Recruitment often presents challenges when hiring small numbers of people. When hiring large numbers of people (or high volume hiring as it is known), these challenges are often multiplied and exaggerated. To compound things even further, the stakes are often higher given the many and varied reasons why companies turn to high volume recruitment. If you are engaged in high volume hiring, this guide can help you navigate the process and identify some critical markers for success.
High volume hiring refers to the process of hiring large numbers of candidates in a short amount of time. Any high volume recruiter has to identify high-quality candidates and connect them to the right jobs at scale. Whether in-house or outsourced, high volume recruiters have to find and evaluate many candidates for filling several positions on a daily basis. High volume recruiters have a placement goal and time frame of many candidates a day, all of whom need to be identified, interviewed, evaluated and taken through the hiring process.
High volume hiring hit the headlines during the pandemic when Amazon announced that they would be hiring for 75,000 new job openings. Covid has also amplified that kind of recruitment challenge, given more candidates in the job market. But, you don’t have to be a multi-billion dollar empire like Amazon to use high volume hiring. We have a range of clients in various sectors who recruit at high volumes. The John Lewis Partnership, Santander and Nationwide, to name but three. Companies that operate significant customer service or call centre operations.
Equally, high volume hiring is beneficial for companies who have seasonal needs for hiring employees. It is also incredibly valuable for sectors that require numerous employees in a short space of time, such as retail or hospitality. And finally, like the John Lewis Partnership, it’s often useful for companies who need to hire for multiple roles in large numbers for new store openings.
High volume hiring has several advantages for employers, recruiters, and candidates. These advantages allow you to be more productive and recruit candidates more quickly and more effectively.
Firstly, it’s more efficient. A recruitment process that deals with high volume can significantly reduce delays in hiring. For high volume roles, the identification, checking and interviewing process is much more preferable to the slower process of traditional hiring. Since vacant job openings can delay projects and cost money, hires that take several months can hurt a company's profits and growth.
Secondly, it’s more flexible. High volume hiring gives you flexibility. With high volume hiring, you can quickly ramp up to your immediate needs or scale back.
And finally, it reduces candidate churn. By increasing efficiency, high volume hiring can lead to fewer candidates leaving the recruiting process. The longer your hiring process takes, the more likely you are to find that your top candidates have accepted another role by the time you’re ready to make an offer.
There are some common challenges that recruiters face when dealing with high volume hiring. Some of the key challenges include being clear about the job role, the process of shortlisting qualified candidates and the hiring process through which candidates apply.
When filling positions simultaneously, it's often difficult to know precisely what the job demands are and what the company itself might be looking for. Often, significant expansion of the organisation lies behind the need for high volume recruiting. This presents challenges for understanding how individual workloads will function practically once the recruits are in place. In these instances, intelligent assessments are required based on historical precedent and data. To streamline any high volume hiring process, you must define the role in terms of the critical skills and competencies needed for success in the role. Not only will this help ensure that you hire the right people, but it will also help you develop a hiring process that is effective and efficient. It's also imperative to avoid ambiguity regarding what you are looking for and what the candidate should expect. Doing so will mean that there will be less time wasted through enquiries and filtering out candidates who do not meet your requirements. All of these are very time consuming, so removing them from your process will help.
Non-volume recruiting attracts many candidates, and in recent times, the number of candidates has increased. This is already time-consuming enough to sort through effectively and professionally for many companies. High volume recruiting amplifies this significantly. A higher number of positions available attracting a great deal more applicants can represent the perfect recruitment storm. This is why knowing your strategy for managing these aspects beforehand is so important to help streamline the process later on. More speed, less haste is the order of the day when setting up high volume recruiting strategies and approaches.
One thing that will positively impact your high volume recruitment process is the application method. If the system employed is not fit for purpose, then it will affect who applies, how many applicants you get, and how well you can deal with the applications once you receive them. It is now just as important to consider from where you source your candidates. With high volume recruiting, it's essential to traffic many more applicants than usual, so utilising all of the online platforms such as social media, employment sites and job boards will be critical. Since job applications are made predominantly online, the process has to be optimised to handle this. This may include having somewhere to upload files or use a LinkedIn profile to fill in the required information, as well as ensuring that your application platform is fully optimised.
There are some key ways to ensure that you deploy best practices for High Volume Recruiting. These include the tools you use, the candidate's experience, and putting measurement at the heart of the process.
