Written by: Team PredictiveHire
Pro tips for high volume hiring
Volume hiring on a tight timeline can strike fear into even the most experienced recruiter! More often than not the fallout of failing to hire enough people causes real pain to the business, managers, and you.
So, how can you tackle high volume hiring and get better and better each time?
Here are our pro tips.
What is high volume hiring?
High volume hiring is recruiting for many positions (50 or more) concurrently or in a very limited period of time. Often the 50+ roles will be of the same job type. It also implies high volumes of applicants coming through for recruiter’s review.
Volume hiring in recruitment is common in retail and hospitality, where many people have to be hired quickly for busy periods, events, and new store or restaurant openings. Graduate recruitment in large organisations is often high volume recruitment, as is hiring for nurses, other health workers and call centre staff.
During C-19 we saw the emergence of surge hiring – again, another form of high-volume where thousands of people are needed in-store or in the contact-centre within days.
High volume recruiting challenges to overcome
Apart from the sheer logistical challenges, there are five major high volume recruiting challenges organisations face.
1. Time invested in high-volume hiring
Roles filled by high volume recruitment often have a highly sensitive empty chair impact. A restaurant with too few servers, a shop with too few attendants, a call centre with too few people answering the phone, or a hospital ward with too few nurses, both are nightmarish scenarios.
In a perfect world, recruitment requirements can be anticipated and planned for, but that’s not always the case. That’s why a scaleable, repeatable high volume recruiting strategy is essential.
2. Cost invested in high-volume hiring
When you’re attracting, screening, selecting and hiring 250+ people at once, it’s not just timelines that can blow out.
The cost can easily go over budget too. This is where scalable processes, talent pooling and technology tools are your friends.
3. Poor candidate experience during high-volume hiring drives
In many industries that need high volume recruitment, your candidate is also your customer. Often people are applying for a position because they love your brand. If they have a bad experience, you’ll not only probably lose them as a customer, they’ll tell their friends and family too.
Getting the candidate experience right at scale isn’t easy, but it’s essential. Otherwise, your marketing department will be asking some serious questions, and you’ll find it much harder to find good applicants in future.
4. Communicating employee value proposition (EVP) during a high-volume recruitment drive
Speaking of reputation, your employer brand and employee value proposition play a huge role in attracting the right candidates. You may also find that candidates in certain industries (like retail and hospitality) are easily swayed to join a competitor who tells a better story.
Sometimes a candidate’s decision whether or not to take a role is related to their hourly rate. But more and more often, candidates want to work for a company that aligns with their values and offers learning and development opportunities. Make sure you articulate your EVP well. Your competitors will be using their EVP to try and snaffle your candidates.
5. Balancing diversity in your hiring pool across high-volume roles
Hiring for diversity when you’re under time and cost pressure can feel overwhelming. But it’s essential that you embed diverse hiring practices in all of the hiring you do. Building a diverse team will result in better decision making, better customer service and a healthier bottom line.
Volume hiring strategies
Now you know the major high volume recruiting challenges, it’s time to put together the right volume hiring strategies to help you overcome the challenges, and attract and hire the best people.
Bulk hiring techniques have come a long way over the years, from Applicant Tracking Systems scanning and scoring CVs, to the explosion of recruitment Ai now available. Let’s take a look at the volume hiring best practices you can use to make each stage of the bulk recruitment process scaleable, fast and fair.
Six major milestones of the bulk recruitment process
There are six major milestones in the bulk-hiring process. Discover, engage, assess, interview, decide and validate. Each stage is equally important, and most stages of the bulk-hiring process can be streamlined so that they’re highly scalable. (The Interview and Decide stages are the most time and resource-intensive, but they’re well worth the investment.)
Ensuring the right potential applicants find you is the first step in getting volume hiring in recruitment right.
- Lean into your Applicant Tracking System (ATS). Spend your time writing a great ad highlighting your EVP and let the ATS do the heavy lifting of shipping to multiple job boards.
- Think about how applicants from underrepresented backgrounds can find your ad, and make it clear everyone’s welcome.
- For retail and hospitality, don’t forget walk-in applicants. Check if you can use a ‘kiosk mode’ or similar with your ATS so applicants can fill in their details on an iPad rather than having paper applications pile up on manager’s desks (and get lost!).
- Check previous applicant pools and ask for employee referrals.
- Performance of each advertising channel (ideally by how many successful candidates the channel attracts)
- The diversity of your applicant pool
- People want to know what it’s like to work at your organisation. Ideally, have a video on the ad with people in a similar role explaining what it’s like. If you’re in a hurry – include quotes from an employee or two.
Once you’ve got an applicant’s attention, you need to make sure they stay interested.
- Applicants are applying for multiple positions, and the organisation who delivers the best candidate experience wins. Make communications look as 1:1 as possible.
- Application completion rate. This will tell you if the process is working, or if there’s something putting potential applicants off. This could be the length of the form, a confusing requirement, or even a technical glitch.
- Put some character into your application received responders. Write as you talk rather than like a bureaucrat. And don’t say: we can’t get back to everyone if you don’t hear from us you’ve been unsuccessful (or similar). If you expect candidates to put energy into applying, put energy into replying.
Now you’ve got a pool of candidates; you need to assess them.
- Sadly, CVs have proven themselves to not be a good way to assess future performance, and they only reinforce biases. This is an opportunity to disrupt the usual bulk-hiring techniques with something that delights candidates and hiring managers.
