Strategies for Overcoming High-Volume Hiring Challenges

Competition for talent is steep, with high demand from contact centers, hospitality, retail, security, travel, logistics, healthcare and even government entities. In fact, 65% of companies have high-volume recruitment needs. Organizations across sectors are struggling to stand out in today’s competitive talent landscape, but for those talent leaders trying to meet their high-volume recruitment goals it feels like an impossible mission with soaring attrition rates, labor shortages and record job vacancies.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the top challenges you’re probably experiencing with high-volume recruitment and offer some ideas to address them.

What is High-Volume Recruitment?

High-volume recruitment involves sourcing, screening, interviewing and hiring large numbers of applicants for similar openings or job types. It requires a tricky balance of keeping substantial quantities of job applicants moving through the recruitment process at speed. Plus, throughout the year it requires talent acquisition teams to scale up quickly to meet seasonal demand, like for holiday shopping periods or during peak travel times.


9 Strategies for Solving High-Volume Hiring Challenges

The High-Volume Hiring Landscape

COVID-19 was a mixed bag for high-volume recruitment. Retail and logistics workers were less severely impacted by furloughs and layoffs due to the “front line” status of grocery stores and the growth in online shopping. However, other industries, including the travel and hospitality sectors, were hit hard as lockdown came into force. 

The following trends are shaping the high-volume recruitment landscape:

  • Increased Competition:
    Job openings have grown by a third since 2019, yet job seekers per opening have fallen by half. Plus, hourly employees who were let go during the pandemic may feel resentful of their former employers and may have moved on to other roles in other sectors.
  • Recruiters are Rare:
    As of April 2021, recruiter job postings on LinkedIn surpassed pre-pandemic levels. There’s a record number of roles to be filled and not enough recruiters to tackle the work, creating a series of knock-on effects for organizations.
  • Attrition is Skyrocketing:
    A massive 41% of the global workforce is considering quitting their jobs and only 20% report feeling engaged at work. In a recent survey, 55% of hiring managers cited retention and turnover as the number-one issue impacting their ability to hire—and their company’s ability to thrive.
  • Candidate Expectations Have Changed:
    Modern candidates have modern expectations which are more aligned with today’s consumer experience. They want digital-first experiences—on their mobile phone—and fast responses. In fact, they expect acknowledgement of their application immediately upon submission, first contact from a recruiter within 24 hours and regular updates on the hiring process in a timely manner.

High-Volume Recruitment Challenges and Solutions

In this challenging landscape, how can employers stand out from the competition and attract a large number of candidates quickly without sacrificing quality?

We’ll tackle three of the top challenges below and offer strategies you can use to get ahead.

Challenge: Ghosting and Candidate Drop Off are Rampant

“Ghosting”—not showing up with no reason given and often no communication from the candidate—is on the rise at the interview, assessment and even onboarding stages. According to an Indeed survey on ghosting in the workplace, 22% of candidates say they have accepted a job offer but didn’t show up for the first day of work.

Many organizations are not prepared to support the current pace of hiring. Candidates are much less tolerant of long recruitment processes and pauses in communication from employers, so organizations who can move the fastest are more likely to have their offers accepted. Plus, those doing high-volume recruitment are seeing an increase in candidates dropping out of the funnel even in the application phase. If applying for a position is too complicated or too long, candidates won’t complete it. Online applications with 45 or more questions have an abandonment rate of nearly 90%.


An RPO partner can help you evaluate your recruitment processes and identify opportunities for efficiency. They may suggest steps you could eliminate or combine and introduce tactics to help reduce the time between steps to help you keep pace with candidate expectations and reduce ghosting. They can also take over time-consuming steps like reference verification and background checks, leaving your team to focus on moving candidates through he funnel faster.

RPO providers also have access to the latest talent acquisition technology which can automate parts of your process. Leveraging CRM technology enhanced by artificial intelligence (AI), your RPO partner can nurture candidates through automated recruitment emails and even SMS messages. Texting is also a great way to screen candidates and automate interview scheduling, eliminating manual steps and accelerating your hiring timeline. By automating some of your candidate communications, you keep candidate engaged and reduce funnel drop off without increasing the workload for your recruiters and hiring managers.

Challenge: Desperation to Fill Vacancies Results in Reduced Quality-of-Hire

Increased attrition from the Great Resignation is leading to productivity loss. Many businesses have been forced to close stores due to lack of staff or because they don’t have enough staff to assist customers in a timely manner—in-store, in-branch or in the call center. The customer experience suffers which results in decreased sales and revenue loss, leading to some talent acquisition teams and hiring managers making bad hires out of desperation to fill vacancies.

With tight competition, time-to-offer has become a competitive differentiator. Often hiring managers may skip some interview or assessments steps in order to speed up their processes and keep talent in the funnel, leading them to compromise on quality-of-hire. Candidate without the right skills can also impact your customer experience.


Challenge your assumptions or your hiring managers’ assumptions about the type of skills and background that are really needed for your roles. This will help you understand what experience is necessary for talent to have coming into the role and what can be learned on the job. We did this for one of our high-volume RPO clients that was struggling to hire for customer service roles. By interviewing their most successful customer-facing employees, we helped the brand realise that past customer service experience was not a predictor of future success, but rather employees stressed the amount of problem solving they had to do in their daily tasks. Not only did this expand their pool of talent, but it also helped to increase the quality of their hires and reduce attrition.

To support this, you should also rethink your candidate assessment so that it evaluates not just hard skills, like the ability to use a point-of-sale system, but also soft skills like empathy, attitude and work ethic, which are increasingly important for high-volume hiring. At PeopleScout, we’ve developed our whole person assessment model specifically for high-volume hiring. Through this we’ve helped many organizations create an assessment process that can identify and excite great candidates without extending their recruitment timeline.

Challenge: Leaning on Hiring Managers to Recruit is Leading to Burnout

With recruiters in short supply, hiring managers are picking up the slack in order to fill their vacancies. Unstructured, ineffective hiring processes and weak employer brands are putting the burden of attracting candidates and creating positive candidate experiences squarely on the hiring manager. The pressure only increases as they miss business targets due to lack of staff. In fact, 84% of hiring managers say they have hit or have come close to burnout because of hiring for their organization.


A high-volume RPO solution helps augment your resources by acting as an extension of your in-house team. An RPO provider can handle everything at scale from sourcing and pipelining, screening, interviews, assessments, reference checks, offer management and more—whatever you need to free up your in-house recruiters and hiring managers to focus on more high-value tasks. Plus, RPO partners have particular focus on keeping hiring managers informed—whether it be ensuring they’re prepared for interviews or delivering feedback from candidates afterwards.

One of the biggest value-adds that RPO brings is experience with the latest talent technology innovations. An RPO partner can help you assess talent acquisition software to address all aspects of your recruiting process, from sourcing talent to creating a more efficient candidate experience. Your provider can show you how emerging technologies like AI, machine learning and predictive analytics can boost your speed and hire quality. Your hiring managers will love not having to spend so much time on administrative tasks.


The current talent market can’t be conquered with your old talent acquisition strategies. A high-volume RPO solution offers a range of approaches to help organizations attract, process and hire a large number of candidates. Whether you need to revamp your employer brand or to augment your in-house recruitment team, an RPO partner can help crank up your high-volume recruitment program.

[On-Demand] Boosting Candidate Engagement with a Comprehensive Talent Strategy

[On-Demand] Boosting Candidate Engagement with a Comprehensive Talent Strategy

The current hiring environment remains a challenge for employers—in the U.S., there are currently 4.3 million more open jobs than there are job seekers. Not only are employers struggling to find enough qualified candidates, keeping them engaged proves even more critical amid rising trends like candidate ghosting and recruitment process drop-out as well as the continued Great Resignation.

To cope, many organizations have added more gig workers, but the market for contingent workers suffers the same challenges. If talent leaders aren’t leveraging a unified strategy for recruiting both full-time employees and gig workers, gaps in their workforce will persist.

So, how can you engage these different types of candidates? Join PeopleScout Global Vice President of Implementation Mark Fita for the newest Talking Talent webinar, Boosting Candidate Engagement with a Comprehensive Talent Strategy, available now on-demand.

In this webinar, Mark will cover:

  • Today’s candidate recruitment process landscape
  • Best practices for optimizing your recruiting process
  • How to expand your employer brand to gig workers
  • The importance of using the right technology to engage candidates
  • And more!

Merivale: High-Volume Recruitment for a Winning Hospitality Brand

Merivale: High-Volume Recruitment for a Winning Hospitality Brand

Merivale: High-Volume Recruitment for a Winning Hospitality Brand

Merivale, Australia’s most innovative hospitality brand, turned to PeopleScout for a high-volume recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) solution, powered by Affinix, our talent acquisition suite.

