Improving your high volume hiring process yields a much greater impact on the bottom line than any other changes you can make to your recruitment strategy.
Volume hiring also has some unique challenges for recruiters to navigate. First of all, you’re usually tasked with hiring a large number of people in a crazily short space of time. Next, since most of your hiring will require little or no work experience you will usually be faced with an overwhelmingly large number of job applications to screen and organise.
Typically, the average job advert receives 59 applicants, whereas an enterprise recruitment process will attract over 250 applicants per posting  so sifting through CVs and screening applicants to find the best candidates can be a labour-intensive process. This problem is only getting worse with the number of job application growing by up to 437% since COVID19.
Fortunately, there are some easy-to-implement ways to improve your volume recruitment process which will make your life much easier. So let’s dive in:
- Build the right recruitment tech stack
- Use the right candidate selection platform
- Communicate your Employer Value Proposition
- Measure Quality of hire
- Use external recruiters and recruitment agencies
- Create a talent network
- Track hiring velocity
- Keep an eye on industry trends
- Mitigate for hiring bias
1. Build the right recruitment tech stack
Recruitment technology should be the bedrock of your high-volume hiring process. Candidate screening and selection tools should be making your recruiters more efficient and your tech stack should consist of solutions for different tasks such as job advertising, applicant screening, pre-employment assessments, background checks and onboarding.
Upgrading your recruitment technology is a bit like changing your engine in a car – it’s easier to do it when the car is parked – so you’ll want to take advantage of any hiring pauses or recruitment freezes to review your full-cycle recruiting process.
Implementing these tools will help you identify the most suitable candidates early on in the process and save you time on candidates who are not qualified for or committed to the role.
2. Use the right candidate selection platform
Tying in with the previous point, the right candidate selection or pre-hire assessment platform warrants a separate section in this list. Automating applicant screening will have the biggest impact on improving hiring efficiency so you need to choose the right candidate selection platform for your volume hiring needs.
Pre-employment assessment software that is tailor-made for high volume hiring, such as ThriveMap, can guide you to candidates with the right skills and characteristics regardless of their background or experience. So, rather than sifting through inappropriate applications, recruiters can concentrate on building and nurturing relationships with candidates instead.
Make sure you choose the right tool. Here are some key characteristics to watch out for:
- Can handle large volumes of applicants
- Customisable assessment experience according to role
- Allows you to set your own hiring benchmarks and scoring thresholds
- Includes realistic job scenarios and real-life tasks (proven to be more predictive than standardised tests)
- Integrates / will integrate with your ATS
Read our buyer’s guide to pre-hire assessments if you want additional help in this area of check out our 10 questions to ask before buying a candidate testing tool.
3. Communicate your Employer Value Proposition
Candidates want to know what it’s like to work at your company before they work for you. Communicating a well-crafted Employer Value Proposition (EVP) will drive up your applicant volumes.
Authenticity is critical to building trust, so we strongly recommend you communicate the realities of life in your company. That means exposing the bad as well as the good bits.
You’ll need to promote your talent brand through social channels such as Glassdoor and LinkedIn as candidates will check these out when they apply. The strongest EVPs add legitimacy by coming straight from the employees who know your company best.
Other options include:
- ‘Day in the life of’ videos – see Lemonlight
- Work simulation assessments – see ThriveMap
- Employ VR to show candidates around your office – see Spatial
- Using Instagram to show daily working life at your company
4. Measure Quality of hire
Even though you’re looking to recruit at scale, you should never compromise on the quality of hire. It’s one of the 15 recruitment metrics we recommend you keep track of.
To improve your high volume hiring process with quality of hire in mind might include:
- Implementing some valid and reliable online assessments
- Making sure you’re asking fair interview questions in structured interviews
- Keeping an eye out for transferable skills and candidate potential, not just prior experience
5. Use external recruiters and recruitment agencies
For those in-house recruiters and hiring teams who face the pressure of hiring for tens of positions each month, external recruitment support can be invaluable, especially for hard-to-fill roles.
Agencies can charge significant amounts – anywhere between 10-35% of the starting base salary. However, they offer incredible support throughout the recruitment process; from identifying and connecting with the eligible candidates, to screening and supporting your in-house resources through the selection process.
6. Create a talent network
Imagine having a talent pool of engaged, pre-qualified candidates at your disposal. Sounds attractive doesn’t it?
Each time you advertise for jobs, you get hundreds of applications from individuals who are interested in working for your company. These applicants, if not successful should be nurtured and kept on your recruitment CRM for future vacancies.
Many candidates will be inappropriate, to be cut by effective pre-screening technology, but others will be promising and might be a good fit for future vacancies.
Building an effective talent network, and nurturing it with relevant content is a great way to reduce your cost per hire.
7. Track hiring velocity
Almost 57% of applicants reported to lose interest in a job if the hiring process took too long . It’s damaging for a business, in relation to cost and talent, if they can’t get people through their doors in a timely fashion.
Knowing how long each stage of your process takes will help you see where the inefficiencies lie.
Time to hire and hiring velocity (the % of vacancies that get filled on time) are two of the key recruiter metrics you should be keeping an eye on. It’s a clear indicator of how well your hiring team is doing.
8. Keep an eye on industry trends
An undervalued way of improving your volume hiring process is to stay on top of industry trends and developments. Industry events and recruiting conferences take place all the time both in-person and virtually. Listening to peers talk about how they have improved their volume recruiting processes is critical to ensure you’re seeing evidence for any possible changes you’re looking to make.
The GDPR regulation was a classic case where being proactive paid off. Volume recruiters who were well prepared and diligent made the necessary changes to their data protocols before any damage was done.
Dedicated recruitment podcasts and webinars can be a great way to keep abreast of regulatory and technological developments in the recruitment industry.
Check out the 9 best recruiter podcasts for 2020.
9. Mitigate for hiring bias
As a volume recruiter, your goal is to find the best candidate for the job; hiring bias often scuppers that. Bias is unavoidable when large parts of your hiring process are manual or unstructured.
The best way to mitigate against hiring bias is to build a structured recruitment process that is both objective and fair. Be conscious of common cognitive biases and ensure your team is trained to avoid them.
You might think AI is the way to go here as well. But, hiring bias can quickly become systematized as AI algorithms are based on previous human decisions and will simply replicate their biases.
There are lots of ways around avoiding bias, but some of the easiest to implement include:
- Blind hiring – removing all irrelevant information about candidates
- Using pre-hire assessments to evaluate actual skills, not candidates’ background
- Base hiring decisions on data and evidence, not assumptions
- Have a consistent and transparent hiring process
- Provide interview training to all hiring managers
- Create a standard interview guide and don’t let hiring managers deviate from it 
Interested in reducing hiring bias? Read our e-book beyond gut feeling: a practical guide to fairer hiring.
There are quick wins to be had, but most of the ways to improve your volume hiring process involve fundamental changes to processes and procedures that optimise for efficiency. It’s important that this is balanced with quality of hire in order to hire effectively at scale.
Having the right technology in place is not enough. You need to be able to deliver an engaging experience for candidates and you need to have a clear strategy on how your process can be best implemented at scale.