ATLANTA, April 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Post-recession demand for continuous improvement talent continues to be robust, according to the latest study of 7,097 recent Internet job postings reviewed by The Avery Point Group (http://www.LeanSigmaRecruiter.com). The executive search firm's ninth annual study found that the combined demand for Lean and Six Sigma for the third consecutive year remained more than double 2010's recessionary demand levels and stayed almost flat to last year's overall talent demand levels.
"This year's study, once again, illustrates, the ongoing robust talent market for continuous improvement skills, with three consecutive years of sustained post-recession demand," states Tim Noble, managing principal and partner of The Avery Point Group. "However, this year's study revealed something quite unexpected. For the first time in our study's history we saw a very noticeable improvement in the year-over-year demand for Six Sigma talent, halting years of demand erosion versus Lean."
Based on this year's study, The Avery Point group found that demand for job postings looking exclusively for Six Sigma talent, with no mention of Lean in the job specification, rose to 27 percent of the postings reviewed, versus last year's record low of only 20 percent. This marked the first time in the study's history where demand for pure Six Sigma talent saw a noticeable year-over-year improvement relative to Lean. A deeper review of this year's data also shows that Six Sigma became a stronger requirement within Lean Job postings. In The Avery Point Group's 2012 talent study, only 34 percent of the Lean jobs posted sought candidates that also had a Six Sigma skill set, the lowest in the study's history. Today, that requirement rose to 43 percent, perhaps a further indication that Six Sigma's years of demand erosion may be finally abating.
Despite Six Sigma's apparent resurgence, this year's study still reinforced Lean's dominate standing as the more desired skill over Six Sigma. The Avery Point Group found that demand for Lean talent exceeded Six Sigma by slightly more than 24 percent, a marked drop from last year's record-setting 68 percent. This year's results marked the first time in the study's history where The Avery Point Group saw a year-over-year decline in the relative demand for Lean talent versus Six Sigma.
So what do this year's dramatic results mean for overall demand for continuous improvement talent and, more specifically, for the balance between Lean and Six Sigma skill sets going forward? "After last year's dramatic spike in relative demand for Lean talent and this year's equally dramatic pull back, we may have to wait until next year to see how the overall post-recession talent demand balance between Lean and Six Sigma settles out," comments Noble. "But, make no mistake about it, despite this year's results, Lean continues to dominate the overall continuous improvement talent demand landscape, and by all indications that is likely to continue."
Noble points to several factors that may be driving this year's trends:
- Six Sigma still has an important place in the overall corporate continuous improvement landscape, despite previous years' declining trends. With Six Sigma's focus on variation reduction and powerful statistical tools, companies may be finding that their recent heavy focus on Lean may not have been sufficient enough to meet all their continuous improvement needs.
- Companies will seek to balance out their continuous improvement talent stable, thus we may continue to see ongoing fluctuations reflective of what we saw last year and this year, but the overall trend still favors Lean as the more dominate skill set with companies seeking the addition of Lean candidates versus slightly more ubiquitous Six Sigma talent that may already be prevalent in their organization.
- Companies are still, for the most part, focused on hiring a purer Lean skill set, with 41 percent of the job postings reviewed seeking pure Lean skills and only 27 percent seeking pure Six Sigma skills. Some companies may still feel the need to focus 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.
Overall, this year's results may be signaling that although Lean continues to remain the more dominate force in today's continuous improvement landscape, Six Sigma still has an ongoing important role in corporate continuous improvement efforts, as reflected in its ever-resilient talent demand profile. However, we may need to wait until next year to see if this current Six Sigma resurgence, found in this year's study, is a one-time aberration or indicative of a more balanced post-recession execution of Lean and Six Sigma.
About The Avery Point Group
The Avery Point Group (http://www.LeanSigmaRecruiter.com) is a leading global executive recruiting firm that assists companies in identifying, assessing and recruiting mid-level management to senior executive leadership talent, with a key focus in the areas of Six Sigma, Lean, and operational excellence.
For more information about The Avery Point Group and its ninth annual study of Lean and Six Sigma talent demand trends, please contact Tim Noble at +1 678-585-9804 x101 or via Email. Additional press and infographic content can be downloaded for web and print publication from: https://www.box.com/s/64yvq9totmb1vnqhguka.
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SOURCE The Avery Point Group