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Overcoming Challenges in Your High-volume Recruiting Funnel

Posted by
Wendy Lu
July 27, 2023

Hectic. Frenetic. Intense. These are some of the words used by Ron Washburn at the World Staffing Summit to describe the state of recruiting. No surprise because Ron is Executive Vice President at Soliant, one of the leading healthcare staffing firms in the country, which was placing frontline workers during the COVID pandemic.

According to, 69% of HR professionals say they are handling or have handled high-volume recruiting in the past year. Additionally, 40% believe that the pandemic has increased their likelihood of engaging in high-volume recruiting in the future. 

High-volume recruiting has always been intense but the pandemic has made it even more so. These high volume recruiting challenges are not restricted to healthcare but for any industry that is trying to place a huge number of people over a short period of time. The two biggest challenges reported by HR professionals are reducing time-to-hire and assessing candidate-job fit. Let’s take a closer look at these challenges in various stages of the hiring funnel.

What is high volume recruiting?

High volume recruitment (also known as volume recruiting) is when an organization has hiring demands of hundreds to thousands of new employees during a set period of time.

What is a standard high volume recruiting strategy and process?

A common strategy for high volume recruiting is to use a funnel approach. This involves drawing a wide pool of  applicants before reducing them via different phases of evaluation, screening, and interviews. The following are essential elements of an effective large-scale recruitment strategy:

  • Company branding: Establish a solid company brand to entice more candidates to your organization. This involves formulating a distinct value proposition, showcasing organizational culture, and marketing your company on various platforms, such as social media, job boards, and career sites.
  • Job postings: Create precise, succinct, and persuasive job listings that accurately represent the position and its requirements. Utilize a combination of job boards, social media, and employee referrals to extend your reach.
  • Applicant Tracking System (ATS): Adopt an ATS  to simplify the application procedure, automate tasks, and efficiently handle numerous candidates.
  • Evaluations and screenings: Employ pre-hire evaluation tools, such as skill assessments, cognitive tests, and personality exams, to exclude applicants who fail to meet the fundamental criteria for the position.
  • Systematic interviews: Conduct organized interviews using a predefined list of questions and uniform scoring guidelines to maintain consistency and minimize bias during the interview process.
  • Candidate interaction: Consistently communicate with candidates during the process to keep them engaged and informed about their progress.
  • Onboarding: Effectively integrate new employees to decrease time-to-productivity and enhance job satisfaction and retention.
  • Data review and analysis: Track recruitment metrics like time-to-fill, cost-per-hire, and quality-of-hire to fine-tune your large-scale recruitment process and make informed decisions.
  • Continuous improvement: Periodically assess and adjust your recruitment process to guarantee its continued efficiency and effectiveness in managing a high volume of candidates.

Common high volume recruiting challenges (and how to overcome them)

Sourcing enough candidate profiles to match high volume recruiting needs

While your firm may be implementing cutting-edge hiring practices such as running programmatic ads to target the right set of candidates for your openings, these tend to get expensive in a high-volume hiring scenarios. Especially when more than 50% of job placements are fulfilled through candidates already in the company’s database.

It’s ironic. On the one hand, you are spending thousands of dollars trying to source the right candidate profiles; but on the other, you are leaving a vast pool of profiles already in your database untapped.

Automation through a candidate engagement platform can help you tap your existing database to identify candidates that fit your job role and are ready for a new gig. The first step is to use high volume recruiting tools for automation to segment your database based on the candidate’s profile, location and other prerequisites. The next step is to send out automated messages over email or SMS to check on the candidate’s availability and interest in the role you are hiring for.

Sense Case Byte

Recruiters at Advanced Group, parent to three unique staffing brands, use the Sense mobile app to text candidates from their own phones without revealing their personal numbers. On average, 90% of people read text messages within 3 minutes and respond 90 seconds later. Over a 90-day period, Advanced Group sent over 30,000 text messages with a 54% response rate.

