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 (http://www.AveryPointGroup.com), 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.