Outmatch rebrands as Harver to Lead Digital Transformation in Volume Hiring.

High Volume Recruitment: What You Need to Know

Volume hiring - all you need to know

Industries such as contact centers, BPOs, QSRs, retail all rely on high volume recruitment to meet staffing demands. But when you’re dealing with hundreds of thousands of candidates, every recruitment challenge is bigger, more complex. 

Volume hiring is an incredibly daunting task at the best of times, even more so when you’re operating in a tight labor market. If you haven’t undergone a digital transformation of your recruitment process, now is the time to do it.

Harver is built for volume hiring. For the last six years, we’ve been enabling innovative companies around the world to transform their manual, laborious volume hiring processes into fast, efficient, engaging and informative, digital recruitment experiences.

In this article, we’ll explore what high-volume recruitment is, which industries typically hire at scale, and what the common challenges they face are. Once the basics are covered, we’ll explain why we believe organizations need to digitally transform their hiring processes, and what the four building blocks to digital transformation in volume hiring are. 

Let’s dive in. 

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What is high volume recruitment

High volume recruitment is a term that generally means filling a higher than average number of positions. Or receiving a higher than average number of applications per open role.

High volume hiring is usually done in either a short space of time, i.e. for seasonal hiring. Or continuously i.e. for QSRs which see an average annual employee turnover rate of 150%.

While there is no ‘official’ figure that constitutes high volume hiring, to put it into perspective, the average job advert for regular recruitment receives 59 applicants. When you’re volume hiring, the average job advert receives 250+ applicants. Big enterprises such as Target or Kohl’s routinely receive hundreds of thousands of applicants per year. 

When you’re hiring at scale for entry-level positions, everything is amplified. To make high-volume recruitment work for your business, you need to digitally transform your recruitment process. 

Industries that do volume hiring

  • BPO 
  • Contact centers
  • Corporate
  • Retail
  • Quick service restaurants
  • Multi location and consumer brands
  • Hospitality

Typical volume hiring challenges

Volume of applications

In volume hiring, one key challenge is the sheer volume of applications. Most organizations that rely on volume hiring are filling low complexity roles that have a very low barrier to entry. They can attract hundreds if not thousands of applications from job seekers including people entering the job market for the first time with no prior experience. People who are changing industries. People who aren’t ‘qualified’ etc. Finding good quality potential candidates among the hundreds and thousands is like finding a needle in a haystack.

Attrition

Employee turnover is an ongoing and costly problem across all industries. Most businesses chalk it up to ‘the cost of doing business’. But actually it points towards issues within the volume hiring practices of the organization. One of the main drivers of turnover is candidates not knowing what the job entails.

For many applicants of jobs with a low barrier for entry, it’s not about finding ‘the’ job, it’s about finding ‘a’ job. Misaligned expectations about the job, a lack of transparency around the role, misalignment with your company culture, a lack of shared values all cause new hires to leave the role in their first few weeks and months.

Quality of hire

When your hiring criteria don’t include performance prediction, the quality of hire will vary. For a lot of organizations keen to snap up the top talent before the competition, they’ll oftentimes sacrifice quality for quantity. Rarely does this work to their advantage. Not that most entry-level jobs require qualified candidates per se, but applicants do need to possess skills that match your key competencies. Poor quality hires negatively impact your existing workforce, decreasing morale and employee output, while also making it hard to forecast future workforce needs.  

Time to hire

For hiring managers who have to volume hire using manual processes, the amount of time wasted is criminal. Plus it results in high time to fill rates because the entire recruitment process is slowed down by screening resumes and scheduling interviews. A slow recruitment process leads to disengaged applicants, resulting in high drop-off rates. To take a competitive advantage, organizations can’t rely on slow, manual processes to hire the best candidates. 

Ability to scale

Organizations that rely on outdated recruitment processes and candidate selection have real difficulty scaling without increasing recruiter headcount. Which is both inefficient and needlessly costly. 