Using the right talent assessment technology is essential for high volume recruiting. It allows you to automate parts of the selection process and shortlist suitable candidates in a short amount of time. Pre-employment assessment software helps match candidates with the right skills and characteristics to your roles. Simultaneously, recruiters save a lot of time to better use on building and nurturing relationships with candidates instead. Your high volume selection and assessment platform needs to handle large volumes of applicants whilst also allowing you to customise the online assessment experience per role. It should have an option to set hiring benchmarks and criteria for the position and come equipped with situational judgment tests used as decision points. And finally, it should allow you to create a branded experience for your candidates and automate parts of the communication needed.
The impact of a positive candidate experience cannot be underestimated. Your employer brand is crucial, and the process you put your candidates through matters whether you hire those people or not. Remember that they are your potential customers as well as your potential employees. While it is always essential to make a good impression from the start, it can be even more influential when hiring a substantial number. High volume hiring jobs are more likely to have a higher pre-start dropout rate. This means that if your candidate experience is poor, you could find it much more challenging to fill your positions. As mentioned earlier, to help this, it's imperative to have clear, concise job descriptions, the minimum amount of questions on the initial application page and plenty of lines of communication available to candidates. When using the right technology assessment platform, it’s possible to set up automated responses to give back general feedback, which helps to encourage rejected candidates to reapply in the future for other roles and recommend friends to apply. It also helps them become or stay as customers too.
Recruiting metrics are the measurements used to track the success of the hiring process and can be used to help optimise the methods used and decisions made. Seeing where issues arise during the recruitment process is one of the most valuable tools at your disposal since you can target and fix the problem.
Some of the vital recruitment metrics that every company should be tracking include;
Tracking how long each position takes to fill, from posting the opening to hiring someone, will help you to manage and prioritise your roles when taking on high volume hiring. The time that it takes to hire for a position can also tell you a lot about the effectiveness of your recruitment process - compare job postings, sources used for candidates, and the application itself to see which ones are more successful.
Another critical metric is the cost per hire. Reducing the cost of hiring new employees is always at the forefront of recruiters' minds and is one of the significant advantages of using recruitment tools and technology. High volume hiring can also impact cost per hire as staff shortage can delay projects and expansion that ultimately has a much higher price to the company.
It's also vital for you to measure your source channel cost through the ads that you place. It's something that can become surprisingly expensive if not properly managed. Tracking it will help give immediate feedback on which source channels are performing the best and which ones can be cut to save money and resources.
And finally, knowing your offer acceptance rate is critical. Look at the data on how many candidates are offered a role compared to how many accept it. This will help you ascertain a great deal about your hiring process and the candidate experience. Pay attention to which positions have higher or lower acceptance rates and get feedback from candidates on why this might be. Collecting this data will help you attract and retain higher-quality candidates. Ultimately, your primary outcome measures have to validate whether those hired using your assessments perform better in the role.
And finally, here are a few tips to help you turn your high volume hiring from good to great.
Remember that Applicant Tracking Systems are only helpful in managing the applicant process. The real magic dust lies in your talent assessment technology which makes the hiring process 'intelligent'. Applicant Tracking Systems are also only as good as the data you input and how information is used. So, make sure that you use it throughout the process to give you a real-time overview of all candidates in one place, help you track applicant status, speed up applicant screening, and speed up application managing. When hiring at scale, automating a seemingly small part of the process can still lead to significant time savings. Speeding up your application managing process by a single minute means almost 17 hours saved across one.
Even if you are hiring lots of people during your high volume recruiting drive, make sure never to compromise on the quality of hire. An optimised recruitment process consisting of the right technology assessment platform and online assessments together with the right interview questions will help you spot qualified candidates faster. As with every recruitment process, volume or non-volume, always keep an eye out for transferable skills such as active learning or communication skills. Don't rule anyone out just because they don't have your specific hard skills.
And finally, never forget that one of your most valuable assets in high volume recruiting are the candidates themselves. Talent rediscovery is the process of looking through previous application files from your resume database to find suitable candidates for the current vacant positions in your company.
High volume hiring is an essential part of many organisation’s recruitment armouries. Done well, it can be a brilliantly efficient way of finding and hiring large groups of people who will make a significant difference to your company’s future. Using a combination of HR expertise and the right technology assessment platform will ensure that your high volume recruitment strategy and process remain fit for purpose in the fast-moving world of recruitment.