Another effective way to circumvent the cost and inefficiencies of job board postings is to improve your redeployment rate. With automated high volume recruiting strategies, your recruiters get valuable data about candidates they have already placed. For example, if recruiters know when candidates are nearing the end of their current contract, they can share relevant new openings beforehand and fasttrack the interview process. This way, the candidates will have their next gig waiting and recruiters reduce their fill-time.

Overcoming recruiter fatigue with high volume recruiting tools like AI chatbots

Recruiters spend two-thirds of their time on non-human-focused activities such as running searches, screening profiles, updating databases, and scheduling conversations. In a high-volume recruiting process, this takes a major toll on recruiters leading to fatigue, low job satisfaction and a higher chance of errors.

Recruiting leaders at some of the most progressive organizations have therefore turned to automation to overcome this challenge in high volume recruiting. According to Lauren Griffin, Senior Vice President, Volt Workforce Solutions, “Using AI chatbots for screening has increased fill rates at all our clients and allows recruiters to focus on high value tasks like candidate relations.”

With AI, specifically AI recruiting chatbots, you can automate up to 90% of the application and screening process. These chatbots can screentop-of-funnel candidates using a custom series of questions based on your predefined criteria (“Are you able to lift up to 50lbs on a regular basis?” “Do you have Javascript skills?” “The pay is $20/hour. Does that work for you?”), freeing up valuable recruiter time that can be spent on meaningful relationship-building with candidates.

Creating a great candidate experience for high volume recruiting

Recruiting has been traditionally seen as a conversation-led business. “I’ve been in the staffing business since the early ‘90’s and always believed the job required tons of phone calls,” says Brett Pinto, founder of MissionStaff. “While I still believe in the power of relationship building through phone conversations and meetings, I’ve seen that our clients and candidates prefer engaging digitally. The culture has changed.”

Not just that, in a high-volume recruiting environment, it is practically impossible to build 1:1 relationships over calls. However, candidate engagement is the lifeblood of the recruiting industry, resulting in not just better relationships but also actual revenue through better redeployment and referral numbers. So, how do you drive candidate engagement through recruiting personalization at scale?

MissionStaff turned to Sense Engage. “I was just looking for a text messaging tool, but Sense showed me how I could build automated workflows for delivering touchpoints throughout the lifecycle of consultant engagements,” Brett says.  Today they get countless thank-you messages because they remembered consultants’ birthdays, or because of the clear instructions they got via text the day before they started a new job. 

Chatbots are another way to keep candidates engaged even when your recruiters are not around, say after work hours or on holidays, which is when many job seekers are active. Because of how algorithm-driven they are, chatbots also eliminate unconscious recruiter bias in the early stages, giving you a diverse talented candidate pool that fits the role.

Measuring recruiting effectiveness with high volume hiring metrics

To misquote the Cheshire Cat, if you don’t know where your hiring dollars are going, there’s no point spending, is there? Depending on the industry, size of your firm and your high-volume recruitment needs, it is important to assess where your time and money are deployed and what returns you are getting. Some firms use a hiring scorecard that includes metrics such as time to fill, placements per recruiter, cost per hire and hiring success.

According to’s The State of high-volume recruitment and Assessments 2021 report, these are the top recruiting metrics that firms measure.


Needless to say, a hiring metrics scorecard is only as effective as the accuracy and relevance of the underlying data. When your hiring process is automated, tracking response time, fill rate, redeployment, etc. becomes far simpler because you get access to analytics dashboards and hiring funnel reports. You can also simplify the process of getting additional information from candidates — for example, NPS or sentiment scores — through text recruiting.

Read how these three healthcare staffing firms improved their drop-off rates, online reviews and YoY hiring with the help of Sense’s database and messaging automation tools.

Do you have high-volume recruitment needs coming up this year? We can help. Schedule a demo today to know more about our solutions.

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