- Candidate satisfaction. This will tell you how candidates find the experience. It’s is a good indicator that offer acceptance should be healthy, and that you won’t lose customers who are candidates. Some recruiting platforms offer candidate satisfaction surveys, or you can choose to use your employee engagement platform.
- We created Smart Interviewer, our conversational chat technology so that every candidate could have an interview. Not only do you get detailed responses to questions, but the answers also reveal more about the candidate’s personality than any CV ever could. Using natural language processing, we’re able to build an accurate personality profile. Every single candidate receives automated, personalised feedback, and they love it. One supermarket client, Iceland, interviewed 50,000 candidates and received a 100% candidate satisfaction score.
Once you have the results of Ai chat assessments, you’ll want to interview the candidates whose scores and profiles appear to match your requirements.
- Have a diverse selection panel (especially if you have a diverse talent pool).
- Be consistent in how you interview and assess each candidate. Especially in group interviews, don’t be tempted to hire extroverts. You need a mix of personalities to build a successful team.
- Attendance. If there’s a significant drop-off, look into why.
- We created TalentInsights so you can easily see each candidate’s score and psychometric profile informed by their Ai chat responses before you speak with them. We designed our LiveInterview platform to make collecting and recording consistent data easy, so you can ensure everyone gets a fair go (and you don’t have to sort through impossible to interpret notes after your meetings).
Now you’ve got a list of fantastic candidates, you’ve met them, and you’re ready to invite some of them to join you.
- Now is not the time to fall back on ‘gut feeling’ or ‘culture fit’. Use the data you’ve collected to make informed, unbiased bulk-hiring decisions.
- Know in advance if you’ll accept a candidate with minor flags in background checks or character references in place of professional ones. Stick to the decisions when you’re in those situations.
- Offer acceptance rate – to uncover any underlying issues with how attractive your EVP or employer brand is.
- Applicants to hire rate – to understand if you could advertise less or in fewer channels in future.
- Candidates to hire rate – to understand if you can optimise the size of your interviewed candidate pool.
- Start onboarding the moment an employee signs. Invite them to your learning platform, or simply send them a video from their manager or the CEO welcoming them on board and saying how excited you are to have them.
To ensure your process is working, it’s essential to measure your success.
- Book in an hour or two a week or so after the end of each bulk recruitment process to analyse the data.
- Take a look at the list of challenges above, and any goals you had at the start of the process and see how you tracked against them.
- Candidate satisfaction
This will come from surveys sent to all candidates. It’s built into Sapia and most other recruitment software.
- Time to hire
The elapsed between when a candidate is first contacted (in these volume hiring strategies, the assess stage) and when they’re hired.
- Cost per hire
All of the hiring costs, divided by how many candidates were hired.
- Offer acceptance rate
The number of offers accepted, divided by the number of offers made, multiplied by 100. If this is low, consider any issues with your EVP or the time it takes to make an offer after an interview.
At Sapia we don’t collect attributes which could attract bias. We build an understanding of diversity by using Namsor (www.namsor.com) in order to validate the effectiveness of our platform. Namsor takes names of applicants and derives gender and ethnicity, and we use that data to understand how effective we have been at achieving diversity at each step of the path.
- Measure, learn and optimise your high volume recruiting strategies every single time you complete a project, and you’ll find you improve each time. This will save time and money, and increase diversity.
Bulk hiring tools that are perfect for high-volume recruiting
Technology is your friend when it comes to building scalable volume hiring strategies. Here are four key pieces of technology to consider. There are plenty of tools out there, so this is by no means an exhaustive list.
Applicant tracking system
Your ATS will help you post ads, screen resumes, bulk communicate with applicants and collect data. You should also use it to build talent pools and pipelines for future roles.
An Ai assessment like Sapia means you can give every single applicant a conversational chat interview. The quickest payback you will get on volume hiring is an investment in interview automation. Interview automation can truly enhance your high-volume recruitment process and help you make it more efficient (and pleasant) for everyone involved. This will help you get your time-back quickly, and release the budget for automation in other areas of recruiting.
Sapia meets the needs that challenge many of my clients today – how do they manage high volume recruitment processes in a streamlined and cost-effective way. while still delivering a great candidate experience and quality hiring decisions. With Sapia you leverage the latest in data analytics and tech to maximize efficiency & effectiveness; and the candidate experience is fresh and engaging, with great feedback! The product is great and constantly evolving!
Read: The Ultimate Guide to Interview Automation Employee Engagement
It’s worth considering a candidate engagement survey. In this survey you can ask questions to reveal how well your EVP is resonating. Then you can compare candidate engagement scores with new employee engagement scores and exit interviews to understand if you’re delivering on your EVP.
Integrating your onboarding software with your ATS (or choosing one with onboarding included) allows you to start onboarding and engaging candidates as soon as they sign their (automated) contract. This is a dream for getting workplace health and safety and even procedural training done before a new employee walks in the door.
Good news: It’s only going to get easier
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re doing high volume hiring in an environment where there’s elevated unemployment or other challenging factors. The good news is that as much as the world may be getting more complicated, and as much as candidate expectations are soaring, the technology to support recruiters has never been faster, fairer or more scaleable.
Establish your own volume hiring best practices and keep optimising your volume hiring strategies. It takes some time to set up, but the rewards are well worth the effort.
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