800 hospitality roles filled in just six weeks
3,000 total hires made leveraging a data-driven approach
3 3.36 days time-to-offer achieved on average
balance of automation through technology and high-touch RPO
balance of automation through technology and high-touch RPO


In late 2021, Merivale was formally awarded the contract to manage the hospitality venues in the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) and the Sydney Football Stadium (SFS). This opportunity represented a new approach to dining at Sydney’s major sporting venues, moving away from the traditional fast food stadium experience toward more refined dining that will enhance the stadium experience.

However, the Sydney hospitality market was facing a crisis. After two years of border closures, the hospitality workforce was decimated. Plus, the uncertainty around the lifting of lockdown restrictions meant that Merivale received confirmation of their appointment to the stadium contract with only six weeks to prepare before the Ashes test would be held at the SCG.

Merivale came to PeopleScout with a challenge—to source over 800 roles in one of the tightest talent markets in a generation.

Challenge accepted!


PeopleScout needed to act fast. We quickly mobilised Affinix™, our proprietary talent acquisition suite, to capture expressions of interest from potential applicants. We built an online application form and campaign page that would educate applicants on the opportunities at Merivale, and through the dynamic application form, automatically categorized candidates into Merivale’s role streams of:

  • Bar staff
  • Wait staff
  • Cashiers

PeopleScout knew that speed was essential due both to our short timeframe and the highly mobile nature of hospitality candidates—we had to act fast! PeopleScout implemented a tech-powered talent acquisition solution through which eligible applicants were immediately invited to complete a video interview following their application. If applicants had not completed the video interview within 24 hours of submitting their application, our Center of Excellence team followed up to conduct a live phone interview. The PeopleScout Center of Excellence vetted all video interviews and phone screens, and successful candidates were handed over to Merivale for offer and onboarding.


The PeopleScout team worked tirelessly in the lead-up to the New Year’s Ashes test, and we were able to fill the 800 roles for the Merivale stadium launch—in just six weeks.

Following the success of the first phase of the hospitality launch, Merivale engaged PeopleScout to source the talent they required to support the hospitality venues across both the SCG and SFS for the remainder of the year. Merivale needed a total talent pool of 3,000 skilled hospitality workers including those with fine dining experience, like chefs and front of house staff and retail personnel.

Following the Ashes pilot, Merivale had a better understanding of the candidate profiles they needed, so PeopleScout worked closely with the Merivale team to profile nine job categories across three job families. Candidate responses were screened using AI-powered tools in Affinix to dynamically filter them into qualified roles.

PeopleScout leveraged Affinix to build real-time analytics dashboards which helped us build the insight gained through the first round of recruiting into the decision-making process. In Affinix, we tracked candidate sources and engagement levels and fed this insight back to the Merivale marketing team so they could direct their activities to the channel which yielded the greatest results. Leveraging the CRM tool in Affinix, we also encouraged referrals from current Merivale staff and alumni.

PeopleScout maintained the same high-touch approach and fast turnaround for video and phone screening. We collaborated closely with the Merivale team to assess our results completing, spot audits throughout the process to ensure the team maintains high-quality hires and achieves the best possible outcome.


PeopleScout was able to generate so much trust from Merivale that they gave our team permission to make direct offers to candidates without validation from the Merivale team.

In an extremely challenging talent market, PeopleScout achieved a time-to-offer of just 3.36 days and a time to fill of 5.5 days. PeopleScout is on track to source the volume of candidates Merivale needs, and with the SFS launching in late 2022, this requirement continues to grow.


  • COMPANY: Merivale
  • PEOPLESCOUT SOLUTIONS: Recruitment Process Outsourcing, Affinix
  • ANNUAL HIRES: 3,000+
  • ABOUT MERIVALE: Merivale is a pioneer within the Australian hospitality industry. With over 70 brands and venues, it is synonymous with delivering unique and memorable experiences.

Seasonal Hiring: How RPO can Help You Better Source and Hire Seasonal Workers 

Hiring seasonal workers is essential for employers in need of extra talent during the holiday season. If your organization depends on seasonal hiring to augment your workforce, it is vital to efficiently source, recruit, and onboard your seasonal hires to ensure you are staffed during the holidays.

Without a well-designed seasonal hiring program in place, employers risk going understaffed for the holidays, or for other times of the year when a business reaches a peak. In this article, we will walk through how an RPO provider can help you hire talent for the holidays and equip you with tips on building a seasonal hiring pipeline.

What is a Seasonal Worker?

hiring seasonal workers

A seasonal worker or employee is a worker who works for a short period to meet seasonal peaks in demand for an employer. This might coincide with weather seasons or with holiday seasons.

Employers that use seasonal hires typically need assistance at the same time each year, for example as lifeguards or lawn care workers in the summer or ski instructors or snowplow drivers in the winter. When hiring seasonal workers, you can hire them on a part-time or full-time basis depending on your needs.


9 Strategies for Solving High-Volume Hiring Challenges

What are the Benefits of Hiring Seasonal Workers?

If your organization experiences seasonal peaks in demand, hiring seasonal workers can be a good solution for staffing issues. Here are some of the benefits:

Extra Hands When You Need Them: When a business reaches its peak season, seasonal workers provide you that extra help fast when you need it, without the expense and time of hiring full-time staff.

Assist Full-Time Staff: Your seasonal employees can help alleviate the load carried by your full-time employees. This can improve morale for your permanent workforce because they have the support they need during peak times.

Low Risk: When you hire a permanent employee, you don’t always know if they’ll be a good fit for the job. Seasonal employees are only hired for a short period. If they aren’t a good fit, you have only made a minimal investment.

Potential full-time employee: On the other hand, if you hire a seasonal employee who works out well, you might be able to offer them a permanent position when one becomes available. It’s a trial run that works as a recruiting method for permanent positions.

Better Seasonal Hiring Begins with Crafting Better Job Descriptions

seasonal hiring

Writing job descriptions for seasonal positions is different from temporary, full- and part-time roles. It is important that your job descriptions accurately reflect the nature of your open positions, so candidates know ahead of time if they should apply.

For example, many seasonal roles are in a warehouse and logistics setting and may require candidates to work in a more physically demanding environment. Major retailers and logistics companies are in serious need of seasonal logistics workers with Walmart looking to fill 20,000 logistics roles while UPS, Kohl’s and Target are in need of 100,000 seasonal warehouse hires each.

To better understand the nature of the seasonal jobs for which you are writing job descriptions consider spending time shadowing workers in the relevant seasonal positions. What’s more, COVID-19 has made many employers became more familiar with video interviewing, however, the idea of leveraging videos to enhance your employment marketing and employer branding is sometimes overlooked.  

Job descriptions can be bolstered with video. A seasonal job posting could include a short video of a hiring manager describing the job and what they are looking for in a seasonal hire. Your video can even include examples of workers performing the most common tasks required to give candidates an accurate idea of the work involved.

How RPO Can Help

RPO providers can help employers conceive of and create a talent attraction strategy that considers both the needs of employers and seasonal hires through a data-driven approach to talent advisory and recruitment marketing making you a seasonal employer of choice.

Sourcing Seasonal Hires

Recruiting seasonal employees begins with mining a verdant source of seasonal workers. Employers should look for candidates such as students and other demographic looking for short-term employment opportunities. For example, recruiting recent graduates who are taking time to figure out what they want to do long-term is one way of sourcing seasonal talent. Often, these candidates prefer the temporary nature of seasonal work compared to a longer-term commitment.

Moreover, hiring candidates with a seasonal work mindset can help you keep them around for the full season or even retain them for next year.

When sourcing seasonal workers, look to hire people who want seasonal work including

  • Retired workers
  • Workers looking for extra work during the holidays
  • Stay-at-home parents who want to work while their kids are in school
  • Students who are on holiday break

How RPO Can Help

Many RPO providers have talent pools and networks they can tap into to source the right candidates for seasonal positions. RPOs also have experience building talent pipelines from the ground up and can assist employers in creating a sustainable seasonal hiring program that delivers year-in-year-out.

RPO partners also offer technology expertise to help you track, measure and optimize your seasonal hiring campaign by showing which channels and recruitment marketing messages are yielding the best candidates. They can help you with recruitment analytics so you can see your recruitment funnel at all your sites in a centralize dashboard.

