High volume recruitment is common practice during the early stages of a digital transformation programme.

But what is high volume recruitment?

For those readers who aren’t familiar, ‘high volume recruitment’ is what it literally suggests. It is the practice of hiring for a large number of open positions in a given time frame.

‘High volume’ can mean different things to different people but we’ve typically seen programmes worth over £50 million in costs having 50-strong client-side teams.

Quite often, our clients have needed multiple contractors with similar skills. Predominantly in the Training space, but occasionally also User Researchers. In this context, a requirement of over 5 resources at one go, may be considered as ‘high volume’.

In this blog post, we explore the market constraints that can impact the availability of the best contractor talent, and look at 4 tips for getting high volume recruitment right.

High Volume Recruitment – The Market Constraints

Before you begin high volume recruitment for your programme, it is important to understand the 4 market constraints that can impact the availability of the best contractor talent.

1) The best talent isn’t looking for jobs for much of the year

Here’s what we know about outstanding contract talent. They are rarely available and seldom in the job market looking for a job.

Week-long recruitment campaigns are therefore largely a game of chance.

2) Resource availability is often reliant on similar projects

Resource availability is often reliant on similar projects by other companies starting or ending, as large projects tend to act as hubs of such contractors.

Very often, a large number of contractors will be released from the projects around the same time to coincide with a Go-Live, or abandonment, or an outsourcing decision.

However, if a number of other companies are starting a project at a similar time, the availability of contractors may be substantially lower.

3) High risk of dropouts

When people are looking for jobs, they may have other options they may be eyeing. Therefore, there is a risk of dropouts throughout the process.

Furthermore, with a wealth of job openings, candidates are often hindered by the paradox of choice which can create anxiety.

The paradox of choice is a phenomenon where choice overload can make you question the decisions you make before you even make them.

Find out how to stop losing contractors in our blog article, How to Stop Losing Contractors Before Their Start Date.

4) Are you hiring a team, or a group of individuals?

Poor agency selection may result in a group of individuals being hired, rather than a great team.

Digital transformation programmes need to attract and retain best-in-class professionals, who aren’t just good at what they do but can also work well with each other as a cohesive unit.

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High Volume Recruitment – How to Get it Right

Here are 4 tips on overcoming the aforementioned market constraints and getting high volume recruitment right.

1) Can you hit the market twice, instead of once?

Going out to the market twice, rather than once will double your chances of finding outstanding contract talent. We recently ran a recruitment campaign for a public sector client and found great talent on the second run. Our strongest selections had missed out of the previous campaign, because they weren’t looking for a role then.

A good recruiter will also be able to create awareness in external talent pools 24/7. For example, through your programme’s own website and (if it helps) its own social media handle. By always remaining open, they will build up a pool of people not just with the right skills but also with a genuine interest in your organisation.

With our 24/7 talent funnel, we help you remain “always open” for outstanding contract professionals! Find out more on our How We Work page.

2) Understanding the market cycles

Resource availability is often reliant on similar projects by other companies starting or ending. Consequently, a strong high volume recruitment campaign is all about timing and understanding market cycles.

If you are tuned in you are likely to make the most of short-term contractor supply spikes. The stronger the awareness of contractors and cycles, the easier it will be for you to acquire and retain proven talent.

3) Create an excellent value proposition

To reduce the likelihood of dropouts, organisations should create an excellent value proposition. This is the reason why, from a candidate’s point of view, working for you is better than working for others.

Firstly, you need to create and promote your employer brand. For example, through blog posts, client testimonials, and interviews with current employees. Secondly, you could change your compensation models. If you can structure the payment profile to be on outcomes, and where such a change lends the role to be outside IR35, you are likely to attract a much wider pool of candidates.

A great value proposition will stand you head and shoulders above the competition. Subsequently, candidates won’t be faced with the paradox of choice as YOUR organisation is the only one they’ll want to choose, and it will help lessen the likelihood of dropouts.

Another tip is to hire 5% more than you need, so you are covered if there are any late dropouts. Nonetheless, it is a tough one if you end up with 16 people you can start if you only need 15 people. As a result, especially in a high volume recruitment situation, you should seek funding approval for a range of resources rather than a fixed number.

We have in the past assisted clients with determining the range, as also applying techniques such as soft market testing to identify if the market has the appetite to fill your requirements for a high number of similar roles, to good quality.

Our belief is that talent is best sourced externally. To find out more head over to our blog article, Programme Staffing – Why Recruitment Should Be Outsourced

4) Work with specialised recruiters

You need an intermediary who can help define the service and identify resources from the contract market (and substitutes over time) – who are not only great but also can work well together. This has a dual benefit as contractors find the prospect of working with previous colleagues more enticing as there is shared understanding from Day one.

Furthermore, it is advisable to work with recruiters that specialise in the area of work. Such recruiters will usually keep tabs on other projects in the tech domain and can devise a resourcing plan to capture the best of the market.

For instance, with our knowledge of the contract market in respect of Oracle trainers, we helped our public sector client identify and onboard the entire training team to plan and within the approved funding envelope. The team we instilled came with the advantage of knowing each other from recent projects with other clients.

How do I get started with High Volume Recruitment?

Getting strategy for high volume recruitment right, is necessary for the success of transformation programmes. Therefore, organisations should look to use a specialised recruiter – to test your assumptions.

It is natural for clients to gravitate towards hiring an outsourcing supplier for such needs, however a well thought through hiring strategy through the contracting market will provide better value for money.

With our experience of working on transformation programmes, we understand our clients’ problems intuitively.

As a result, we are better able to represent our clients’ interests to candidates – making sure that at the pre-hire stage, no good candidate is kept “waiting for the client to come back”.

If you want to attract and retain best-in-class professionals, who aren’t just good at what they do but can also work well with each other as a cohesive unit, check out our Programme Services.

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