LEAN

Toyota Recruits The Creme De La Creme?

So back to my Japan study mission last Nov.

You recall from earlier stories, our guides managed to access “all areas” and this included a lengthy visit to their training centre, whereby we witnessed some Toyota magic and ingenious learning systems and garnered our knowledge of how Toyota handled that most precious of resources – their employees.

Towards the end of our visit, our Toyota guides took us to a simple game, which consisted of a set of 20 wooden cubes, nestled into an orderly outer box, lined up like wooden soldiers waiting to be taken out of the toy box.

On the upper side, clearly visible to us, the colour was red, on the underside, our guide showed us, was painted green…Interesting, so what’s the point here?

This was a simple hand to eye coordination test. The team member had to pick up and rotate each wooden block, one at a time until the colours had been reversed.

Now years ago, I saw similar hand to eye coordination exercises, and I was lead to believe this was a pre-employment test. However I clarified this urban myth with our guides and drew an interesting typical Toyota, “we’ll tell you more that you asked for” response.

Apparently, Toyota approach the local high schools and universities as part of their recruitment process. They identify the top students at age 18, and at 22 and these form a general intake, a bit like the army in some ways. We were told that basically you had to get a letter of recommendation to get into this top echelon of recruits.

We also heard that once you get a job offer from Toyota, the bank manager is your new best friend. The banks now that a chance of a career at Toyota is one of the best collaterals around.

So back to the game in hand…

Everyone is assessed for fundamental skills, and is prepped for time on the line, regardless of future position…interesting!

So there is a target time of completing the wooden block game within 30 seconds. Our demonstrator, did it in less than 17 seconds…pretty fast!

I secretly thought to myself, maybe if you cant pass the hand to eye coordination test, maybe they give you a job in Finance? No offence to my Accounting friends

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