What does high volume recruitment mean?
Monika Nemcova, the Editor-in-Chief at AIHR, sums up the dual meaning of the term simply and effectively -
“High volume recruiting is always a challenge. You either need to hire a lot of great people in a short space of time, or you have a large number of applicants or both. As a benchmark, the average job advert receives 59 applicants, whereas a high volume recruiting position receives over 250 applicants.”
During the past turbulent year you might have experienced extremes in recruitment due to –
- the number of job vacancies going down.
- the number of applications going up.
= on average 70% more applications per role.
In the retail sector you might have experienced extreme high volume recruitment in both of the areas Monika Nemcova mentions –
- Needing to hire a high number of people within a limited time frame.
- Attracting a high number of applications per job vacancy.
The supermarkets are a prime example of exceptionally high volume recruitment. They faced an unprecedented demand for home delivery services when lockdowns started back in March 2020. So, they needed to recruit additional in-house personnel and delivery drivers quickly in order to supply to customer demand.
The reality for recruitment teams was that a part-time Sales Assistant vacancy could attract up to 5,000 applications.
Hospitality businesses are in a similar position. Many have retained only a skeleton staff or no staff at all during the past year. They need to recruit new staff quickly and efficiently ahead of the easing of lockdown and social distancing restrictions allowing them to partially – and eventually fully – re-open their doors.
The first aim of this article is to pull together the most common challenges presented by high volume recruitment.
Secondly, we’re going to consider the key solutions a leading Applicant Tracking System provides to recruitment teams facing these challenges. Solutions that aren’t just about battling through what every day throws at you, but put you in complete control of the process and outcomes.
Most Common Challenges of Efficient High Volume Recruitment
The word ‘efficient’ doesn’t have to feel like a juxtaposition when it precedes ‘high volume recruitment’. But it’s likely to if you’re firefighting your way through high volume recruitment with manual systems that aren’t up to the challenges of -
1) Massive increase in the volume of applications
Just the thought of coping with the enormous volume of applications recruiters are receiving per vacancy can be daunting. In a manual non-automated situation it can impossible to navigate.
2) Stretched internal resources
Make a quick mental list of the actions needed around every touchpoint of your recruitment process.
Yes, it adds up to an incredible amount of admin for you and your team.
And it doesn’t bode well for your chances of managing your candidates and your stakeholders successfully if you’re doing your best to keep up, too bogged down to be proactive.
3) Difficulty of managing walk-in applications
The high volume hospitality and retail sectors have always received walk-in applications from potential candidates walking through the doors in person. These are likely to be highly engaged applicants because they’ve taken the time and trouble to try to get in front of a Manager face to face.
But what happens to their CV’s if they’re left with a Bar Tender behind a bar or a Sales Assistant behind a check-out area during a busy shift?
In addition, how do you get these hard copy CV’s in to your system if you don’t use QR codes to automatically send applicants to your careers site?
4) Time-consuming CV sifting and telephone screening
Sifting out the CVs of candidates worth an initial telephone call can be tricky and time consuming when many candidates look suitable on paper.
On top of the sifting, there’s then the arranging of the calls and actually carrying out the screening calls to decide which candidates to progress to interview stage. This is a lot of emailing and telephone time to spend at the initial screening stage.
5) Sheer volume of assessments and interviews
So, you’ve found those needles in the haystack during the screening stage. Now there’s new admin to add to the mix in the shape of arranging assessments and interviews with candidates and the relevant stakeholders internally.
You should also notify rejected candidates that their applications have been unsuccessful at this stage of the process.
6) Potentially negative impact on the candidate experience
If this is sounding all too familiar then you’re already aware how difficult it is to give candidates an excellent experience and a great representation of your business.
High volume recruitment can be trying under normal pre-Covid conditions. When those conditions reach the current extremes your recruitment process is at risk of becoming slower and more laborious to the detriment of your candidates and your employer reputation.
7) Administrative burden in the absence of automated processes
Like we’ve demonstrated in the above points a lack of automation in recruitment is challenging under any circumstances.
In the case of high volume recruitment, it’s practically impossible to tackle the flows of candidate and stakeholder communications with efficiency and speed on a manual basis.
