Volume Hiring Strategies | Thomas.co

When your business is looking to scale up its workforce, meeting the demand will be one of the biggest challenges it will face. This is why getting to know the importance of volume hiring is more than a simple task of simply beefing up your requirement needs. 

Volume hiring is one of the most competitive processes a growing or established business can face where even trying to get entry level positions filled can be the biggest challenge a recruitment department faces. 

In this guide we are going to look at what volume hiring is, how it is different from regular recruitment strategies, the challenges faced with high volume recruitment and some of the strategies that can be implemented in your organisation. 

What is volume hiring?

High volume recruitment or volume hiring is when an organisation or industry looks to recruit hundreds or thousands of new employees in a set period of time to fulfil demand. 

Whilst there are similarities with regular recruitment activities there are additional considerations and challenges.

Some example conditions that would require high volume recruitment include:

  • Season staff requirements (e.g. in hospitality, farming or retail)
  • Staffing a new office, retail outlet or department
  • Rapid business growth requiring new teams
  • Setting up new locations/departments in new towns/cities

Volume hiring vs regular recruitment strategies

As already mentioned, there are differences between volume hiring and regular recruitment strategies which are primarily focused on filling one (or very few) specific roles. 

In regular recruitment strategies the process to fill a position is roughly similar across different industries and they include:

  • Identification of the recruitment need

What position requires filling and what is the need for this position to be filled. I.e. A staff member has left and it is a replacement. 

  • Defining the role and what’s required

What’s the job specification? Is it going to be similar to a role that is being replaced or will there be variation. Identify and elaborate on the recruitment need. 

  • Writing and publicising the vacancy

Focus on writing the job specification and publishing it across different platforms and job application sites. 

  • Sourcing candidates

Based on human insights into the job application. A quick glance or sift through the C.V. to create a more defined list. 

  • Evaluating written submissions (CVs etc.)

Both done through software and human interaction with the applicant. Reading through C.Vs/application letters/assessment tools and getting an insight into the candidate. 

  • Arranging interviews

Bringing in the candidates that have stood out most in the previous part of the strategy. 

  • Conducting interviews

Bringing in candidates to speak with multiple stakeholders and individuals at different times. 


  • Evaluating interviewees

Thinking of the criteria to evaluate the interviewees and their performance in the interviews and assessments. 

  • Taking the time to consider & Making hiring decisions

There is usually an associated time to consider the hiring decision and then making the hiring decision to see if the candidate will accept the offer or not. 

When building out your volume recruitment process, you need to consider that it can involve the recruitment of hundreds or even thousands of new staff. For example, into  call centres. There are going to be differences with the strategy outlined for filling one or a handful of roles at a time. What is typically involved includes:

  • Typically - recruiting multiple people for similar roles

I.e. call centre staff, agricultural or manufacturing labour. 

  • While regular recruitment processes are largely manual - high volume recruitment must involve automation

It is near impossible to be able to do any of the volume manually, especially when you consider that there are thousands of applications. This is best left to automated systems that can expedite the process quickly and help the organisation get staff into roles as soon as possible. 

  • The application process is digital

Rather than there being multiple people involved or getting multiple-stage interviews in the process, most of the volume strategy is done digitally. This means that there may be a screening call or online test before proceeding any further. 

  • Role specific application assessments - optimal for automation

For certain roles, automated specific application assessments are perfect for this volume hiring drive. I.e. call centre staff recruitment may take on a specific assessment package that analyses call behaviour and employee attitudes. 

  • Data-driven automated selection - not based on human assessment

Rather than human bias being involved in the recruitment process, this is all assessed via the automated process. 

  • Only final confirmations carried out via brief interviews

Once the assessment tools and criteria return to the hiring managers, a final confirmation will be carried out via brief interviews - especially to assess if the candidate is still available for the role. 

High volume recruitment challenges

As with any kind of recruitment drive, there are going to be challenges. We are going to take a closer look at what these are and in the next section discuss how you can overcome some of them. 

  • Finding enough candidates

Some industries or organisations require high volume recruitment that can sometimes be thousands of new recruits every month. This means that once you have recruited, say, the first time in an area, you may have a limited pool of candidates the second time round. It can also be hard to find thousands of people for positions in more rural areas or where the skillset is different to the requirements of the organisation.

