HCM research and advisory firm Aptitude Research and Fountain, the world’s leading all-in-one applicant tracking system for high volume hiring, unveiled new data suggesting recruiters are under pressure to fill a large number of positions in today’s labor market.
The new study surveyed 420 recruiting employees at the talent acquisition director level and above — across all industries and company sizes — in a series of interviews from February-July 2021.
Majority of Companies Challenged by High Volume Hiring Needs, Recruitment
Almost two-thirds (65%) of companies surveyed said they have high volume hiring demands, defined in the study as needing to fill over 1,000 positions in a short period of time or receiving more than 1,000 applications per position. Positions that need to be filled include: gig workers and hourly roles, customer service and call center representatives, healthcare staff, seasonal financial services (e.g., tax professionals, accountants), data entry specialists and statisticians — in addition to other positions businesses need to scale quickly or that have experienced sudden growth need to fill. But companies are not seeing as many candidates applying for jobs this year: almost 7 in 10 companies stated that they are getting fewer candidates applying for jobs this year than last year. In addition, 48% of respondents say they are having difficulty finding quality hires.
“Unlike traditional corporate recruitment, high volume hiring needs are extremely time-sensitive, and speed defines success,” said Sean Behr, CEO of Fountain. “Our new data suggests companies need to simplify, optimize and automate as much of the candidate journey as possible to decrease time-to-hire. Businesses that are unable to scale their hiring to meet demand risk negative business outcomes.”
High Candidate Drop-Offs Reported During Apply Phase
Not only are businesses struggling to find applicants, they are also having issues with candidates dropping off, and this is happening early on in the process. Forty-three percent of companies say the area where most candidates drop-off is during the apply phase. When asked why candidates are dropping off early in the process, recruitment professionals cited that those who had applied had found other jobs (47%) or had a poor candidate experience (46%). This indicates that easy apply continues to be a challenge in high volume recruitment. Indeed, 1 in 3 companies state that the application process takes longer than 30 minutes for high volume roles, and 1 in 2 companies do not have a mobile-optimized application process. Companies also identified issues with the employer brand and not wanting to work for the company (25%,) as well as candidates dropping off when they find out the pay (34%).
Companies Investing in Tech, But Neglecting Key Elements of Hiring Journey
Sixty-five percent of companies with high volume recruitment needs are not satisfied with their current applicant tracking systems (ATS), and 82% are increasing their investment in technology this year. Yet when asked what areas companies will reevaluate, recruitment marketing (24%), screening (22%) and sourcing (20%) remained top of the list, suggesting that recruiters are focused on early phases of talent acquisition. And only 27% of enterprise companies are planning to automate more than 50% of their talent acquisition processes this year, and most of those companies are just automating the application process.
“It’s critical for recruiters to understand the candidate journey for high volume roles, which is different from traditional hiring,” said Madeline Laurano, founder of Aptitude. “Our data shows while companies are investing in ways to identify the right talent, they are neglecting the interview, assessment and onboarding phases. Businesses also need to work on shortening and simplifying the apply process, investing in self-scheduling solutions during the interview process and communicating with candidates using the tools they want to use, like text messages.”
Recruiters Prefer High Volume Workers to be Vaccinated
Although the government is not mandating vaccinations, employers can still ask job applicants about their COVID-19 vaccination status as they try to protect staff and customers. Fifty-nine percent of companies are asking their high volume workers to get vaccinated in 2021.