After a turbulent end to 2022 and a rough start with layoffs continuing across the US, the labor market has remained solid with over half a million jobs added in January of 2023. In fact, the majority of jobs added are in retail and hospitality.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 11 million open jobs across the US. But while vacancies are on the rise, there aren’t enough workers to fill positions. 6 million American professionals are still unemployed.
All businesses are feeling the pressure. But with a 5.4% quit rate in lower paying industries such as hospitality and retail – compared to 1.6% in other sectors – it’s clear that these companies need to get creative in their hiring processes to attract the worker volume they need.
For many organizations, this has led to a re-think around how technology can make hiring more efficient and effective. Technology is becoming key to attracting candidates in high volume and streamlining the process. In a candidate-driven market, speed is vital.
But how can technology improve recruiting?
Automation of repetitive tasks
The around-the-clock nature of high-volume hiring means that TA professionals often get bogged down in mundane, repetitive tasks.
Take interview scheduling, for example. A recruiter might need to schedule 10 candidates for an interview. It might take three calls to get through to each candidate before the interview is confirmed. Those 30 calls could take up a large chunk of that recruiter’s day.
Interview scheduling software can automate the entire process, allowing candidates to select a slot suitable to them and confirming the meeting via email, adding the event to both the candidate and recruiter’s calendar. So, a process that could take several days can now be confirmed within minutes of a candidate accepting an interview. This gives recruiters back time to focus on more strategic and high value activities.
Conversational artificial intelligence (AI)
High volume recruiting means hiring the same profile of candidate repeatedly. Automation and conversational AI, such as smart chatbots, allows organizations to frame the same questions that need to be asked of each candidate, providing short answers that can move the applicant through the funnel quickly. A successful candidate can immediately schedule their interview to the next stage.
Technology allows companies to speed up the hiring process and removes the strain from recruiters, so they can focus on more strategic, people-focused tasks. It also improves the candidate experience, as they move quickly and easily through the recruitment process.
Those not using this type of technology are missing out on candidates, as the market today is all about speed and user experience. Jobseekers are used to a speedy, consumer-like experience. They use UberEats to deliver food, or Amazon to buy products. Everything is so quick and easy. It’s about instant gratification. If your job application is long and tedious, you’ll lose candidates to organizations that can move faster.
Real-time analytics to drill down into specific challenges
The pace of growth in retail, hospitality, tourism and other high-volume sectors means that hiring managers and recruiters need to make changes quickly. Real-time analytics allows recruiters to drill down into specific issues affecting individual stores or job roles before making targeted interventions.
This can be useful if an organization is seeing high attrition in a particular role, or to investigate different candidate experiences between stores.
Combining tech and touch
Technology alone won’t help businesses hire better. Optimizing how people use it will. After all, 75% of candidates still want the human touch.
While talent technology can remove unnecessary admin burden for recruiters and make hiring processes faster and more efficient, the human element is crucial for building strong relationships with candidates.
With consistent and meaningful communication throughout the key stages of the hiring experience (such as during interviews and when following up) candidates can feel more connected to a business. This means they are less likely to drop off mid-process.
To build the most effective high volume hiring strategy, tech and touch must work in tandem.