identified
  • Standard, SLA-controlled process for setting hiring manager and recruiter expectations up front
  • Feedback channel for the hiring manager to provide timely feedback to the recruiter throughout the process
  • Elimination of redundant approvals for job postings
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