New Research on High-Volume Hiring Reveals Broad Misconceptions and Bad Practices

High-volume hiring is a critical area of talent acquisition that is too often misunderstood. Companies face unique pressures when it comes to this segment of recruiting that require different strategies and solutions. According to Aptitude Research, 65% of companies have high-volume recruitment needs today. And as hiring ramps up and organizations look to scale, this percentage will likely increase.

And unlike in traditional corporate hiring, high-volume needs are extremely time-sensitive with speed defining success. What’s more, over the past year, high-volume hiring intensified as many companies were forced to reduce time to fill from several weeks to several days. Unfortunately, though, the result was usually time-consuming and ineffective. 

Aptitude’s study, which examines the state of high-volume recruitment, provides key recommendations for companies at any stage of the process:

“High Volume” Is a Broad Category

The greatest confusion around high-volume recruitment is the definition. Companies often look at a narrow definition of high-volume recruitment that is limited to hourly or gig workers. In fact, 1 in 3 companies define “high volume” as hourly recruitment. 

The reality is that high-volume hiring is broader than that. It includes any company filling over 1,000 positions in a short period of time. As hiring ramps up this year, this study found that employers in a range of industries (including aerospace and defense, financial services, technology, and healthcare) all identified high-volume needs. Employers in these and other fields must find quality talent while managing hundreds, or even thousands, of applicants.

Candidates Are Dropping Off at the Apply Phase

Forty-three percent of candidate drop-offs occur in the appy phase. In other words, companies are losing quality talent early in the process — 1 in 3 companies state that the apply process takes longer than 30 minutes for high-volume roles, and half of employers do not have a mobile optimized apply process.

Although many organizations have invested in interviewing and onboarding over the past year, recruitment marketing and easy applications continue to be a challenge in high-volume recruitment. Therefore, companies must rethink how they are attracting candidates and reevaluate the application process to see why they are losing talent early. 

A Traditional ATS Is Not Enough

Sixty-five percent of companies with high-volume recruitment needs are not satisfied with their current ATS. Most traditional ATS systems are designed for corporate hiring and lack capabilities to support high-volume recruitment, such as programmatic advertising, scheduling, and communication. 

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High-volume recruitment technology must be simple, intuitive, and mobile-responsive. And sure enough, 82% of companies with high-volume hiring needs are increasing their investment in technology this year.

Pay Is a Challenge

Pay and wages have long been a topic of debate in high-volume hiring. Findings reveal that 70% of companies believe that they are losing talent because of pay. Companies with low hourly rates or companies that do not offer competitive rates will not retain talent. (Editor’s note: At ERE Digital, Sept 23-24, Nike’s director of compensation David Buckmaster will be delivering a presentation titled, “Can You Afford to Pay More During a Labor Shortage? Can You Afford Not To? Learn more and register at https://ererecruitingconference.com.)

Aptitude further finds that half of candidates drop off when they find out how much a position pays (30% of candidates learn about pay during the apply stage). Therefore, not disclosing pay until later in the recruitment process is not a good practice. Companies must consider their approach to compensation and the direct impact on talent acquisition and recruiting efforts.  

Quality Is As Important as Efficiency

Employers face pressure to fill high-volume positions as quickly as possible. Efficiency becomes the priority for many organizations with high-volume needs. They want to improve and streamline the talent acquisition process to reduce time to fill.

Yet despite this focus on efficiency, 61% of companies state that quality of hire is the most critical metric for success. As companies focus on improving the time it takes to fill positions, they must ensure they are engaging and hiring the right talent.

Madeline Laurano is the founder of Aptitude Research. Her primary focus over the last 12+ years has been on the talent management market, specializing in talent acquisition. Her work helps companies both validate and reevaluate their strategies and understand the role technology can play in driving business outcomes. 

Prior, Madeline held research roles at Aberdeen, Bersin by Deloitte, ERE Media, and Brandon Hall Group. She is co-author of Best Practices in Leading a Global Workforce and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, Yahoo News, and The Financial Times. She is a frequent presenter at industry conferences including the HR Technology Conference and Exposition, SHRM, IHRIM, HCI’s Strategic Talent Acquisition conference, GDS International’s HCM Summit, and HRO Today.

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