Streamlining the Way to Success - A Lean Journey

Andrew Charlwood Resource Solutions

Recently, Resource Solutions became the first recruitment outsourcing provider to be Lean Competency System (LCS) accredited. 

LCS is an independent endorsement of an organisation’s Lean training, and is awarded after assessing and confirming that the training is well organised, professionally delivered, technically sound and robust. 

The cornerstone to creating a culture of continuous improvement at Resource Solutions is providing the training, and creating internal LCS champions across our business. Andrew Charlwood, an account manager on-site with one of our investment banking and financial services clients, is one of those champions. 

Having been on our Lean journey, we asked Andrew what Lean working means for his account and his own career development. 

Tell us about us what your role was like when you first started working at Resource Solutions.  

I joined Resource Solutions in 2011, working on-site as a Hybrid Recruiter to manage Technology hiring in EMEA for a London-based investment bank. The role had a really interesting mix of direct sourcing and vendor management, and evolved from being purely transactional to a business partnering role that focused on reducing the client’s overall recruitment spend.  

We have a brilliant team here at Resource Solutions, who will challenge your thought process and ultimately help harness the skills to take your career further. 

How has Lean helped you manage a large team? 

Having a team that is split between two cities, London and Manchester, has meant clear, and consistent communication has been a challenge. Lean has been pivotal in bridging the gaps by utilising huddles and visual management to focus delivery against our core Service Level Agreements (SLAs).

These huddles have increased the on-site and off-site teams’ communication. As an Account Manager, the operational excellence (OpEx) journey has allowed me to understand the daily challenges my team face and address these in a structured way, allowing us to focus on the core KPIs to ensure we not only meet but, in some cases, exceed expectations. 

What’s one thing you wish more people knew about Lean?  

Lean helps you identify the actual root cause of problems and then provides the tools to address these in a structured way. In recruitment, the tendency is to aim for the quick fix, which doesn’t work to alleviate the challenge in the long term.   

What is your biggest improvement that you have achieved using Lean?  

Due to the size of the account, we underwent a restructuring of the Recruitment Coordination function. We had 14 coordinators responsible for managing 28 processes. After completing a DILO (Day in the Life Of) and Voice of the Customer (VOC) exercise, the team was restructured to provide a proactive candidate onboarding experience and day-to-day management of the UK population. This has reduced queries, enhanced communication and ultimately helped decrease the time it takes us to screen temps. 

What kind of feedback have you received from the client when applying Lean methodology to a project or initiative? 

We continue to receive positive feedback on the newly created Post Offer Management (POM) team, who are engaged daily with candidates and hiring managers during the Pre-Employment Screening (PES) process. The service is now consistently tracking above all our key SLA & KPIs, which ultimately means the client business reviews are now focused on the value-add initiatives.  

How has Lean impacted your personal career development?  

I was sceptical about the actual value that Lean could offer me as an Account Manager; however, I am now a convert. Personally, I have gone from being very tactical and involved in the day-to-day running of the service, to being far more focused on the strategic direction and engagement with the client and customers. I firmly believe this process has made me a better leader and I will be applying Lean learning to projects going forward.  

What would you say to your colleagues who are thinking about taking Resource Solutions’ training and getting their LCS certification?   

The journey is hard work. Trying to balance the demands of the day job with the commitment required to complete the LCS accreditation will make you question your sanity at times. However, the results and behavioural changes you can embed in your own approach, your teams and ultimately the client make this challenge worth every minute. We have a brilliant team here at Resource Solutions, who will challenge your thought process and ultimately help harness the skills to take your career further. 

Are you interested in jumpstarting your career in recruitment? Find out what it's like to work for Resource Solutions.