High Volume Recruitment: 4 Proven Strategies

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”.


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 within a relatively short time frame.

This type of recruitment is common in industries with high turnover rates, seasonal peaks, or rapid growth phases, such as retail, hospitality, customer service, and manufacturing.

There is no exact number you can cling to. 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:

  1. During certain times of the year to prepare for the season
    (for seasonal businesses) 
  2. For the opening of new company branches
  3. When the company suddenly expands and needs more labor
    (often after an injection of capital; like an investment round)
  4. When an industry experiences a sudden growth
    (i.e. Amazon looks to hire 100k distribution workers because of the online shopping surge caused by the COVID-19 pandemic).

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. 

Here are some of the most significant hurdles faced in high-volume recruitment:

1. Maintaining Quality of Hire

One of the most significant challenges in high-volume recruitment is ensuring the quality of each hire. When hundreds or thousands of candidates are processed, maintaining high recruitment standards without compromising on quality can be a daunting task. Recruiters often struggle to thoroughly assess each candidate's skills, experience, and cultural fit within the limited time frame.

2. Efficiently Managing Large Applicant Pools

Dealing with a large number of applications can be overwhelming. Sorting, screening, and communicating with a high volume of candidates require robust systems and processes. Without efficient tools and processes in place, recruiters may find themselves buried under a mountain of resumes, leading to delays and potential loss of top talent to competitors.

3. Ensuring a Positive Candidate Experience

Providing a positive, engaging candidate experience is crucial, especially when dealing with large numbers of applicants. A negative experience can harm your employer brand and deter potential talent from applying. However, personalizing the recruitment process for hundreds or thousands of candidates is challenging and often requires a well-thought-out strategy coupled with the right technology.

4. Balancing Speed and Efficiency

In high-volume recruitment, there is often a pressing need to fill positions quickly to meet business demands or seasonal peaks. Balancing the urgency to hire with the need to maintain thoroughness and accuracy in the recruitment process is a delicate act. Speed without efficiency can lead to poor hires, while an overly cautious approach can result in missed opportunities and operational delays.

All of these can be summarised in one common point - the challenge in high-volume recruitment is not just in attracting a large number of candidates but also in efficiently managing the entire recruitment process—from sourcing to hiring—without compromising the quality of hires.

While it seems daunting at first, approaching this challenge doesn't need to be that difficult, but it requires using the right strategies and tools. And no, we are not talking about recruitment methods that worked 10 or even 5 years ago. 

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.

Continuing 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.

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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.

Top 4 high volume recruitment strategies

High volume recruitment strategy #1: Automation

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).

Automation in recruitment is no longer a luxury but a necessity. Tools that automate screening, scheduling, and communication can exponentially increase the efficiency of your recruitment process.

Besides helping you source candidates from different channels, the biggest advantage of recruiting software solutions like TalentLyft for high volume recruitment is their Application Tracking System (ATS) that helps you save time by:

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.

High volume recruitment - only possible with recruitment software

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 from 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 on 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.

Let's take a look at how you can distribute and advertise your jobs through hundreds of channels in seconds with TalentLyft: 

job advertising features in TalentLyft

The Get Candidates feature in TalentLyft provides you with all the tools you need to attract the best candidates for your positions. You start by picking a channel you want to advertise on. Let's say you want to post your jobs on specific job boards:

Posting to premium job boards via TalentLyft

You choose one or multiple job boards from a database of over 2500 different job boards, and simply click Add to campaign. TalentLyft will take care of the rest, making sure your ads reach the right people. 

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:

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 lifesaver 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

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:

  1. Your job ads are catchy enough to stand out
  2. Your job descriptions are clear and concise 
  3. Your job applications have only the necessary screening questions (if any)
  4. 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 that HR managers can use to improve the success of their mass recruitment efforts:

High volume recruiting tips

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, or 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 that will ensure that the best talent is drawn to the organization. 

Importance of employer brand for high volume recruitment

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.

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 factors such as changes in the labor pool, market-rate wages, and the 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.

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