Are You Curious About High-Volume Hiring?

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Have you been wondering how to solve your challenges with quality of hire in your high volume hiring landscape? Unemployment is at a low, and it’s time to take action to ensure you hire the right people.

The landscape around high-volume hiring

Look at the lines representative of “unemployment” and “jobs added” in America from 2008 to 2017:

2009 wasn’t a great time for companies, as they were immediately post-recession and laying people off like crazy, hence the 9.9% unemployment rate. Only about 129,000 jobs were added on average per month. You could argue that’s a good time for recruiters, though: while their companies might be in a hiring freeze, there’s still a huge amount of available talent on the market — at least 1 in 10 people, and more not represented in these stats (i.e. people who had dropped of the workforce previously and aren’t classified as unemployed, or people looking to depart a place where everything is in a financial panic).

The picture now is even more pronounced than the end of this graph. The unemployment rate was about 3.8% in February 2019, although hiring did slow to only about 20,000 new jobs added.

Still, though: wherever you look or read, it’s clearly a tight job market. So what happens if you need to hire significantly more than one person? How do you hire for high-volume in a tight market?

The three crucial initial steps

To successfully hire in high-volume while in a tight market, you need to focus on three key concepts first:

  • Setting the overall strategy
  • Putting resources towards the strategy
  • Understanding how to make it seem less daunting

Let’s take these one-by-one.

Setting the overall strategy

This involves asking different questions, notably:

  • What season will you be needing the high volume of hires?
  • What happened the last time you tried to hire high-volume?
  • What were the successes?
  • What were the failures?
  • How far out from the necessary date did you begin?
  • Who was competing with you for hires then?
  • Is there anyone new or out of that market now?
  • What tech partners did you use?
  • What processes did you use?
  • What events did you host?
  • How close to or above your goal did you land?
  • What’s been the retention rate of those hires?

Essentially, setting the overall strategy begins with a post-mortem based off these questions. You should be looking at the pros/cons of the last time you did this, the competition then, and your tech and processes then.

Now you want to:

  • Eliminate what didn’t work
  • Embrace what did work
  • Make sure the competitive landscape seems similar
  • Audit your tech
  • Audit your processes

Now you’re getting closer to sitting down and looking at strategy. If you need high-volume during a holiday season, you should be doing all this now, so that you’re ready to start actually hiring people in late summer/early fall.

The first major piece of strategy will be a set of numbers: How many people do you need, and by what date do they need to be onboarded?

Now look at your internal capacity

Start with this: last year, with X-amount of recruiters, we did Y-amount of high-volume hires. Now look at what you need this year and how many recruiters you have. Bring in your team and ask how overwhelmed they felt last year. If those answers are largely yes, then you need to bring in new recruiters, either part-time or 1099. Or … you could get smarter about the tech partnership side.

Make it less daunting

Sometimes we confuse “busy” with “productive” or “execution” with “strategy.” At this present stage of its evolution, HR technology and recruiting technology is best suited to resolve issues around high-volume routine tasks.

A machine should not replace speaking to a candidate or getting context on their career and ups/downs, for example. (Not yet, at least.) But can a tech program help with screening and sourcing? Absolutely it can. For example, resume screening using artificial intelligence is very much a logical strategic decision. It can reduce recruiter time on resumes, which can free up your existing recruiters — or mean you don’t have to hire any contingent recruiters for high-volume season.

The plan, again

  • Post-mortem what you know
  • Decide on what you need and by when
  • Decide how tech and possibly an amount of new recruiters can help you therein
  • Get going

Next up: how to manage high-volume events and interviews as well!