High volume recruitment has always been challenging. It can be a daunting process, and in the age of the great resignation, in a candidate-driven market, HR leaders and recruiters must navigate this tighter labour market with the right strategies if they want to successfully attract, hire, and retain the best talent.

With many organisations looking to expand as we emerge from the global pandemic, they are finding that strategies that have worked in the past are now out-dated. Digital transformation is now at the forefront of successful talent acquisition, with high volume hiring now dependent on being able to automate processes and leverage data to optimise that hiring pipeline.

There are many businesses that are struggling to prioritise candidate experience, with lengthy application processes and high recruitment costs reducing their ability to fill open positions efficiently. These issues make high volume recruiting even more difficult.

In this piece, we will be covering the problems with high volume recruitment as well as providing strategies for talent acquisition teams to overcome these challenges.

What is High Volume Recruitment?

High volume recruiting, also known as high volume hiring, or mass hiring, refers to the process of hiring numerous new employees for your organisation within a short time. While it differs from a typical recruitment process, there are some similarities – particularly in how it benefits from automation, analytics, and the use of an Applicant Tracking System.

Generally, high volume recruiting stands apart from traditional recruitment – it is not especially common for organisations to hire dozens of new employees every month – it is necessary in numerous situations, dependent on a businesses size and objectives.

Typically, high volume recruitment takes place when:

  • Companies go through periods of restructuring owing to significant turnover
  • An industry experiences sudden growth
  • Organisations embark on expansion following increased investment
  • Organisations open new branches or offices in new locations
  • Seasonal demand requires an influx of temporary staff

High volume hiring can happen across any sector, although can be more common for businesses in retail or hospitality.

The Problems with High Volume Recruitment

Too Many Applicants

With high volume hiring, businesses often receive many more applicants than during a normal recruitment process, with some estimates even suggesting organisations can receive as much as 5 times more applicants for an open position. For talent acquisition teams, timelines and resources are often equally tight, and the amount of time required to screen and shortlist candidates can make the hiring process unwieldly.

Inefficient Time to Hire

The weight of applicants is just one of many reasons that time to hire can be severely impacted by a high volume of recruitment. Bottlenecks in screening and shortlisting stretch out the time it takes to schedule interviews. For candidates looking for a role, this slow pace of the application process can lead to them becoming disengaged in the process, or worse, finding and accepting another role while waiting for you to get back to them. These high drop-off rates in candidates then require the process to start from the beginning, again inflating the time-to-hire for each individual role.

Organisations freed from slow, manual processes then have a clear competitive advantage when it comes to attracting top talent.

Impacted Candidate Experience

Another problem that comes from processing a high volume of applications is that it can inevitably impact candidate experience, another factor that can contribute to high rates of drop off among your applicants.

Having to assess potentially hundreds of applicants means that some are going to slip through the net. Or be left waiting for weeks for a response or any kind of update from their potential employers. That silence – and a general lack of outreach – can lead to a sour experience for candidates who need to find work often just as quickly as employers need to fill positions.

This is another clear example of why digital transformation is necessary to drive high volume recruitment – without software to automate tasks and responses, and speed up new employee onboarding, applicants will be left in the dark about the status of their application, and suffer poor candidate experience overall.

High Employee Turnover

Attrition can be a common problem with high volume hiring. One of the main reasons for employee turnover is a lack of clarity and understanding about what a role actually entails.

When trying to recruit a high volume on a tight timescale, this can sometimes lead to recruiters simply trying to fill positions, rather than finding the top talent required for these roles. This can frequently result in candidates having the wrong expectations or being a poor fit with a company’s culture and values. This lack of transparency can lead to hires leaving the job within their first few months.

Lack of Strong Employer Branding

Building a strong employer brand is one of the central facets of good recruitment marketing – whether for a typical recruitment process or for high volume hiring. The demands of high volume hiring can often see talent acquisition and HR teams cutting corners around the way that they market their organisations as employers. This can drive away top talent.

With high volume recruiting, a strong employer brand is arguably even more important than in typical hiring cycles because your company will be advertising roles across numerous job boards and social media platforms, reliant on these channels to drive the high-volume of applicants required to fill these positions. Damage to your organisation’s reputation can seriously hinder your ability to attract the calibre of candidates you need.

How to Succeed with High Volume Recruitment

Create a Candidate First Application Process

Research from Indeed shows that 42% of job seekers find lengthy application processes to be the most frustrating aspect of finding a new job.

For organisations engaged in a mass hiring cycle, creating a user-friendly, candidate-first application process is crucial to any successful efforts. To do this, organisations must:

  • Engage candidates where they already are – whether that’s on specific job boards or across social media platforms such as LinkedIn, make sure you’re finding the right source for the talent you are looking to acquire
  • Remove barriers or unnecessary steps – reduce friction where possible by keeping qualification questions to a minimum, pre-populate text boxes, and enable 1-click applications.
  • Write clear and inclusive job descriptions – make sure that they describe the roles concisely and with clarity, steering clear of language that is overtly masculine or feminine. And make sure that these ads stand out amongst your competitors.

Leverage Data and Analytics

Optimising your recruitment pipeline means gaining a better, more holistic view of the entire recruitment process. You can’t do this effectively without data – and there may be numerous key metrics that you aren’t even currently measuring for.

By tracking these different metrics, you will gain a clear understanding of where the process is lagging, where you are having problems, and what you can do to improve.

You may find that a lack of outreach has led to a high drop off rate in applicants in the first few weeks – armed with this data, you now can begin to look at how you can optimise and improve this area of the recruitment process.

Automate Your Recruitment

The right technology is the biggest enabler of high volume recruiting. Software solutions such as an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) can ease the burden on in-house recruitment and HR teams to remove much of the manual processes that slow down recruitment.

With an ATS you can:

Investing in the right technology is the best way to boost your high volume recruiting. If you’d like to learn more about how Highserve ATS can make a difference to your recruitment process, request a demo now.


About the author

Tristan Potter

Tristan has a decade's worth of experience writing content and copy for organisations across Bristol and the Southwest of England. He has written on a diverse range of topics, including technology, philosophy, politics, and recruitment. His writing has appeared in The Drum, HR Grapevine, and The Guardian, among other publications. He joined Hireserve in March 2022.