Hiring for one role is a challenge in and of itself. If you are a recruiter hiring for multiple roles, that challenge grows exponentially. The process even more difficult when you’re hiring for roles that will draw in hundreds of applicants. So just imagine the struggle for HR at companies like Amazon who implement high volume hiring to hire thousands of employees each year.
If you’re a recruiter hiring for roles that you expect to receive a lot of attention, you may want to consider implementing a high volume hiring strategy.
Amazon’s high volume hiring process made a big splash when they announced that they would be hiring for 75,000(!) new roles as a result of a surge in demand due to the pandemic.
But you don’t have to be a multibillion dollar company like Amazon to take advantage of high volume hiring. This guide aims to provide a guide to high volume hiring for your own business or organization, whether you’re undergoing short- or long-term expansion.
What is high volume hiring?
Put simply, "high volume hiring" is the administrative process of recruiting several people at once in a short timeframe. High volume recruitment also tends to bring in many more applicants than the average job posting. According to Jobvite, high volume roles get an average of 250 applicants (vs. 50 for typical job postings).
High volume hiring is most useful for companies that:
- have seasonal needs for hiring employees
- require numerous employees in a short time frame such as warehouse jobs, retail, and hospitality
- need to hire for multiple roles for new store openings
But before you decide to implement a high volume hiring process, it is necessary to understand the process and plan your recruiting strategy carefully.
Why should recruiters use high volume hiring?
Amazon’s approach has given some people a negative opinion of high volume hiring. But when done right, high volume hiring has several advantages for employers, recruiters, and candidates. These advantages allow you to be more productive and onboard candidates quickly.
It’s more efficient
The high volume hiring process can reduce delays in hiring. For high volume roles, searching for, vetting, and interviewing many candidates at once is generally preferable to the slower process of traditional hiring. Since vacant job positions can delay projects and cost money, hires that take several months can hurt a company's profits and growth.
It's more flexible
High volume hiring gives you flexibility. With high volume hiring, you can easily ramp up to your immediate needs, or scale back.
Increases recruit retention
By increasing efficiency, high volume hiring can lead to fewer candidates leaving the recruiting process. The longer your hiring process takes, the more likely you are to find that your top candidates have accepted another role by the time you’re ready to make an offer.
How can recruiters successfully implement a high volume hiring strategy?
High volume hiring works best when you understand your company culture, current hiring assets, the roles for which you need to hire, and your interviewing process.
It also helps to have the right software and a well-defined process for tracking applicants.
Define what you need
The first step in high volume hiring is defining what job categories you need. Your company may have different job categories that need filling at once. Narrow down the roles and the specific skills needed for the roles with defining skills and keywords for those skills in the job description.
Create an ideal employee profile
As a recruiter, you need to identify the characteristics of the ideal employee for each role you’re looking to fill.
First, develop a list of each position and its requirements.
Then you’ll need to determine the key traits and skills you need for each position? Which characteristics can you be flexible about and which are non-negotiable? Deciding about what characteristics are essential and those that are not essential are important to define what candidates you want to hire.
Leverage your company brand
The first step to successful high volume hiring is to understand the value your company culture plays in attracting great employees.
Your company image and brand are an important part of showing potential employees why they should choose your company. So when you advertise, it's essential to sell candidates on your company cultures.
But make sure you don’t get carried away. It’s important to be accurate and honest so that you don’t draw in employees who will be dissatisfied when they discover your company culture doesn’t match what they were led to expect during the hiring process.
Take the time to figure out what it is that employees like best (and what they don’t like) about working with your company and accentuate the positive.
This will go a long way towards attracting the volume of applicants your company needs, while also ensuring a culture fit.
Research every opportunity to discover new talent
Recruiters have to be researchers. Knowing employment sites beyond the usual job boards can be useful for you in high volume recruiting. Resources such as the state's unemployment database, military employment sites, industry-specific websites, colleges and universities, and workforce development centers can all be treasure troves of undiscovered talent.
And your research should not be confined to job boards. Increase your pool of available talent by targeting:
- talent incubators, and
- workplace development centers
to get an edge in high volume hiring.
Use your current resources
As a recruiter, you should open postings to internal candidates first. This is called talent rediscovery. Talent rediscovery allows you to keep great employees who are otherwise happy from leaving for greener pastures. That’s because when employees know your company promotes from within they don’t feel like they have to look elsewhere for advancement.
Talent rediscovery leads to a smoother transition for new senior hires because they already know the internal workings of the company. It also strengthens company culture because current employees already have a feel for the culture.
If talent rediscovery isn’t an option (or it doesn’t turn up the right fit for the role), recruiters should look at resumes they already have on file. Using resumes on file can help to cut down on searching through resumes because the resumes may already be prescreened for the job descriptions you want.
Finally, employee referrals are useful for high volume hiring. These referrals may come from coworkers you trust for their professional judgment so they tend to be higher quality and you don’t have to advertise to find them.
Determine the metrics you need to track
If you plan to advertise to facilitate high volume hiring, you’ll need to know where the most effective places are to spend your advertising budget. According to Silkroad, job search engines are much more effective than job boards, but that may not be true for your industry or the role you’re hiring for.
