Kasey LynchAugust 3, 2023
Topics: High-Volume Hiring

How to Successfully Hack High-Volume Hiring: the Definitive Guide

Up to 30 hours of a recruiter’s week can be spent focusing on administrative work instead of candidates. 

With talent scarce, competition fierce, and every moment spent sourcing job seekers important, recruiters need a way to free up their time to focus on the people part of their jobs — especially when hiring at scale. Hiring hundreds or thousands of employees also doesn’t have to be as hard as it’s traditionally been on recruiters, hiring managers, or candidates. 

So how can organizations across all industries meet high-volume hiring demands — without sacrificing amazing talent experiences? AI and automation are at the center of it all, easing the application and hiring processes for every key stakeholder in the talent journey. 

Global organizations that are managing to stay on course, meet hiring goals, and outpace competitors are turning to AI-powered technology that connects candidates with jobs faster and automates tedious tasks for recruiters so they can focus more on what really matters: people. 

But, before you start evaluating and adjusting your existing strategy to optimize mass hiring efforts, you have to establish your high-volume hiring strategy, supported by an action plan that will consistently take candidates from hello to hired. 

In this blog, we’ll cover: 

  • What is high-volume hiring? 

  • Common high-volume recruiting challenges 

  • How to assess your existing high-volume hiring process 

  • How to create a high-volume hiring strategy 

  • Why AI and automation are must-haves for high-volume hiring

  • Next steps to accelerate implementation

What is high-volume hiring? 

High-volume hiring — also known as high volume recruiting, mass hiring, or bulk hiring — is the process of engaging and converting a large quantity of candidates for open roles in a short period of time. 

This can apply across all industries, whether an organization is hiring for seasonal roles — such as short-term winter holiday or summer jobs for retail and distribution supply chains — or if it’s perpetually hiring for high-churn positions.

Due to the large number of requisitions TA teams and hiring managers must fill for these types of roles, improving efficiencies throughout the process is essential to meeting talent demands quickly. By shifting time-consuming transactional tasks into frictionless, hyper-personalized interactions, hiring teams can collaboratively source, screen, schedule, and extend job offers quickly, and without sacrificing a great candidate experience.

6 common high-volume hiring challenges 

High-volume hiring can present several challenges that organizations often encounter. Here are some common challenges to be aware of:

1. Time Constraints: The need to hire a large number of candidates within a short time frame, and faster than the competition, can put significant pressure on the hiring team. The process of sourcing, screening, and interviewing a high volume of applicants requires efficient time management to meet organizational needs without compromising quality.

2. Quality vs. Quantity: Balancing the need for quantity with maintaining high-quality hires can be challenging. When hiring in large numbers, there may be a temptation to prioritize quantity over the careful evaluation of each candidate. Finding a balance between speed and ensuring that candidates possess the necessary skills and cultural fit is crucial.

3. Employer Branding and Reputation: A high-volume hiring process can significantly impact an organization's employer branding and reputation. Negative candidate experiences or perceptions can spread quickly, potentially hindering future recruitment efforts.

4. Candidate Attraction and Engagement: Attracting a sufficient number of qualified candidates for high-volume roles can be difficult, especially in competitive job markets. Engaging and maintaining the interest of candidates throughout the recruitment process becomes essential to ensure a robust talent pool.

5. Screening and Selection: Effectively screening and selecting candidates from a large applicant pool requires well-defined criteria and efficient evaluation processes. The challenge lies in finding methods that allow for a thorough assessment while handling the volume efficiently.

6. Onboarding and Training: Successfully integrating a high volume of new hires into the organization and providing them with proper onboarding and training can be a logistical headache. Ensuring a smooth transition and consistent training for a large number of employees requires careful planning and resources.

