The key challenge faced by recruitment leaders when running high volume hiring campaigns is that scale often equals long lead times, poor candidate experiences or costly decisions to outsource hiring to specialist recruitment agencies. In an ideal world, recruitment technology would support HVH by delivering rapid predictive screening and full recruitment automation powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) while guaranteeing a great candidate experience at scale.
What is High Volume Hiring (HVH)?
High volume hiring is the name given to the recruitment process used to hire a large number of employees, often for a specific role type, to work for a defined period of time. An example of this is seasonal work for Christmas casuals in the retail industry or project resources in the mining industry. It may also be in response to a business need, like the opening of a new retail store, creation of a new function for a business expansion strategy or filling a large number of support roles for a call center.
Examples of sectors that experience high volume hiring include Retail, Hospitality, Mining, Construction, Healthcare, Agriculture (e.g. fruit picking) and Tourism. Seasonal hiring may also be role based, e.g. Graduate Recruitment campaigns feature in organisations across multiple industries. More recently, volume hiring needs emerged in retail businesses but focused on roles in Supply Chain (e.g. Amazon hired 75,000 staff for their fulfilment and transportation in 2021).
Work smarter, not harder
High-volume recruiters, whether in-house or outsourced, only achieve success when they identify well-fitted candidates and connect them to the right jobs, at speed and scale. In order to place (and keep placing) multiple candidates a day, recruiters must work to speedily move candidates through the hiring funnel: filter, evaluate, interview, check and offer.
Every day counts. Reducing time to hire is key. In order to move quickly, recruitment technology has new features that enable high volume recruiters to work smarter, not harder. For further context, LiveHire clients who receive thousands of applications a day for high volume campaigns often have small hiring teams, where each recruiter is able to hire 100+ candidates per month. If you are running high volume recruiting campaigns and are struggling to meet these metrics, keep reading to understand how you can achieve this too!
Why is High Volume Recruiting so challenging?
High volume hiring often exhibits four key characteristics: extremely high numbers of applications, similar role types to fill, multiple (and/or remote) locations, and very short time frames to assess, hire and onboard talent. As an example, Australia Post received 50,000 applications for 2,500 casual roles in 2020 to fill roles in Mail & Parcel Sorters, Van Drivers, Forklift Drivers and Posties. Deloitte claimed it is harder to get hired by Deloitte than Harvard University, purely based on the number of applications it receives. In 2015, Deloitte Global CEO, Punit Renjen, said “We hired 62,000 people last year, out of 3.5 million resumes we received”.
Hiring teams need technology to move at speed. Hiring that is moving slowly is a strong indicator you have the wrong technology. This will result in High Volume-itis.
Symptoms of High Volume-itis:
- Despite thousands of applications, quickly finding well-matched candidates eludes you
- Recruiters play endless games of phone tag or wait days for email responses
- Candidates complain that the organisation did not review their application
- Key process steps are slow or even missed (e.g. candidates are not told outcomes of interviews or are left waiting too long)
- Your technology does not allow you to manage all candidates centrally and flexibly in defined talent pools
- Your technology does not integrate with best-in-class tools designed to make high volume recruiting seamless, e.g. Video Interviewing, Assessments, Reference Checking, Background Checking, Onboarding etc.
Which High Volume Recruitment Model is best?
Before looking at hiring tactics, it’s important to look at your unique recruitment team structure. LiveHire has observed two ways successful organisations structure themselves for high volume recruitment. We call these Centralised Assembly Line and Decentralised Specialisation. Each of these structures requires unique recruitment solutions which are outlined below.
1. High Volume Tactics for Centralised Assembly Line Models
The key feature of a Centralised Assembly Line model is that the function of the recruitment team is split into two: firstly the Sourcing team is dedicated to finding, screening and engaging a pool of candidates. Then the Assessment/Offer team leverages curated talent pools to create shortlists for HR managers to interview, select and hire.
The key LiveHire technology features which support this model are Candidate Ownership and Pipeline Velocity.
The challenge for the Centralised Assembly Line model is that there are two separate recruitment teams responsible for interchanging parts of one overall process. This remains a challenge for Talent Acquisition because HR technology rarely prompts or enables users at each critical process juncture. This is despite Talent Acquisition designing process swim-lane charts outlining in perfect detail each defined point of ownership, points of collaboration and delineations of stakeholder responsibilities. It is because technology does not match these process maps, that they fall to the wayside. The result of this mismatch is that recruitment goes awry under the tidal pressure of mass hiring.
LiveHire’s Candidate Ownership and Pipeline Velocity features solve these challenges in two ways. Firstly, Candidate Ownership enables stakeholder tagging which promotes ownership and clarity within a complex process. Secondly, Pipeline Velocity uses technology to generate automated “push” smart reminders to recruiters at critical process points, so that no candidate waits longer than intended or is accidentally missed.