Managing High-Volume While Hiring Seasonal Workers

seasonal hires

Many employers in need of seasonal hires require a large volume of talent to keep up with peak demand. High-volume hiring at its heart is a problem of scale which requires optimizing your time and recruiting spend. Recruitment automation can help you reduce the manual workload on your recruiting team and hiring managers while keeping your visibility on all of the candidates progressing through different stages of the interview process. Automating certain steps, such as screening and triggering assessments, allows recruiters to focus their time on higher-value, strategic work.

How RPO Can Help

An HR outsourcing solution such as RPO provides employers the ability to scale up seamlessly as seasonal hiring demands shift. With an internal talent acquisition team, it may be difficult to scale up hiring quickly enough to handle a higher number of hires and then scale back down when hiring volumes shrink.  What’s more, recruitment technology platforms such as PeopleScout’s Affinix can help you automate your recruitment program and create great high-volume hiring efficiency.

Never Neglect Your End of-Season Plans

How you end a relationship with seasonal hires can help with next season’s hiring. Here are a few things to keep in mind at the end of the season:

  • Availability: Ask outgoing seasonal employees if they would be interested in returning next season. Some workers design their needs and lifestyle around managing seasonal and temporary jobs, and they may be looking for another opportunity next year.
  • Exit interviews: To learn from successes and drawbacks, hold exit interviews with seasonal employees, regardless of how long they worked with you. Having informative feedback can help streamline next year’s efforts.
  • Permanent talent: Tempting as it may be, you likely won’t have the means or the resources to bring every seasonal employee on full-time. However, keep an eye on exceptional workers whose mix of soft skills and talent would be excellent fit as vacancies come open during other parts of the year.

How RPO Can Help

An RPO provider can help organize your offboarding efforts at the end of the season by assisting in exit interviews, managing your seasonal worker database as well as hiring top performers to permanent positions. An RPO provider’s ability to scale down engagements quickly means the process can be seamlessly executed so that you can resume business as usual.

Are You in Need of a Seasonal Hiring Partner?

seasonal worker

When it comes to maintaining your seasonal operations and providing excellent customer service during your peak months, hiring seasonal employees can help keep your business moving.

Whether you are in need of seasonal recruiting or a permanent talent solution, employers in our new world of work face rising recruitment challenges. An outsourced recruitment solution like PeopleScout’s high-volume RPO and Total Workforce Solutions can help you stay connected with talent and provide hiring resources that will add immediate value to your talent programs.

Talking Talent: Talent at the Speed of RPO

One of the biggest make-or-break factors in today’s talent market is simple, but difficult to execute—speed. In a talent market where job postings outnumber job-seekers and future uncertainty still plagues employers, speed can be the deciding factor in whether your organization has enough workers, as well as the best talent and the ability to respond to changing market conditions.  

When I talk about speed, I’m talking about it on two fronts: On one level, employers need to remain nimble. During the last two years, we’ve learned that the world can change drastically at a moment’s notice; as a talent leader, that means you need to be able to scale your team up and down. Can you respond to a hiring spike to keep up with demand? Can you handle seasonal hiring? If you can’t respond and flex your team quickly, you’ll struggle to hire enough candidates and your business will suffer.  

But, there’s more to it than that. There are three key factors that applicants have more of today than they’ve ever had before: Options, options and more options. They have options in the type of work they do, options in the level of compensation they receive and options regarding their work/life balance. Consequently, if you can’t bring a candidate through your recruitment process quickly enough, you’ll lose them to another one of their options.  

All of this is compounded by the fact that recruiters are in short supply. As SHRM reports, many recruiters changed careers after the cutbacks in 2020. Now, job postings for recruiters have tripled, and there aren’t enough candidates to fill the open roles. So, how can talent leaders meet candidate expectations? In this article, I’ll explain how the right talent solution can help you become more nimble and streamline your recruitment process. 

Challenge: Remaining Nimble Amid Uncertainty  

Whether it’s for planned busy seasons or unanticipated shifts in the market, you may need to scale your talent acquisition operations up or down—and fast. At first, you may think that this can be handled internally, but high turnover and a shortage of recruiters makes it difficult. And, although pulling in employees from other areas of the business for extra support during a busy period can be tempting, it then leaves shortages elsewhere in the organization. Plus, those workers may not have the skills or background to effectively recruit new employees.  

How RPO Can Help: Scalable Support 

Fortunately, you can get around this hurdle by looking for a recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) partner that can blend seamlessly with your organization. Specifically, an experienced provider can add or reduce the number of recruiters on your team to meet your changing needs. For instance, as you approach your busy season, recruiter numbers can increase to ensure they’re fluent in your business so that candidates never know the difference. Then, when your hiring volume decreases, those recruiters can move to a different project; you don’t have to worry about hiring additional recruiters or keeping additional staff busy during slower periods.  

How RPO Can Help: Automation Technology  

You can also use technology to streamline the process for your talent acquisition team. By doing so, you’ll be able to automate the time-consuming, repetitive tasks that add little value for candidates, but require significant recruiter time. Moreover, this also allows your recruiters to fill more roles quickly, making it easier for them to handle the increased volume of a busy period. Essentially, while you may still need to scale your team to some degree, the right technology can make these shifts less dramatic.  

An RPO provider can also help you find the right technology solution for you. In particular, tools like automated sourcing can take some of the load off of your sourcing team by identifying qualified candidates within minutes. Likewise, automated recruitment marketing tools can reduce the amount of time recruiters spend crafting emails to reach out to candidates. And, virtual, on-demand interviews save recruiters time by removing the phone tag just to schedule an interview; instead, the recruiter and hiring manager can screen candidate responses at their convenience. Finally, analytics tools can help you ensure that you’re using your resources most effectively. PeopleScout’s proprietary talent technology, AffinixTM, is one example that can meet these needs.  

How RPO Can Help: Smaller Scale Solutions 

It can be scary to enter into a full-cycle RPO partnership in today’s market, but that doesn’t have to be a deterrent. Solutions like project-based RPO—which we call Recruiter On-Demand—can provide targeted, short-term support for all or part of your hiring process. This can also include technology solutions. What’s more, a project-based RPO can also be implemented more quickly than a traditional RPO program, thereby making it even easier for your team to scale up to meet your hiring needs.  

Challenge: Speeding up the Candidate Experience 

Candidates are in the driver’s seat in this job market, and that’s likely going to continue for quite some time. For example, in the past, job-seekers would be willing to wait for a call back or an interview; a strong employer brand made candidates more tolerant of a slow process. But, today, speed is of the essence. Now, candidates are looking to control the timeline—and, if they can’t, they’ll find another opportunity easily and quickly: They can take a gig job. They can take their transferable skills to another industry. They can work for your competitor. Even new grads are in high demand, with many in the U.S. receiving multiple offers or offers months before graduating, according to NPR.  

How RPO Can Help: Candidate Experience Best Practices 

To compete in this market, you need to adjust your process to make it fast and able to provide a better experience for candidates. If you’re struggling to do this internally, look for an RPO provider with the right expertise; look for a partner with both experience in your industry, as well as across industries. While every industry is unique, you can often benefit from knowledge of other sectors and geographies.  

You probably already have good data about your talent acquisition program, but perhaps you lack the expertise to interpret that data and identify areas to improve. If so, choose a partner that’s focused on the entire process—from sourcing through every stage of recruitment to the first 30 or 60 days a new hire is on the job. With that background, they’ll be able to review every step and identify the most influential areas for improvement. For instance: Where are candidates experiencing friction? Is it on your careers site? Completing your application? Scheduling interviews? Waiting on your team to process excess paperwork? Your RPO provider should be able to identify which challenges you’re facing and implement targeted interventions.  

How RPO Can Help: Speedy Technology Solutions 

An RPO provider’s technology solutions can also add speed. If you spend a lot of time interviewing candidates, consider whether those interviews accurately indicate whether the candidate will be successful. If not, you may be able to replace part of a drawn-out interview process with a more effective assessment.  

As an example, a short, mobile-first application can bring more candidates into your funnel. Next, a text or SMS interview can move candidates on to the next steps quickly. Finally, on-demand interviews and interview self-scheduling don’t just help your team work more efficiently; they also help candidates move through the process faster and give them a sense of control. 

Taking the First Step 

Overall, an RPO provider gives you what you need: More resources. At PeopleScout, we can engage our global teams for 24/7 support. For example, recruiters can review résumés or on-demand interviews overnight so that your team has a prescreened slate of candidates waiting when they start work in the morning. Your RPO provider can also take on administrative steps, like background screenings or drug tests. All of this makes you faster and more nimble.  

Taking the first step toward working with an RPO provider can be intimidating. But, if the last two years have taught us anything, it’s the need to be flexible in finding different solutions to new challenges. You can’t get anywhere quickly if you let things stay the same. 

