How to Run an Accelerated Recruitment Drive

Successful Hiring on a Mass Scale

How to Run an Accelerated Recruitment Drive - Successfully Hiring on a Mass Scale

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Start your new members off on the same foot.

Recruitment can be tricky, even at the best of times. You have to consider many factors – for instance, are candidates suitably qualified? Do they have the knowledge, skills and attitude to do a great job? Will they fit in with the corporate culture? Are they truly interested in the role?

But imagine recruiting people into a number of different roles within your organization, all at the same time, while still maintaining the "quality" of those new hires. This process is known as "accelerated recruitment." In this article, we'll look at the unique challenges and opportunities that hiring managers face when planning these events.

What Is Accelerated Recruitment?

Accelerated recruitment is when you hire a number of new team members at the same time. It can happen at organizational level, for example, because a business is opening a new office or expanding into a new market, and needs to build teams at every level of seniority.

It can also happen when you're enlarging a department, and need to add several new members to an existing team, when you need to cope with seasonal changes in workload, or when you want to bring a lot of new graduates into your organization at the same time.

The Benefits and Challenges of Accelerated Recruitment

There are several benefits of recruiting a large number of people at the same time.

Building a team from the ground up means everyone starts fresh, energized and on the same page. You have an opportunity to create a positive corporate culture right from the beginning. And, the large number of applications you may receive can make it easier to find the right person for each role.

However, accelerated recruitment also presents a number of challenges.

First, these recruitment drives can be complex, and require a great deal of planning and preparation. Without a thorough plan in place, great recruits can slip through the net. A disorganized event can also affect your organization's reputation, especially if disgruntled candidates vent their frustrations on social media.

Also, you need to think about how to maintain quality when you're recruiting a lot of people. For this, you need to pitch your marketing campaign at the right level to encourage as many strong applications as possible, which you can then narrow down at the interview stage.

Another challenge is training. Hiring many different people at the same time means you'll have to conduct a lot of training. On-boarding a number of team members adds another layer of complexity to the process.

But perhaps the biggest challenge is making sure that new starters understand and work within the organization's culture. This is relatively easy to embed when bringing in individuals, but you can quickly lose this when setting up completely new teams.

Tips for Organizing an Accelerated Recruitment Drive

Accelerated recruitment drives are complex, which is why you need to be organized. Use the strategies below to develop a robust plan for your hiring event.

Step 1: Develop a Plan

Before you start planning, think about your goals and objectives. What do you want to achieve? Who else should you involve in the process?

Consider these elements when developing your plan:

  • Where will your recruitment drive take place? You might want to organize it at an assessment center, rather than carrying out individual interviews.
  • Consider geography carefully. Are there likely to be enough high-quality potential recruits in the location you're targeting? Do you need to expand your search area, or look into multiple locations?
  • When does this event need to take place?
  • What "candidate experience" do you want people to have, and how should you "dress" the venue to provide it?
  • What supplies or equipment do you need? Who will set up and take down tables or booths?
  • Who will conduct the interviews?
  • How much space will you need to conduct the interviews?
  • What Inbox/In-Tray Assessments or psychometric tests do you want to use, and how will you administer these?
  • What is your budget?

Next, make a list of the vacant positions, and write a job description that outlines the goals and objectives of each one.

Think about the type of person you're looking for. Do you want someone with specific industry experience, or are you willing to train someone up who has the right mix of passion and personality? You can also use success profiling to compare potential recruits against your top performers.

Last, think about how you'll make candidates feel special throughout the process. Without careful attention, large-scale recruitment drives can be impersonal. What can you do to recognize each candidate's uniqueness?

Step 2: Choose Ways to Process Applications

You can screen and process applicants in various ways.

Consider using technology to screen initial applications. Specialist HR software can sift through large numbers of résumés before you start interviewing people. This can help you decide which applicants you want to take to the next stage of the recruitment process.

For example, applicants could complete an online application or aptitude or recruitment test. You could interview those who seem like a good fit over the phone, and then invite them to a face-to-face interview.

Another idea is to invite interested applicants to attend an "open house" at your organization. This allows them to see the facilities and learn more about the available positions. It's also a form of self-selection, as those who attend have demonstrated a genuine interest in your organization.

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Step 3: Also Recruit In-House

You'll likely want to offer existing team members the opportunity to apply for these open positions too. It can be incredibly beneficial if current employees transfer, since they are already familiar with your organization's culture and objectives. Also, if people are feeling disengaged, the chance to move to another department might re-engage their interest in their careers.

Keep in mind that you'll need to negotiate relocation packages with anyone who needs to move a significant distance for a new role.

Step 4: Develop a Communication Process

Imagine that the marketing for your recruitment drive worked a little too well, and you received thousands of applications. Your organization could make a poor impression without a robust system in place to handle how it communicates with applicants.

So, write a procedure that explains how you will contact each person after the event. You might also find it helpful to create a flow chart that illustrates the communication process from start to finish.

Step 5: Find the Right Marketing Mix

You'll need to market your recruitment drive intelligently to attract the greatest number of qualified candidates. Consider using the following platforms:

  • Print advertising – Contact newspapers, billboards, trade journals, and professional associations.
  • Online advertising – Look at recruiting sites, online job boards, social media (Twitter® and LinkedIn®), and email.
  • Word of mouth – This includes customers, suppliers, vendors, and recruitment agencies. You could also tap into existing team members' networks by offering a refer-a-friend bonus.
  • University careers fairs – If your roles are pitched at graduate level, these can be a good way of reaching a large number of good-quality candidates at the same time.
  • Other media – Television and radio ads.

As you plan your marketing approach, take time to think about your employer brand, and make sure your marketing reflects it. Organizations with positive corporate cultures often attract the best recruits, so it's important to showcase why yours is a great place to work.

If you're having trouble defining your organization's culture, our articles on The Seven Dimensions of Culture, The Competing Values Framework and Handy's Four Types of Culture can help.

Step 6: Plan Your Induction

On-boarding new employees has its challenges, and there are many important elements to consider when running a successful induction program.

First, look at the basics. How will the training take place? Is it more practical to use on-the-job, online or instructor-led training? Next, how will you schedule training? Where will you hold it?

Importantly, consider your corporate culture. How will you instill this within your new teams? (This will take a lot of effort, but it is crucial if you want to avoid problems later on.)

Also, how can you ensure that high-quality products and work are delivered to your customers during the time that people are getting "up to speed"?

Key Points

Accelerated recruitment is when organizations hire a large number of people at once. This can be because of a market expansion, opening an office in a new location, or making an existing department bigger.

Mass recruitment can be complex, so proper planning is vital. Advertise your vacant positions on as many appropriate platforms as possible, so you get a large number of high-quality applicants. Make sure you take steps to make each applicant feels special during the process, and have a communication strategy in place to keep them up to date.

Last, take time to address each new recruit's training needs, and embed the corporate culture within your new teams.