Good news: companies are really ramping up their hiring. Bad news: many people still aren’t actively looking for jobs, with the unemployment rate at a near-record low. This doesn’t bode well for employers with roles to fill in general, but especially not for those with ambitious, high-volume recruiting goals. Fortunately, we have some experts on the topic willing to share their wisdom and experience.
Safelite, Integrity Home Care and Hospice, Advantage Solutions and Sitel Group all had high-volume goals last year (upwards of 60,000 annual hires). Now well into 2022, they’ve developed a sharpened sense of what works and doesn’t for high-volume recruitment, which you can find condensed into their top lessons below.
Rally note: For a deeper dive into the specific projects and results of the employers featured in this article, the reasons behind today’s high-volume challenges and high-volume recruitment in general, download our free ideabook, 4 Expert Strategies to Overcome High Volume Recruitment Challenges.
1. Explore different channels
While your content and messaging are your most effective differentiators on the talent market, exploring channels new to your recruiting organization can open up the doors to more applications — and fast.
For example, to combat low application rates, the team at Safelite began investing in paid job advertising campaigns outside of job boards, including channels like Instagram, TikTok, paid search and even their first recruitment TV campaign! This change, combined with some of the others listed below, played a major role in getting Safelite to where they are today, where they receive hundreds of leads daily.
Integrity found similar success in doubling down on employee referrals. From January to March 2021, a busy recruiting period, they obtained 64% of new hires from employee referrals. Related to this is employee generated content, which we’re finding to be one of the most effective types of content to attract top talent.
2. Reengage past applicants
Your talent database is filled with candidates who have shown interest in your past roles, silver medalists, current and former team members and sourced talent. You can resurface these candidates and engage them through talent nurture campaigns to help build stronger relationships, reduce spending on job ads, hire roles faster and fill more open roles in general
Reengaging is a low-cost solution to high-volume recruiting and can be as easy as sending an automated email sequence to candidates that fit the new roles you’re hiring for, which might require some audience segmentation on your part (i.e. the new role is an in-person tech position in Spain, so only send to tech candidates in and around Spain). You can also take a page out of Safelite’s playbook and try your hand at outreach through texting.
3. Reduce application time
Appcast found that a mobile application time of fewer than 5 minutes results in a higher application rate. But don’t stop at mobile, this stat should be an incentive to shorten and simplify your desktop application process as well!
To reduce their application time, for example, Integrity analyzed their candidate experience and took out questions they found to be unnecessary in the earlier stages of getting to know a candidate. Similarly, Advantage now only requires candidates to provide basic information like their resume and contact information to apply.
Safelite went a step further by directing candidates who click on a social, search or streaming ad to a landing page with a realistic job preview video and a simple candidate interest form. This shortened the application process significantly, as candidates previously would be taken to a careers site, then be directed to a job application in the ATS, then prompted to create an account and fill out multiple application questions, at which point many would usually self-select out of the process.
4. Reduce response time
The most common problem candidates cite for having a negative candidate experience is poor communication. Other than your application process, to reduce the risk of candidates dropping off or ghosting you, aim to get back to them as quickly as possible after they apply. You can also set expectations by clearly listing your hiring process on your careers site.
Safelite reduced their response time by having a new lead sheet auto-download at midnight every night so coordinators can begin to follow up with the new prospects first thing in the morning. The coordinators then quickly filter leads by discipline and send out targeted messaging.
Similarly, Advantage now requires their recruiters to contact applicants within 20 minutes of applying. They also began allowing candidates who have reached a certain level in the hiring process to schedule their own interviews to keep them engaged and less likely to ghost the interview. These changes mandated fast response times as part of the job, freed up recruiters to focus on communication rather than administrative tasks and significantly decreased the number of candidates dropping out of the process as a result.
5. Offer the right salary and benefits
People have had time to think over the past few years. Their priorities have shifted, there’s more financial aid available, the risks are higher at work and they’re not willing to accept the same salaries and benefits they were in the past.
This is why Safelite made the single largest base pay increase in the company’s history, providing more competitive hourly rates and incentive opportunities nationwide. Many other companies are following suit, such as Intel, who announced that they were allocating an additional $2 billion to increase employee salaries and provide equity in response to the fierce competition in the talent market.
But don’t forget about updating your benefits packages, as well! Candidates today are prioritizing employers who, in addition to offering competitive salaries, are also offering benefits like permanent remote work, 4-day workweeks, more mental health support and more PTO.
6. Tailor your messaging to the wants and needs of your different talent audiences
Not every talent audience’s priorities look the same. Staying up to date on what each of your talent audiences is looking for and incorporating what you find into your different messaging strategies will prove much more effective than using the same messaging for all candidates.
Take Integrity, for example, who, after finding flexibility to be an especially attractive perk to their part-time roles held by college students, parents and retirees changed their Recruitment Marketing content and job postings to emphasize this perk. Nurses, on the other hand, found high signing bonuses attractive, so they promoted that front and center for nursing roles and allocated more for bonuses. These changes played a major role in the average number of monthly applicants on their website increasing from 123 to 167.
Outside of the priorities themselves, it’s also helpful to remember that not every candidate searches for the same job the same way (i.e. someone in location A searches for “barber” jobs whereas someone in location B searches for “hair specialist” jobs). This is why Advantage uses Appcast to track the keywords their talent uses to search for jobs online, which differ, even for the same jobs, based on location, background and other demographic information. Advantage then takes these keywords and includes them in their job descriptions to make sure all of their ads align with how people in the area are searching for that type of work.
7. Open up training opportunities within your organization
Coming out of the pandemic, early careers talent is looking for stability. They want to work for employers who they can envision themselves with long-term, which has created a greater desire for training and development opportunities within your organization.
For example, Safelite now offers a paid training program where anyone can learn necessary skills from the ground up. This allows them to bring in a broader range of candidates, from folks who have little to no experience to anyone looking to make a career change. They also offer clearly defined career paths, KPIs and timelines so that team members can envision the direction and upward mobility of their careers.
8. Add structured data to your job postings
Another way to make it easier for more candidates to find you is to add structured data to job postings, and to use Google’s Schema Validator to ensure that your postings are easy to find. Structured data are essentially key pieces of information formatted in such a way to allow easy reading and classification by Google and other search engines. For jobs, these key pieces include title, pay rate, company, location and others.
Of all these traits, the most important to get right is geographic information, as It’s one of the most direct ways to reach more candidates. For example, by expanding which zip codes their job ads show up in to include other places that are an easy commute, Advantage effectively expanded their geographical footprint and tapped into entirely new talent pools
9. Iterate through data
You can’t improve what you don’t measure, which is why data is one of the fastest routes to meeting your high-volume goals.
For example, Advantage improves their searchability through constant job title A/B testing, which helps them hone everything from length to the words they use (i.e. locals saying “shoe” instead of “sneaker”) for their respective markets. From both internal and external sources (see Appcast’s Recruitment Marketing Benchmark Report), Advantage reviews data on a daily, weekly and monthly basis to optimize their application process and adjust their budget. They also track conversion rates at different stages of the funnel, changes to job titles descriptions and the effects these changes have on the kinds of candidates they’re attracting and the number of hires they’re producing.
Navigating the current job-talent divide is challenging, but with the lessons above, we hope that you can overcome any obstacles currently stopping you from achieving your high-volume recruitment goals, no matter how big.
For more expert advice from real practitioners, download our free ideabook, 4 Expert Strategies to Overcome High Volume Recruitment Challenges.