After months of business meetings and tough negotiations, your company finally wins a new contract, and the executives pat themselves on the back for a job well done. Down the hall, HR department employees swallow hard and prepare to buckle down for late nights and long weekends, pouring over resumés and conducting interviews. Volume hiring can be a daunting undertaking for in-house recruiters who have never faced the challenge of hiring hundreds of employees in a short period of time.
Because many of those that embark on this journey are new to volume recruiting, they are susceptible to the same obstacles that have plagued others. Knowing how to navigate these choppy waters successfully is a skill that can be taught. However, many companies choose to defer to expert volume recruiters who know from years of experience how to avoid the common volume recruiting pitfalls.
1. Poor Applicant Experience
Due to the time constraints surrounding most volume hiring, it is not realistic to expect that a person will read each application and resumé. Instead, some tasks can and should be automated. Streamlining assessments, application screening, and scheduling are common adaptations that can save hours of work.
However, these changes to the screening process influence the applicant experience. Interacting with an ATS does little to give applicants a feel for the company atmosphere or culture. Instead, interactions are cold and impersonal. Incorporating elements of human interaction, where feasible, make the experience more inviting. Likewise, a haphazard process fraught with problems and lacking feedback leaves applicants questioning their value to the corporation. Keeping the process orderly and organized speaks volumes about day-to-day operating procedures.
Even if you don’t decide to hire a candidate, they will remember the experience they had applying to and interviewing with your company. A negative experience can affect the company’s image and impact employee referrals in the future.
2. Vague Job Descriptions
The cascade of events that leads to the need for volume hiring is different in every case. The opening of a new location, expanding into a new market, or winning a new contract can suddenly increase the number of employees needed to meet company obligations. The open positions may mirror existing ones, or they may be entirely unique. Finding the best candidates to fill each position requires an accurate understanding of the responsibilities inherent in each position and the skills required to perform these functions.
In the case of opening a new store location, you may be able to pattern the organizational structure, job duties, and descriptions off of the existing ones. However, a domestic company expanding into an international market will need to create positions that have never existed before to perform tasks yet to be defined. Defining the core duties of individuals in these positions and identifying the skillset necessary will guide the recruitment process, determining the fields included in applications, the questions used in interviews, and required assessments.
3. Unattractive Opportunities
The most common reasons individuals choose to apply to one job and pass on the next boil down to a few factors.
- How much does the job pay?
- What will I be doing in the position?
- Who will I be working for?
While there is a limit to the amount that you can reasonably pay an employee to perform tasks at each level of your organization, your company image, reputation, and culture are within your control to establish and maintain. Drawing in the top talent for any position depends greatly on what you, as an employer, are able to offer applicants. Do you have a reputation for providing advancement opportunities, competitive compensation, and flexibility where needed? Applicants are more likely to seek out companies that offer a more desirable work environment, reducing your need to search for qualified individuals.
Applicants may also gloss over your job listing if it appears too restrictive or presents unrealistic expectations. You may prefer candidates with five years of work experience. However, limiting your applicant pool to those that meet this magic number may eliminate very promising up-and-coming talent. Your job listing should solicit applicants with necessary skills but leave wiggle room to accommodate bright individuals ready to learn how to operate in a new position.
4. Unqualified Leadership
Managers play a key role in volume hiring. Special care should be given to choosing individuals with leadership qualities. With a plethora of new employees to learn how the business operates, managers set the tone for company culture through their interactions and communication with others.
While many companies like to promote managers from within the organization, volume hiring necessitates reaching outside. Candidates working in related fields can bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table and may require little training, allowing them to focus on assisting other employees in fitting into their respective roles.
In addition to industry knowledge, candidates for leadership roles should be interviewed and screened for leadership qualities. Leadership assessment tools can assist in the process of narrowing the field to your top applicants.
5. Personal Bias
As human beings, we have a natural tendency to gravitate towards other individuals similar to ourselves. This behavior helps us discover friends, confidants, and partners who enjoy the same activities, foods, and television shows we do. It can be challenging to abandon this inclination when hiring employees. We may feel connected with an applicant who attended the same university we did, worked at the same company, or comes from the same cultural background.
Trending towards similarity, however, can cloud our judgment when determining the qualifications of a potential hire. Standardizing the interviews and applications can help streamline the process and remove our own personal bias. It may reveal possibilities we did not consider previously.
Volume hiring offers recruiters a unique opportunity to experience their hiring process on a much grander scale. The sheer number of positions to fill and applications to review is likely to overwhelm in-house staff and illuminate existing hiring bottlenecks. Partnering with a recruitment firm such as PrincePerelson in Utah County can remove some of these roadblocks and lead to successful volume hiring.