Group of candidates waiting for an interview
Ettie Holland By Ettie Holland on 19.02.2021
Talent Acquisition | 5 Min Read

How in-house recruiters can accelerate high-volume recruitment

Recruitment is difficult anyway, even if you’re only making one hire. But high-volume recruitment brings its own special challenges and frustrations.

Like, traditional recruiters complain about struggling to find good candidates. But you battle with hundreds of CVs for every role. And most of those CVs look awful. It takes days to sift through the rough to find the diamonds.

And when you do find them, you waste hours playing phone tennis because, hey, they’ve applied to fifty jobs. You’re just not a priority.

And then, when you do finally get through and the phone interview goes well, half of your candidates don’t turn up to the face-to-face. Another waste of time. And another half don’t turn up on their first day. And then half again drop-out after a month (or worse – stay, but massively underperform).

And you’re back to the drawing board. With the same challenges and frustrations but a new headache.

That’s high-volume recruitment. But it doesn’t have to be.

You can shorten your hiring cycle, increase your success rate, and decrease your recruitment costs with these five tactics.

1 - Pre-empt bottlenecks

High-volume recruitment is already slow, without internal bureaucracy slowing things down. There’s nothing worse than spending hours working to secure candidates only to lose them because hiring managers, finance, operations or IT caused delays.

(48% of recruiters say hiring managers are their biggest roadblock, for instance, while 24% say offer approvals slowed things down).

For high-volume recruitment to work, everyone has to be on-side. Take control by initiating a debrief/pre-brief with all relevant stakeholders after each hiring cycle.

Highlight issues, identify improvement opportunities, and discuss what you’ll do when the unpredictable happens.

(Like your major competitor starts offering an increased rate, or you suddenly lose a senior team leader, or you unexpectedly win a large project, for example).

This’ll also help identify surges or trends, so you can more accurately forecast. The better you forecast numbers, the more prepared you’ll be and the better your delivery.

2 - Don’t neglect your own team

High-volume recruitment can be a classic case of cobblers’ children’s shoes. The pace of growth across the business can be extreme – but often the recruitment team itself isn’t growing.

If you don’t have enough resource on your own team to manage the demands of high-volume recruitment, you’ll burn out.

And when recruiters start leaving, attrition snowballs fast. The workload fast becomes unmanageable so your current team are pushed away too, and soon business-wide recruitment suffers.

Be proactive. Tell leaders what you need to succeed – whether that’s more recruiters, better development opportunities or new tools.

3 - Work on your attraction strategy

High-volume corporate roles already get an average of 250 applications each, Glassdoor say. And of those, only four to six will get interviews and you’ll make only one hire. And that’s the best-case. In some industries, you might get thousands of applications for every role.

It’s the constant battle for high-volume recruiters – how to meet your quantity needs while keeping quality high.

The solution is your attraction strategy. The stronger your pull, the better the candidates who come to you. Quantity will stay high but quality will increase – and the whole high-volume recruitment process becomes easier.

Think about things like:

  • Having a presence on every job board
  • Spending time actively engaging on social media – building a passive pipeline
  • Advertising offline – Radio? Bus stops? Local shops? Text message?

(Millennials open some 97% of the text messages they receive. Food for thought.)

- Bolstering your employer brand – what else can you offer?

(Think beyond the obvious, like pay, holiday and insurance. 44% of recruiters report offering flexible hours and casual dress helps attract candidates).

- Building a robust referral scheme

(Referrals are – as ever – employers’ top source of high-quality hire. You probably spend oodles more time and energy on Indeed or Monster or equivalent, but is your referral program up to scratch?)

4 - Focus on candidate experience

Candidate experience is often the first casualty in the high-volume recruitment war.

That’s bad, because successful high-volume recruitment teams know the candidate cycle often repeats, especially in high attrition spaces. Often you’ll have the opportunity to hire someone who applied previously but dropped out, or wasn’t successful then but could be perfect now.

That’s why some 59% of recruiters actively keep in touch with candidates who’ve previously expressed interest.

But if you delivered an awful experience the first time, those candidates are less likely to reapply. So you lose them to a competitor when they could’ve been great for you.

Plus, there’s a long-term impact on your employer brand. A terrible candidate experience soon gets around and your hiring pool shrinks long-term too. Not good.

Some of the basics, to protect your CX:

  • Communicate consistently and clearly
  • Give every candidate feedback, however basic
  • Ask for feedback – then actually implement it
  • Streamline your application process

(60% of job applications are abandoned. Make your application process quicker and easier, and you’ll stop losing candidates).

Remember too – the more you shorten your hiring cycle, the better the candidate experience becomes and the fewer candidates you’ll lose.

5 - Invest in the right tools

You probably already use automation to send automatic notifications to candidates. Maybe you use scheduling tools to accelerate the interview scheduling process. And let’s assume you use an ATS.

But do you take advantage of the full array of tools out there for high-volume recruiters?

One of the biggies is video interviewing, to replace telephone assessments. Telephone interviews are fine – when they work. But the other 90% of your time is spent chasing, rearranging, leaving voicemail, typing notes, and so on.

They’re just not a good tool for high-volume recruiters.

Plus, it can be hard to get an accurate picture of a candidate during a telephone interview. So either you risk losing someone who could’ve been good – or you invite them to face-to-face interview and risk wasting even more time.

Video interviewing is a great alternative because it demands much less of your time but gives a much richer account of each candidate. Plus candidates love it because it’s quick, easy and convenient, so there’s an employer branding and candidate experience benefit too.

Be strategic with your time

The longer you spend tangled in low-value activities – like scheduling telephone interviews, or like chasing hiring managers, or like scouring Indeed – the less time you have for higher-value activities. Like delivering a fantastic candidate experience, boosting your employer brand and building a passive candidate pool to make future recruitment easier.

As recruitment becomes increasingly competitive, the most successful recruitment teams – especially in the high-stakes high-volume recruitment space - will be those who are strategic with their time.

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