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High Volume Recruiting - don't be afraid of the mammoth task!

06/05/2022 2022/04

The idea of generating a very high number of applications in times of a shortage of skilled workers and the VUCA world seems as difficult to impossible as climbing Mount Everest. And then there is the screening and qualification process to identify the right talent, the management of all applications, the conducting of interviews, the final applicant selection and the rejection management… This workload comes simultaneously to the HR department and overtaxes the capacities of the HR managers. In the end, the time-to-hire, the quality of the staffing and finally the perception of the candidate journey of your target group suffers. In summary, the challenge is to turn high-volume recruiting into success!

What does the term High Volume Recruiting mean?

In the past, it was simply referred to as mass hiring, but today we often come across the terms high volume recruiting, high-volume hiring, mass recruiting and mass hiring. Behind these terms, we always find the same thing: the recruitment of a very large number of employees in a short period of time. The definition of what a lot really means is always in the eye of the beholder. For start-ups, this can be the hiring of 20 employees; for a corporation, high-volume recruiting may only begin with 500 hires in 3 months.

In addition to this subjective feeling and assessment, there is a frequently encountered “official definition” of the number of positions to be filled at which High Volume Recruiting begins: In theory, when the volume of jobs to be filled is between 100 and 1,000, this is referred to as high-volume recruiting.

The reasons for high-volume recruiting are manifold: it can be an expansion abroad, a new production facility in Germany, the expansion of manufacturing capacities and much more. Above a certain company size, it is also simply a case of positive normal company growth, which is reflected in triple-digit personnel requirements. Identical, however, is always the feeling that overcomes many HR managers when faced with this mammoth task: the fear of a huge mountain of work that cannot be managed with current personnel resources. 

What are the challenges of high-volume recruiting?

Recruiting so many new employees brings a number of challenges that must be overcome. The two biggest challenges are the lack of internal HR resources and the lack of time to build adequate processes. Our VUCA world (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambivalence) has a negative impact on willingness to change. And the demographically driven skills shortage (which is slowly becoming a labor shortage as well), is also increasing the already significant challenge of mass hiring.

STEM jobs, for example, are almost exclusively filled via active sourcing on social media. To be successful as an Active Sourcer, you need time to build the right networks to use this recruitment method effectively. The problem intensifies when the skill set being sought must be searched for and found not once, but 30 times, as is the case in mass recruiting. The subsequent process steps in recruiting are also increased by a high number of sought-after employees - and this progressively. The screening of incoming applications, applicant management and countless interviews add up and present companies with a Herculean task, both in terms of time and nerves. 

Success factors in high-volume recruiting 

In order to cope with a mammoth task such as filling several hundred positions per year, outsourcing this task to an HR agency specializing in high-volume recruitment makes sense. Also, from a business perspective. If you work with an HR or recruiting agency, you should check in advance whether the recruiters have the right networks in your professional fields. A look at their profiles in LinkedIn and Xing is worthwhile here. In addition, the question of references in high-volume recruiting arises because only a few players in the market can scale the filling of a few positions to several hundred positions per year. Furthermore, the question of the number of recruiters at your HR service provider is appropriate. Because a large recruiter team shortens your time-to-hire! A big advantage in collaboration is the use of highly automated and AI-powered systems. Some HR agencies work with these costly tools, which are indispensable in high-volume recruiting.

The start of a High Volume Recruiting project

The cornerstone for a successful recruiting effort is an initial briefing between the hiring company and the external HR agency. 

When discussing the briefing, both partners often discover a lot of potential for optimization. Expectations can also be clarified, as every company is different. Of course, experience, and market knowledge help here. A well-developed understanding of the organization and its culture is therefore important. This is the only way to find the right cultural fit in applicants. As this is the best way to ensure long-term success.

Do the current job profiles fit? What benefits do we offer? Who needs to be involved in the hiring process internally? Are there standard contracts that can be used? Are there any special features that need to be taken into account? These are just a few questions that should be asked here. Take your time, especially in this project phase. After all, mistakes made once will be perpetuated, for example, in a large number of search queries. Precise communication and a perfect briefing are therefore the be-all and end-all for your project. After all, neither party wants to waste their resources. Therefore, the more precise the announcements, the faster success can be achieved and that in the long run.

What resources, tools and recruitment activities will be used?

A specialized HR agency will provide you with a whole team of high-volume recruiters. The first step is SEO optimization of the job ad. Ideally, the job ad will attractively reflect your employer brand. Good HR service providers revise the job ads before publication according to SEO criteria (SEO optimization) so that there is already good findability in Google search. Often agencies also have well-maintained talent pools with several thousand resumes that are matched with the job profiles. Matching takes place in a professional agency with AI support. And, of course, modern personnel marketing measures are used. For example, landing pages are created for a positive candidate journey, target group-relevant job publication channels are selected, and ads are placed in appropriate social media channels. GoogleAds and programmatic advertising also play an important role here. Active sourcing is used for profiles that are particularly difficult to fill. Occasionally an entire team can also be recruited as part of the direct approach. The main advantage here is that this team is already well attuned to each other.

After finding suitable talent, the focus is on applicant management tasks. A professional HR agency can work in your own applicant management system or in your BMS. To increase the degree of business process outsourcing and thus reduce the time demands on HR managers in your company, some HR agencies also offer to conduct interviews in your company.

The high-volume recruiting measures described above should be tracked on an ongoing basis to ensure that success is monitored in a timely manner. And for the numbers-driven management, you should define success metrics for a closing report in advance. The term final report triggers the thought that you have now mastered your mammoth task. According to the motto 'after the task is before the task', a new challenge follows: the onboarding of several hundred new employees. The onboarding process is one of the essential points of successful recruiting. Without it, the effort is rarely crowned with long-term success. But this is the topic of another blog article.

About the Author
Aileen Kreibich
General Manager of ARTS Experts GmbH

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