Managing volume recruitment

leon Oalh2MojUuk unsplash scaled 1 | Managing volume recruitment
By Paula Smith | 6th April 2021 | 12 min read

Are you currently managing volume recruitment? Whether you are facing a need to fill a large number of vacancies over a short period of time, or simply struggling to manage unprecedented levels of applications, the process of managing volume recruitment can instigate a wealth of issues if conducted without a clear strategy. 

With the pressure to fill roles quickly, it’s always tempting to get your role live as soon as possible but without the basic principles and foundations in place, the process can not only prove much more difficult but longer too! 

If you don’t have the support of an external recruitment services provider, breaking the process down into manageable steps will ensure that you can focus on what is important to maximise your results. 

Fine-tune your employer brand 

All recruitment should start with defining your employer brand. Not only should it help to define who you are and what you stand for, but focus on why people should want to work for you and what you can offer them in return. Your employer brand sets the tone for your target audience and will ensure you receive relevant candidates that are well-suited for your roles.

If you are looking to embark on a slightly different recruitment campaign from the norm then it’s always worth taking the time to review your brand and consider whether this will help to attract the kind of employees you are looking for or potentially could be improved in some way. 

Branding can include everything from the tone of voice you use and the information you disclose as well as images, video, language, and advert positioning. 

A typical example of this would be apprenticeship schemes. Ideally, every touch point in the process should be reflective of your target audience and help instill confidence in those looking to pursue a career with your business. 

Advert templates and social media tiles should all tie in to create a tailored and consistent experience whilst still maintaining the core elements of your corporate employer brand. Not only will this ensure you will engage your target candidate audience, but it also serves to set the tone of experience for applicants, so they know what to expect and what your company can offer.

Reaching your target audience 

Once you have an idea as to who you are looking to employ and have created the necessary look and feel throughout your application process, it’s time to start looking at how you can reach as many people as possible with the skills you require. 

And sometimes it pays to be a little bit more creative. It can help set you apart from your competition and cause intrigue from parties who might not necessarily be looking for a role but are open to new opportunities. 

Social media and the ability to target your adverts to specific audiences can prove extremely successful when trying to reach wide pools of potential talent but there are also a number of other factors that you could consider too: 

Optimise your job adverts - consider advertising using multiple job titles or different locations to appeal to more job seekers and ensure your jobs are included in more job alerts etc 

Connect and engage - Whilst building connections on Linkedin is fairly normal practice you can also look to platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to connect with people that look like they are a potential match and reach out to them. It’s surprising how many people will actually reply to your dm’s even if you don't actually know them directly 

Employee referrals - The possibility of your current employees being connected with others who have adopted a similar career path is high! The power of an employee referral is also proven to help speed up the process and generate applications with a higher conversion rate. 

In contrast, if you are already being inundated with applications and struggling to cope with the workload then rather than adopting a multi-pronged approach to your advertising strategy, it can be useful to hone in on just a few platforms that you know that work. If you have recruited a similar position in the past then you may be able to gain valuable information from your ATS in terms of where quality candidates came from before allowing you to focus your efforts more wisely. 

 Create a centralised platform 

Regardless of how you choose to source your candidates or the number of platforms you choose, creating a centralised platform to funnel candidates through a consistent process will ensure that you can manage high volumes of applications easier too. 

Whilst some ATS and recruitment service providers like IRIS networx are able to provide direct links to your adverts, this is not always the case and organisations may need to use their careers page as their main landing page to help navigate candidates through to your roles. 

Having managed to attract candidates to this stage in the process it’s now important to consider conversion rates and how you can ensure that candidates that reach your careers page or advert continue to submit an application. 

The advert needs to be compelling and job seekers need to be convinced that this is the role for them. Be careful not to put too many people off with a huge list of requirements when potentially they are not essential to perform the role. 

And remember that if a candidate does come to the conclusion that the role isn’t for them, then providing them the option to view other potential opportunities can help support the recruitment of other vacancies too! 

Make your application work for you 

If you are struggling to manage high volumes of applications then it is true to say that a more comprehensive application form will help reduce the number of applications you receive. However, this does not mean that it will help you weed out the least suitable candidates but actually the complete opposite. A high proportion of quality candidates are always going to be passive candidates who are not actually looking for a role and potentially do not have the time to invest to complete a multi-page application form. They simply saw your advert and clicked apply. 

So what is the right approach? 

Initially, your application form should only be used to collate the information you require in order to make an informed decision as to whether or not the candidate has the essential skills you need to fulfill the role. 

Acting almost like an expression of interest this type of application form is proven to help generate high volumes of applications, but with the ability to quickly remove any candidates that don't have the necessary requirements from the process. 

Many organisations that adopt this kind of approach to application forms can then ask shortlisted candidates to complete a secondary application which allows them to focus on providing more detailed answers such as describing their experiences. 

Essentially how you build your application form, can not only help you generate more applications but equally put people off too, so it’s vital to try and get the right balance to support your team as well as potential candidates. 

Sifting and Shortlisting tools

As well as having the right questions in your application form, having access to the necessary sifting tools can literally help reduce the administrative burden of managing volume recruitment roles significantly. 

Understanding the key criteria that candidates must have in order to perform the role, plays an integral part in choosing the right sifting tools to identify top talent quickly whilst eliminating others from the process. 