The Key Solutions Provided By A Quality Applicant Tracking System
Workflow engines are pieces of software that help users manage complex multi-layered processes. They’re designed to arrange and monitor the implementation of the right actions at the right times.
Why are we mentioning this?
Because the workflow engines of a premium Applicant Tracking System enable you to take control and automate the recruitment process to suit your specific needs.
The goal of an Applicant Tracking System is for it to take on as many tasks as possible so you can get on with more important things than admin.
It also allows you to customise your application process on a role- by-role basis, depending on the nature and seniority level of your job ads.
These combined attributes are priceless in high volume recruitment situations.
Here’s a few significant examples of how an exceptional Applicant Tracking System can accelerate and streamline difficult-to- manage touch points when you’re dealing in high volume -
Initial screening or killer questions
The Vacancy Filler Applicant Tracking System comes with a toolbox that helps you design questionnaires generically or individually, depending on the roles you’re recruiting for.
The great thing with killer questions is that they only allows for one correct answer that’s usually critical to the role. So, if the applicant answers incorrectly they are rejected from the process and can’t continue further.
For example, for an HGV Driver role a killer question might be “Do you have an HGV license?” with the answers “Yes” or “No”.
SJT’s (situational judgement tests) or values-based assessments
Your toolbox also helps with SJT’s and values-based questions that follow on after killer questions. These questions usually help determine the cultural or job specific fit of candidates, automatically shortening your shortlist to those you’re most likely to hire.
You might choose to pre-select SJT’s and values-based questions about –
- Working with colleagues.
- Fast-paced environments.
- Taking direction.
- Dealing with difficult situations.
- Time and workload management.
- Why the candidate is particularly interested in your company.
You can completely attune this part of the process by including as many multiple-choice questions as you like. The 'weight’ or score you assign to each question (and answer) will determine whether or not candidates are moved on to the next stage.
Great Applicant Tracking Systems give you the flexibility to change the pass rate during the hiring process, depending on the quality and number of candidates passing or failing the tests.
At Vacancy Filler, we’ve had a giant uptake of video screening during the past year since recruitment has gone completely remote. (It’s included FOR FREE.)
Effortless one-way interviewing is a great way of seeing your candidates in action for the first time, getting a feel for their personality and gaining competency-based insights.
It’s your call to configure the number of questions put to your candidates. And even the number of attempts they get at delivering their answers.
Your Applicant Tracking System can automatically invite candidates for video screening after they’ve been progressed past SJT’s and any other assessments.
The beauty of this is that you can watch their video screenings at a time that suits you, after your Applicant Tracking System has already done all the hard work for you.
Psychometric and skills-based assessments
We’ve described above how your Applicant Tracking System can be configured to automatically invite relevant candidates from one stage of the process to the next.
This also applies with psychometric and skills-based assessments after candidates have matched your minimum criteria questions, SJT’s and CV or application form parsing.
Strict psychometric assessments and skills-based assessments can be built in to your Applicant Tracking System if your sector demands intensive screening for public safety reasons. Third parties or assessment centres can also be integrated.
Self-service interview booking
Offering self-service interview booking to your shortlisted candidates looks contemporary, slick and efficient. Especially when it’s followed by the automatic issuing of emails and text confirmations and reminders.
It’s great for your employer branding. It’s incredibly time saving, too.
Integrated third party applications, e.g. assessments, compliance, HRIS
A premium Applicant Tracking System can integrate with your existing HR system if you have one. This integration facilitates seamless transfer of data between your Applicant Tracking System and your payroll and/or other HR modules.
The same goes for right to work and DBS checking. Vacancy Filler’s partnership with Experian, for example, makes your life even easier. You can request information directly from your Applicant Tracking System, and it’s fed directly back in to your Applicant Tracking system.
The need for old school emailing and chasing up is removed. That’s really not what you want to be wasting your time on with high volume recruitment.
At Vacancy Filler, we have a broad audience in terms of client sectors. This audience includes high street names who deal with high volume recruitment regularly.
If you’re struggling with high volume recruitment, we’ll be delighted to tailor a presentation to showcase the potential benefits of our market leading Applicant Tracking System to your business and your sector.
It’s our goal that Vacancy Filler’s Applicant Tracking System becomes your recruitment business partner, not just your recruitment administrator.