It is not a discovery to recognize that people are the backbone of the company and an organization’s most important asset. Hiring multiple new employees in a short timespan can often be a challenge, especially when the HR Manager has to do it on their own. The so-called “high-volume recruitment” is something that is definitely demanding, but using the right tactics can turn it into a great investment – in the end businesses thrive only when they have the right talent. To stay on task and deliver consistent results, it’s important for the recruiter to have a well-defined process and to lean on the right tools. What type of strategies should the high-volume recruitment involve in order for it to be effective? What role can a recruitment agency play in this process? Keep on reading to find out!
Characteristics of high-volume hiring
As the name suggests, high-volume recruiting refers to hiring a large number of people in a limited time period. There is no exact number that defines the term “high-volume recruitment”, the best way is to describe it as a hiring process of a significantly bigger 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.
According to TalentLyft (talent acquisition software), 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.
(e.g. KPMG in India is seeking to hire 1000 employees in areas of digital transformation, cloud and data security, due to the increased speed of digitalization caused partly by COVID-19 pandemic).
The job of a high-volume recruiter is to identify high-quality candidates and connect them to the right jobs at scale. The length of the process often varies on the sector that the company operates in. In the IT industry, e.g. when forming a group of developers, the recruiters should have a highly specialized and in-depth knowledge in order to make a careful assessment of candidates in regard to their hard and soft skills.
4 rules for optimizing the process
“I need to hire 17 Java developers in the next 2 months, can you help me?” – these were the words of one of our clients a few months ago. How did we, as the IT recruitment and outsourcing agency, manage to succeed? Partly by using some of the strategies listed below!
✅ 1. Plan wisely
As the time span matters greatly in the high-volume recruitment process, it is important to manage all your actions in a smart way. Knowing how long each stage of the process takes will help you see where the bottlenecks are, allowing you to optimize your process further.
The time to hire metric (time elapsed between engaging a candidate and them accepting an offer) is one of the key metrics you should be keeping an eye on, because it is a clear indicator of how well/bad your hiring efforts are doing. It is worth remembering that the standard recruitment process in the IT industry, which consists of 1 stage on the agency’s side and 2 stages on the client’s side, ends on average with filling a vacancy within 2-3 weeks. According to data from Relevant, a software development outsourcing company, the average time spent on hiring developers is 3+ weeks for Junior, 5+ weeks for Middle and 6+ weeks for Senior positions. Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean that this process can’t be done more efficiently; however, it depends on many factors, such as the size of the recruitment team, specialization of sought-after candidates or the nature and (often financial) attractiveness of the offer.
👉 We described in more detail what an effective recruitment plan should entail in the article “Recruiting on a time crunch – 5 effective strategies”.
✅ 2. Do the research
Recruiters should have in-depth information on the must-have skills of the ideal employees before moving to the job posting. After communicating with the HR Manager it is necessary to narrow-down the top role responsibilities and what abilities are necessary to nail them. Recalling them during the next steps will ensure that you attract candidates that fulfill all the essential criteria.
Followingly, attracting great talent is likely to happen by writing the job descriptions in a way that appeals to the people you’re looking to hire. Avoid leaving space for loose interpretation; with high-volume hiring jobs, time is precious – you don’t want to waste it on trying to explain or re-explain aspects of the job to potential candidates. Crafting job descriptions that speak to the quality of IT specialists you’re looking for also makes chances of connecting with desirable people higher.
Moreover, talent rediscovery (rummaging through previous application files from your resume database) can be a great way of optimizing the hiring process. It ensures that recruiters can quickly and swiftly gain access to a base of relevant applications to help fill a large number of vacancies. One of the many reasons to revisit past applicants is that it’s very likely that in the past some of their profiles looked promising but e.g. the skills didn’t perfectly match the position the person 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?
✅ 3. Use relevant technologies
Modern times require a modern approach to the recruitment process. Looking for potential candidates by standing on the street with a megaphone is unlikely to bring a successful outcome. Instead, you should make use of advances in technology that have made the connection between recruiters and candidates faster, less costly and more accessible. Basically, the available technology enables a significant number of employees to be recruited in a relatively short time.
