High volume recruitment is a difficult task. However, with the right high volume recruitment strategies and the right tools, this task can be downgraded from “almost impossible” to “just challenging”.
High Volume Recruitment: 4 Proven Strategies
High volume recruiting challenges
High volume recruitment has never been an easy task. In addition to the inherent time constraints, recruiters may face quite a few different obstacles that can make different positions challenging to fill.
Finding the most suitable recruits while hiring in bulk could be a challenge if the right strategies are not put in place. However, with the right high volume recruitment strategies and the right tools, this task can be downgraded from “almost impossible” to “just challenging”. 💪
Outdated recruitment techniques, such as relying on walk-in applicants and using printed job adverts, are no longer fruitful. Recruiters need to come up with measurable high volume recruitment strategies so that they can get the best talent within the specified time.
Hiring hundreds or thousands of people in one month is just not something that happens organically, without a proper plan in place.
In the continuation of this article, we will discuss the intricacies of high volume recruitment, show 4 viable approaches, and finish up with some additional pro tips you can apply to further improve your mass hiring process.
What is high volume recruitment (HVR)?
As the name suggests, high-volume recruiting (a.k.a. mass hiring) refers to hiring a large number of people in a limited time period.
There is no exact number you can cling to. It’s not like you’re hiring 49 people in February and that is a normal hiring process, and then you hire 51 people in October and now it is suddenly a mass hiring process.
The best we can define is “hiring a significantly higher number of people than usual”. Of course, that number will vary depending on the size of the business in question – and it should be intuitively clear that high-volume strategies are rarely used by small businesses.
HVR is typically used:
- During certain times of the year to prepare for the season
(for seasonal businesses)
- For the opening of new company branches
- When the company suddenly expands and needs more labor
(often after an injection of capital; like an investment round)
- When an industry experiences a sudden growth
(i.e. Amazon looks to hire 100k distribution workers because of the online shopping surge caused by COVID-19 pandemic).
4 proven high volume recruitment strategies
Let’s see which HVR strategies you can use to fill out your acquisition talent needs, without making too many compromises that will reduce the average quality of new hires.
Depending on how many people you actually need to hire, how much time you have been given to do that, and the available talent pool, you will want to use a mix of the following HVR strategies, not just focus on a single one.
High volume recruitment strategy #1: Automatization
Mass-hiring is an extremely time-consuming process. How do we deal with that? We use technology to automate whichever part of the process we can (that won’t lower the quality of the overall hiring process).
For a while now, automated systems have taken a significant role in making the high volume recruitment process achievable in a fairly short period of time. In fact, the technology is so useful that there is a high chance you are already using recruiting software.
Besides helping you source candidates from different channels, the biggest advantage of recruiting software solutions like TalentLyft for high volume recruitment are their Application Tracking System (ATS) that help you save time by:
- Giving you a real-time overview of all candidates in one place
- Help you track applicant status through all stages of your hiring process
(Quick tip: consider shortening your hiring funnel for HVR; for instance, if you’re hiring funnel consists of 2 interviews, cutting that down to one will save you a ton of time)
- Speeding up applicant screening
- Speeding up application managing.
When hiring at scale, being able to automate 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 on the scope of 1 000 applications.
On top of all that, it also doesn’t hurt that automated systems assist in eliminating issues of prejudice and bias which ensures that all applicants get equal and fair opportunities to get their dream jobs based on their credentials.
High volume recruitment strategy #2: Programmatic recruitment
For those not familiar with it, programmatic recruitment refers to relying on technology (big data analytics, AI) to automate and streamline your recruitment process.
In essence, you give your recruitment reigns and let the programmatic recruitment platform target specific people with specific ads based on your job requirements, your existing data (your talent CRM, ATS…), websites that share relevant statistics and demographics, and so on. The added advantage is that the algorithms are constantly updating and improving by looking at the performance of the initial ads.
The end result of programmatic recruiting is that job ads are placed where they will be most relevant - a result that may change for each role and may change moment to moment. This might mean varying where a job is posted, when it is posted, and even how it is worded. The job ad is customized in content and dissemination to be most effective, based on the required skills and experience for that role.
So, aside from being an effective way of reaching potential recruits, this form of job advertising requires minimal human supervision. Because of that, you can put less focus on searching for the right candidates and place more attention to screening applicants and onboarding new hires which can be exactly what you need to optimize your high volume recruitment process.
As with any paid advertising, there is always a chance of going overboard with the budget. Luckily, modern programmatic recruitment platforms allow for dynamic budgeting (you can invest more/less on different types of job offers) and optimize ads based on cost-per-click (CPC). If you have a fairly limited budget, pay close attention to CPC. If you aren’t getting (good) enough applicants or the cost per applicant is really high, the platform you’re using might not be as good as advertised.
