General Recruitment vs Volume Recruitment

General Recruitment vs Volume Recruitment

There are a few stark differences between general recruitment and volume recruitment – but what exactly are they?


This blog explores why your approach to hiring should change depending on what recruitment category you fall into. But first, let’s dive into what these terms mean. 


What is General Recruitment?

General recruitment is something that most of us will be familiar with if we’ve ever applied to a sole position within a company. Usually, general recruitment means finding a single worker to fit into a specific business or team.  


This can be corporate, creative or manual, but the focus is hiring an individual that possesses skills that are needed in a particular company or team.


Often much more time is spent getting a feel for the candidate’s personality, their long-term goals, and how they would fit in with current members of the team and the company itself.  


Though it’s a time-consuming process, it’s sustainable because it usually involves one person for what is hopefully, a lengthy amount of time.  


a diagram showing the different stages of the recruitment process


Pictured above is what a standard recruitment process might look like for your typical job. In the UK, it takes an average time of 27.5 days to complete this process. Essentially, almost an entire month of the year, dedicated to identifying, sourcing, selecting, and hiring.  


This of course, puts added workload on your existing team, as well as the time after the hire, when they will need to be onboarded and trained properly.  


But what if you had to repeat this process not just once or twice a year, but once a month or once a week, and not just for one person? What if it was two, or ten or a thousand? How could you hire so frequently or so many people by following the above?


Simply put—you couldn’t, and that’s why volume recruitment is different.  


What is High Volume Recruitment?

So what exactly is volume recruitment? What do we mean by this relatively misunderstood term?  Listen to how occy CEO Greg Dorban defines volume recruitment below: 

Volume recruitment is generally defined as recruiting for a high volume of roles or high volume of candidates, usually filling recurring roles year in, year out.  


This could be for the same roles or it could be a handful of the same. But the bottom line is it involves recurring work, with a high amount of admin and roles to fill.  


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Unlike general recruitment which tends to focus on long-term singular positions, volume recruitment looks to fill the needs of companies who need a higher number of workers, often for shorter periods (take Xmas temps in the world of retail for example).  


a list of six high volume recruiting industries


Often, volume recruitment tends to happen in a handful of the same industries. Though by no means definitive, the above shows the industries that tend to fall under the needs of volume recruitment.


Workers typically work on contracts for a specific amount of time until moving on. So how do you source, filter, select and hire candidates in volume for these particular industries with very specific needs?  


The image below is an overview of how that process works in the form of a funnel. Why? Because recruiting in volume, is sending large numbers of people through a funnel, from sourcing through to hiring, much in the same way a marketing funnel works.  


occy funnel for source filter select hire



General Recruitment 

The sourcing stage for general recruitment is centred around picking a perfect candidate who not only can do the job, but who’ll fit into the team and wider company. Businesses usually advertise the jobs themselves, on their own websites, social media (LinkedIn, Twitter etc), and onto the major job boards like Indeed or Monster.  


Some may even source out to specialised external Recruitment agencies who search and maintain databases of qualified candidates.


This is usually enough if you’re looking for one sole candidate for a lengthy amount of time, but to do this in volume would be impossible. The cost in time and money would make the process simply unsustainable. So how do volume recruiters source?  


Volume Recruitment 

In volume recruitment, sourcing candidates to fit into a wider team or company is less of a priority, though still important. Instead, they’re more interested in knowing if the candidate can do the job and when they’d be available to start.


Recruiters hiring in volume usually use automated recruitment software or an ATS (Applicant Tracking System) to source their candidates.


Alongside that, many still rely on external agencies that specialise in hiring for those particular industries – who also keep a database of candidates they know are qualified.


Recruitment software specifically designed for the needs of volume recruiters can help you source the candidates you need by being able to provide cheaper rates across thousands of job boards across the country, as well as PPC ads.  


Not only that, but SEO plays a major role in your job ads visibility. Having professional copywriters tailor and advise your job ads can result in your ad getting more visibility and more importantly – a lot more responses. 


The use of an automated recruitment system means volume recruiters can automate their job posting (for the recurring roles that will occur) without having to manually manage the campaign every time, saving enormous amounts of time.  



General Recruitment 

Filtering in general recruitment means filtering applicant CV’s and finding any relevant experience that you think is translatable to your current role.