High-Volume RPO

9 Strategies for Solving High-Volume Hiring Challenges

Talking Talent: Reducing Unconscious Bias for an Inclusive Recruitment Process

In this episode of our Talking Talent podcast, we hear from Simon Wright, Global Head of Talent Advisory, about tactics to reduce unconscious bias and make your recruitment process more inclusive.

Unconscious bias affects us all. In the two years since the death of George Floyd, public consciousness around the issues of diversity, equity and inclusion has risen throughout the globe. As such, employers can no longer remain silent. 

Not only are investors and shareholders paying greater attention to social challenges, but employees, candidates, and consumers are also pushing businesses to make public commitments regarding diversity and inclusion—and to publish their progress. In today’s job market, where job vacancies are outpacing unemployment, candidates have more choices than ever about where to work—and they’re choosing employers that prioritize DE&I: According to Glassdoor, 76% of candidates said that a diverse workforce was an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers. 

Unconscious bias is one of the key forces holding employers back from making strides in DE&I initiatives, and it’s a complicated issue to tackle. In this article, we’ll walk through the different types of unconscious bias, how they can affect your recruitment process and how to effectively reduce their effect.   

What is Unconscious Bias? 

What is Unconscious Bias?

Unconscious bias—sometimes called implicit bias—is a term that describes the associations we hold outside of our conscious awareness. Everyone has them, and they don’t make you a bad person; they’re an evolutionary adaptation designed to help our brains make decisions.  

Imagine if, every time we made a decision, we had to consciously take into account every piece of information available to us. Unconscious bias develops from our life experiences to help us navigate the world more quickly. However, it can also have negative consequences. And, the fact that it happens unconsciously means it can be difficult to bypass.  

For instance, in action, unconscious bias can look like what happened in the Boston Symphony in 1952. The Symphony was looking to diversify its male-dominated orchestra, so it conducted an experiment with a series of blind auditions. In an effort to remove all chance of bias and allow for a merit-based selection only—a selection that would hopefully increase the number of women in the orchestra—the musicians would be auditioning from behind a screen. To their surprise, the initial audition results still skewed male. Then, they asked the musicians to take off their shoes. The reason? The sound of the women’s heels as they entered the audition unknowingly influenced the adjudicators; once the musicians removed their shoes, almost 50% of the women made it past the first audition. 

This is just one example. There are several different types of unconscious bias that affect our decision-making: 

Confirmation Bias 

Confirmation bias causes us to seek out information that confirms something that we already believe. We hear about this type of bias most often in relation to politics. People are more likely to seek out positive news about the candidate they support, reenforcing their belief that they are supporting the right person. It can also play out in the hiring process. Recruiters and hiring managers can make snap decisions about candidates based on perceived truths. Then, they ask questions to try to justify these biases, rather than evaluate each candidate on the same criteria.  

Affect Heuristics 

Affect heuristics are mental shortcuts we take to make decisions based on our emotional or mental state, rather than taking all of the facts into account. In the recruitment process, this could play out with a recruiter or hiring manager discounting a candidate because of personal feelings that have nothing to do with the role. For example, if you used to have a friend named Pete, who you fell out with, you might still carry a negative bias toward a candidate named Pete. 

Anchor/Expectation Bias 

An anchor or expectation bias happens when we allow ourselves to anchor on to one piece of information to make a decision. This can happen in the hiring process when a hiring manager believes that a new hire needs to be a carbon copy of the person who used to have that role, so they anchor on one aspect of a candidate that is similar to the previous employee and ignore other information. 

Halo Effect 

The halo effect is a bias that causes us to use a general positive impression of someone to influence how we evaluate their specific attributes. For example, if we’re impressed by one fact about a person (like if they went to a prestigious university), that could make us see them in a generally positive light. The halo effect often kicks in when we wish we were more like another person. This plays out in the hiring process when a hiring manager or recruiter focuses heavily on one positive aspect of a candidate’s background and lets that guide their opinion moving forward.  

Horn Effect 

The horn effect is the opposite of the halo effect; it happens when we let one perceived negative aspect of a person influence the way we think about them. For instance, something as simple as not liking a candidate’s outfit or the way they speak can cloud a recruiter’s or hiring manger’s judgment during the recruitment process and be difficult to get past. 

Affinity Bias 

The affinity bias causes us to connect with people who are similar to us. This is different from the halo effect because it happens when we identify a similarity with someone, rather than looking up to them. We like the feeling of affinity because it makes us feel connected and part of a community, and we also want to surround ourselves with people who we feel we have rapport with. In the hiring process, this can lead to teams with little cognitive diversity as recruiters and hiring mangers lean toward candidates similar to themselves.  

Conformity Bias  

In essence, conformity bias is peer pressure. It causes us to rely on the opinions of others when making decisions, rather than making an independent choice based on our own interpretation of the facts. This can kick in when making the hiring decision: If you’re on a panel and you think one candidate is really great, but the rest of the group prefers someone else, you could get swept along by the majority. 

Contrast Effect/Judgement Bias  

The contrast effect happens when we compare two similar things to each other, rather than assessing them independently. During the recruitment process, this can happen when a recruiter or hiring manager compares one résumé or CV to another they viewed before. In doing that, they shift the goal posts; instead of judging a candidate based on their suitability for the role, they make a decision based on what they thought of another candidate. 

Combating Unconscious Bias 

Unconscious Bias

Understanding the different types of unconscious bias is only the first step toward reducing its influence on your organization. And, while training can raise awareness, it rarely changes behavior. So, to make a real change, employers should implement a robust diversity and inclusion program that touches every aspect of the hiring process. Following are some proven steps you can take to reduce bias.  

1. Clearly Outline the Role 

Taking time to really understand what the role requires is essential for weeding out bias in the recruitment process. Specifically, by identifying eight to 10 objective criteria that are predictive of role success, you’ll decrease the likelihood that decisions are made using unconscious bias. It’s important to evaluate what it takes to be successful in the role. Is there anything that could stop a candidate from applying? Does the role need to be performed in person or can it be done remotely? Are the criteria you’re using accurate predictors of success? Are you relying on the vague concept of “cultural fit” that breeds affinity bias? 

As an example, some of the big four accounting firms have reduced their reliance on academic achievement for their early careers and campus hiring programs because they know it’s not an accurate predictor of future success in the role. Instead, they’re now focusing on potential by using other measures that they’ve tracked over time to show their effect on performance. 

2. Build an Inclusive Job Description 

Once you’ve outlined your role internally, focus on your external job description. Is there anything that could discourage a strong candidate from applying? In particular, remove gendered language from your job descriptions and check the pronouns you’re using. Additionally, avoid words like “expert,” “superior” or “rockstar” that turn off female candidates. A variety of online tools can help highlight and remove biased language. 

Next, ensure that the requirements that you list for the role only cover what is absolutely necessary. Women are less likely than men to apply to a role if they don’t feel that they meet all of the requirements, whereas men are more likely to apply if they only meet a portion of them.  

Finally, when creating a job description, ask multiple people from different backgrounds to review the job description—and take their feedback into account.  

3. Update Your Screening Process 

The next area to consider is your selection process. Are you relying too much on résumés and CVs? Research shows that CVs are not only fraught with bias, but that they’re also bad predictors of success. That’s because there are many factors on a CV that can trigger unconscious biases, like the person’s name (gender or ethnicity), the school they went to (geography or economic class) or the year they graduated (age).  

For example, according to the National Centre for Social Research, people with white-sounding names are nearly twice as likely to get callbacks for jobs than people with ethnic-sounding names. In their study, job applicants with white-sounding names were a significant 74% more likely to be invited to a job interview compared to applicants with an ethnic/minority-sounding name. 

4. Rethink Your Interviews 

Recruiters and hiring managers often rely heavily on interviews, which can be rife with unconscious bias. On top of that, interviews have a predictive power of 56%, according to Don Moore, a professor at the University of California, Berkley. That means that, if you’re making your decision based on an interview, you’ll make the wrong decision nearly half of the time.  

Plus, most interviews are conducted one-on-one or with small groups, where bias can flourish. However, mixed panels with diverse interviewers and objective criteria used to assess each candidate can lower the risk of bias when compared to traditional interview settings.  

Meanwhile, there can be an increased risk for bias in the new world of virtual interviews, as well. That’s because, when interviewers can see the inside of a person’s home, they can make unfair assumptions. So, if you use video interviews, ask candidates to blur their backgrounds. 

It’s also important to standardize your interview process so that all candidates are evaluated on the same criteria. This helps you avoid the contrast effect where you only compare candidates to each other, rather than against an objective set of criteria. And, to further reduce the chance of bias, reduce the power of the interview. Can you add other assessment techniques, instead, like work simulation tools or sample tests? 

