Time for a change? If you always do what you’ve always done…


In an insight written for HR Grapevine, Kim Tolley, Head of Operations at Eploy, gave thought to what we can do now to make our organizations stronger for the future. In this latest blog, we explore the topic some more and look at root cause analysis of the challenges we face.

While we may not have control over current restrictions, we can turn our focus to areas where we can re-think, influence, or affect to shape the future of our organizations.

It all starts with looking at the challenges your organization is facing and separating what you can influence or control and what you cannot. Breaking it down in this way will help you determine any elements you can influence – some of the smaller aspects of an ‘elephant’ challenge that can be influenced, however small – is still a win.

Begin by taking each challenge in turn and look to find the root cause of the problem. Root Cause Analysis drills down to the heart of the problem. By breaking down complex processes into simpler ones can act as a catalyst to implement changes and solutions which could have a positive impact.

Kim suggested in the insight “a good way to approach root cause analysis is using the ‘five why’s’ – one of the simplest approaches, yet very effective.

“Firstly, be clear on what the specific issue is so the team involved can focus on the same problem. Work together in addressing why the problem occurs. Keep asking ‘why’ until the team agrees they have identified the root cause”.

An example in your recruitment process might be:

  • A candidate accepted an offer with another employer before you were able to formalize their employment offer. Why?
  • They didn’t receive an offer from your organization early enough. Why?
  • There was a delay in raising the employment offer. Why?
  • The Recruitment Co-ordinator mislaid the offer pack. Why?
  • Human error. Why?

Lack of training on systems and processes to track offer requests and processing.

When looking at a specific issue, think about why that process or action is essential in the first place. It’s surprising how many tasks we do because we have always done them. Are you reporting on something or logging it in a database for the sake of it? Engage the people in your business who use these systems and reports and ask: Do you still use them? And are they still fit for purpose?

This applies in abundance to Recruitment and HR practices and how data is gathered and analyzed.

Making better use of the tools you have

Think about what tools and software you already have that you can make better use of. What adaptations have your teams made during lockdown to work effectively? Can these changes provide benefits permanently?