If an employer or company is relatively small, they may choose to do this manually, meaning they would read CV’s and cover letters and pick out any that stand out before choosing who to interview. This is incredibly time-consuming and often means other things aren’t getting done in the business. 


However, in today’s day and age, most larger companies, (even if they’re picking out candidates for a single position), will use some form of ATS (Applicant Tracking System).


From here, the software scans the CV for keywords and phrases that match the job description and the desired skills and experience the employer is looking for. It will then arrange those CVs in the most relevant order for a hiring manager.  


Volume Recruitment 

Some use of automation during the filtering stage is practically unavoidable for volume recruitment.


If you’re hiring hundreds or even thousands of employees year-round, manually assessing candidate applications is not an option. Recruiters would spend their entire days simply doing admin (many actually do).


But doing admin isn’t what recruiting’s about. An automated recruitment system can allow you to filter out fairly and without bias.  


You’ll be able to build and customise your own application forms to suit the needs of the specific roles you’re hiring. The hiring of a factory worker would be a different form than that of a data scientist for example. Being able to customise forms (which are then integrated to thousands of job boards) makes the process faster and cheaper for the recruiter.  


Not only that, but automated filters which include ‘killer questions’, ‘overseas filters’ or minimum experience criteria, means you can filter out a great deal of candidates so that only the best are filtered through to the next stage.  


line of people with a magnifying glass on one of them



General Recruitment 

Once a candidate has been shortlisted, they’re usually invited to interview. Prior to the pandemic, most of these were done face-to-face, but today, they’re mostly done online.


Recruiters and candidates will then set up a time that suits them both, which is usually discussed via e-mail. Many recruiters deem this to be the make or break of a candidate’s chances of landing the job.  


It’s also an opportunity for both parties to get an idea of what it might be like working for one another, and if their vision, ethics, and personalities align.


Another benefit is that both recruiter and candidate can ask each other any questions that haven’t been answered during the application process. Though a candidate may have passed the application stage with stellar results, if they interview poorly, they’ll unlikely land the job.  


Volume Recruitment 

Selecting candidates in volume recruitment is very different. If an in-person or video interview is necessary, an automated interview scheduler shows the candidates the time slots a hiring team have available, so the candidates simply pick a time that suits them too. That cuts all the back-and-forth e-mails.


Other jobs may not even require an interview, in which case a simple recorded video where the candidate answers a few questions is enough, and others don’t even require that.  


Others may simply progress to background checks, and if verified, invite to a practical test. Take an HGV driver position for example. Recruiters hiring drivers may be less interested in a person’s interviewing skills and more in their skills driving large goods vehicles. 


The driver may have a background check conducted, and once passed, invited to a training centre where they’re tested on their ability to drive an HGV. Once that’s passed, they may be able to start immediately.


These automated processes cut down the time and cost significantly for volume recruiters.  



General Recruitment  

The hiring stage of the process is the final stage. After initial face to face interviews, recruiters may do reference checks and background checks to hear from former employers or colleagues.


If they’re satisfied, candidates usually receive a phone call where they’re offered the job, and then are sent the contract via e-mail for them to review and sign or clear up any questions regarding the contract.


Once that’s signed, notice can be given (if the candidate is currently working) meaning the candidate will work the remainder of their notice at the current job before starting at the new one.  


Volume Recruitment  

For volume hiring, the process needs to be even more streamlined.


That means one click accept/reject options for candidates and recruiters’, and the ability to e-sign those same contracts online.


It means using automated chasers if someone hasn’t signed a contract before work is scheduled to begin.  


It also means that when it comes to future hires, you build a database of candidates that you know are qualified and have expressed prior interest, making them excellent options to re-target (again not so different from a Marketing funnel.)


With the data and analytics, a recruitment automation software like occy, provides the ability to analyse and examine what stage in your process requires work, what areas can be improved, as well as the ones you’re already doing well in.  


To conclude

Using the same methods you’d use for general recruitment in volume hiring is far from ideal. Volume hiring needs a solution that’s designed to tackle unique issues that are only faced by volume recruiters.


The needs of corporate recruiters are already being met – but the needs of volume recruiters have been ignored for far too long. That’s why occy is on it to give volume recruiters the tools to deliver the results they want. 


Looking for more ways to improve your volume hiring? Download The Ultimate High-Volume Hiring Toolkit today. 

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