Recruiting at scale has a rep for being quick and dirty, with a focus on staff numbers and speed – not quality staff or a thoughtful recruitment process. But for most high-volume recruiters, that’s far from accurate. Volume recruiters have always looked to balance the need for feet on the ground with great people – and now it’s even trickier. Applicants have been thin on the ground for a while now, making it hard to find even one great staff member, let alone hundreds.
So, how do you reach the right people, nurture them through the recruitment process and ensure you can pull from a pool of talent? Here’s our go-to guide:
Volume recruitment tends to be about part-time roles and short-term contracts, so it makes sense that Gen Z candidates are the focus. It also follows that reaching out to younger folk requires a different approach – they’re not necessarily scouring the job boards and can be turned off by fiddly application processes.
Here’s how to tailor your search to fit:
Get social right
Gen Z is at home on social, and you should be, too. To start with, make sure you’re using the right channels – younger applicants aren’t likely to be hanging out on LinkedIn or Facebook, so think about branching out to TikTok, Instagram or newer channels like Discourse.
People aren’t on social for long reads, so keep your messaging super short and to the point (seriously: the first five words are the most important). And don’t forget the back end – ensure posts click through to an application or job listing page, include key details and make it look slick (they will notice).
Find your voice
Social media are all about relationship-building and making connections – it’s hard to do that with stiff, traditional business writing. Writing online should be simple and straightforward, with as much warmth and authenticity as you can muster. You don’t have to jump right into text speak or cringey slang (in fact, please, please don’t do that). Just try to sound like you’re talking to your candidates face-to-face, and don’t get bogged down in those grade school grammar lessons (if that all sounds overwhelming, check out our cheat sheet).
Harness the power of video
If you’ve ever watched a cat falling off a table on a loop, you’ll understand the power of video content. One study found that adding video to ad campaigns boosted qualified leads by a massive 66%. While marketing and recruiting aren’t the same, video can be a way to boost your candidate funnel as well. Use video to capture snippets of your workplace culture – and don’t forget to include younger staff members to help Gen Z applicants see themselves in your company.
Beyond the job boards
Job boards used to be the go-to for job hunters. Now, they’re just one of the tools in a recruiter’s toolbox. Young candidates tend to hunt elsewhere, so if you’re targeting Gen Z, you need to diversify. Social media are a great start. What else? Try IRL ideas like school or college newsletters, posters at malls and sign-up forms at your premises (this works especially well if you’re a retailer or fast-food outlet).
Word-of-mouth still works
You know how you make friends through your friend group? The same principle works for volume recruitment. Around 40% of people learn about new jobs by talking to friends. Spread the word in your workplace, ask your team for recs – and offer an incentive like a sign-up bonus if you can. Friends tend to have similar values and work ethics, so if you’re lucky, you’ll hook a whole group of recruits that slot right into your team.
You can also add a recommendation tool to your application process, like a simple question at the end of the form: ‘Do you know any friends who would like to apply?’ If the candidate enters a friend’s email address, they’ll get an automatic invite to apply.
Widen your search
The more people you talk to, the better your chance of getting the right person into each role. And that’s the goal, right? Widening your pool means looking in unexpected places and taking a good hard look at your criteria so you don’t eliminate promising talent. Younger candidates might not have years of experience or concrete qualifications, but they can make up for that in energy, attitude and new perspectives.
Make everyone welcome
Diversity, divergence and identity are all near the top of the priority list for Gen Z – and many employers are still playing catch-up. If Gen Zs think parts of their identity might not be welcome in the workplace, it could put them off applying altogether.
Want to attract the younger demographic? Let them know it’s safe to bring their whole selves to work. Mention your approach to diversity in your recruitment materials, think about whether you’re unintentionally excluding or marginalising certain groups, and, well, make sure that you’re actually hiring diverse people – not just chucking a few nice-sounding buzzwords into your process. The right tech tools can help you remove bias from your hiring so you’re being fair to everyone. (Read this to see how Bunnings eliminated gender bias in its frontline recruitment).
Your to-do list:
Clear, simple, frequent communication
Gen Zs communicate near-constantly, so it makes sense that they expect employers to keep in touch. They don’t necessarily mind rejection (we found that 43% were fine with rejection letters, and 36% were neutral), but they HATE being ignored. 65% said ‘regular updates on my application status’ would help them feel better about the whole thing.
You don’t have to send super formal letters or emails for everything – this generation is happy with a quick text. Key points: keep the lines of communication open, explain each step clearly and never leave them hanging.
Keep applications short and sweet
Old-school, multi-part application processes don’t really work for Gen Z – and they often don’t make sense for lower-level or part-time roles, anyway. 57% of applicants lose interest if the hiring process is too long, so keep it short and focused.
Tighten your process with automation – Weirdly’s tech can help you pull the right candidates from a large pool, identify the right skills and create an instant longlist. Test your process to spot any roadblocks that might put people off (our live analytics can help here). You can also hand some of the tasks over to the candidates themselves – Weirdly’s interview booking system lets applicants pick their own timeslots. Sweet.
Resumes are out
Resumes aren’t just time-consuming to create (and tedious to sift through) – they can also replicate unconscious bias. For volume hiring, it could make more sense to use a questionnaire or form to simplify the process on both ends.
Target uses Weirdly’s application portal as part of its ongoing quest for diversity and inclusion. Instead of a resume, candidates work through an assessment based on values, location and availability. The new system has already paid off, with a significant increase in indigenous candidates being interviewed.
If you can’t get rid of resumes altogether, do yourself a favour and ditch the hand-screening – pre-employment software can help speed things up and avoid bias.
Your to-do list:
Building a talent community
One of the upsides of high-volume recruitment is that plenty of candidates cross your path, giving you access to a bigger pool of talent. You might get applicants that you can’t place straight away, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to hire them in the future. Building a talent community lets you keep them close by, so you can reach out when the perfect role pops up.
Educate, communicate, leverage
When candidates apply for a role, save their details and qualifications. Keep in touch with regular updates, info about your business and new job listings, so you’re top-of-mind when they’re looking for their next job. When you open a new position, you’re jumping into a pool of available, suitable candidates instead of heading out into the open market.
Use tech to filter talent
Building a talent community doesn’t have to be arduous. With the right tools, you can send automated invites, filter candidates by skills and values (as Target does) and nurture your community with minimal effort.
Your to-do list:
Track candidate metrics
Volume recruitment comes with vast amounts of data. You’re probably tracking it already – but are you digging into it to improve the hiring process? Metrics like source and conversion rates can help you refine the process, seek candidates in the right places and make the experience more positive for applicants. Check out our article to see how Vodafone created a unique recruitment process that was a hit with candidates – applicants rated the experience 8.9 out of 10.
Work with Weirdly
When you’re dealing with complex data, it makes sense to work with the experts (AKA us). As your high-volume ATS, Weirdly can handle the numbers for you, delivering the insights you need without all the faffing around. We’ll look at data points like:
Your to-do list:
Your next steps
Sourcing methods, simplifying applications, talent communities, data – it’s a lot, right? We’re here to help.
If your volume recruitment process isn’t up to scratch or you’re struggling with candidate scarcity, give us a call. We’ve got the tools to make things simpler, and tons of experience with recruitment at scale.
Chat with the team now.