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Ask Ian: “I’ve been asked to oversee a new site launch and recruit over 100 people. Where on earth do I start?”

Published 6th Sep 2022

I’ve got plenty of experience hiring and managing people, but I’ve recently been asked by one of our directors to oversee a new site launch, which includes recruiting over 100 people. This will be everything from admin roles to those on the production line, team leaders and delivery drivers. It’s a huge project.

To be quite honest, I’ve no idea where to start! 

– Anon

I totally understand your position on this one! Volume recruitment can be very daunting given the sheer numbers, timescales and budgets involved, particularly if it’s something you’ve never done before. There are many moving parts and you’ve got to keep on top of them, which adds to the pressure (to put it lightly).

Having worked on many volume recruitment assignments for the likes of Sainsbury’s, and other organisations across different sectors, we’ve learnt a few valuable lessons along the way, which I’m going to share with you. 

Every assignment, however, is specific – and although the same principles apply, a tailored approach is always needed. 

Here are 5 top tips for success in volume recruitment: 

1. Clearly define the job role(s)

Make sure that your job description reflects the role. You need to accurately highlight all the desirable skills and state the salary (we would always recommend this to save time). But avoid the endless bulleted list of requirements. Answering the ‘Why should I come to work for you?’ question is critical, so you should always include benefits such as flexible working. Talk about your culture and values too, and pay attention to language to make the ad appealing to a wider and more diverse demographic. 

2. Simplify the application process

Think about shortlisting and job interviews at the outset. You can expect to receive many applications, so you’ll need to be organised and move quickly. The key is to make the application process painless, from the uploading of CVs through to the different interview/offer stages. You should state timelines in your job ad so people know what to expect and when. Use human language and avoid corporate jargon. 

3. Plan your recruitment strategy

You need to know where to look for the talent. Many candidates won’t actively be looking for jobs, so you will have to approach them – for example, via LinkedIn InMails. As well as publishing the roles on your website (are the jobs optimised for mobile?), you might want to advertise on industry job boards and social media platforms. If they are entry level jobs, target graduates and attend careers fairs. Approach diverse communities.        

4. Invest in the right technology

Automated AI powered hiring systems can significantly help quicken the time to hire while reducing the risk of unconscious bias. Chatbots are increasingly being used to screen candidates. There are also a number of video interviewing and facial recognition tools to assess personality and soft skills. Virtual reality can enhance the candidate experience. A word of caution: make sure the tech is fit for your purposes before you commit financially.   

5. Seek internal referrals

Your current employees can be a rich source of referrals. Make sure you communicate with them and ask if they know any friends or family members who might be interested in applying (you might entice them with some kind of financial reward or voucher if it leads to a placement). Encourage them to share with their social and professional networks. You might also receive some internal applications from people inside your organisation.   

Bonus tip (let’s put this one down to experience!)

Whatever you do, don’t lose sight of the brand-led candidate experience. Communication is key, so let candidates know where they stand, whether or not they’ve been selected for an interview. You want to stand out as an organisation that cares about people and treats people with respect. Remember, some of these individuals might apply again in the future or even recommend their friends, so it really does pay to offer a premium candidate experience.  

Volume recruitment can be challenging at the best of times, so taking the time to plan a tailored and targeted talent acquisition strategy will actually save you time. It will also maximise efficiencies and vastly improve your hiring results. 

We have carried out multiple volume campaigns, site openings, warehouses, contact centres, retail store openings and much more. 

We are specialists in our field and can provide further advice about this or any other recruitment related topic, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us! 

Got a question for Ian?

If you’ve got an issue or work-related question you’d like to put to recruitment guru Ian McMullin, email enquiries@mccarthyrecruitment.com with the subject line ‘Ask Ian’. We can’t answer every question, but we will try our best to point you in the right direction. All emails are treated with the utmost confidentiality.

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