Challenges in high volume hiring

High volume hiring is when a company is seeking to hire multiple new people for multiple roles, typically within a short timespan. Due to the time constraint and amount of roles that need to be filled, this can be a stressful process for recruiters and HR teams. These roles typically also receive significantly more applications than the average. To illustrate, the average job opening receives 59 applicants; contrastingly, a high volume recruiting position typically receives over 250 applicants. With their resources stretched thin, employers are often unable to offer a positive candidate experience during high volume hiring. However, with the right tools and strategies, employers can maintain a positive candidate experience even when dealing with a high volume of applicants. 

Why invest in a positive candidate experience?

Candidate experience directly impacts an organization’s employer brand and even affects their profitability and candidate pool in the long term (download our free whitepaper to learn more about candidate experience and profitability). A recent survey by the Talent Board revealed that 61% of candidates who had a positive experience applying with a company would actively recommend that others apply there as well. Further, nearly 1/3 of those who had a negative experience would actively discourage others from applying. 50% of applicants who had a positive experience reported that they would share this experience with others, while 32% of those who had a negative experience would share theirs with their networks. This word of mouth is largely what informs a company’s reputation and employer brand. Both of these elements are significant considerations for candidates as they assess opportunities in the job market. In a survey by Deloitte, 83% of respondents stated that a negative interview experience would cause them to reconsider their interest in an employer. Accordingly, a positive candidate experience yielding positive word of mouth and a great reputation is key for attracting top talent. 

Candidate pain points

When applying to a high volume role, candidates can feel like a needle in a haystack. It is all the more difficult for candidates to feel motivated and engaged when their resumé is just one of hundreds, if not thousands, received by a company. If employers do not actively work to maintain a positive candidate experience in high volume hiring, this results in negative consequences. 

  • Candidates feel forgotten: often, candidates are ghosted or insufficiently followed up with, leaving them with a poor impression of the employer for making them feel unimportant.
  • Employers overlook some applications: due to time and resource constraints, HR employees and recruiters are not always able to view every application. This makes the job search feel highly impersonal to candidates.
  • Lack of feedback: time and resource constraints also leave hiring managers with limited or no time to provide applicants with feedback. 94% of professionals want to receive feedback explaining why they were rejected. This is especially true for those who make it into the later stages of the hiring process but are not given the role. The more a candidate invests into a role, the greater their desire for feedback. 
high volume hiring

Best practices

Despite the unique challenges in high volume hiring, maintaining a positive candidate experience is still possible. Managing candidates’ expectations and respecting their time generally leads to positive word of mouth and bolsters the employer brand.

Be transparent about job requirements

Across the board, candidates appreciate transparency. For this reason, detailed and accurate job descriptions are absolutely essential. Clearly communicating all of the requirements of a job ensures that candidates will understand the employer’s expectations and are able to highlight their most relevant skills and experiences to boost their chances of getting the job. According to JazzHR, these are the questions that companies should answer before creating a job advert. 

Communicate consistently

If candidates are expected to stick to application deadlines, employers should also keep timing in mind. 55% of candidates lose interest in a position if the organization does not follow up with them on their application status within two weeks. Setting out a clear timeline from the outset helps to manage candidates’ expectations and keeps them in the loop and engaged with the application process. For example, after an applicant sends in their resumé, an employer can reach out to them (for high volume hiring especially, this step can be automated) to let them know when they will hear back. It is also beneficial to provide candidates with a contact that they can follow up with should they have any questions about their application. 

Automate some tasks

When dealing with high volume hiring, employers are understandably very busy and can become overwhelmed by the sheer amount of applications that they receive. In order to free up some of their time, certain processes such as candidate screening, sourcing, interview scheduling, and other administrative tasks can be automated. Applicant Tracking Systems, AI tools, and chatbots alleviate a lot of work for hiring managers.   

Maintain a personalized element

Many candidates feel that the job process has become impersonal. In high volume hiring, there is some truth to this. When there are limited positions and hundreds of applications, hiring managers must be decisive and many applicants are inevitably eliminated. Communicating about company culture, investing in tools that keep the human element in the recruitment process, and giving candidates feedback where possible (especially if they make it to the interview round) maintains a personal touch in hiring. This is conducive to a positive candidate experience.

Final takeaways

Maintaining a positive candidate experience in high volume hiring is uniquely challenging. It is difficult to fulfill candidates’ expectations and wishes, such as receiving feedback, when dealing with hundreds of applications. Candidates do not want to be left in the dark, be it about their application status, the detailed requirements of the position, or the hiring timeline. By employing best practices to keep candidates in the loop and respecting their time and efforts, organizations maintain a positive candidate experience which reflects back on their employer brand.

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