Maggie BleharAugust 14, 2023
Topics: Customer Stories

4 Companies That Are Getting High-Volume Hiring Right

No matter the business, the challenge of efficiently hiring large numbers of workers with transactional or specialized skills is one that can markedly impact the ability for talent acquisition teams to fill much-needed open roles quickly.

While staffing shortages are most visible in consumer-facing industries that keep supply chains moving, deficits in seasonal and hourly and frontline workers across manufacturing and “care” industries — like healthcare, childcare and even lawn care — are equally adverse.

Phenom hosted a webinar with four high-volume hiring experts from Petco, Love's Travel Stops, TRAC Intermodal, and Aubuchon Hardware to discuss how to best engage, qualify, and accelerate high volumes of candidates through your hiring process with automation, AI, and a stellar experience.

Watch the webinar on demand here, or read on for the highlights!

Addressing Mission-Critical High-Volume Staffing Issues

The need for high-volume hiring arises due to seasonal spikes, organic growth, the establishment of new facilities, the need to continually refresh an employee base, and the influx of a large number of inbound candidates that outpace the capacity of existing in-house Talent Acquisition (TA) teams. It’s important to note that a good high-volume hiring strategy balances need for quality and quantity.

Some of the mission-critical high-volume roles addressed by panelists included blue collar workers, store clerks with customer service experience, technicians, drivers, and skilled workers like veterinarians.

So how can you fill these — and other — mission-critical roles as quickly as possible?

  • Always-on pipelines are important, because you can pull from them as soon as roles open up. “We create those pipelines so we have those previous seasonal hirers to pipeline them, send them out messages, and try to get them in before that busy season,” said Maeve McDonnell, HR Coordinator at Aubuchon Hardware.

  • Training academies can offer specialized learning to fit the needs of specific roles. Love’s Travel Stops has established its own diesel training academies that offer a comprehensive 5-week training program, covering all expenses for the participants. Upon successful completion, individuals become qualified diesel technicians, explained Brandon Luiszer, Talent Acquisition Leader.

  • Since “every job is mission-critical” at Petco, they offer a competitive referral program with generous bonuses for employees, said Liz Freet, Director of Talent Acquisition.

  • Having the right tools to advertise postings and communicate with potential candidates is crucial, especially since the candidates you’re targeting for high-volume roles are almost always interviewing with competitors.

  • Targeting boomerang hires has become a huge part of seasonal hiring that not everyone may think. Tapping into previous talent is a great way to avoid reinventing the wheel when looking for candidates.

Finding Candidates Faster During Seasonal Spikes

There are many strategies for finding candidates quickly during seasonal surges. Through in-person events and career fairs, for example, TA teams can build talent pipelines quickly, conduct interviews on the spot, and get candidates out into the field ASAP. Practicing proactive pipelining in this way secures a ready pool of candidates to draw from when new roles open up as well.

Using email and text campaigns is another great way to capture quality candidates faster than competitors. Michael Lee, Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition at TRAC Intermodal, acknowledges that potential applicants might not be familiar with certain terminologies, so using text and email campaigns to communicate their safety-focused approach allows them to balance quantity and quality of hires.

Relying heavily on employment branding is crucial due to the sheer volume of candidates companies need to attract and engage. When you can share your employment brand through employee testimonials or other personalized content, you’re more likely to convert candidates into hires.

Using Automation to Target Inefficiencies

Often, the most time-consuming tasks faced by TA teams are menial, like reviewing applications, getting a hold of candidates who have submitted applications, scheduling interviews, and even rescheduling interviews.

Though these tasks are important, they require manual intervention that can get in the way of other pressing responsibilities, like building positive candidate relationships.

“We all probably face the fact that getting a hold of candidates is challenging,” Lee said. “People have so many distractions, there’s spam coming in on their email and their text messages, and if you don’t have a way of quickly getting to your candidates and finding a way to differentiate yourself from your competition across communication channels, then you’re not going to win the war for talent… because it’s truly a war for talent.”

The most time-consuming tasks for TA teams include interview scheduling/rescheduling, souring, and application review, among many others.

(Most Time-consuming Tasks for TA Teams)

Fortunately, AI-powered technology can help cut back on these time-consuming tasks. By automating screening and scheduling, recruiters can focus more of their efforts on determining if a candidate is the right fit for the role.

Using an intelligent chatbot to automate processes and help candidates navigate their career site to find suitable job openings in preferred locations is another great way to capitalize on automation. This has allowed McDonnell’s team to engage with candidates earlier in the process, ensuring a smoother candidate experience and maximizing their chances of attracting qualified candidates to their 110+ locations.

Relying on automated interview scheduling technology is another huge advantage. With AI Scheduling, TA teams can eliminate the tedious back-and-forth coordination and book candidate interviews faster. “It doesn’t matter the company. The back and forth communication to get a person scheduled is 100% a time suck,” Freet shared. Having the ability to put scheduling and rescheduling on autopilot is a game-changer.

Pre-screening is another area where automation can significantly help hiring teams boost efficiency. At Love’s, Luiszer experimented with removing unnecessary pre-screening questions from the application to improve conversion rates, allowing candidates to get through the screening process faster.

Building a TA Strategy That Balances Technology and Human Interaction

In order to balance the human element of recruiting with technology that can boost efficiency, Freet reminds us that “all applicants are customers, so we have to treat them like we treat our customers.” Automation is amazing for screening, scheduling, and other repetitive tasks, but the human touch when interviewing and extending an offer is crucial.

It’s also important to look at your entire hiring process from a candidate's perspective and pick it apart. Is it efficient? Does it present opportunities? Does it make a candidate want to bail out of the process? Approach talent with the same approach your company takes on the business side of it, because candidates are customers too.

The bottom line? Don’t forget the human element of intelligent automation, but don’t be afraid to utilize and embrace automation and technology as a way to balance roles and responsibilities and make your TA team’s life easier.


Start actualizing the strategies you learned about here: Go From Strategy to Action: A High-Volume Hiring Playbook

To see how other companies are successfully hiring at volume, check out our case studies with Electrolux and this major U.S healthcare company.

Maggie Blehar

Maggie is a writer at Phenom, bringing you information on all things talent experience. In addition to writing, she enjoys traveling, painting, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends. 

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