5. Formalize Your Decision Process 

The final piece of the recruitment process is making a hiring decision. Don’t just get together at the end of the interview and say, “You know, I think John was really great,” or “There was just something I really liked about Kathryn.” Conformity bias can play a strong role in these types of discussions.  

Instead, have your panel step away individually, reflect on each candidate and score them based on your objective criteria. Then, you can review those scores as a group and discuss what you learned about the candidates during the recruitment process.  

Defining Success 

Because unconscious bias is so deeply embedded in all of us, it takes the efforts of everyone to reduce it. However, reducing bias in your recruitment process is a long-term commitment and not something that can happen in three or six months—or even a year. Rather, it involves backing from across the organization and all the way up to the leadership team. It also requires hiring managers to really engage with the process and be willing to give up making “gut decisions.” Finally, it also calls for a clear picture of where you want to go and how you’re going to monitor, measure and communicate success.  

Learn more about how to evaluate your program and progress in our ebook, “Progress in Action: Moving Toward a Globally Diverse and Inclusive Workplace.” 

High-Volume Hiring in the Contact Center: 3 Challenges and How to Tackle Them

In our world of e-commerce and online banking, consumers want slick digital experiences. But they still want the human touch when they run into a problem. Despite the growth of digital channels, excellent customer service is still a must-have in a business landscape where companies compete on customer experience. High-volume hiring in the contact center has never been more important or more challenging.

Customer queries are more complex and high-value, and contact center agents are now expected to not only answer calls, but interact with customers through chats, emails and social media. Contact centers need highly-skilled talent who are comfortable working in a myriad of technology platforms. Customer service representatives (CSRs) must also exhibit strong soft skills like listening and empathy—especially as consumers are experiencing more financial hardships and mental health struggles post-pandemic.

Indeed, 84% of contact center leaders—whether part of a BPO or an internal contact center—believe the pandemic permanently elevated the importance of the contact center for their business. But, it’s hard to deliver against your service levels when you’re struggling to hire or when you’re losing staff amidst the Great Resignation. Since 2019, the number of vacancies has increased, while the number of applicants per opening has dropped by 50%.

Chart showing reduction in applicants for high-volume hiring for the contact center
(Source: Indeed)

So, how can a contact center director and talent acquisition leader team up to tackle today’s tough landscape? Here are three top recruitment challenges in the contact center and tips for overcoming them.

1. Use Your Employer Brand to Attract the Right Kind of Talent

ContactBabel’s Contact Center Decision Maker’s Guide states that contact center attrition reached 23% in 2022, with 1 in 6 operations experiencing annual attrition of over 30%. This results in contact centers making over 212,000 hires annually. With turnover like this, how to make high-volume hiring more effective is always on the minds of contact center directors.

As consumer behavior has changed, a different set of skills is needed in customer service. Contact center agents need to exercise problem solving and analytical skills while also displaying empathy to customers who may be upset or emotional. Agents who lack these skills are more likely to struggle to resolve customer issues and to suffer from increased stress levels.

By honing your employer value proposition and attraction messaging, you can stand out amongst your competition but also zero in the characteristics you need for your contact center. By shifting your mindset from focusing on getting the most applications, or even those with customer service experience, to getting applications with the right profile, you can reduce attrition by increase the likelihood of your new hires being successful.

Case Study: Finding Candidates with Problem Solving Skills

We helped Direct Line, a British insurance provider, improve their recruitment outcomes in the contact center through employer branding and recruitment marketing. We found their ideal candidate profile was someone with strong analytical skills and who could proactively problem solve—rather than those with past experience in customer service.

We then expanded our search efforts, looking for candidates who would have honed these skills in non-customer service roles who would be interested in making a career change. Not only did this open the doors for Direct Line to access a new pool of talent, but it also helped to increase the quality of their hires and reduce attrition.

2. Rethink Your Assessment Center to Reduce Drop-Off Rate

With growing complexity in customer service, organizations need contact center agents with strong listening skills and written communication skills (for chat, email and social media enquiries) as well as the ability to self-manage and multitask. Leveraging candidate assessment tools to find candidates with the right combination of skills and behaviors is imperative to the success of your contact center.

Chart of most valued characteristics for high-volume hiring for the contact center
(Source: ContactBabel)

Case Study: Moving the Assessment Stage Forward

One of our longest standing clients, tasked us with high-volume recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) for their financial services customer contact centers. The bank needed to recruit more staff to meet their service levels and create a great experience for their customers. We designed the customer contact recruitment process from scratch, including a recruitment marketing campaign.

As part of this new process, we advised the client to introduce an online test immediately after the candidate applied using an automated email. This caught them while the application was still front of mind and also ensured that only best-fit candidates progressed. This meant that hiring managers were committing their time to top talent and helped to reduce the overall time to hire. As a result of identifying high quality candidates sooner, we were able to reduce the attrition rate to just 11%, well below the industry average.

More Assessment Center Tips to Reduce Drop Off

Here are some more assessment center tips:

  • Try introducing assessment tasks earlier in the process or combining assessment stages. This helps increase hiring speed and keep candidates engaged.
  • Rather than traditional multiple-choice tests, try a role play scenario or an interactive experience that gives the candidates a real-life feel of what their day-to-day job will look like. The benefits are two-fold—you get a better idea of how candidates will perform in the role, and they get a better idea of what to expect before they accept the offer.
  • Ensure candidates are prepared for the assessment center by offering webinars, instruction videos and even practices tests. This helps to eliminate nervousness and boost confidence amongst candidates—reducing candidate drop-off before the assessment center phase.

Learn more about our whole-person model for assessments and we leverage it for evaluating customer service reps for the contact and other high-volume hiring situations.

3. Boost Your Communications to Eliminate Ghosting

Newly hired customer service reps are increasingly ‘ghosting’ their call center jobs—not showing up for day one with no reason given and often no communication from the candidate at all. According to an Indeed survey on ghosting in the workplace, 22% of candidates say they have accepted a job offer but didn’t show up for the first day of work.

Following the tips above on finding the ideal candidate profile and assessing for the right skills to start with, will help reduce ghosting on day one. In addition, you can also work to speed up the recruitment process and improve communications to keep candidates engaged after offer acceptance.

Speeding Up the Recruitment Process

With so many contact centers vying for customer service talent, employer response time is crucial as you want to beat the by being the first to move the candidate through the recruitment process. About a quarter of candidates state the reason for their ghosting was because the hiring process was too long or too slow. So, take a look at your recruitment process. Are there any steps you could eliminate or combine? Are there ways you could reduce the time between steps?

If it’s feasible for your organization, you might consider moving to same-day offers, even if they’re contingent upon reference verification, background checks or drug testing. Also, moving the start date up will reduce the likelihood of a competing offer turning your candidate’s head. Waiting for your next training class could be risky, so think about running smaller training classes more frequently to accelerate hiring.

Staying Connected with Regular Communication

Communication is also a key part of combatting ghosting during the crucial period offer and onboarding. Staying in touch with candidates is imperative to keep them interested. If you ghost your brand-new hire by forgetting to check in, they’re more likely to ghost you in turn. The same Indeed study found that 77% of jobseekers saying they’ve been ghosted by an employer.

Assessing the touchpoints between your organization and the offer holder is an important way for employers to ensure they keep the lines of communication open and increase engagement with candidates. Are you using your CRM to the fullest? Investing in creating content that showcases your employer value proposition (EVP) and sending it out regularly to your candidates via engaging emails will ensure they are reminded regularly of the value you offer—whether through benefits, flexibility, growth opportunities, diversity and inclusion initiatives and more.

Personal touchpoints are another way to stay connected. Check-in emails from the recruiter or even messages of congratulations from the hiring manager will help candidates feel valued and special. You might consider asking existing employees to act as an ambassador and share some onboarding materials with more information about your organization, your culture and values or your employee resource groups (ERGs) so they start feeling like a part of the team.

These small gestures can help your candidate feel connected to the organization before they start—and could end up being what keeps them from changing their mind when they receive a competing offer.

RPO for the Contact Center

Facing a recruitment landscape in which you need high-volume hiring to support your contact center operations? Learn strategies to speed up your hiring process and deliver on customer service quality by downloading our 9 Strategies for Solving High-Volume Hiring Challenges.

9 Strategies for Solving High-Volume Hiring Challenges

Challenge Accepted: Tactics & Strategies for Hiring in a Candidate’s Job Market

The job market and the world of work have changed drastically in the last few years, leaving employers to deal with the new challenges. For example, in the U.S., there are currently more than 11 million job openings, and year-over-year wage growth was at 5.2% in May. On top of that, the Great Resignation has record numbers of workers leaving their jobs: In the last six months in the U.S., more than 4 million people left their jobs each month. And, it’s spreading across the globe; CNN reports that resignations have also jumped in countries like the United Kingdom, Australia and France. 

