Lean and Six Sigma Talent Demand Trends
Powered by: The Avery Point Group, Inc.
"As an executive recruiting and search firm, we have a unique vantage point from which to track the latest trends taking place in industry. Trends in industry are often telegraphed into candidate requirements in job postings and they can serve as a window into the latest corporate initiatives."
Tim Noble - Managing Principal & Partner
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Alpharetta, GA 30022
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Fifth annual study by executive search firm The Avery Point Group finds Lean talent demand continuing to surpass Six Sigma as companies grapple with today’s bleak economic environment.
The recession and rapidly slumping sales are forcing many companies to reevaluate their priorities with regard to their continuous improvement initiatives. As a result, demand for Lean talent is showing signs that it is accelerating its edge over Six Sigma as the more desired skill set, according to a new study by The Avery Point Group, a global executive recruiting firm specializing in Lean and Six Sigma talent.
"As an executive recruiting firm, we have a unique vantage point from which to observe the latest trends taking place in industry," explains Tim Noble, managing principal of The Avery Point Group. "Trends in industry are often telegraphed into candidate requirements in job postings, and they can serve as a window into the latest corporate initiatives. Our annual study continues to serve as an industry benchmark that offers useful insight into the latest trends taking place in the area of corporate continuous improvement."
Based on its fifth annual study of Internet job postings, The Avery Point Group found that demand for Lean talent continues to gain ground over Six Sigma as the more desired skill set, reinforcing last year’s study that signaled an ongoing shift in focus toward Lean. This year’s study showed that Lean talent demand exceeded Six Sigma by almost 11 percent, further widening its lead over last year’s results that showed only a slight edge for Lean over Six Sigma.
This year’s study also found, for those companies seeking Lean talent, only 44 percent are requiring candidates to possess Six Sigma knowledge as well. On the other hand, for those companies seeking Six Sigma talent, fully 49 percent of the roles also require candidates to possess Lean knowledge. “Reflecting the broader job market, demand for Lean and Six Sigma talent is down versus 2008 and 2007 peak levels,” states Noble. “However, on a relative basis for the hiring that is taking place, companies are starting to shift more and more of their focus toward Lean. This is perhaps an indication that they see Lean as a better and more practical hedge against today’s tough economic challenges.”
The Avery Point Group fully expects this shift toward Lean to accelerate further as the recession grinds on through 2009. “We have had a situation in the past couple of months where companies have had to take unprecedented and drastic actions, shedding large amounts of labor to bring their cost structure and inventories in line with plummeting sales,” comments Noble. “As the dust settles, and as companies regain their footing, some may find that their remaining operations aren’t as flexible or as effective at servicing their market’s new realities. For some companies this situation can be a transformational opportunity to leverage Lean, while for others it could spell further disaster.”
The Avery Point Group is already seeing a few forward-thinking companies seizing on Lean as a competitive and strategic opportunity to transform their businesses amid the recession. These companies see Lean as a key to reducing waste, improving cash flow and improving operational flexibility, thus enabling them to adjust more quickly to the new realities of today’s economic climate. As the nation exits the recession, these forward-thinking companies may be well-positioned to leverage huge productivity gains as volume returns, outpacing their competitors by achieving higher inventory turns, greater operational flexibility and lower operating costs.
Could the recession and the growing shift in talent demand toward Lean be signaling the beginning of the end for Six Sigma? “Certainly not,“ concludes Noble. “The overall foundation of continuous improvement should be viewed as a collection of tool sets that includes both Lean and Six Sigma, which are applied when and where appropriate. Overall, there are certainly benefits to integrating both methodologies, but the steep challenges of today’s recession may be better served by Lean’s more immediate and practical focus on waste, flow, and flexibility.”
Avery Point Group: Retained & Contingent Executive Search for Lean & Six Sigma Talent
The Avery Point Group is a global executive recruiting and search firm that assists companies in identifying, assessing and recruiting mid-level management to senior executive Lean & Six Sigma talent. Our firm leverages its principals’ decades of executive Lean & Six Sigma operations and staffing experience to provide the highest quality executive search services.
Visit our main website: AveryPointGroup.com
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How is Our Lean & Six Sigma Executive Search and Recruiting Firm Different?
With our team’s significant Six Sigma and Lean executive experience, we are uniquely qualified to help our clients find, assess and recruit the right continuous improvement and operational excellence talent. Our key principals are Six Sigma Master Black Belt and Lean trained by globally recognized industry leading Fortune 500 companies and have real-world executive experience leading their application in manufacturing, distribution and service-based industries. Our key principals have managed global operations and led key Lean & Six Sigma initiatives in Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Latin America and throughout Asia.
Our principals, with their global perspective, understand what it takes to find, assess and recruit talent for companies to succeed in today’s global economy. Unlike other Lean & Six Sigma executive recruiters and search firms, we truly speak the language of our clients and candidates.
How Critical is the Right Continuous Improvement Talent?
According to a leading business magazine study, only 2% of plants have reached world-class manufacturing performance, with an additional 23% making significant progress toward this enviable status. The common theme found among these superior operations was a fully implemented and effective continuous improvement methodology.
Of the plants that have made little or no progress toward world-class performance, 53% reported having some level of continuous improvement effort already in place. The study very pointedly suggests that these improvement efforts might be suffering from half-hearted and unfocused efforts or worse yet, disinterested or incompetent leadership.
The overall findings of this study point to the fact that most operations could dramatically improve their performance by having the right leadership talent in place. Our focus is to help our clients find the right talent to maximize their continuous improvement / operational excellence efforts and help them achieve world-class performance.
Leveraging Lean & Six Sigma in Executive Search & Recruiting
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Retained Executive Search Services - Contingent Executive Search Services
4555 Mansell Road
Alpharetta, GA 30022
ph: +1 678-585-9804
fax: +1 678-585-9832