Digging deeper on Candidate Ownership, when specialized Sourcing teams create talent pools they can tag specific recruiters, enabling more seamless collaboration. Recruiters then review their personalised talent pools and can move candidates rapidly along to shortlist, interview and offer. All this is done with LiveHire’s intuitive drag and drop interface (no selecting, uploading and saving…line by line…urgh). Additional smart matching AI suggestions help Sourcing teams save time by proactively finding, filtering and matching candidates by skill, location and availability.
If Candidate Ownership is the engine to speed up your hiring process, then Pipeline Velocity is the fuel to really make things fly. Pipeline Velocity has 2 elements. Firstly, organisations can set the platform with custom time frames for candidate status in each recruitment stage (for example, if they are interviewing then they should not be sitting in the same status for 4 weeks). Secondly, Pipeline Velocity creates system-generated actions or nudges to remind recruiters of which candidates should be progressed or rejected when they are sitting in a stage too long. When managing high volumes of candidates, relying on recruiter memory or to-do lists of actions for every candidate is not reliable. Having technology be a world class personal assistant to remind recruiters in advance of actions they need to take, speeds up hiring and improves candidate experience. Importantly it also frees up the mind of recruiters to focus on candidate experience and engagement.
The combination of Candidate Ownership and Pipeline Velocity means that hiring teams can quickly curate thousands of applications into simple, streamlined talent pools, ready for interview, assessment and offer while creating an outstanding, personalised candidate experience. Similar tactics have allowed organisations like Tree of Life to prepare for the Christmas shopping season. Another example is Raise Recruiting, a leading global staffing company who rapidly sourced hundreds of contact tracers on behalf of the Ontario Ministry of Health to battle COVID-19.
2. High Volume Tactics for Decentralised Specialisation models
The key feature of the Decentralised Specialised model is that recruiters build deep knowledge for their designated business or product area, and then use this expertise to deliver the end-to-end hiring process.
The key LiveHire technology feature which supports this model is Automation.
The challenge for the Decentralised Assembly Line model is that recruiters need to complete end-to-end hiring across high volumes (thousands) of applicants, often across multiple geographic locations and for multiple role types. Traditional seasonal hiring campaigns use separate hiring requisitions for each role and each location, which means job advertising costs quickly escalate and candidates often apply multiple times if they want to flag their ability to work in multiple locations (adding to recruiter admin at the back end of their systems). If you’re receiving tens of thousands of applications, it can be very challenging to ensure that every candidate is considered and acknowledged, not to mention the cost of advertising across multiple geographies and brands.
LiveHire’s Automation features solve these challenges in two ways.
Firstly, the Automation feature works by streamlining the application process to a small number of Expression of Interest (EOI) advertisements. Secondly, LiveHire’s technology automatically sorts the applications by relevant geographic locations and into relevant job vacancies when they arise. This significantly reduces advertising spend and generates more traffic to the organisation’s careers site and social channels. Importantly, by leveraging technology to automatically sort candidates, recruiters and hiring managers can simply log into the platform and immediately access pools of relevant, well-fitted talent.
So how does this work? LiveHire recruiters craft one EOI for each high volume role for their business or product category (nationally if required), and ask applicants to apply once, centrally. While applying, job seekers are asked to select their location preference(s), along with other questions that are important to your organisation and the role e.g. right to work, special licenses etc and complete any preliminary assessments (e.g. psychometrics, video interviews).
From here (and this is the fun Automation bit) the technology allocates each candidate to the relevant job when it opens. Then, when the recruiter (or hiring manager) logs into the platform, there appears a pool of candidates at the chosen recruitment stage, e.g. ‘Screened’ for that location, ready to be moved to the next hiring stage. The reason this is key in a high volume situation, is that the start of the hiring funnel can be thousands of applications. With technology performing the screening and sorting stages automatically, this results in small and nimble recruitment teams. As an example, a single recruiter can hire 100+ applicants per month using this approach.
A direct result is that organisations can significantly reduce their job advertising costs and recruiters and hiring managers save time by using technology to sort and move applicants automatically through initial hiring stages. Talent acquisition teams (and HR budgets) can deliver impressive results without huge teams.
More solutions for effortless high volume hiring
Communicate en masse with bulk SMS
It is well established that candidate behaviour mirrors consumer behaviour. In order for recruiters to assess a candidate’s suitability, at some point in the pipeline, they need to speak to them; but phone calls and even emails are difficult to get a response to. The reason is that in fact we prefer to ‘talk’ through short, electronic instant messaging. We know today that 33 percent of adults (77 percent of 18 to 22 year olds) prefer texts over all forms of communication (including in person) and people send five times as many texts as compared with phone calls each day. Further to this, research by Glassdoor says that 58 percent of users today are looking for jobs using their phones to search. To stay in the game, recruiters need to be communicating via text/instant messaging and have mobile optimised recruitment software to keep up with rising candidate expectations.
