Time is of the essence for employers and staffing companies ramping up hiring efforts ahead of events such as a new store opening, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. Hiring hundreds or even thousands of individuals during a short period not only takes time, but it also requires getting a head start on finding and attracting quality candidates.
Seasonal hiring can also be highly competitive. Since other employers, including those in warehousing, retail, and hospitality, seek to hire a high volume of seasonal talent, staffing companies must have a well-thought-out recruitment strategy in place, so they are ready to identify and hire the talent they need.
10 Steps to Getting Prepared for High-Volume Hiring Season
Whether hiring hundreds of tax preparers every Spring or thousands of retail store associates every Fall, high-volume hiring brings a host of challenges. Employers can encounter low applicant awareness, competition with other employers, and a scarcity of candidates. According to recent US Chamber of Commerce research, there are over 10 million job openings in the US, but only 5.7 million unemployed workers. During peak seasonal hiring periods, when job openings increase, employers may find it even more challenging to compete for the limited number of available candidates.
To encounter these challenges, employers can take the following steps:
1. Begin Planning Early
Staffing firms getting ready for high-volume hiring season need to kick off the search for applicants long before then. Months in advance, recruitment professionals should take advantage of advertising opportunities and plan recruitment campaigns for relevant hiring markets.
By starting early, recruiting teams can build a more robust high-volume hiring strategy and take proactive steps to overcome potential roadblocks along the way. Some of the planning activities recruitment professionals can take include:
Finalizing hiring goals
Hiring extra recruiters to manage higher applicant volume
While past experience offers no guarantees for the future, data from previous hiring cycles can help staffing companies understand what they might expect for the next high-volume hiring season. Historical recruiting data can help companies forecast how many hires they may need to make going forward, and which activities should be repeated or scaled back based on how successful they have been in previous seasons. For example, previously underperforming out-of-home ads, like billboards, would most likely signal a need to shift to other media to boost applicant conversions.
Tip: Instead of continuing to invest in a recruitment marketing activity that isn’t working, employers can take an omnichannel approach to recruitment for better results. Recruitics’ data-driven recruitment marketing tools help organizations reach candidates where they are via a diverse range of media platforms.
3. Use a Data-Rich Recruitment Analytics Platform
According to LinkedIn research, talent acquisition teams with mature analytics are twice as likely to improve their recruiting efforts than teams without analytics. Recruitment analytics make high-volume hiring more manageable by helping recruitment professionals track the ROI of a range of recruiting activities across locations and company divisions. Using a scalable, fast, and efficient analytics platform also provides the data to track key hiring metrics such as:
Each hiring market is different, in terms of the number and types of positions to be filled. As a result, applicant sourcing during a high-volume recruiting season requires recruitment marketing campaigns tailored to each job market. Developing market-specific strategies allows staffing firms and employers to develop a deeper understanding of each market’s needs and then select which recruiting activities will yield quality applicants and the best ROI for that market.
Developing market-specific recruitment strategies also offers flexibility and the ability to customize sourcing tactics to match each market’s hiring goals, candidate supply, and number of active and passive candidates.
5. Automate Job Advertising Campaigns
Instead of having recruitment teams become quickly overwhelmed by the volume of campaigns running across social media, search engines, and job sites, a solution like Recruitics’ Automated Marketing Platform (AMP) pulls it all together in one solution. AMP will allow you to meet your long-term supply and demand goals by leveraging a favorable ROI. AMP creates and maintains candidate flow across hundreds of markets at once, allowing employers to reap the benefits of higher applicant demand for open positions. Using a combination of buying algorithms and automation tools, AMP allows organizations to tailor candidate flow to each geography while maximizing cost-per-applicant (CPA) efficiency. AMP provides companies with supply and demand data that is otherwise very difficult to get and costly.
The solution gives recruitment teams more control over where to direct their programmatic advertising dollars, as they can quickly and easily push more advertising in markets that need it, and pull back in areas that have sufficient applicants.
6. Keep Programmatic Strategies Up-to-Date
Programmatic job advertising is an excellent option for seasonal recruiting because it can distribute a high volume of job ads across hundreds of job sites according to an organization’s budget and hiring goals. However, because an organization may need to adjust hiring parameters in different locations, the programmatic strategy must be updated periodically. This helps to ensure hiring goals are met and keep a steady flow of candidates into the company.
Given that there can be multiple employers competing for the same audience of job seekers in a given market, employers and staffing companies need scalable and flexible solutions to reach an often limited pool of candidates. Programmatic job advertising technology makes this possible by using algorithms and machine learning to streamline candidate outreach. For example, the Recruitics Automated Marketing Platform (AMP) allows employers and staffing companies to access pay-for-performance job sites. It also makes it easier for recruitment teams to update jobs, market definitions, and hiring goals without experiencing downtime in the deployment of job ads.
7. Update Recruitment Content
Most consumers rely on information about a product or service before making a purchase. Given that candidates are consumers too, it’s essential to create engaging recruitment content that gives candidates a clear picture of the company and the roles it advertises.
Before the start of peak hiring season, organizations should evaluate the following recruitment content sources:
Job titles: These should read how they would on a business card, which will improve their SEO ranking as well as the quality of candidates.
Job descriptions: Developing specific, transparent job descriptions increases the likelihood of receiving applications from individuals who possess the desired skills and experience.
Job ad content: Optimizing content across all channels where job ads appear allows organizations to maintain employer branding consistency.
8. Apply Targeted Recruitment Advertising
Meeting candidates where they are is critical for getting their attention at the right time in their job search journey. While some prospective seasonal employees may be actively looking for opportunities, they may not be searching in the same places. Targeted advertising allows organizations to access a variety of media to reach more people, including passive candidates and individuals with low awareness. A combination of video, display ads, paid search, and social media are all excellent examples of non-job media that can enhance high-volume hiring in competitive job markets.
Entering peak hiring season shouldn’t feel like starting from square one. By cultivating the talent pool over time and keeping interested candidates engaged, staffing companies will have more people to hire when the time is right. Some of the ways to grow and nurture the talent pool include:
Staying in touch with previous seasonal workers and inviting them to come back for the next season.
Implementing an employee referral program, which offers the dual benefit of engaging existing employees in the recruitment process.
10. Evaluate the Candidate Experience
The candidate experience has the power to influence a job seeker to accept to reject a job offer. A PWC survey found that nearly half (49%) of job seekers turned down an offer because of a bad experience during the hiring process.
To avoid losing applicants at any stage of the process, companies must offer a positive candidate experience. Key aspects of the recruitment process staffing companies should evaluate include:
Applications: How long it takes candidates to apply, and whether there are ways to make it more efficient, for example, with in-store application kiosks.
Candidate assessment: How many times a candidate needs to be interviewed before receiving an offer.
Screening and onboarding: How long it takes to complete background checks and hiring paperwork before a new hire can begin working.
Get Ready For Peak Recruiting Season
Each season brings new challenges and opportunities, but with the right strategies and technologies, employers and staffing companies can not only be prepared to compete for talent, but also ready to improve ROI and meet the next round of high-volume hiring goals.
For help building a successful high-volume recruiting strategy, the team at Recruitics is here to help! The Recruitics team can provide strategic support and customized recruitment marketing solutions to help organizations hire talent in any market and at any time of year.