On most occasions, businesses will only need to recruit one or two people at any one time, to fill a skills gap. There are some occasions however in which you might need to recruit in much larger numbers, and this can be far more challenging.
It may be that your business is moving in a new direction, such as digital, for which you will need a whole new team with specialist skill sets. After a busy period of expansion, you might need to play catch-up on recruitment now that you have the time to assess your recruitment needs. Alternatively, you might be starting a demanding new project or need a whole new department, both of which require you to bring in a whole team of fresh talent.
Whatever the reason for your ‘volume’ recruitment drive, there are lots of pitfalls to watch out for. Think about how your recruitment team will cope with 10 to 20 times the normal number of applicants – will they be able to screen candidates thoroughly enough, and will standards remain as high as they need to be? It’s very easy to let things slip through the cracks when you’re recruiting a lot of positions at once, so you’ll need to take steps to prevent errors and inaccuracies.
Tips for success
Follow these tips for a successful and cost-effective volume recruitment process:
- Have rock-solid systems and procedures in place. Before you even advertise the positions, make sure you have a sound recruitment strategy, your recruitment procedures are watertight, and that everyone knows exactly what their responsibilities are.
- Consider using a specialist recruitment agency. Even if it’s only for a one-off recruitment drive, you might be glad to have a specialist with lots of experience in volume recruitment handling everything for you. This can be a really good option if you only have limited HR resources, which could end up being overstretched and ineffective.
- Make sure you and your agency are on the same page. If you do decide to outsource recruitment for this project, it’s crucial that you develop a great working relationship with the agency you choose. Communication is key – the agency needs to work with your internal workflows, understand your goals and company ethos and deliver on their promises.
- Save time with methods like telephone screening. There are many ways to save time during the early stages of recruiting, such as screening candidates over the phone to verify their basic skill sets. More advanced testing and screening methods may be needed later on, but this early check can eliminate unsuitable candidates right away.
- Set realistic deadlines. With a recruitment project of this size and scale, you’ll need to set milestones and achievable targets to make sure that progress continues at a good pace. Be realistic about your goals – if you rush too much, mistakes could be made.
- Future–proofing your business. You might trying to keep costs down with such a large project, but don’t miss an opportunity to recruit with the future of your business in mind. What talent and skills does it need now in order to grow in the future?
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