LiveHire solves this by enabling applicants and recruiters to communicate using two-way, personalised SMS text messages, in addition to standard techniques like email. Bulk text messaging means recruiters send personalised messages quickly and easily to large groups of candidates. Candidates receive communication in their preferred format (a text message), are called by first name and receive bespoke messages that recruiters craft – for example a stage update on the role, a reminder to complete an assessment, some information about the organisation or, in the case of retail businesses, a discount code to say thanks for applying.
According to Talent Board, using SMS provides a 50% increase in candidate satisfaction – this is further proven by LiveHire’s median candidate response time of just 17 minutes. When people apply they get a personalised and effortless experience, which is why LiveHire enjoys a 96% candidate satisfaction rate. Leveraging text messaging means creating an awesome experience en masse, perfect for high volume recruiting!
Integrate with best-in-class technology
Technology integrations are key when creating a high performing HR/Talent Acquisition tech stack. Best practice HR leaders like Josh Bersin say that organisations who use best-in-class rather than all-in-one technology, will have superior results (learn more about best-in-class vs all-in-one here). As outlined above, hiring velocity means identifying activities which are time consuming and require a low human touch and replacing them with technology. Flexible and deep integrations with third party software inserted at these points in the process, free up recruiters’ workloads to provide a white-glove recruitment experience.
Savvy recruiters make sure their technology platform seamlessly integrates with best-in-class providers. As an example LiveHire integrates with leading assessment providers (such as Revellian, Testgrid and Talegent) to automate assessments. It also means recruiters can request online reference checks directly through their platform (all without logging into another system and uploading data) via Xref, Fit2Work and CVCheck). Clients can implement Onboarding with best in class providers via HROnboard, Ento, FlareHR and Enboarder. Platform Video interviewing with an auto invite? With market leaders like MyInterview, Sonru, Vieple? Yes please!
As an example, Vodafone (a global telecommunications organisation) leverages Livehire as its central recruitment platform and integrates with specialised third party technologies to provide one integrated hiring and onboarding experience (read the full Vodafone case study here). Another cool product for high volume hiring is Weirdly, who specialise in top-of-funnel skills assessments for graduate and high volume roles while delivering an outstanding candidate experience.
The key point is, do your research on best-in-class tech products and use them to create a seamless recruitment experience by automating manual tasks and making high volume recruitment streamlined and manageable.
Simplify your hiring process
Simplifying recruitment is a lot like decluttering your house. Try the Marie Kondo approach and ask “does this hiring moment spark joy?” Joy for candidates? Joy for recruiters? And joy for hiring managers?
Complicated workflows and old fashioned recruitment technology equals overwhelmed recruiters and frustrated HR managers. These effects are multiplied with high volume campaigns, and so it spells trouble for hiring. Limited time on engagement and evaluation leads to overlooking high-quality applicants. Poor candidate communication creates negative brand experiences. Poorly fitted candidates impact organisational revenue due to underperformance or short tenures.
Let technology reduce recruiter workload on tasks that are high impact but time consuming, and hence difficult to deliver at scale. LiveHire features such as bulk actions and bulk text message communications, Pipeline Velocity or Automation features, all use technology to deliver high value tasks, quickly and at scale and are perfect for high volume campaigns.
Other technology features make it easier for recruiters to perform low impact / time consuming tasks. Easy to search candidate profiles mean recruiters can quickly view potential employees’ experience, skills etc. Recruiters also use inbuilt triggers which identify important screening questions (i.e. if a candidate said they have no driving license and it’s required for a role). Lastly, recruiters should send job offers electronically and allow applicants to accept them electronically.
While high volume hiring is filled with thousands of applicants and demanding deadlines, with the right technology and modern recruitment tactics recruiters can effortlessly hire quality talent at scale, while providing a great candidate experience. Key to making this an effortless experience is determining your recruitment team model and then having the right technology to help you deliver outcomes. Leverage tactics like: Automation, Candidate Ownership, Pipeline Velocity, streaming candidates into (sometimes multiple) Talent Pools, simplifying your hiring process, and ensuring you have real time SMS communication. Lastly, the HR technology marketplace is filled with new solutions. Research and find the best add-ons for your high volume campaigns to make recruiters’ jobs easier, whether it is Video Interviewing, Background Checking, Onboarding etc. With modern tactics and the right technology, high volume hiring becomes an effortless experience for recruiters, job seekers and hiring managers.