Process inefficiencies 

Talent acquisition teams that rely on manual processes to recruit staff could be manually sifting 250+ resumes for every open position. And if they’re constantly recruiting, it’s a never-ending task. It also means hiring decisions are based on gut feeling rather than data, which is inefficient and results in poor-quality hires. Which leads to high turnover. It’s a vicious cycle.

Hiring bias

When recruiters don’t have data to help them make fair hiring decisions, they use ‘intuition’ or their gut feeling, and we’re all prone to unconscious bias.

Poor candidate experience

Resource Solutions recently reported that 94% of candidates said the recruiting experience will impact their decision to accept a role or not. In many industries, candidates are often existing customers, and they expect to be treated as such. Therefore a poor candidate experience can result in a lost candidate and a lost customer too. Slow processes, a lack of communication about application progress, or simply a failure to market your company i.e. showcase your employer brand during the process can all result in you missing out on the right candidates. 

Decentralized hiring 

If you run a multi-location business, your store managers are probably responsible for recruitment in their own store. Each will have its own hiring process, its own selection process, and its own talent pool. This results in inconsistency in hiring across the organization, a disjointed recruitment strategy, and poor quality hires.

Staffing multiple locations

For multilocation organizations which operate decentralized hiring, they can struggle to distribute the labor force equally. Meaning some locations have too many applicants, while others can’t find enough. 

Inexperienced store managers doing recruiting

Store managers often have to recruit and select candidates while simultaneously managing the store. They’re usually inexperienced at recruiting and are hiring in isolation, without guidance from HQ. They’re trying to fill multiple low complexity jobs with entry-level applicants, all of whom are identical on paper. And they hire based on a gut feeling, usually resulting in mis-hires and increased attrition rates, which forces them to recruit more.

Data black box

There is a lack of visibility in core KPIs and no centralized data source due to fragmented data collection. 

Vacancy driven matching

Recruitment teams evaluate candidates using off-the-shelf assessments that determine their fit for one single role. They don’t do vacancy-driven matching.  

Unsuitable remote working set ups

Remote agents don’t have an appropriate setup that supports them in their remote work, meaning they can’t carry out their work effectively. 

Old ways of doing things

Industries still rely on traditional volume recruitment processes, making subjective hiring decisions. These are wildly inefficient for the organization and unfair to the candidates. 

Harver’s vision for transforming volume hiring

We believe that isolated changes won’t change the challenges organizations that rely on high-volume recruitment face. 

They need to make a sustainable change by investing in high-impact, long-term solutions that are purpose-built for volume hiring. They need to digitally transform their recruitment processes and use dedicated volume hiring technology that turns data into actionable insights. 

In order to achieve this, we’ve identified four building blocks to digital transformation in volume hiring. 

These are: 

  1. Matching technology
  2. Automation
  3. Candidate experience
  4. Business intelligence

Using these four pillars, we have enabled the digital transformation of recruitment processes for industry clients around the world:

  • We’ve helped decreased employee turnover at Sitel by 45%
  • Achieved 94% candidate satisfaction scores at McDonald’s
  • Improved process efficiency 6X for NexRep
  • Increased diversity of female hires by 44% for KPMG
  • Improved quality of hire for Booking.com
  • Decreased time to hire up to 65% for Vodafone

How did we do that? Let’s take a closer look at each pillar.

Matching technology

Using Harver, recruitment teams make data-driven, fair hiring decisions through talent matching technology and scientifically validated pre-employment assessments. 

Candidates are screened for job and culture fit via a series of engaging and educational bespoke assessments. They are then matched to their ideal roles based on their ‘fit’. I.e. for possessing the specific characteristics that predict success in your organization.

Our proprietary two-way matching technology is built precisely for this very purpose. It does the hard work for you by simultaneously ‘selling’ the role to candidates and assessing them. It gives applicants a realistic look at the organization and the role itself through a realistic job preview and/or embedded videos in the application. It allows applicants to fully evaluate the role and decide for themselves if the job meets their expectations.

