8 Steps to Follow When You Need to Hire a Lot of People, Fast

April 26, 2016

One of the biggest challenges a recruiter will face is having to hire a lot of people in a short amount of time.

Almost invariably, it’s a good sign for the company, because it means it’s growing exponentially. But, it’s also a critical time for the company, as hiring that many people can drastically affect the culture and overall talent level.

So how do you hire dozens, hundreds or even thousands of new people in a short period, without sacrificing quality? It’s difficult, but not impossible. Here are eight steps that will help you do it:

1. It starts with assembling a hiring team – and not just of recruiters

Any massive hiring effort starts with assembling a team to do that hiring. Obviously, you are going to need recruiters, who can source and screen candidates.

That said, there’s an advantage to using some of your current employees who are in the related field as well. For example, if you have to hire a thousand customer service representatives, it makes sense to bring in some of your best existing customer service representatives to help you define what you are looking for in the position and do interviews.

These people can still do their regular jobs, perhaps working with your team eight or ten hours a week. By getting them to commit, they are making a tremendous impact on the rest of the organization, as they are helping define what type of talent ultimately joins your company.

2. Make it clear what you are looking for

Once you have your team, it’s time to start defining what you are looking for. Generally, when companies have to hire a lot of people in a short period of time, it’s for just a few different roles.

That’s where having people who are excelling at those roles already at your company can help. If you are hiring a lot of salespeople, for example, ask your existing all-star salespeople what skills it takes to do well in that role. Additionally, you should define what characteristics your company prioritizes, to keep your culture strong.

3. Pick the right place to search for talent

Just like you can’t catch fish where there are no fish, it is going to be far harder to hire if you are hiring in a place that’s doesn’t have very much of the type of talent you are looking for.

To help, use LinkedIn’s talent pool reports and industry reports to find both the best geographical places to search for talent and the best universities to find talent, if you are looking to hire recent graduates.

4. Technology can help you scan through candidates

If you start aggressively sourcing jobs, there’s a chance you might get an avalanche of applicants that can be burdensome to go through. To help you achieve that, there is technology out there that will scan through candidate’s profiles and help you identify strong people.

That should help you at least reduce the amount of applicants you are dealing with to a more reasonable, more viable amount.

5. Structure your interviewing process

Science has found structured interviews, with a structured way to assess a candidate, are better for screening candidates than non-structured interviews. That’s good, because structuring both processes are essential when hiring a lot of people, quickly.

For example, for the first round of interviews, have your recruiters all ask the same eight questions to each candidate on a phone interview, with clear instructions on what to look for. From there, you bring the best candidates in for a couple of interviews, where again you have a set of questions you and your team ask them.

A structured process will save a lot of time. But it also makes for a much more objective, reliable interviewing process, as opposed to everybody interviewing and assessing in their own way. Also, if you see any problems emerge as you are hiring, it makes it easier to quickly adopt, since everyone is using the same playbook.

6. Do mass on-boardings

If you are hiring a lot of people quickly, particularly if it is all for the same position, it makes sense to do mass onboardings. That way, rather than onboarding a few people every day, you can onboard a large group once a week, or once every other week.

This will allow for a more structured, efficient process, where new hires can also meet fellow new hires.

7. You should ask your new hires for referrals immediately

Employees are most likely to refer a candidate within the first six months of the job. Also, people tend to associate with like-minded people. So if you hire a customer service professional, there’s a good chance they know other customer service professionals they could refer.

So ask for referrals the minute you hire someone. In fact, it should be included in onboarding. Referred candidates can be streamlined through the process too, and data shows referrals are among the quickest and best ways to hire, so it is something you definitely want to emphasize.

8. Constantly measure and review to see where you can reduce bottlenecks

LinkedIn once had to hire 100 people in 60 days. They had three rounds of interviews, the first being a phone screening with a recruiter, who would rate the candidate on a one-to-three scale.

What LinkedIn found was that 90 percent of candidates who got a score of three in the phone screen passed the second round of interviews as well and went to the third. To save time, LinkedIn began having candidates who earned a score of three jump right to the third round of interviewing.

The bigger point is that LinkedIn constantly collected data as it was hiring at mass. That data proved instructive and allowed the company to streamline its hiring efforts. It also shows why having a standardized interviewing process is so critical, because it allows for quick adjustments.

It makes sense to do the same. If you collect data throughout your hiring process, you can make the same sort of data-backed decisions that will have a tremendous affect on your ability to hire at scale.

For more tips on this topic, join our free webinar: Hiring at Scale: Increasing Talent Density Without Compromising Quality on Thursday, April 28. Sign up here.

*Image by Evilspoon7

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