But, employers are dealing with more than just a tight talent market, increased turnover and rising wages; the world of work has changed permanently—and so have candidate expectations. For instance, nearly two-thirds of the workforce wants some form of remote work option and nearly one-third wants hybrid work. As such, employers can’t simply plan to return to the pre-pandemic ways of doing business; instead, they must adapt. 

More precisely, to succeed in this job market, you need to both hire the best talent and retain the workers you already have—and that requires multifaceted solutions that address the specific issues within your organization. In this article, we’ll cover the potential sources of your talent challenges, some signs that they may be negatively affecting your organization and strategies you can use to get ahead.  

Is Your Employer Brand on Life Support? 

Throughout the pandemic and initial recovery, many organizations didn’t have the resources to invest in their employer brands. Unfortunately, if this was the case for your organization, it may be affecting your ability to recruit top talent. That’s because, if your employer brand is weak, qualified candidates won’t apply because they simply have other options.  

So, how can you tell if your employer brand is holding your organization back? Watch for these warning signs: 

why is there a labor shortage 2022

Solution: Rebuild Your Employer Brand 

If any of these signs look familiar, it’s time to focus on your employer brand. Luckily, there are a few things you can do. The first is to build out a strong employer value proposition (EVP) as the foundation of an employer branding campaign.  

At PeopleScout, we define your EVP as the essence of your uniqueness as an employer, as well as the give and get between you and your employees. In many ways, your EVP is the foundation of your employer brand—the perception and lived experiences of what it’s like to work for your organization.  

It’s important to note that building a strong EVP to drive your employer brand requires research into the short- and long-term goals of your organization; the reality of what it’s like to work for you right now; and the outside perception of your organization. That information is distilled into an EVP that’s unique, aspirational, authentic and dynamic. From there, you can communicate your message through an employer branding campaign via your careers site, social media campaigns, hiring events and more.  

At PeopleScout, we supported work on the employer brand at Vodafone, a telecommunications company in the UK. In this case, consumers knew the brand well as a mobile phone retailer, but didn’t see it as a multifaceted tech innovator. So, to help Vodafone hire more young workers, we worked to create an employer brand campaign that captured the spirit of change and possibility that’s part of their EVP. At the end of the project, PeopleScout had generated more than 16,000 applications and increased the number of female candidates by 23%. 

Does Your Candidate Experience Leave Much to be Desired? 

If your employer brand is in good shape, but you’re still struggling to hire qualified candidates, the next area to evaluate is your candidate experience. Candidate experience has always been important, but it’s even more critical in today’s job market. Nowadays, people have plenty of other options, so they won’t take the time to complete a long application or wait weeks for a call back.  

How can you tell if your candidate experience is the cause of your hiring woes? Look for these signs: 

Candidates accept other offers while in your recruitment process. 
You have a lot of interviews, but make few hires. 
Your process is slow and requires multiple steps for candidates.
Candidates ghost before starting

Solution: Update Your Talent Tech Stack 

The right technology can have a significant influence on your candidate experience. Candidates want the recruitment experience to be fast and easy and allow them to feel in control. For this reason, evaluate every step of the candidate journey to identify where you can make improvements with technology. 

Your first step is to look at your application. Have you tried filling out your own application recently? How long does it take to complete? Is it simple or does it feel drawn out and tedious? Can you complete the application on a mobile device? If the process takes a long time or requires a desktop computer, it’s time to update your application.  

Then, look for other points in the process where you might make things easier for candidates. Do candidates have to wait weeks to schedule a screening or interview? If so, consider adding a self-scheduling interview tool or virtual interview solution, like text interviews or on-demand interviews. Furthermore, adding something as simple as a status bar that shows candidates where they are in the process can help them stay engaged. 

At PeopleScout, we work with a large retailer that had a strong consumer brand, but still struggled to recruit candidates. Their application required a computer and took more than 30 minutes to fill out. As an alternative, we developed a mobile-first application with just 11 questions that took less than eight minutes to complete. Now, half the candidates apply on mobile devices and the application conversion rate rose to 85%. For comparison, employers using a traditional application have an average applicant conversion rate of just 35%. 

Are Your Offers Competitive Enough in the Job Market? 

Salary and benefits are the elephants in the room in any discussion about hiring challenges. Wages are rising significantly. While the average year-over-year salary growth in the U.S. is at 5.2%, some industries are experiencing even steeper wage growth. For example, in the leisure and hospitality sector, wages are up more than 11% in the last year. In fact, the World Economic Forum reports that wages are rising in every region of the world. Therefore, in the current job market, your offer needs to be competitive.  

Here are some signs that your offers may not be competitive enough: 

Candidates make it through the process, but turn down offers. 
Candidates cite salary expectations significantly higher than your budget. 
Employees who leave frequently cite increased pay. 

Solution: Adjust Your Compensation to Current Job Market Rates 

If you’re experiencing any of these warning signs, evaluate your compensation against the market and adjust where necessary. Due to remote work, the job market has changed. Now, you’re not just competing against employers in your area for talent; you’re competing for talent across the country and, in some cases, the entire world. 

To that end, an RPO or MSP provider can help advise you on market rates and what types of adjustments are needed to make your offers more competitive. Plus, increasing your wages could even save you money in the long run.  

This happened for one PeopleScout client, a major rural healthcare system. Hit hard by the ongoing nursing shortage, the healthcare organization was relying on expensive travel nurses and struggling to bring in enough candidates. PeopleScout advised the provider to implement a $10,000 hiring bonus. This resulted in a cost savings as the client was able to reduce its nursing recruitment spend by 77%, totaling more than $4 million. The client was also able to reduce its use of traveling nurses by 68% and experienced its lowest-ever nursing vacancy rate—just 1.3%. 

Does Your Company Culture Send People Running? 

Perhaps the best way to avoid staffing shortages is to ensure that you don’t have to backfill large numbers of roles due to turnover. The Great Resignation is in full swing, but employers shouldn’t just throw their hands in the air as employees leave for new jobs.  

The good news is that employee turnover isn’t just about money. Talent leaders are finding that a major driving factor is employee disengagement. Throughout the last few years, many employees have experienced negative effects on their mental health, causing burnout and driving a reevaluation of work/life balance. Conversely, company culture can play a huge role in keeping employees happy, healthy and engaged. 

Is your company culture a problem? Watch for these warning signs:  

 job market

Solution: Determine What Employees Want in the Job Market & Meet Their Needs 

To improve your company culture, you must first determine what employees feel they’re lacking from your organization. You can gather this information in two ways—and both are valuable. First, you should be conducting exit interviews with employees who have resigned. Try to get an idea of why they decided to take a new role. Is it simply increased pay? Did they feel they lacked a clear career path at your organization? Did they not feel appreciated by managers and colleagues?  

Next, try to identify problems before they drive employees to leave. You can accomplish this through anonymous pulse surveys; there are a number of tools you can use to track employee engagement and look for areas of improvement. Do employees want more opportunities for training? Do they want to feel as though they’re part of something bigger? Do they feel as though company leadership is not addressing their concerns? 

Then, once you determine the biggest pain points for employees, make targeted improvements to your company culture. You can demonstrate appreciation for your workers in tangible ways: Communicate actively and often. Define paths for advancement and look at learning and development programs. Offer more flexibility. Provide training for managers. Not only will these kinds of investments keep tenured employees from leaving, but they can also improve your employer brand and make your employment offers more competitive.  

There’s no doubt that the current talent market is difficult for employers, but the sources of the struggle are multifaceted and complex. There isn’t an easy, one-size-fits-all solution. Employers need to evaluate both the candidate and employee experience and alter their processes where inadequacies reveal themselves. You can’t keep waiting for “things to return to normal.” We’re in the new normal, and we have to adapt. To learn more, check out our ebook, “Employer Brand: Helping the Right Talent Choose You.” 

Data & Diversity: Using Analytics to Achieve your DE&I Goals

Diversity sourcing is a top priority in talent acquisition. A recent PwC survey found that 57% of CFOs planned to invest in diversity and inclusion initiatives in the next year. But, with investment comes accountability; you can’t track and report your progress without the proper technology tools. So, as employers continue to prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion, talent leaders need the proper tools to understand the progress they’re making toward reaching their DE&I goals.

Additionally, despite the progress made throughout the last few years, employers still have a long way to go. In fact, according to a survey by Boston Consulting Group, only 25% of employees from underrepresented backgrounds said that they had benefited from their company’s diversity and inclusion programs—despite the fact that most companies have these programs in place.