Related Resource: High-Volume Hiring Lessons From 4 Companies That Are Getting It Right

How to create an effective high-volume hiring strategy 

Now that we’ve covered the most common challenges that prevent high-volume hiring strategies from being successful, let’s dive into the approach your team should take when revamping your existing processes and optimizing them for success:

Assess your high-volume hiring pain points 

To build a solid plan for your volume hiring needs, you must first identify the areas of hiring at scale that take the most time for recruiters. Ask yourself and your team: 

  • What is really necessary for the volume roles that I am filling? 

  • Are candidates asked to meet in person for interviews with HR and the hiring team?

  • Are there unnecessary knockout questions included in online applications?

  • Are there standard organizational recruiting or interviewing practices that become redundant for transactional, evergreen, or seasonal positions? 

  • Are our hiring volume plans supportable by our current talent acquisition (TA) staff?

By assessing your answers, you’ll discover where you can cut or automate certain functions, especially at the early stages of candidate review. If you are requiring hourly employees to complete multiple rounds of interviews and skill tests, for example, there are likely inefficiencies that can be streamlined. 

The next step is to look at the roles you typically fill at scale and define them so they are easy for candidates to recognize. For example, consider the difference between a sales associate and a crew or team member — will your candidates know the difference? 

Taking time to comb through the actual requirements for your posted jobs is crucial to catching unnecessary knockout questions, like the year they graduated or whether or not they have a high school degree. 

If hiring is done by on-site managers, ensuring they are able to screen and make job offers directly is paramount. You’re almost ready to plot your priorities when you can:

  • Define your high-volume job titles consistently 

  • Review your application questions and remove any that are unnecessary

  • Empower on-site hiring managers to be part of your TA team 

Finally, take time to really think about the candidates you are looking to attract for your high-volume positions. Do they expect:

  • Shift flexibility for part-time positions

  • Application processes for mobile, on-the-go, or deskless candidates

  • Text and chatbots for anytime/anyplace communications 

An always-on chatbot powered by conversational AI is critical for automating sourcing, screening, scheduling, and answering candidate questions — whether you’re adding it to your recruiting efforts or using it to capture missed opportunities. 

Build your action plan 

If you’re hiring hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of individuals for similar positions, you want your recruiters to extend offers to qualified candidates faster than the competition. If your time-to-offer is measured in days or weeks, you’re at risk of falling off candidates’ consideration list.

So how can you stay in an amped-up groove for hiring at scale? Check out these six steps that highlight essential AI and automation that can boost your volume hiring.

1. Craft candidate experiences that are intuitive and mobile-friendly 

Personalized job recommendations ensure that open roles are easy to find on your career site. Adding an intelligent chatbot makes 24/7 assistance readily available to guide job seekers into an accelerated two-way screening process. Use SMS and text for quick connections to candidates who are familiar with the immediacy of mobile-first communication. This includes text-to-apply capabilities. 

2. Consider unique hiring workflows for high-volume roles 

Not every high-volume, front-line, or hourly job needs the same screening, interview, assessment, and hiring steps. Certain roles may have additional requirements, like commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs), advanced nursing certifications, or flight crew training. 

Phenom High-Volume Hiring, for example, embeds customized, adjustable workflows directly into a chatbot that introduces and manages the “if/then” distribution of candidates into the most appropriate hiring workflow based on their interests, availability, and qualifications. 

Recruiters can configure automated workflows to pre-screen, recommend open positions, conduct video assessments, and progress qualified candidates — or move them into a CRM for future consideration.   

3. Automate interview scheduling 

One of the most time-consuming tasks for a recruiter is coordinating interview schedules with key company stakeholders, hiring managers, and candidates. This can take several hours if a candidate is meeting with a group or with more than one person sequentially. 

Phenom AI Scheduling allows candidates to self-schedule 1:1 or team interviews directly through a chatbot, receiving calendar confirmations in just seconds. This means recruiters can focus on sourcing additional candidates in volume, building talent communities, and crafting recruitment campaigns.

On-Demand Product Tour: Accelerate Interview Scheduling with Automation

4. Pull in on-site hiring managers as part of your recruiting team

It's no surprise that for a significant portion of front-line or hourly roles, an on-site facility manager is also the recruiter. Often without direct access to HR systems of record or corporate calendar and meeting management, hiring managers are left to make “need staff now” hiring decisions. 

