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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Sixth annual study by executive search firm The Avery Point Group finds Lean talent demand now clearly outpacing Six Sigma by a substantial margin as the new prevailing force in corporate continuous improvement
After years of steady gains, Lean has now achieved a clear and dominant standing over Six Sigma as the leading force in corporate continuous improvement, according to the latest study of almost 3,500 recent job postings reviewed by The Avery Point Group, a leading global executive search and recruiting firm for Lean and Six Sigma talent. The now dominant standing of Lean indicates that companies are increasingly relying on Lean as the core foundation for their continuous improvement efforts to help them face the challenges of today’s economic downturn.
"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 sixth annual study of Internet job postings, The Avery Point Group found that demand for Lean talent has surpassed Six Sigma by a substantial margin as the more desired skill set, accelerating an already growing shift in talent demand toward Lean. This year’s study showed that Lean talent demand exceeded Six Sigma by almost 35 percent, significantly widening its lead over last year’s results that only showed an 11 percent edge for Lean over Six Sigma. This is a dramatic shift from The Avery Point Group’s 2005 inaugural Lean and Six Sigma talent demand study that showed Six Sigma talent demand exceeding Lean by more than 50 percent.
This year’s study also found that for those companies seeking Lean talent, only 41 percent require candidates to possess Six Sigma knowledge as well, a requirement that has continued to decline in The Avery Point Group’s more recent talent demand studies. On the other hand, for those companies seeking Six Sigma talent, almost 55 percent are now requiring candidates to possess Lean knowledge as well, a requirement that has steadily grown in its previous talent demand studies.
“For companies seeking Lean practitioners, these results may be signaling a possible trend toward a decoupling of Lean and Six Sigma, or at the very least a de-emphasis on Six Sigma as a core job requirement for Lean talent,” states Noble. “It may also indicate that companies are instead opting to consolidate their limited resources around Lean as a hedge against the steep challenges of today’s economic climate, which they feel may be better served by Lean’s more immediate and practical focus on waste, flow and flexibility.”
In addition, this year’s study focused on how requirements for certifications played into job specifications for Lean and Six Sigma talent. This year’s study found that companies which sought Six Sigma talent were almost 50 percent more likely to require some form of certification versus those companies seeking Lean talent.
“From a Six Sigma talent demand perspective, this is by no means a surprise,” states Noble. “Six Sigma, due to its broader
historical industry span, developed a legacy of training and certification that we are now just beginning to see for Lean as it gains a broader foothold in industry. A good example of this is the newly established benchmark AME/SME/Shingo certification for Lean. As Lean continues to gain more prominence, we fully expect our future annual studies to show increases in Lean certification requirements in job postings.”
“It should be noted our firm’s belief is that there is no greater ‘certification’ than true experience and results as a measure of a qualified Lean or Six Sigma practitioner,” clarifies Noble.
So where does this new-found prominence for Lean leave Six Sigma in the broader landscape of corporate continuous improvement? One telling sign from this year’s study is that companies seeking strictly Six Sigma skills with no Lean talent requirement accounted for only 25 percent of positions posted in The Avery Point Group’s broad sampling of continuous improvement-related jobs.
Does this spell the beginning of the end for Six Sigma? Not likely, asserts Noble, but Six Sigma may find itself taking a back seat to a broader Lean deployment, with Six Sigma applied when and where its heavy emphasis on statistics and variation reduction is best suited.
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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Phone: +1 678-585-9804 Fax: +1 678-585-9832
Retained Executive Search Services - Contingent Executive Search Services
4555 Mansell Road
Alpharetta, GA 30022
ph: +1 678-585-9804
fax: +1 678-585-9832