The Global Recruiter
Volume recruitment is typically undertaken when large numbers of customer-facing sales, service and support roles need to be filled. Frontline roles of this nature are critical for business success, as these individuals will personify your brand for customers. Five clues will help you judge the effectiveness of your volume recruitment, says Suzanne Courtney.
1. You can identify the ‘quality’ candidates within the ‘quantity’ of applicants. Because it is now so easy for individuals to apply for jobs online, recruiters can become overwhelmed by the sheer volume of applications. It’s likely that a high proportion of the people who apply for your roles will be unsuitable. You need to screen these people out, so you can focus your selection attention on the most suitable candidates. This demands an objective, efficient and rigorous assessment process which can consistently identify those who meet the requirements of the role.
The right people will have the right skills, as well as the potential to learn the knowledge they’ll need. But that’s not enough. They also need to fit the values of your organisation, so they can work effectively with colleagues. And they need to be motivated to succeed, so that they’ll feel engaged at work. Are you identifying the right candidates?
2. Your recruitment process is automated and highly efficient. Processing a large number of applicants, assessing the individuals, conducting interviews and undertaking reference checks can be hugely time-consuming and expensive.
Unlike executive or graduate recruitment - which are typically managed through a centralised process - volume recruitment is often undertaken through a localised process, involving local hiring managers. The ‘cost’ of it therefore has to include the time of those managers and other operational teams that may be involved.
An efficient selection process will lead to faster and more cost effective recruitment. Without this, you’ll not only be wasting money and effort, you may be losing out on talented candidates because you’re not able to process their applications quickly enough.
3. Your candidate experience is ‘extraordinary’. Today’s talented individuals want to work for a reputable company. They want a job with a purpose, work-life balance, a chance to develop and control over their career. When they apply, they want to be treated with the same respect as you’d treat a customer.
Gone are the days when employers could provide a laborious application process, limited communication and little feedback to applicants. In a world of increasing digital acceptance, candidates have become accustomed to engaging online experiences. Now, with Generation Z joining the workforce, organisations need to provide an extraordinary candidate experience that communicates their values and fits their employer brand. Make no mistake: your candidate experience is a sales tool that you should use to convince your applicants to come and work for you.
To engage candidates, your assessments need to be short, visually-appealing, fair, objective and indicative of the everyday situations that individuals will experience in your workplace. Making your entire recruitment process candidate-centric is a significant shift away from how recruitment tools and processes were designed in the past. However, it is important because the best candidates will have multiple employment options - and you don’t want to lose them.
4. You’re utilising ‘mobile-first’ assessments. When nearly everyone has a smartphone or a tablet, it makes sense not only to promote your jobs online but to allow candidates to apply - and take their assessment tests - via mobile devices. This offers the benefits of speed and convenience, because candidates don’t have to switch devices to complete the assessments. They’re in control of when and where they participate. In other words, they can interact with you at a time and place that suits them. Using mobile assessments in your recruitment also helps to increase the diversity of your applicant pool, as individuals who do not own a desktop computer can still apply.
However, in assessment, there’s a distinction between mobile-enabled and ‘mobile-first’. A mobile-enabled test may be viewed and taken on a mobile device but it will not be optimised for this format, so the candidate experience may not be ideal. A mobile-first assessment will have been purpose-built for any mobile device, taking into account how it displays on the screen and how the candidate interacts with it. These tests will have undergone validity and reliability trials - across different devices to check candidate performance and completion times - to ensure that they are fit for purpose.
Unless you’re using mobile-first assessments, you could be missing out on the right candidates for your volume and high volume roles.
5. Your stakeholders are champions of the recruitment process. Any process you utilise has to be acceptable internally, to your own recruitment team and to hiring managers, operational teams and stakeholders within your organisation. You have to be sensitive to the time that hiring managers will have available. These individuals will rarely be experts in recruitment and sometimes they’re under intense pressure to fill their vacancies quickly - so anything you can do to make their hiring role easier will be well received. This includes how you present them with meaningful information on candidates and whether you provide ‘interview guides’ to help them interview candidates more effectively.
With stakeholders, it’s important to create a business case for volume recruitment, communicating the outcomes and the benefits for the business - as well as the detrimental impact of recruiting the wrong people. You should also be conscious of how you present recruitment data, and its implications, to stakeholders. You’ll need an effective reporting capability that can provide overviews, summaries and benchmarking analysis for different parts of the business.
If you’re missing any of these steps, it’s time to take a proactive look at your volume recruitment process, to ensure that your organisation is able to recruit great candidates for all sales, service, support, apprentice and graduate roles.
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