Anyone who’s responsible for high volume recruiting knows how complicated it can be. There are high volume recruiting do’s and don’ts, various different metrics you need to benchmark and monitor, and applicants to screen/interview/pass along to hiring managers/review next steps/disposition (are you dizzy yet?)
And, of course, there are best practice recommendations to follow. With so many tips and tricks, we wanted to bring it back to the basics of what makes for a great recruitment strategy focused on driving applicant volume.
In this blog post, we’re breaking down six high volume recruiting best practices you can implement at your organization today to start driving the quantity, and quality, of applicants you need.
High Volume Recruiting Best Practices
#1. Refine Your Employer Brand
We know, we know. When you need candidates (and a lot of them) thinking about your employer brand might be the last thing on your mind. But the reality is, without a strong and enticing employer brand, you’re always going to struggle to achieve the hiring volume you’re looking for.
Think about it from the candidate’s perspective: during their job search, they come across similar open positions with the same pay and benefits at two different companies. Company A’s website shows their organization’s values, photos and videos of current employees, and gives them a taste of the team’s culture. Company B, on the other hand, has a relatively mechanic website – it houses their open roles, maybe an “About Us” section, and little else about the brand.
Which company would you apply to?
Investing in your employer brand takes time, but you’ll feel the payoff of your efforts directly on your recruitment pipeline. The stronger your employer brand, the more likely you are to become a household name with the ideal candidates you’re looking for.
#2. Define Your Ideal Candidates
Speaking of candidates, a key high volume recruiting best practice is to have a clearly defined picture of the candidate(s) you’re looking for. While driving applicant quantity is a major goal, that quantity means little for the success of your hiring efforts if it isn’t the right quality.
Before you kick off your recruiting efforts, make sure you and your fellow recruiters are on the same page as the hiring managers you work with. Sit down with them, and map out the ideal candidate for their role, or roles, in terms of years of experience, any certifications or special skills needed, and any other must-haves.
Having this candidate persona will enable you to implement a more efficient process for screening applications you receive, and help ensure that you only pass along quality candidates to the next round of interviews.
Plus, knowing your ideal candidates gives you the added advantage of executing a target recruitment strategy, where you can get hyper-specific based on skill set, years of experience, location, and other information that can then be applied to your recruitment advertising.
#3. Engage Your Talent Pool
If you’re an organization always looking to fill open roles, it’s likely you have a repository of past candidates in either your ATS or CRM who have applied to one of your jobs but for one reason or another were not hired.
It’s important that you don’t count these candidates out. After all, at some point in the past, they were interested enough in working for your business that they submitted an application.
When it comes to past candidates, it’s important to keep them “warm” to your company via something like a careers newsletter. By sharing your new open roles with candidates who have already applied to your organization, you keep the door to employment open. If someone was turned down because of lack of experience, but has since been working in your field and getting the experience they needed, they might be persuaded to throw their hat back in the ring and re-apply to your company.
#4. Create a Scalable Screening Process
WIth high volume recruiting, having a large number of candidates to screen is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, it means you’re generating a lot of applicants, and that means you have an extensive talent pool to pull from to meet your hiring needs. On the other hand, it also means you now have to take the time to screen all of those applicants and make sure they’re actually qualified for the job.
When it comes to screening, lean on technology (as much as you can) to help you streamline your processes. If you know you only want candidates with a specific skill or training, tailor your resume filtering to only pull applications that mention the skill or name of training.
Image via Hundred5
Of course, you’ll want to go through and spot check resumes to avoid false pulls or rejections, and take notice of any resume keyword stuffing. But by leaning on reliable technology, you can help streamline your screening processes, allowing you to spend less time skimming resumes and more time focusing on reaching out to candidates for next steps.
#5. Make the Apply Process Seamless
To increase your applicant volume and encourage people to submit applications, you want to make sure your apply process is as seamless as it can be. At the end of the day, optimizing the candidate experience should be at the forefront of your recruiting strategy.
One of the most frustrating things that can happen to an applicant is being asked to fill in their basic information, upload their resume, and then have to go through pages and pages of an application to manually input all of their work history, skills and achievements, and references. For employers, this apply process has its advantages: you can “weed out” the candidates who aren’t committed enough to complete the length application, and have all the necessary fields filled in to help you in your screening process later on.
This theory, however, is flawed. It’s the quality candidates – with ample experience and opportunity – who will look at a lengthy apply process and realize that it’s not worth their time.
In high volume recruiting especially, this apply process spells disaster. The higher the friction, the less applications you’re going to receive
Our research has found that the optimal application time is five minutes or less.
By keeping your application short and sweet, you can increase applicant flow by over 300%. Those numbers don’t lie: a short application can lead to a dramatic reduction to your overall cost-per-application, and the reduce the need to spend more on job postings.
So, keep it to the basics, and avoid causing friction that could drive candidates away.
#6. Keep an Eye on Your Traffic Sources
Job boards, niche industry sites, your own Careers sites, employee referrals…oh my! Today, there are more avenues than ever for generating applicant volume.
In high volume recruiting, it’s advantageous for recruiters to separate their free vs. paid sources of candidate traffic. Why?
By doing so, you’ll be able to gain a more accurate picture of what’s driving that volume. If you have a strong employer brand or are gaining a lot of employee referrals, that volume could inform your job advertising strategy and allow you to save or reallocate some of your budget. Conversely, if you’re blowing through your budget but generating all of your traffic from advertising, it could be a sign that your employer brand needs work and that employees need a better incentive to send you referrals.
This also applies to the job boards and job sites you post your jobs to, especially if you’re sponsoring jobs. Pay attention to where your candidates are coming from (as well as the quality of those candidates) and re-evaluate your posting partners every quarter. That way, you can swap out the players who aren’t adding value, and double-down on ones that are.
By implementing some of these high volume recruiting best practices, you’ll be better positioned to generate more quality applicants for your open roles, diversify your candidate acquisition sources, and have top-notch processes for engaging quality candidates.
To help you face the high volume recruiting mountain in 2019 head-on, and gain expert tips for scaling your strategy to meet your business goals and get the headcount you need, we teamed up with ERE for a webinar. Get the recording of the webinar Facing the Mountain – High Volume Recruiting in 2019 today!