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Mass Hiring: A Guide to High Volume Recruiting

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Dealing with a huge applicant pool is a problem that most organisations wish they had. For the majority of small companies, having too many applicants is the antithesis of their main hiring challenge, which is finding enough quality applicants.

As a result, volume recruiters must remember the privileged position they are in by having this problem, as a large applicant pool will inevitably contain a large number of quality applicants. The challenge of course, is separating the wheat from the chaff, and identifying those high performers (and screening out those low performers). This of course, is easier said than done, as mass hiring processes must be predictive of performance, cost-effective, and minimally burdensome on the parties involved.

To this end, here are four major steps that HR teams and hiring managers can employ to maximise the effectiveness of their mass hiring processes:

Make Extensive Use of Ability Tests

Ability tests (also known as aptitude tests) are the ideal mass hiring tool, and for several reasons:

  • They are incredibly predictive of job performance, especially in emerging talent recruitment
  • They are quick and convenient, being easily administered remotely online
  • They are scalable online, allowing HR teams to invite thousands of candidates instantly
  • They are fair and objective, preventing unconscious bias from entering the process
  • The scores are incredibly easy to interpret, just rank-order candidates by their score
No other employee selection tool boasts these advantages in volume recruitment, making ability tests the number one choice for mass hiring.

Although many other selection tools are also conducted remotely and are equally convenient, they will not display the predictive power that ability tests offer. Similarly, the only assessments which can match the predictive power of ability tests are highly structured face to face interviews, which simply cannot be conducted on a large scale. Overall, when meeting the challenges of volume hiring, ability tests are king, and should be considered the primary selection tool.

Be Highly Selective

If you are using highly valid and predictive assessments as part of your shortlisting process, then you can feel confident in creating small shortlists. For example, if you have 1,000 applicants vying for 10 roles, and you are using a suite of valid ability tests (and ideally, a behavioural assessment as well), you should feel able to screen out 90%-95%+ of your candidates using these tools. This ensures that only the highest potential candidates are invited to high-touch assessments, such as structured interviews. Naturally, this minimises the number of interviews that hiring managers need to conduct, saving the business significant time, effort, and cost. Moreover, by being highly selective, you ensure that only the highest performers are eventually selected for the role, vastly improving the quality of hire while also streamlining the process.

Make Use of Talent Analytics

Although the research evidence regarding ability tests is extremely well developed, and shows that ability tests are applicable to almost any role, the data regarding behavioural assessments is less clear. For example, the personality trait of extraversion is shown to predict performance in sales roles, but not in IT roles. Unlike cognitive ability which is predictive of performance ubiquitously, the predictive power of personality traits varies depending on the role, the level, and even the organisational culture. Talent analytics allows employers to identify what great looks like in your organisation specifically, revealing the traits and abilities which underpin performance in your organisation. This is an essential stage when using behavioural assessments in mass hiring processes, as it will highlight exactly which traits to incorporate into your selection decisions, allowing you to utilise behavioural assessments more scalably.

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Automate as much as possible

When assessing candidates in a mass hiring process, employers must use any and every opportunity for automation. For example, when adding 5,000 candidates to an online assessment process, it simply isn’t feasible to manually add each candidate to a database by typing their personal details. Instead, look for online platforms which allow you to import data in CSV format, or send a generic self-registration link to candidates via a mail-merge. This saves your HR team tremendous amounts of time and resources, allowing them to focus on adding value elsewhere. Needless administration is always something to be avoided, and if the opportunity for automation presents itself, it’s always advisable to pursue it when tackling a volume recruitment process.

A great way to automate a lot of the manual processes of receiving, reviewing, rejecting, and accepting applications is to use an ATS and Recruiting CRM like Recruiterflow.


Overall, when attempting to improve the efficiency of mass hiring processes, particularly in emerging talent recruitment, the name of the game is automation. You want technology and psychometrics to handle the heavy lifting for you, ensuring that only the highest potential candidates are invited to interview. Not only does this mean fewer interviews overall, but it also ensures that those who do attend will almost certainly be worth interviewing, with all available data suggesting that they are high potential. Moreover, with fewer interviews to conduct, it allows hiring managers to really focus on their candidates, almost certainly improving the quality and predictive power of the interviews themselves.

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Article by

Ben Schwencke

Ben is responsible for client delivery work at Test Partnership and usually serves as the main client of contact. He holds an MSc in Occupational Psychology and is a registered test user of ability and personality testing.

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