Lean Talent Strategies: Revolutionizing Hiring with Jodi Brandstetter

Lean Talent Strategies

Jodi Brandstetter, author and talent acquisition expert, shares innovative approaches to attracting and retaining top talent. Learn how to streamline your hiring process, build a strong employer brand, and implement lean talent strategies. Discover practical tips for effective communication with candidates and creating a robust recruitment strategy for your organization.

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In today's competitive job market, finding and retaining top talent is crucial for business success. Jodi Brandstetter, a talent acquisition expert and author, recently shared her insights on lean talent strategies in an exclusive interview on the Software Spotlight podcast. Let's dive into her innovative approaches to revolutionize the hiring process and build stronger teams.

Who is Jodi Brandstetter?

Jodi Brandstetter is the founder of Lean Effective Talent Strategies, where she helps small to mid-sized companies create the best hiring processes and practices. With a career spanning over two decades in HR and talent acquisition, Jodi has experience hiring for various positions, from call center representatives to executives.

In 2018, Jodi took a leap of faith and became an entrepreneur, starting her own company to share her expertise with others. She's also the author of several books on HR and career strategies, including “Hire by Design” and “HR by Design.”

The Importance of Lean Talent Strategies

Lean talent strategies focus on making recruitment processes more efficient and impactful. Jodi explains, “When I think about lean talent strategies, I'm thinking about ensuring that any recruitment strategy I'm putting in place is going to help me with finding that ideal candidate.”

Key Components of Lean Talent Strategies

  1. Structured Hiring Process
  2. Effective Communication
  3. Employer Branding
  4. Candidate Persona Development
  5. Diverse Recruitment Channels

Creating a Structured Hiring Process

One of the fundamental aspects of lean talent strategies is establishing a structured hiring process. Jodi emphasizes, “You want to have steps for each candidate to go through and you want to have them defined so that you know exactly what you're looking for with each one of those steps.”

Steps to Implement a Structured Hiring Process:

  1. Define clear stages in the hiring process
  2. Create structured interview guides
  3. Develop evaluation criteria for each stage
  4. Train all interviewers on the process
  5. Consistently apply the process to all candidates

Jodi adds, “Having that structure helps you, in my opinion, build more confidence in your hiring decisions.”

The Power of Effective Communication

Communication is a critical component of successful hiring. Jodi stresses, “Communication is key throughout the hiring process.” She points out that many companies focus on communicating only at the end of each step, but it's the in-between stages that are crucial for keeping candidates engaged.

Tips for Improving Candidate Communication:

  1. Set clear expectations about the hiring timeline
  2. Provide regular updates, even if there's no significant progress
  3. Make Fridays your “update day” to touch base with candidates
  4. Use various communication channels (email, phone, text) based on candidate preferences
  5. Be transparent about delays or changes in the process

Jodi suggests, “On Fridays, make Fridays your update day, just one day a week. If candidates are in the process, you can call them, text them, email them, and just tell them you're still in the running.”

Building a Strong Employer Brand

Employer branding plays a crucial role in attracting top talent. Jodi considers it “the pillar of lean effective strategies.” She explains, “If your organization cannot talk about who they are and what they do and why someone should come to your organization, you're never going to get your ideal candidates in the door.”

Strategies for Enhancing Your Employer Brand:

  1. Clearly define your company's mission and values
  2. Showcase your company culture through various channels
  3. Encourage employee testimonials and success stories
  4. Highlight career growth opportunities within your organization
  5. Ensure consistency between your external and internal brand messaging

Developing Candidate Personas

Understanding your ideal candidate is crucial for targeted recruitment. Jodi recommends creating candidate personas to guide your hiring efforts. She states, “Understanding your ideal candidate will help you then go to the right places to find that candidate and know how to engage them and get them to be interested in your organization.”

Steps to Create Effective Candidate Personas:

  1. Analyze successful employees in similar roles
  2. Identify key skills, experiences, and traits
  3. Consider cultural fit and values alignment
  4. Define preferred communication styles and career motivations
  5. Use the persona to tailor job descriptions and recruitment strategies

Diversifying Recruitment Channels

While it's important to focus on strategies that have worked in the past, Jodi cautions against relying too heavily on a single approach. She advises, “You don't want to put all your eggs in one basket. So you don't want to say, well, we're only going to hire employee referrals.”

Effective Recruitment Channels to Consider:

  1. Employee referral programs
  2. Job boards and online platforms
  3. Social media recruitment
  4. College and university partnerships
  5. Professional associations and industry events

Jodi suggests, “Pick three, three successful strategies and work with that and build those up and see how it works.”

Learning from Hiring Mistakes

Mistakes in hiring are inevitable, but they provide valuable learning opportunities. Jodi encourages a growth mindset, saying, “Every time you hire someone, you should be learning about yourself as a hiring manager, about how your company handles hiring and onboarding that person.”

Tips for Learning from Hiring Mistakes:

  1. Conduct post-hire reviews to identify areas for improvement
  2. Seek feedback from both successful and unsuccessful hires
  3. Analyze patterns in hiring successes and failures
  4. Be open to adjusting your hiring process based on learnings
  5. Don't let fear of failure prevent you from making hiring decisions

Implementing Lean Talent Strategies in Your Organization

To start implementing lean talent strategies in your organization, Jodi recommends:

  1. Get out of HR and into the business to truly understand the company's needs
  2. Build relationships with leaders and employees across departments
  3. Continuously refine your hiring process based on feedback and results
  4. Stay up-to-date with industry trends and best practices
  5. Be willing to experiment with new approaches and technologies

Jodi emphasizes, “HR is usually that first conversation with the candidate. And so they're laying the groundwork to get this candidate excited about coming to this organization.”

By implementing these lean talent strategies, you can create a more efficient and effective hiring process that attracts top talent and contributes to your organization's success.


What are lean talent strategies?

Lean talent strategies are efficient recruitment approaches focused on finding ideal candidates through streamlined processes and targeted methods.

How can I improve candidate communication during hiring?

Regularly update candidates, set clear expectations, and use various communication channels to keep them engaged throughout the process.

Why is employer branding important in recruitment?

Strong employer branding helps attract top talent by clearly communicating your company's values, culture, and opportunities to potential candidates.

What are candidate personas and how do they help in hiring?

Candidate personas are detailed profiles of ideal job candidates that help tailor recruitment strategies and job descriptions to attract the right talent.

How can I learn from hiring mistakes?

Conduct post-hire reviews, seek feedback from hires, analyze patterns in successes and failures, and be open to adjusting your hiring process.

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