Extending hiring tools to on-site managers — using mobile devices of choice — provides real-time participation in video assessments, candidate feedback, and connected interview scheduling. This pulls facility managers and supervisors directly into corporate team building and workforce planning.

5. Optimize recruitment marketing campaigns to improve conversions

Effective volume hiring begins with moving as many candidates as possible from their first point of contact — whether that be a job fair, social media post, career site, or point-of-sale job posting — to applicant status. 

But there can be roadblocks — your career site could make job matching frustrating, your application process could be unduly long for a role requiring only basic skills, or you may be posting open roles on job boards that are out of sync with your target candidates. How do you know? 

Phenom Talent Analytics dashboards, for example, provide insights as to consistent sources of candidates, applicant-to-candidate conversion rates, and campaign and yield from job board investments. All this permits HR teams to better support on-location hiring. You can use visual dashboards to measure and track progress against your high-volume strategy and goals. 

6. Retain employees for longer than a season 

If your day-one new hire ghosting rate is climbing, or the churn rate for your high-volume hiring roles is measured in mere days, it’s time to add employee engagement and retention planning to the hiring journey. 

You can start even before an offer is extended by showcasing existing employee video testimonials on your career site and on social media. Let job seekers see — and feel — a future with your organization. 

Build and maintain an internal talent marketplace that will expose new hires to future roles, temporary gig assignments, and opportunities for professional development. Build your internal talent pipeline for the long haul, so your high-volume hiring plans are not focused on volume re-hiring.

Why AI and automation are must-haves for high-volume hiring

An effective high-volume hiring strategy hinges upon efficiencies. Without AI or automation, organizations have no other choice but to continue using the traditional ways of hiring — slowing down the hiring process, missing best-fit candidates, and struggling every step of the way. 

Adding automation — especially logic-based automation — to your mass hiring processes augments your TA team’s strength and reach. It allows for rapid progression of large numbers of candidates through early stages of hiring, and supplements human hiring decisions. 

We start with multi-channel candidate engagement via career site, SMS, or most frequently, a  chatbot. AI-powered chatbots can be one of the best tools for delivering personalized experiences to job seekers and helping recruiting teams conduct initial filtering and screening. Within Phenom High-Volume Hiring, the chatbot presents high-priority job families to candidates and allows them to self-select a related hiring path.  

Each hiring path has associated screening questions and automatically moves candidates to the next stage of hiring based on their interests, qualifications, and availability. If none of those match the initial job selected by the candidate, they may receive recommendations for other available positions. From one single initial expression of interest, hiring workflows can branch and build candidate profiles, collect referrals, and match job seekers to a variety of positions based on staffing priorities. 

What happens next? This is where the combination of automation and your process mining exercise is put into practice. The logic defined for each job role moves candidates automatically to the next step — either via video introduction, phone screening, or an in-person interview scheduled using intelligent automation that matches available times for both candidates and interviewers. Meetings are coordinated, confirmed, and rescheduled if needed, all without hours (or days!) of telephone tag.

Go from “hello” to hire

Designing and implementing a high-volume hiring strategy can help you convert quality candidates at a scalable rate while staying ahead of your competition. With access to AI-powered tools and workflow automation, you can reduce repetitive tasks, illuminate best-fit candidates, and schedule interviews quickly — accelerating how quickly your teams move talent through the hiring funnel. 

With Phenom, we can take you from a “hello” with high-volume candidates to a hiring action within just minutes. Download our Go From Strategy to Action: A High-Volume Hiring Playbook today for more information on how to optimize and implement your high-volume hiring strategy.

Kasey Lynch

Kasey is a content marketing writer, focused on highlighting the importance of positive experiences. She's passionate about SEO strategy, collaboration, and data analytics. In her free time, she enjoys camping, cooking, exercising, and spending time with her loved ones — including her dog, Rocky. 

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