While finding your firm’s new IT Director wouldn’t require a volume approach, volume recruiting is crucial to efficiently filling high-turnover positions, and those roles for which you need to hire multiple employees.

Recruiting in bulk might seem like an impersonally automated approach to filling positions, but that need not be the case. There are numerous ways to personalize the experience, engage persuasively with each candidate, and hire qualified, productive workers.

What is Volume Recruiting?

High volume recruitment generally refers to the streamlined methods used to fill 250 or more positions in a relatively short time frame.

(According to Jobvite, the average number of openings for posted positions is 59.)

What’s so great about Volume Recruiting?

While recruiting en masse can have negative connotations – thoughts of mass assembly hiring as opposed to personalized engagement with each candidate – the opposite can well be true. The time saved by smart volume sourcing methods can allow your recruiters and interviewers more time to engage with each candidate, and to subsequently and smartly separate the candidate wheat from the chaff.

Let’s talk a moment about vehicle assembly lines, and the process humans and robots go through, each with their rather monotonous tasks, which ultimately produce some beautiful new cars and trucks.

Once that brand-new cherry red Lexus with heated power seats, smart car communication tools and an electric sunroof hits the dealer’s showroom, the car shopper will not fail to want to buy it because thousands of similar or identical vehicles were assembled the same day!.Instead, they’ll be wooed by its features, by the test drive, and by the personable sales rep who takes the time to understand their needs, and helps them choose their competitively priced dream car as quickly and easily as possible. If they know that hundreds of others just like it are on showroom floors throughout the country, they probably won’t care.

In fact, if construction of that car had not been so volume-efficient, what might have happened to that shopper’s ability to purchase that perfect car as quickly as they needed new transportation? And what might have happened to its price? In fact, maybe that car wouldn’t have been made at all.

High-Volume Recruitment How-To’s

You’ve determined how many you need to hire for which positions, and that number  is hefty. Here, then, are the key steps:

  1. Successful high-volume hiring must begin far earlier than your need to volume recruit. Painstakingly documenting and storing past sourcing and hiring efforts, and creating a database of candidates and prospects from those job campaigns, will give you a jump start on your sourcing. It will also tell you which sources produce the greatest number of candidates in what period of time, and the cost per hire and quality of hire specific to each source.

You’ll be able to see, for example, that your targeted Facebook ad for last month’s inside sales reps resulted in 312 great candidates in one week, as opposed to the LinkedIn job post which only netted 105 applications in 10 days.

  1. Make employer branding part of everything you do, not just your job announcements. Posting a press release about your newest gizmo? Your About Us closing boilerplate should at least include a link to your careers page or site and your talent community. Beyond your company Twitter profile, create one specific to openings, and cross post.  Tie each job announcement to your firm’s glowing Glassdoor, Indeed and Kununu reviews, publish warm and positive day-in-the-life employee videos for each position. Perhaps most importantly, do not pick and choose which perks and benefits to list in your job announcement; list them all!
  2. Take advantage of smart AI-based technology, such as: one-way video interviewing platforms (immensely helpful in your tracking, assessment and collaborative hiring efforts); automated scheduling and messaging software to keep candidates engaged and advised of their standing in the hiring queue; and chatbots to re-engage candidates about to drop off the application process. Implement smart CRM and talent management platforms such as Oleeo to manage your sourcing.
  3. Mobilize your hiring campaign. Consider, for example, a text-focused source such as CareerBuilder’s partnership with TextRecruit, which has 40 percent of candidates submitting applications within 15 minutes.

You might even create your own mobile job-apply app, as did Home Depot, when it needed to hire 80,000 new workers. Its Mobile Apply and Text-to-Apply apps allowed candidates to not only apply from their smartphones but to go on and schedule their interviews as well. Candidate numbers doubled from the prior campaign, with 80 percent of applicants coming in by way of mobile.

GEM Recruiting AI
  1. Let your employees know of the openings, and the great incentives for great referrals. Jobvite, Glassdoor and numerous other researchers all attest to the cost, volume and speed benefits of referrals. According to Jobvite, referred employees are onboard in 29 days, as compared with 45 days for career sites. One third are still working at the job one year later, as compared with 22 percent of candidates applying via job boards.

Expand beyond current employees, by reaching out to your candidate database, inviting them to apply, share your job post socially, and tell their friends about your openings. Consider implementing external referral rewards to these and other personal sources such as vendors, former employees, and social connections.

Since volume is the key, add to your regular incentives additional bonuses for the greatest number of referrals, most referrals in one day, and such. Emphasize that volume is paramount and reward accordingly.

Give free “Hiring Now, Ask Me!” T-shirts to every employee and reward them for donning them when they head to the grocery store, mall, and local watering hole.

  1. Host hiring events. While your job post should always invite candidates to apply online, encourage walk ins and online registration for your career day. Emphasize urgency: “Interview today, start tomorrow,” or “hiring 200 of the best candidates ASAP, next training class is Tuesday.” Perhaps you’re hoping for such early and timely success that you’ll only need one training class, but don’t leave off that word “next.” You don’t want to discourage great passive candidates who’d have to give two weeks’ notice, although urgency is crucial to high-volume recruiting.
  2. Be creative in your event planning, to de-emphasize the herd effect of bringing multiple candidates to the same career fair. Focus on fun and smart technology in your application process. Gamify your online applications as well as your face-to-face hiring events. Turn the negativity of being one of a crowd on its head, by emphasizing a high-tech party atmosphere.

Software designer Menlo Innovations has created an inventive, collaborative, and fun high-volume hiring and assessment event that has gotten glowing reviews from applicants.  Rather than the traditional one-on-one cattle call, Menlo pairs competing candidates, assessing not only their individual capabilities but their ability to collaborate with complete strangers on assigned technical projects.

We want good kindergarten skills at Menlo, and we test for them from the very beginning,” CEO Richard Sheridan wrote, in The Most Unusual–and Effective–Hiring Process You’ll Ever See.  An existing employee observes and takes notes on each pair while it collaborates on a task typical of the company’s work. They look for proof of  collaboration, confidence and humility. It all takes place in the same big, open, noisy room we work in all day long.”

After 20 minutes the candidates pair up with new partners. Once each applicant has worked with every other applicant, they’re excused. The three-person hiring team then orders pizza and gives each candidate a thumbs up or down. Two or three thumbs up, the candidate moves to the next phase, live skills testing. The process is lightning fast, with mass auditions completed in just a few hours.

Sheridan said that candidates love the process.

“Thank you for creating such an amazing culture,” one applicant told him. “Even if I don’t get invited back, I will remember this interview forever.”

Fear of de-personalization need not sour your attitude towards volume recruiting.

Remember that auto assembly line? Its high-volume efforts made possible timely, cost-efficient purchases of beautiful new cars. All you need to put yourself out there as an employer of choice is the right branding – the display of your ‘shiny, cherry red’ job with its ‘power-seat’ benefits, its ‘smart-car’ training and work tools, and the ‘electric sunroof’ that showcases all your advancement opportunities. You’ll have buyers galore.


Shelley Ingram is Vice President and Head of Customer Success at Oleeo. Born and bred in Texas with over two decades of Talent Acquisition software experience, Shelley is a member of Oleeo’s global leadership team. She graduated from Northwestern University and holds an MBA from Kellogg School of Management and a Masters of Communication from Stanford University.  In her free time, you can find Shelley playing golf and tennis with her twin boys.