In this article, we’ll discuss how the right technology tools can help measure and improve diversity, equity and inclusion in your recruitment process.

Optimizing Diversity Sourcing

DE&I hiring efforts start at the beginning with diversity sourcing; you can’t hire diverse candidates without a diverse pipeline. And, to build a diverse candidate pipeline, you need to track who your candidates are and which of your sourcing channels and campaigns bring them into the recruitment process.

To further understand who your candidates are, it’s essential to capture their demographic information in your applicant tracking system (ATS) through self-identification via the employment application. However, because some candidates from underrepresented groups may feel uncomfortable disclosing this information in an application, it’s best practice to also ask for self-identification after you extend an offer or when a new employee goes through the onboarding process.

Then, track the sourcing channel through your candidate relationship management (CRM) software, which is critically important to track your recruitment marketing campaigns, as well as sources. Simply tracking that a candidate came to your careers site through LinkedIn isn’t enough; you need to know if a specific campaign on LinkedIn influenced their decision to apply.

Often, these data points are stored in different systems. But, a reporting tool can help synthesize your data and visualize trends. Specifically, with PeopleScout’s Affinix™ Analytics diversity dashboards, you can track how diverse candidates are entering your pipeline in real time. Then, by tracking how candidates progress through your funnel, you can determine which sources and campaigns bring in the highest-quality candidates from underrepresented groups. From there, you can then adjust your sourcing spend to maximize the channels and promotions that bring in the most and highest-quality candidates.

For instance, you may find that a recruitment marketing campaign you’re running on LinkedIn that features diverse faces and real employee stories is bringing in far more diverse candidates than the same campaign on Facebook. You could then shift budget from the Facebook campaign to the LinkedIn campaign, thereby optimizing your channels. Additionally, you could compare the LinkedIn campaign featuring diverse employees to a different LinkedIn campaign featuring your office space and benefits package to see which type of content resonates best with candidates.

As an example, when one PeopleScout industrial client wanted to add more women to its primarily male workforce, we partnered with the company to build out a recruitment marketing initiative featuring the organization’s female employees. In tracking the results of the campaign, our client was able to see a marked increase in female applicants and hires tied directly to the recruitment marketing initiative.

Optimizing Diversity Sourcing  Data to Gather •	Candidate self-identification •	Sourcing channel •	Campaigns as sources •	Tracking the candidate from application to hire  Goals •	Determine sourcing channels that produce strong candidates from underrepresented groups •	Adjust spend to maximize applicant diversity  •	Measure the success of your diverse campaigns and recruiting strategies

Identifying Barriers in Your Process

Building a more diverse, equitable and inclusive process doesn’t stop with sourcing; if you’re bringing a robust slate of diverse candidates into your pipeline, but very few candidates from underrepresented groups are actually hired, you may have a barrier somewhere else in your process: This could be an assessment with an unintentional bias; a recruiter or hiring manager who could benefit from more training; or an issue with your employment offers. In this situation, the right data can help determine exactly where the issue is occurring in your process and whether changes would result in a more equitable recruitment process.

data accurately. Then, in your reporting tool, you’ll be able to identify if a particular step in your process precipitates a drop in candidate diversity.

For instance, your reporting may show that a recently added video interview step resulted in more candidates from diverse backgrounds dropping out of your funnel. In this case, you could try converting the video interview to a phone or on-demand audio interview to see if it improves results. Similarly, your reporting could show that you have one recruiter or hiring manager with a higher percentage of diverse candidates falling out, which could lead to an opportunity to implement more training. Or, you could see that candidates from diverse backgrounds are successful throughout your recruitment process, but then turn down your employment offers. If that’s the case, then you may want to look at your benefits, offer process or employer value proposition.

Identifying Barriers in Your Process

Data to gather
•	Candidate and new hire self-identification 
•	Candidate progress through the recruitment funnel 
•	Reason for candidate rejection 
•	Recruiter and hiring manager trends 

•	Identify where candidates from underrepresented groups are dropping out of your interviewing and screening process
•	Adjust to reduce unconscious bias in diversity sourcing

Using Surveys to Improve Inclusion

Our first examples focused on improving diversity sourcing and equity in the recruitment funnel, but you can also use data to measure and improve inclusion. Your goal is to understand how candidates feel about your hiring process, as well as how new employees feel about your onboarding process and company culture—and the best way to measure this is to simply ask them.

In fact, you can and should survey candidates at different stages of your recruitment funnel. Fortunately, there are a variety of candidate survey tools that you can integrate into your ATS to automatically ask candidates for feedback about their experiences, which can then provide critical insights about points where you may be alienating certain candidates. Yet, very few employers regularly ask candidates for feedback about the recruitment process: According to a survey by PeopleScout and HRO Today, only 29% of employers in North America regularly ask for candidate feedback, while 33% never do so. In Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), the data is somewhat better, with 42% of recruiters reporting that they regularly request candidate feedback, whereas 24% say that they never do.

Essentially, there are two different ways you can gather and gauge the results of your surveys, and it all comes down to the questions that you ask. A strong survey will have a mixture of both scored questions and open text responses; the scores help you identify trends over time, while the text responses help you drill into specifics.

Surveys can also help measure your success and identify problem areas—especially when coupled with your recruiting data. For example, if you ask candidates how they feel about the interview process and those scores start to trend downward, you can review your recruiting data to see if you notice any changing trends. Likewise, if you see more candidates from underrepresented backgrounds dropping out just before or after an interview, you can evaluate and determine why your interview process is negatively affecting candidates—especially if you also have text responses that provide specific feedback.

Going a step further, you can also survey new hires to measure inclusion in your onboarding process. A Gartner study featured in the Harvard Business Review identified seven factors that can provide a holistic view of inclusion within your organization:

  1. Fair treatment: Employees at my organization who help the organization achieve its strategic objectives are rewarded and recognized fairly.
  2. Integrating differences: Employees at my organization respect and value each other’s opinions.
  3. Decision-making: Members of my team fairly consider ideas and suggestions offered by other team members.
  4. Psychological safety: I feel welcome to express my true feelings at work.
  5. Trust: Communication we receive from the organization is honest and open.
  6. Belonging: People in my organization care about me.
  7. Diversity: Managers at my organization are as diverse as the broader workforce.

Then, if your survey finds that new hires from underrepresented backgrounds feel less of a sense of belonging or less safe expressing their true feelings at work, you can evaluate and improve your onboarding process and, through further surveys, measure the influence of any changes you make.

Using Surveys to Improve Inclusion  Data to Gather •	Candidate and new hire self-identification  •	New hire survey responses  •	Onboarding survey responses  •	Candidate survey responses  Goals •	Identify and remove barriers in your hiring process •	Identify and remove barriers in your onboarding process •	Measure employee engagement and inclusion

As employers continue to work to improve diversity sourcing, equity and inclusion within their organizations, it’s critical to have the right tools in place to identify opportunities for improvement and measure success. Talent acquisition leaders play an important role in achieving those goals, and a trusted RPO and technology partner can provide valuable insights and market trends. To learn more about what talent leaders can do, download our ebook, Progress in Action: Moving Toward a Globally Diverse and Inclusive Workplace.

Evolve Your Recruitment Program with Globally Dispersed Talent 

As organizations continue to adjust to changes caused by the pandemic, access to skilled talent remains a key factor preventing them from accelerated recovery and growth. However, with work-from-home and hybrid models becoming the new norm, organizations have the unique opportunity to expand their talent network across borders. And, for workers looking to relocate for greater job prospects, crossing borders for work is becoming easier than ever for both employees and employers: According to Harvard Business Review, “Many countries have now put the legal framework in place to hire and relocate global talent at a cost and speed that is broadly comparable with hiring domestically.” 

Furthermore, in a 2021 survey by Boston Consulting Group and The Network, about 50% of respondents were either already working abroad or willing to move abroad for work. Moreover, 57% of respondents said they were willing to work remotely for an employer that didn’t have a physical presence in their home country. 

global talent management

In this article, we’ll share the benefits of a global talent program; highlight considerations to keep in mind; and offer strategies for attracting and recruiting talent around the world. 

Benefits of Globally Dispersed Talent 

The global talent pool is growing and ready to work—regardless of location—and it’s up to employers to seize the moment. Consider the benefits of leveraging globally dispersed talent: 

Expanded Talent Pool 

Many organizations have been struggling to fill open roles because they’re unable to find the talent they need in local searches. But, by expanding your search across borders, you can expand your search for the skills the role requires in a larger talent pool. Plus, you can also start these workers out in remote and contract roles to test whether they would be a good fit.  