  • Traditional ‘job board’ style advertising doesn’t yield the volume or quality of candidates required

You can’t just use the traditional style methods of reaching candidates. You need to think differently in how you approach such a large drive. A job advert on Monster or LinkedIn won’t cut it. 

  • Volume hiring typically deals with entry level, low complexity roles

Which means that the application process needs to be short and easily completed by interested candidates. If it’s too long or requires lots of screening, then candidates will move to businesses that move first and quickly. 

  • Impossible to assess all responses manually

You simply can’t assess all the responses manually which means having to trust that the software you use is fit for purpose and able to find candidates who can successfully complete the job.

  • Entry level role applicants expect a fast response

Again, this comes to speed as entry level candidates will feel no obligation to the organisation. It’s more about fulfilling a need and not job development. Move fast, get the volume filled. 

  • Volume recruitment requires efficient interview processes

While interviews can’t be automated - the process to set them up / schedule them can be.

High numbers of candidates mean the selection process is more complex.

  • Manual processes are flawed / biased
  • Need very clear selection criteria - scoring candidates
  • Candidates might be automatically selected if scores meet benchmarks

High volume recruitment strategies

As noted, high volume hiring can involve a lot of time spent by recruiters dealing with screening and shortlisting candidates. Efficiency in the overall process is a key challenge.

Here are some useful high volume recruitment strategies that you can implement in your organisation. 

Make the job application process fast and simple

When undertaking high volume recruitment, you want to make the whole process fast and simple. Avoid making forms and any of the assessments off putting. You want to focus on  a “candidate first” application process which is about your applicant needs before the business. 

Some simple application forms that can be accessed and completed via mobile devices yield the best results. If possible, think about creating a 1-click application process. This is user friendly and makes applications seem totally easy to access for anyone. 

Rediscover previous applicants

You can use talent rediscovery which is the ability to automatically screen candidates who applied for a previous role at your company and match them to current openings. You are ‘mining’ for talent in previous applications whilst also trying to uncover new talent in new applications.


Make effective use of automation

You need to make use of effective technology and automation for volume hiring, this involves making the best out of the things such as an application tracking system (ATS). They provide:

  • All candidate information in a central, accessible location 
  • Track all candidates through all stages of the process
  • Speeds up application screening
  • Speeds application management
  • Evaluations on the assessments

Even small speed improvements at one stage in the process - when multiplied across a high volume of candidates - becomes a significant efficiency improvement and cost saving.

Use programmatic recruitment

Programmatic recruitment uses technology and big data analytics to make automated decisions and streamline recruitment processes. It can potentially determine how best to advertise roles and target viable candidates. 
As it requires minimal human involvement it enables recruiters to focus on screening and selection criteria so that candidates fit more the profile of employee that they are looking for. 

Automate resume screening

It takes a lot of time to screen CVs/resumes. Think about what the process involves. Reading through statements, trying to find relative experience and knowledge for the role you’re recruiting for and even having to make an assessment on the truthfulness or validity of what has been written. This can take a lot of time and effort. 

But, clever talent intelligence software can use AI to screen resumes - based on the assessment of resumes from existing personnel - which provide a picture of the ideal profile. From experience to any of the language used which can indicate candidate behaviour - in some instances. 

Use automated candidate assessments

Using  automated candidate assessments speeds up the process of candidate evaluation, in particular, automating the candidate assessment process can help you uncover many different aspects of the candidate. For example the Thomas Recruitment Platform helps you to gain a better understanding using assessment tools such as:


When it comes to high volume recruitment, there are many challenges that an organisation can face. From not having enough candidates to taking up strategies that are lengthy in time and effort.

However, preparing a high volume recruitment process is about understanding that you need to automate systems and processes to ensure that you are not only quick to identify talent, but also quick to hire. This is especially important for organisations who are rapidly growing or for seasonal labour where demand outstrips supply. 

The Thomas recruitment platform can help you with your high volume recruitment process by providing you with the necessary tools and skills to manage your needs.