Creating an Outstanding Candidate Experience for Volume Recruitment

How can organisations provide the same level of candidate experience to their volume hires as they do more specialised and senior hires?

In-house recruiters are always on the lookout for more engaging ways to assess candidates, and for volume hiring, the solution needs to be scalable and cost-effective. At our volume recruitment roundtable we were joined by online retailers as well as high street retailers, and clients from the insurance and banking sectors.

Hiring for the digital agenda

Digital transformation is shaping organisations in these sectors and recruiters are looking for ways to demonstrate their digital credentials to candidates, at the same time encouraging applications from candidates aligned to the digital agenda.

One of our participating organisations has a goal to be “one-third digitally led” and is hiring with this front of mind. Video interviewing is already being used by most participants as it’s accurately assessing important skills that will be required on the job.

Key takeaways:

  • Video interviewing is working well for organisations and is aligned to their digital agenda. But, it’s important to have an alternative available for those who can’t video interview in order to be more inclusive.
  • More businesses are questioning the value of a CV and are moving to strengths-based assessment rather than assessing on experience. This is especially important in front-line roles.
  • Organisations still have recruiters spending time marking video interviews. There is interest in automated predictive analytics but some caution about whether there is scientific proof behind the data.

Giving back to candidates

Giving back, and giving feedback, is part of providing a great candidate experience. Some clients have the resources to provide feedback only to those who reach the face-to-face or assessment centre stage and there is interest in assessment tools that incorporate a candidate feedback function.

Maintaining engagement between offer and day one is a focus for our participants, many of whom suffer from high drop-out rates during the on-boarding stage. For high-volume hires it’s difficult to maintain engagement without the support of technology; “how do you make the process special when you have a group of 20 starters?” asked one participant.

Key takeaways:

  • Some high-touch initiatives used for on-boarders elsewhere in our client’s businesses are just not viable for high-volume hires, so recruiters are looking for other ways of maintaining engagement.
  • Organisations are adopting tech-led solutions such as online chat rooms to tackle ‘pre-job jitters’ and Facebook groups for new starters. Providing a way for on-boarders to connect and ‘meet’ their team or even arrange joint transport, is helping to reduce renege rates.
  • Communication programmes that include scheduled calls, texts and emails have shown to be successful during unavoidable time lags such as during background checks that can take up to 15 days.
  • Listening to feedback from clients, LaunchPad now has the functionality to provide personalised automatic feedback to candidates following online screening on our platform.

Managing hiring managers

Gaining buy-in from internal stakeholders is a key influence on candidate experience. Without it, the candidate experience can be compromised. Our group discussed initiatives, incentives and training to help hiring managers better understand the process and decision-making.

Recruiters face push-back, such as requests for CVs, and suffer from a lack of feedback from hiring managers who want to make the final decision but without explaining the rationale. There is some work to do in terms of helping hiring managers understand the capabilities and benefits of tech-led recruitment.

Key takeaways:

  • One client who is struggling to generate manager feedback is trialling a survey to encourage responses. This is an effort to gain feedback on all candidates, not just those where managers have an emotive positive or negative response.
  • Involvement of hiring managers is necessary if recruiters are to accurately measure hiring success and candidate experience. Metrics like % against FTE, first year attrition and progress against ‘step pay’ are heavily influenced by managers.

Making a tech-led approach work

Technology is undoubtedly increasingly important in high-volume hiring and all our participants are using it to some degree. Given the growth in the market and constant evolution of tech, organisations are still tailoring their approach and looking for the right combination. The key must-haves from our group are:

  1. A validated and reliable platform on which to base high quality decisions.
  2. A provider that is honest, adaptive to changing business needs and technologies.
  3. A platform that puts candidate experience at the centre without being compromised by scale or speed of hiring.

Thank you to all our participants for sharing your stories and ideas. If you’re an in-house recruiter working in retail, hospitality, or contact centre hiring and would like to join the conversation, please get in touch.