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For Great High-Volume Tech Recruiting, Apply the KISS Principle

UCLA coaching legend John Wooden famously said, “Be quick but don’t hurry.” A good principle for basketball. Equally good for high-volume tech recruiting. If you hurry the technical recruiting process, you’ll end up making bad hires that will harm rather than help your organization. If you drag out the process, your organization won’t have the talent it needs when it needs it.

To meet Wooden’s principle, we recommend applying an even more well-known principle: KISS — yes, Keep it Simple Stupid. Simplify the important steps of recruiting, and make sure you execute them at a high level. That’s how to consistently achieve quality high-volume tech recruiting results.

Of course, specifics matter. Below are some of our favorite tips that will help you stay consistent with the KISS principle.

  1. Stay Organized and On the Same Page

Disorganization is your enemy. It leads to delays, confusion, mistakes and bad hires. And it’s more likely to occur when you’re trying to hire many workers at the same time.

So be vigilant about staying organized. This includes ensuring that you’re on the same page with hiring managers, and that you’re communicating when you need to with candidates. As a LinkedIn high-volume recruiting guide notes, “even the slightest disconnect” with hiring managers “can lead to wasted time and energy.”

  1. Use Automation

Automation helps you stay organized, and ensures that certain key steps—such as candidate communication—are handled correctly every time. So when sensible, take advantage of it.

  1. Use Technical Screening Tools

Technical screening tools are helpful for increasing speed and maintaining quality—especially when you’re hiring in volume.

When you’ve sourced many candidates, checking references is time-consuming and might not even be completed. Automated reference checking ensures all candidates’ references are checked with the same standard.

The technical interview stage can be another bottleneck. Interviews can take days or weeks to arrange, and conducting them takes valuable time away from your technical staff. Outsourcing your technical interviews to the right provider will ensure that interviews are conducted using best practices, that your technical staff’s time isn’t used up, and that results come in as little as 24 hours.

These are just a couple of examples. The ideal high-volume process will use a variety of processes and technologies to improve the organization, save time, and maintain quality.

  1. Make it Easy to Apply

If you want to hire a good number of candidates, it’s important to facilitate a large candidate pool. Part of that is making it easy to apply by keeping any application forms short and simple, and pre-populated responses when possible. An Indeed survey found that 42% of job seekers say that lengthy applications are the most frustrating part of the application process. 

  1. Look at Metrics

Track how you’re doing to see what can be improved. Even if you use the other tips in this post, you’re bound to find some ways to fine-tune your process—if you take advantage of key recruiting metrics, including those available through technical screening tools.

As Jerome Ternynck, the founder and CEO of SmartRecruiters, told SHRM, two important metrics to track are time to hire and time to start—as these will help you improve the speed of your hiring process.

“Competition for talent is steep and high-volume recruiters have realized that if they don’t hire faster than the competition, they are likely to lose candidates to the competition,” Ternynck said. “Determine internally what your time-to-hire should be and track it across your company to ensure you meet it.”

A variety of other sources discuss keys to success for high-volume recruiting. The focus of these sources is often on seasonal and retail hiring, but some are applicable to technical hiring. The remaining suggestions are some of our favorites from these sources.

  1. Source Your Previous Candidates

When you’re trying to hire tech talent in bunches, you want to source a large number of good candidates. An often-underused source of good candidates is people who’ve applied for IT jobs with your company in the past.

As an Ideal article explains, according to a CareerBuilder survey, “One of the biggest complains employers have about their recruiters is the failure to look at candidates in their own database.”  

  1. Focus on Sourcing

A SHRM article notes that high-volume recruiters often need to go beyond the typical large job boards and take advantage of other resources to find quality talent. In the case of tech, great talent can often be found on sites where IT professionals congregate, such as GitHub, Stack Overflow, and online communities.

SHRM also notes the importance of referrals. Recruiting expert Rebecca Barnes-Hogg stated, “Referrals can make or break your search for high-demand talent. It’s too easy to forget relationship building when you’re under pressure to fill large numbers of positions quickly, but job boards and resume databases are no longer as effective as they once were and you need referrals to build a pool of candidates.”

—-8. Write Great Job Descriptions

LinkedIn’s high-volume recruiting guide points out that when you have a lot of open jobs, more candidates isn’t enough—you want to attract BETTER candidates. “One way to attract great talent is to write your job descriptions in a way that appeals to the caliber of people you’re looking to hire. ’Caliber’ doesn’t just mean the right kind of skills and experience, but also the right attitude and values.”

—-9. Assess Current Personnel, Onboarding and Training

An Avontis Group blog post notes the importance of remembering that members of your current staff could have the skills that you need. So don’t forget to see if your existing employees might be suitable for the roles you need to hire for since you already have a good idea of their work performance.

Also, when you bring in a good number of new hires, it’s also important to get new hires up to speed quickly. So evaluate your onboarding and training to ensure that the new talent you bring in will be as successful as soon as possible.