High-Volume Hiring When Talent Supply Is Low

You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both, and what you have are some big high-volume hiring challenges. 

The good, of course, is that as the pandemic continues to subside and the economy improves, the outlook for many organizations will be positive. The bad? Companies will face increased challenges as high-volume hiring needs outweigh the supply of workers. 

At ERE Digital, May 25-27, Christina Coyle, SVP of talent acquisition at Advantage Solutions (by way of McDonald’s, Korn Ferry, and AT&T), will be giving a presentation called “Under Pressure: Developing a High-Volume Hiring Strategy When Talent Supply Is Low.” She’ll talk about how to differentiate your company in ways that go well beyond employer branding to attract the talent you need.

Christina and I recently had a conversation to provide a sneak peak of her presentation.

Vadim: Why do you think high-volume hiring is going to be especially challenging as we continue moving out of the pandemic?

Christina: Because the need to hire a lot more people will increase and many hiring managers will expect recruiting professionals to simply flip a switch and get their departments fully staffed quickly. But this doesn’t take into account that over the past year, people have made all sorts of decisions about what they want to do with their lives, ones that may not result in them choosing to work in a given industry. At the same time, lots of people will not feel entirely safe returning to work as it was. So all in all, talent pools of yesterday are not talent pools of today. They are smaller and different. 

I think a lot of observers speculated that as the economy improves, we’d see more job-seekers looking for new opportunities. 

That might be the case in some industries, but at one company where I worked, applicant flow is currently down 42%. Various colleagues also are experiencing reduced applicant flow since the stimulus package. And so in some fields, like those related to food, it’s going to be a bit of a nail biter to find enough workers.

How can companies best address this challenge?

Article Continues Below

It’s important to create a differentiated candidate experience — but not through the traditional rah-rah means of employer branding. It’s not about traditional employer branding of convincing people to come work for you because you’re the cool kid at the lunch table or because you’re a big consumer brand. Rather, organizations must focus on speed by removing obstacles for candidates to express interest and apply for jobs. Partly, that entails omni-channel recruitment and applications, which includes enabling job-seekers to engage with companies on their phones, tablets, etc. A good candidate experience, especially in high-volume hiring, is an easy experience. We can’t make it hard.

Why do you think employers still have hard processes?

Oftentimes in corporate TA, design thinking only comes about in recruitment marketing or branding. It’s not really infused into the candidate journey because it can be hard to make something feel simple and easy and fun. Additionally, we have a tendency as TA professionals to buy software and think that all of a sudden, it will be wonderful. It will be magic! But if you take wonderful software but give it a clunky process, that strangles the innovation out of your investment. 

However, that’s not to say that automation and tech tools aren’t critical, because they are. Technology can enable you to automate and scale a good process very quickly — while at the same time providing what feels like a bespoke candidate experience. 


Want more insights from Christina about how to improve high-volume hiring at your organization? Join her at ERE Digital, May 25-27, for “Under Pressure: Developing a High-Volume Hiring Strategy When Talent Supply Is Low.” Register here to receive 10% off your ticket price.

Vadim Liberman is editor of ERE.net and TLNT (the devil wears TJ Maxx) — a workplace renegade advancing how we think, work, and live. He has previously worked as a strategy consultant to HR and recruiting tech companies at The Starr Conspiracy, as a talent management professional at Prudential, and as senior editor of The Conference Board Review, a magazine for business leaders. Vadim loves to talk about all things HR, talent acquisition, and Bravo TV shows. Bring it!

Topics