Recruiting software solutions and their Application Tracking System (ATS) can help in sourcing candidates e.g. by giving you a real-time overview of all candidates in one place, even when the search process happens on different channels. Additionally, it helps you track applicant status through all stages of your hiring process. For HVR it is advised to shorten the hiring funnel, for instance, by lowering the number of interviews and interview tasks present in a regular process. In addition, the current situation in the world has shown us that online meetings are a great solution that allows time-saving (in the past, e.g. it was used for commuting to the meeting point), while not losing the quality of the conversation.
Based on a study by Ideal, HR managers say they lose an average of 14 hours a week because they need to manually complete tasks that could be automated. Artificial Intelligence can truly save time in different parts of the recruitment process, especially when doing the candidate screening, sourcing, and matching. With recommendations from AI, it is possible to contact the most suitable candidates and fill the open position faster. Here are some examples of platforms that allow you to automate the recruitment process:
It’s worth remembering that even if you need to hire a lot of people during your high-volume recruiting drive, you should never compromise on quality of hire. Regular contact with the person, not the tool, must also be maintained, and its value increases in direct proportion accordingly to the recruitment stage. It is essential to choose the right AI platform and if you’re uncertain, maybe try using it in one part of the process at first.
✅ 4. Promote your employer brand
Employer branding is the way in which you attract and engage the attention of potential employees. Rather than saying how “nice” your company is, employer branding is about sharing an authentic story about what it is like to be a part of the organization and how one can work toward fulfilling its mission and vision. By using it in a right way you can entice candidates who think and feel in line with your company’s culture.
According to research done by LinkedIn, 75% of candidates take an employer’s brand into account before even applying for a job. Moreover, employers who used a branding strategy to help them recruit, hired a candidate one-to-two times quicker than before and noticed an increase of 50% in qualified candidates applying for the role. This type of effectiveness is crucial when doing high-volume recruitment.
It might seem that it is not so crucial when it comes to recruitment of developers, who consider “Languages, frameworks, and other technologies to be working with” as the most important job factor. However, based on the 2020 Stack Overflow report, “office environment or company culture” is in the 2nd place. It makes it safe to say that a sufficient employer brand contributes to making the overall recruitment process successful.
To give you some inspiration, let’s have a look at SurveyMonkey, a company with a survey platform that makes great use of employee testimonials to create a positive image of the organization. As an example of their activities in the EB area, we recommend checking out their post published on LinkedIn on Women’s Day.
Cisco is also very good at building the employer’s brand, e.g. by presenting the company’s culture in an original way – such as on Saint Patrick’s Day, during which employees of the Irish branch organized a virtual festival.
The “Career” page is also an essential part of an effective EB. Khoros, a company that offers a platform and services related to Customer Experience, has an attractive and transparent website. Job offers are sorted by office location, the values of the organization are clearly described, and links to better understand the team are available in the reach of “one click”.
Role of a recruitment agency
Attracting qualified candidates, looking at hundreds of resumes and making a ton of screening calls is extremely labor-intense. In order to optimize the process you can reach out for help from a recruitment agency.
Recruitment agencies, especially those in the IT sector, have large talent pools with already pre-screened and pre-referenced potential employees. The agencies screen the CVs and talk with the candidates who will make it through for your review, so that you won’t have to go through tons of profiles and applications to find a few suitable ones.
Additionally, one of the biggest challenges in high-volume recruiting is maintaining a good candidate experience. Sometimes it happens that when screening people quickly, after rejecting a candidate during the assessment phase you might forget to follow up with them and decide to move on to other, more urgent tasks. Recruiters at a good agency will make sure to be in contact with the candidates throughout the whole process, ensuring that the brand reputation will not be put at risk.
High-volume recruiting presents a unique challenge to organizations, which often wonder how to significantly increase the number of hires while also not compromising the quality of candidates. Despite this challenge, by preparing a plan of action, doing your research, leveraging the resources and technologies at your disposal, and adequately communicating your employer brand you can consistently achieve your hiring goals and master the art of high-volume recruiting.