Greater Diversity 

It’s no secret that having a diverse team yields better business results due to high levels of creativity and innovation. Consequently, by hiring people from different geographies, you can tap into the knowledge of people from different backgrounds, cultures, educations and more.  

Increased Reach 

When operating in different regions, you have greater access to new markets, as your dispersed team can help build your brand recognition and reputation with new customer bases in their respective locations. Additionally, having teams across various regions may also enable you to expand your business hours so you can improve productivity and be available to customers no matter where they’re located. 

Cost Savings 

Labor costs vary across countries, so it’s often cost-effective to move certain business operations to countries with lower labor costs. For example, many companies offshore manufacturing, call center and IT operations to places like Mexico, India and the Philippines. Doing so lowers the cost of operations and, therefore, lowers the cost of products for the consumer.  

And, because commercial real estate policies and prices vary from country to country, you can also reduce costs by implementing a remote work program in other countries before deciding whether a physical office space will be necessary in a given region. 

Considerations for a Global Talent Management Program 

Before diving into a global recruitment program, it’s important to consider the key differences between recruiting in different countries. For instance, cultural nuances, policies and legislation will likely be different from your organization’s primary country and can make or break the success of your global recruitment and employment strategy. Consider the following examples: 

Workforce Planning 

As you plan your hiring in new geographies, it’s important to be aware of the length of the statutory notice period, as requirements vary widely from country to country and can make hiring timelines longer (up to three to six months, in some cases). For example, in the U.S., there’s no legal requirement to provide notice, but it’s customary for employees to give a two-week notice to aid in the transition. Conversely, in Japan, there’s a fixed notice period of 30 days—regardless of the employee’s years of service or seniority. In other countries, an employee’s notice period depends on the terms of their employment contract and may be connected to the number of years of service to the company. 

In places that require longer notice periods, candidate communications are even more essential in order to keep those candidates engaged and to set expectations on next steps. For this reason, incorporating transition timelines into your workforce planning is crucial so you don’t reduce productivity while waiting for your new hire to start in their role. 

Recruitment Marketing 

Notably, if you’re using the same recruitment marketing tactics in every country, you’re missing a trick. Take social media, for example: Different networks work better in different markets. While LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are popular in the U.S., WeChat (a mobile app that focuses on messaging, social media and mobile payments) is heavily used in China. Similarly, XING and Viadeo are popular alternatives for career-oriented networking in Germany and France, respectively. So, understanding social media preferences in each country will help you promote your job ads in a more effective manner.  

Granted, social media and digital advertising may not be the best fit for all roles in all places. In fact, even within a single country, there are nuances to consider. For instance, PeopleScout leveraged physical advertisements at bus stops in the smaller European cities where an RPO client in the manufacturing sector was hiring because we knew that it was less likely that blue-collar candidates in these areas would have internet access at home.    

And, localization is key—not just in digital channel usage, but also in language and imagery. For example, while an image of a blonde-haired, blue-eyed worker would resonate in North America, the same type of image would not be as well-received by candidates in Asia. In addition, candidates in Europe are more likely to be multilingual, so testing recruitment marketing techniques in a few different languages might prove to be useful when recruiting in that geography.  

Mobile-Friendly Candidate Experience 

A mobile-first candidate experience is more important than ever. In the U.S., approximately 15% of adults are “smartphone-only” internet users, meaning that they access the internet only through their smartphone and don’t have an internet connection at home. And, by 2025, nearly three-quarters (72.6%) of internet users—nearly 3.7 billion people worldwide—will access the web exclusively via smartphone.   

Regardless of where they are in the world, your potential candidates are looking and applying for jobs via their mobile phones. So, consider how your recruitment tech stack supports a mobile-friendly application process to future-proof your global talent acquisition program. 

Regulations & Compliance 

Due to varying laws and regulations, recruitment processes can’t be the same in every country, and it can be difficult for enterprises to navigate the requirements in each market. For example, in Sweden, you don’t need to establish a legal entity to hire employees in the country, whereas you do in Singapore. Furthermore, statutory requirements for notice periods, probationary periods and permitted pre-employment checks all vary from country to country. In fact, in 22 countries, it’s mandatory to organize a medical exam prior to hiring someone. In any case, it’s imperative that you understand employment law in each country you’re hiring in so you don’t violate your new employees’ rights.  

Granted, the employment law landscape is constantly changing, making it increasingly difficult for multinational companies to stay compliant and avoid damages to the organization’s finances and reputation. Fortunately, a global RPO partner can support you with global and local expertise to ensure you stay on top of regulations in each country you’re hiring in. 

Strategies for Recruiting Globally Dispersed Talent 

So, how can you overcome these challenges to realize the benefits of expanding your recruitment program to globally dispersed talent? Here are some actionable ideas to help you adjust your recruitment strategies: 

Map Each Labor Market 

Before you start recruiting in a new market, it’s important to understand the lay of land. Specifically, delving into the talent landscape and competition in each area—not just your direct competitors, but any organization hiring for the roles or skill sets you’re seeking—can inform your recruitment strategy and compensation packages. In this way, investing the time to map the labor market upfront is invaluable for creating a competitive advantage, especially when it comes to new geographies or remote workers. Then, armed with this data, you can create offers that reflect rates in the new hire’s area and boost your acceptance rates in the meantime. 

As an example, PeopleScout recently helped a manufacturing client recruit engineers in an area in the north of the Czech Republic, where the available talent pool for the skills they needed was low, but the competition was high. After completing a labor market analysis, we advised the team to expand their search area across the border to Poland (where the talent supply was larger) to find talent that would be willing to commute or relocate. By doing so, we were able to fill business-critical automation engineer roles that saved their productivity levels.   

Adapt Your EVP to Your Audience 

Your employer brand—an individual’s perceptions and lived experiences of what it’s like to work for your organization—helps you attract and retain the right people to help your organization succeed. According to Gartner, organizations that effectively deliver on their employer value proposition (EVP) can decrease annual employee turnover by 69%. And, in today’s ultra-competitive, candidate-driven market, a strong employer brand can also help you stand out in a sea of job openings

Specifically, companies that attract top talent will be those that have invested in developing messaging pillars that allow their employer brand to flex and resonate with talent audiences across the globe. For example, PeopleScout helped global law firm Linklaters revamp and tailor its employer brand to support hiring across 20 offices in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific, while simultaneously boosting its Glassdoor scores and increasing global applications from female lawyers.  

So, to truly understand your ideal candidate, do your homework for every position type in each market and adapt your brand messaging and attraction strategies accordingly. In particular, a candidate persona profile is a great way to capture each position’s requirements, motivations and expectations so you can design your recruitment marketing content around messages that will truly resonate. 

Invest in Your Recruitment Tech Stack 

Investing in standardizing your recruitment technology across geographies offers a litany of ways not only to streamline the candidate experience, but also your internal program management efforts and reporting, as well.  

Plus, nowadays, candidates expect a tech-enabled recruitment experience that enables them to search for jobs on the go—and a whopping 89% of candidates think mobile devices play a critical role in the job-hunting process. Therefore, looking for ways to make your application process more mobile-friendly—including leveraging “quick apply” features in your ATS—will pay off in application volumes.  

What’s more, hiring in new geographies or for remote workers will almost certainly involve virtual interviews. Thus, investing in a virtual hiring solution can help you hire the talent you need quickly and with a seamless candidate experience. Unlike typical video meeting tools, modern virtual interview tools offer options like on-demand phone interviews and text/SMS interviews, as well as live and pre-recorded video interviews

However, one consideration to keep in mind when selecting technology for global recruitment is where the data will be stored and processed. Regulations (such as GDPR in Europe) limit the amount of data that can be processed in the U.S. So, look for tools that are SOC 2-certified, and assess any vendor’s information on security policies, procedures and practices. 

Put Your Global Talent Program in Action 

If your organization is new to global talent acquisition or if you haven’t expanded business operations very far, the considerations and strategies highlighted above can seem daunting. But, the good news is that a global RPO partner can be a valuable partner to help guide you through your global talent acquisition challenges. Moreover, with a wealth of knowledge and experience gained through working with clients spanning a variety of industries and countries, an RPO partner can also help you navigate the complex compliance and cultural issues that accompany a multi-country recruitment program. 

So, what should you look for in a global RPO partner? Well, you’ll see the greatest benefit from a provider that is able to offer a customizable solution that’s flexible enough to support everything from your niche hires and short-term needs to your high-volume roles and full-cycle recruitment processes. 

Learn more about how to find the right global RPO provider in our ebook, The Buyer’s Guide to Global RPO