Other important metrics include:
- time to hire,
- conversation rate of applicants,
- cost per hire,
- conversion rate per advertising channel vs. cost per that channel
- success rate of candidates at each step of the process.
Each of these metrics will help you focus on improving a specific aspect of your hiring pipeline
To ensure that you’re spending your advertising dollars wisely, track conversion rates for the job sites you use. By using software to track how much you spend and the candidate hire rates along with cost-to-hire statistics, you can begin to develop a better understanding of where to spend your budget.
Set an apply goal
An apply goal is a recruiting term defined as the average number of candidates you need to have for each open role in order to find a successful hire.
For example, if you have a thousand jobs to fill during a high volume hiring, you would need to factor in the fact that not all applicants will meet your specifications. Adjusting for your apply goal in your calculations will help to estimate how many candidates you need to find for a role.
Train your hiring teams
The hiring and recruitment industry is always changing. Use training to keep hiring managers, recruiters, and interviewers contemporary with new trends.
A trained recruiter force is necessary for high volume hiring. For example, combating bias in the workplace is a common and current reason to train hiring teams. Here are some ideas for training your hiring team(s):
- Create a newsletter with articles relevant and timely to HR issues
- Perform mock interviews to train interviewers
- Instruct hiring teams on how to prepare for interviews using preparation checklists
- Invest in formal training sessions in human resources and hiring topics
Create evergreen listings
Evergreen listings are job descriptions that your company routinely needs. For example, a warehouse may always have a need for forklift operators or package finders. Having evergreen listings can help you quickly advertise for these roles.
Leverage your social media presence
Use social media to show your company culture to help attract new hires. LinkedIn and other business sites are the usual choices for hiring. But if you have the bandwidth and it makes sense based on the roles you’re hiring for, you should develop your presence on other social media channels as well.
Newer platforms like Instagram tend to be more popular for those who have grown up with the internet. So if you’re hiring for entry-level positions (which is usually the case with high volume roles), consider the platforms your ideal candidates use and make sure you’re there.
Use skill assessments
While scanning for keywords in a resume can be a useful way to quickly weed out candidates without the skills you need, this isn’t the best approach for assessing candidates.
The software won't always give you accurate information about candidate skills. Just because a candidate does (or doesn’t) include a specific keyword doesn’t mean they do (or don’t) actually have that skill.
On the other hand, skill assessments can help you screen for truly qualified candidates. Skills assessment tests allow you to screen for specific skills you need for specific job roles.
At TestGorilla, we have skills assessments for different industries and assessments that test for skills that are important in every industry. We have divided these tests into hard skills and soft skills.
Hard skills are technical skills you would learn. Soft skills are those skills you have with your personality. The 90+ assessments you’ll find in the ever-growing TestGorilla Test Library test for:
- Language skills (e.g., English, French, Spanish, Mandarin, etc.)
- Role-specific skills (e.g., data science, customer service)
- Software skills (e.g, Salesforce CRM, Shopify)
- Cognitive ability (e.g., attention to detail, numerical reasoning, and critical thinking
- Personality and culture (e.g., the Big 5 (OCEAN) personality test, DISC, and culture fit)
- Situational judgment (e.g., business ethics, negotiation, leadership & people management)
Select the right software
High volume hiring takes a lot of time when done manually. Fortunately, there are many tools available to make the process easier and automate repetitive tasks.
Software like an ATS and a well-constructed career portal can help you find your job candidates quickly. Large companies like Amazon typically develop their own in-house ATS, but that shouldn’t discourage you from looking for a third-party ATS that fits your company’s needs.
A good ATS and career portal will:
- Get candidate permission for background checks
- Provide mobile job application functionality
- Allow the integration of skills assessment testing software
- Offer real-time analytics and reporting of candidate data
- Track real-time changes to hiring databases
- Include EEOC and OFCCP compliance forms
- Offer customization for career pages and online job applications
- Include functionality to allow for easy posting to job boards
Be ready to handle the influx of candidates
It’s called high volume hiring for a reason! Be ready for a flood of applicants.
A good applicant tracking system can help sift through hundreds of resumes for your ideal candidate. It can also help with the interview process with tools to make the process easier (e.g., questionnaires, rating scorecards, calendar functions, and automated replies).
Prepare for the interview process
When you are hiring candidates in a high volume situation, it is good to have a structured interview process. You need a strategy to quickly interview candidates. Group interviews are a quick way to find many candidates, especially if you are hiring for warehouse or seasonal positions. Another way to find good candidates are phone interviews using scripted questions for candidates.
Make sure you have a good onboarding experience in place
The last step of the candidate experience is onboarding new employees. You should make employees feel a part of the company from the start. Use technology to reduce paperwork and errors that might occur with older manual processes of hiring.
High volume hiring isn’t just for Amazon
Hopefully, this article has shown that you don’t have to be a multinational corporation to use high volume hiring practices.
High volume hiring can certainly be a challenge, but it’s a challenge you should consider taking on. If you’re hiring a high volume of candidates, you’re now equipped with the information you need to implement the right tools and processes to make high volume hiring a valuable asset to you and your team.