These include: 

Scoring criteria - many ATS solutions allow you to assign scores to questions included within your application form. How the candidate answers the question will determine how suitable they are for the role and can be ranked accordingly. 

Candidate alerts  - designed to draw your attention to a number of different factors, alerts can also be used to highlight if a candidate doesn't have a key requirement such as a driving license for example.  

Google Maps distance indicators - understanding how far away from the vacancy a candidate is located can also help to focus attention, especially for office-based roles. 

Regardless of recruitment volumes, ensuring candidates are shortlisted fairly and in an unbiased manner is a primary focus for organisations across all industries right now and rightly so; the benefits of creating a diverse workforce speak for themselves. 

Anonymisation of personal information and candidate scoring as offered by networx is by far the most effective way to ensure that every application is shortlisted without bias but with high volumes of applications and potentially multiple scorers the administrative burden can be huge. 

AI therefore naturally comes into question, but whilst the time savings can be significant you need to consider whether the introduction of such algorithms and machine learning could actually aid recruitment bias rather than prevent it.  

Interviews/ Assessment - the most time-consuming part of volume recruitment?

One of the biggest time-consuming elements of recruitment has to be booking and often rearranging interviews with shortlisted candidates. 

Contacting every candidate, aligning diaries, and sending confirmation can take time even with a small number of candidates so investing in the right technology to support this process when recruiting high volumes can result in huge time and cost savings. 

Self-selection interviews and giving shortlisted candidates the option to book their own interviews based on your availability virtually eliminates the need for HR or hiring managers to do little more than simply confirm when they wish to interview. This then automatically creates a number of slots for candidates to choose from on a first-come first served basis. 

Streamlining this element of the process alone is key to improving the efficiency of recruiting and managing high-volume recruitment.

Assessment days can also be utilised to help assess the skills and suitability of your shortlisted candidates en mass. Having the tools in place to support bulk communications and send invitations to all shortlisted candidates will be required to ensure a smooth process for all parties. 

Communication and Feedback 

Despite the number of applications you are left managing, it is important to deliver the best possible experience to each and every candidate. Creating a suite of email templates to help you maintain regular communication with candidates will help maintain levels of engagement and reduce the number of dropouts at each stage of the process. 

High-volume recruitment can invariably take longer to manage and the process can take longer too. However, the candidate's expectations will remain high so it is important to recognise the need to keep in touch at key stages of the process, outline your timelines and apologise if you happen to experience any delays. 

Simply keeping candidates in the dark leads them to form negative opinions of your business and even start looking for or accepting other opportunities. 


Over the last few years, more and more companies have recognised the importance of an efficient onboarding process and the need to deliver a seamless and positive introduction to every new hire. 

This should be no different when it comes to volume recruitment but again having the right tools in place to facilitate and automate the process where possible is critical if you want to reduce drop-offs and ensure every new hire is confident they have made the right decision to join your business. 

From references to signing contracts to obtaining next of kin information and bank details every aspect of the process can be managed securely online to ensure the necessary documentation is obtained from every candidate prior to their first day. 

Thankfully the time and cost of preparing, printing, and posting contracts and new starter packs to candidates can now be almost eliminated. 

Talent Pooling - maximising the potential of volume recruitment

Attracting and managing high-volume recruitment campaigns can also deliver a significant boost to your talent pools for future opportunities. 

Delivering the best candidate experience and leaving a positive impression will help to maintain enthusiasm to work for your business but being able to manage potential talent according to their skill sets and career aspirations can be extremely beneficial for the entire business. 

Make sure your registered candidates have the ability to set up and manage job alerts and try to maintain regular levels of engagement through email or social media to further maximise the potential of every vacancy you run. You may even want to add a couple of questions to your application form to support the management of talent in your database.

Consider potential barriers to volume recruitment 

As expected in volume recruitment, the aim is to generate the highest possible number of applications, so the final step of the process is to review all aspects and consider if there are any potential barriers that may prevent certain groups or demographics from applying. 

Potential barriers may include: 

Accessibility - How accessible is your careers page, advert and application process? Do you actively encourage applications from disabled candidates? Could you do more? 

Advert content - What kind of language do you use throughout your job advert? Is it masculine or feminine dominant? What kind of images do you use? Does it showcase an inclusive culture? 

Where is the role based? Could it be performed from home, outside normal working hours  or as part of a job share?  

Application form - is the application form too long? Is it difficult for people to apply quickly, using their mobile phone or does it require at least an hour commitment to sit at a computer to complete and submit? 

Interviews- can these be completed outside of work hours? Can candidates complete their video interview in their own time? 

Review sites - will new hires be influenced by negative reviews on review sites such as Glassdoor or Google? 

As a result of the pandemic, organisations across the UK are facing unprecedented pressures when it comes to recruiting. The hospitality and retail sectors are amongst those that have an urgency to fill large numbers of roles in a very short time, whilst other industries are struggling with dramatic surges in applications for roles such as administrators, warehouse operatives and customer service advisors. 

Just like any recruitment campaign, when it comes to volume recruitment and managing the associated workload, the key is in the preparation. 

Check out IRIS networx to see how intuitive technology could support you in managing volume recruitment.