Meanwhile, it screens applicants through situational judgment tests, scoring their skills and competencies. It then determines if these scores ‘match’ your requirements, before auto-progressing those candidates who do meet your specific selection criteria along the recruitment process.

Our technology takes all the applicant’s data, combines it with the applicant’s assessment scores. It then compares these scores against your benchmark and provides a matching score unique for each candidate based on their match to all your open roles. These interpreted results are presented to recruiters via a candidate profile page. Each dashboard clearly displays the candidate’s scores for the various elements, highlighting where they would be best hired.    

Matching technology helps recruiters make objective, data-driven hiring decisions. It ensures a higher quality of hire while decreasing cost to hire because recruiters hire better quality candidates who are more likely to stay. Meaning the organization recruits less frequently.

Automation

When organizations undergo a fully end-to-end digital transformation of the recruitment process, their traditional (manual) processes are replaced by automation. In fact, 90% of recruitment tasks can be automated, removing process inefficiencies. The only stages in your recruitment funnel that require human input are the interviews themselves (if you need to ‘meet’ candidates) and the hiring decision. 

From sourcing to applying, screening to assessment, interview scheduling to onboarding, every stage can be automated with the right technology. Automation speeds up your workflow resulting in fewer lost candidates, decreased hiring costs, and frees up recruiters from manual tasks.

Applicants are auto-progressed along your funnel as they meet predetermined criteria. However only candidates who meet your requirements will make it to the final point. How much automation your process requires depends on your requirements.  

Experience

Even at scale, and for entry-level roles, the application process has to be personal and friendly for both candidates and recruiters. The application experience needs to be engaging, informative, and transparent. 

By using recruitment technology, all candidates receive an educational and engaging experience from the first interaction helping reduce early employee attrition. Being transparent about the realities of the role through realistic job previews and showcasing critical incidents, both educates applicants (even at scale) and puts the power in their hands to decide if the role is right for them. 

For recruiters, Harver makes their life easier. It relieves them of tedious, manual tasks, freeing them up to focus on high-impact activities. It gives them, in real-time, unbiased results showing which candidates fit their role based on the assessment results and when the candidate is available to come in for an interview.

With an optimized process that uses two-way matching technology and automation, you can hire applicants, fairly, within 24 hours. This expedited process not only benefits the organization, increasing your employer value proposition. But it benefits candidates too, providing them with job security, much faster.  

Business intelligence (BI)

The final pillar of our digital transformation framework is business intelligence (BI). In volume hiring, you generate a large volume of data. To make the most of it, you need a way to extract actionable insights. Harver collects and analyzes all of this data in a centralized single source of truth, allowing you to manage volume recruitment in a much more structured way. 

Our platform offers real-time data through a series of dashboards. Each provides analyzed insights such as Matching insights, Hiring insights, Sourcing insights, you can even track DEI metrics. We offer a fully customizable BI solution (powered by Google’s Looker), to give you the complete picture of your recruitment process. You get actionable insights that allow you to continuously tweak your hiring practices to ensure they remain efficient, fair, and bias-free. 

Next steps

As every industry faces an uncertain future, adopting a digital-first recruitment strategy is key to navigating your way through. 

While it might seem like delivering high-volume recruitment is a big challenge, it’s doable. By undergoing a digital transformation of your recruitment process you’ll switch from legacy manual processes to a reliance on automation and technology. You will hire faster, better candidates, bias-free.

Harver is built for volume hiring. We work with companies across industries and geographies to help address the challenges of recruiting at scale. To find out how we can help you, request a demo below.

Alexandra

Alexandra

Alexandra Johnson is a seasoned writer specializing in HR, recruitment and tech topics. When she isn’t at her desk writing, she’s researching tech developments.
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