High volume recruitment strategy #3: Talent rediscovery
As you should already know, talent rediscovery is the process of rummaging through previous application files from your resume database to find suitable candidates for the current vacant positions in your company.
Generally, HR managers only go through a small fraction of the applications and are left with dozens or hundreds of others to dispose of (or keep on file for future use).
Why would you look to hire someone you’ve passed on the first time?
If you think about it, there are many reasons to revisit past applicants:
- You had 10 good applicants, but only 2 open positions last time. That’s 8 people you can reach out to right away.
- There must have been some good applicants in the past that looked promising but their skills didn’t perfectly match the position they applied for. If you’re looking to hire a lot of people, it’s likely you'll need to fill multiple roles. Maybe their skills are a great fit for one of those roles now.
- It is always sad to see a potentially great hire leaving in the middle of your recruitment process because they have changed their mind or have gotten a better offer. Are you in a position to offer better conditions now? If so, it might not be a bad idea to follow-up with them.
Depending on how diligent organizations are with their record-keeping, searching through the existing applications can be very time-consuming (and downright impossible if the records are lost/not kept).
Once again, talent CRM can be a life-saver in this situation. Besides having all records in one place, every modern recruiting software should enable you to set search parameters and do the heavy-lifting by filtering out candidates that do not meet your criteria.
This way, talent rediscovery ensures that recruiters can quickly and swiftly gain access to a base of relevant applications to help fill a large number of vacancies.
High volume recruitment strategy #4: User-friendly job application process
Here are a few interesting statistics reported by Indeed:
- 42% of job seekers cite lengthy applications as the most frustrating part of the application experience.
- Job descriptions between 700 and 2,000 characters get 30% more applications on average.
- Including 30 screener questions reduces applications by 50%, and over 45 questions reduce applicants by almost 90%.
- 78% of job seekers would apply via mobile if it were more accessible.
If there was ever a time to ensure that your application process is user-friendly, it would be during your mass hiring process.
With that in mind and regardless of the channel you use (job boards, career site, social media, talent network…), you should make sure that:
- Your job ads are catchy enough to stand out
- Your job descriptions are clear and concise
- Your job applications have only the necessary screening questions (if any)
- Candidates can apply through their mobile phones.
If you want to take things a step further, you can look to allow applications through social profiles or use chatbots on your career site to prescreen potential recruits.
While this is not a strategy per se, it is something you need to apply whenever your actual mass-hiring strategy is to focus on posting job openings on all of the channels you have access to.
BONUS: Additional tips to supplement your mass hiring strategies
Here are some additional tips which HR managers can use to improve the success of their mass recruitment efforts:
Mass hiring tips #1: Promote your employer brand
This is something you need to do way before you actually have to hire a bunch of people at once. There are a few different ways to go about this, but the most straightforward one is by focusing on creating an HR content strategy.
Wherever and in whichever way you promote your brand, you need to have something concrete to promote. In other words, you need recruitment content – be it blog posts, video testimonials, interviews with current employees, news about “best employer” rewards – the format doesn’t matter, the message makes the difference.
If you’re heavily promoting this kind of content or you notice it actually gets some organic traffic, nobody can stop you from using a lead magnet or redirecting people to your job application pages. This way, you could slowly build up a nice base of applicants that can serve as a starting point in your mass hiring process.
Ultimately, HR managers should work on developing and implementing an employer branding strategy which will ensure that the best talent is drawn to the organization.
Mass hiring tip #2: Stay up-to-date and in the loop
HR managers have a lot on their plates. When there’s no need to look for new hires, there is plenty of other work that goes into managing the entire workforce.
And while your current focus might be on increasing employee engagement or developing a new employee recognition program, this should not stop you from keeping your eye on the factors such as changes in the labor pool, market-rate wages, and economy.
Outside factors are not the only ones you need to track. What is happening in your organization right now? Are you planning to introduce new services or going out with a new product? Is there a big investment round coming up? 🔍
If you are in the loop, you won’t be caught with your pants down. Having an early start and time to prepare can be a crucial factor in the success of your high volume recruitment process.
How to handle high volume recruiting?
Technological advancements have made the connection between recruiters and applicants faster, less costly, and more accessible. In essence, the available technology is what makes hiring significant numbers of employees possible within a relatively short period of time.
✅ Take precautionary steps, implement available recruitment tools, and keep your ear on the pulse of the labor market. If you do this, you should be fine no matter what kind of recruitment challenge is thrown at you.
About the author
Chloe Sesta Jacobs’s why is people; she gets her kicks from intensifying the purpose and exploring the potential of those around her. She works as Head of People & Culture at Deputy, a robust scheduling software that can be used to manage your workforce in a wide variety of different industries. Chloe sees her work as an extension of her lifestyle and is constantly working on revolutionizing the people and culture space.