4 Rules For Optimizing High Volume Recruitment

— August 8, 2017

Amazon is making headlines this week for their high volume recruitment of 50,000 employees.

High volume recruitment generally refers to filling a larger-than-average number of positions in a relatively short time frame – although most companies don’t come close to requiring as many people as Amazon!

While the average job posting receives 59 applicants according to Jobvite, a high volume recruitment role typically receives 250 or more applicants.

4 Rules For Optimizing High Volume Recruitment

This is most common in retail and hospitality, but it occurs in other industries as well. For example, Lockheed Martin recently did high volume recruitment for new F-35 fighter jet jobs.

Both Lockheed Martin and Amazon took the approach of “on the spot” job fairs.

While these types of in-person recruiting events can be highly effective for well known and desirable companies, it reflects a bit of an old-school mentality to the process of getting hundreds to thousands of new hires.

With more efficient and scalable approaches available, here are 4 rules to follow for optimizing your high volume recruitment.

Rule #1: High volume recruitment requires strategic use of your productive hours

Research suggests the ceiling on effective working hours for most of us is 55 hours/week. Studies have shown that someone working 54 hours/week is as productive as someone working 72+ hours/week.

High volume recruitment is going to take time, by definition. While technology will help, it’s still time-consuming to hire hundreds of people.

If you take into account this productivity ceiling of 55 hours/week, you can begin to more effectively plan your high volume approach.

Rule #2: The right technology can automate your high volume recruitment process


In high volume recruitment, sourcing effectively is crucial to getting the right number of people into your pipeline.

Thankfully, many applicant tracking systems have features which allow you to automatically post jobs to job boards, job aggregators, and social media. That’s a helpful start.

Artificial intelligence and automation are increasingly playing a role in sourcing as well. AI for recruiting learns the requirements of a job and then it finds qualified candidates using external resume databases such as CareerBuilder and Monster.

This is a great way to find passive candidates too.

Talent rediscovery

Employers often collect thousands of resumes for a given job, then hire only a small fraction of those applicants.

Even though companies tell candidates they’ll “keep their information on file,” and have the best intentions of doing so, it’s often very hard to search and find these prior resumes for new open positions.

For high volume roles, 65% of resumes received on average are completely ignored. That means most recruitment departments are sitting on a goldmine of potential candidates in their ATS but without a way to quickly, easily, and accurately access their resumes for open reqs. This is where talent rediscovery comes in.

Similar to how AI works for sourcing, AI for talent rediscovery can automatically find previous applicants in your ATS that are good matches for your current open positions.

A recent survey of recruiters found that 69% of them report their hiring volume has increased this year but only 26% of them say the size of their recruitment teams has increased.

If you want to truly do more with less, you need to automate, be efficient, and do something with that goldmine of resumes from previous open roles. This is the advantage of talent rediscovery.


52% of talent acquisition leaders say the hardest part of recruitment is screening candidates from a large pool.

High volume recruitment demands some degree of automation.

Consider these three statistics:

  • 75-88% of resumes received for an open position are unqualified
  • Manual screening and shortlisting can take 23 hours per position per recruiter
  • Average productivity maxes out at 55 hours/week

A manual approach means recruiters are spending 42% of their productive time during a week just screening and shortlisting candidates for interviews.

That’s inefficient.

Many companies have begun using AI for screening and standardized shortlisting, which reduces time spent on repetitive tasks and frees up recruiters for higher-value work.


How many times have you been frustrated by the number of emails needed to go back and forth to schedule a simple meeting with a candidate?

Now imagine if that process was largely automated. For example, candidates get a link with interview times available for the recruiter or hiring manager, they select one, and it simply populates both their calendars with information about the meeting.

By automating scheduling, this saves huge amounts of time in the early stages of a high volume recruitment process.

Rule #3: A strong employer brand attracts candidates when recruiting high volume

In a high-volume recruitment context, some of your pipeline will need to come from passive job seekers who’ll likely be attracted to your brand and the possibilities it represents.

Only 27% of companies have a formal employer branding program, but those that are successful at creating an attractive employer brand are seeing financial benefits.

A great example is St. Dominic’s Hospital in Mississippi. They actually tied their Facebook page (with photos, history of the hospital, and their employee perks) directly to their Glassdoor profile, and was able to make four hires at $ 478 per hire in the first five months.

These new hires essentially came in through exploring the brand on Facebook, and overall saved the hospital $ 40,000 in recruitment fees.

Rule #4: Understand the high volume job search ecosystem

Some points to consider:

  • Mobile has replaced desktop at the forefront of job search, so make sure your job application is mobile-friendly. Keep in mind that some hourly workers don’t have access to a desktop computer in the first place.
  • Recruit where your ideal candidates are. For many jobs, that will be LinkedIn. But certain positions (e.g., engineers, designers) may be on niche platforms or even specific Reddit threads.
  • Take advantage of technologies that automate repetitive tasks such as sourcing, resume screening, and scheduling.
  • Use talent rediscovery to go back in your resume database of previous applicants to find matches.
  • Tap your employee network by creating a short email for current employees to send to friends and contacts and encourage employees to share job postings on social channels.

These ideas are all about getting the highest number of people top-of-funnel as possible, so that your high volume recruitment strategy will actually be, well, high volume.

High volume recruitment: The takeaways

Effective high volume recruitment is a mix of factors:

  • Automating the right elements to save yourself time and maximize productivity
  • Being where your candidates already are to attract enough applicants to successfully fill positions
  • Reinforcing that your employer brand presents a desirable place to work

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Author: Ji-A Min

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