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Hiring for Seasonal? 5 Proven Strategies for Increasing Candidate Flow

It’s only mid-summer, but with the talent-driven market and looming 2019 revenue goal pressure, organizations are kicking off seasonal hiring earlier than ever. National clothing and home goods retailer Kohl’s has already launched its campaign to recruit for 500 positions in its stores and distribution centers. Other leading retailers, warehousing and logistics companies will soon follow. As they work to fill thousands of open positions, the race will intensify for the best seasonal talent. 

Today’s candidates have options. If they don’t hear from you quickly, they’ll move on. The sooner you can engage them, the more likely they are to become a hire. See what you can glean from these five proven strategies to move hundreds or thousands of qualified candidates through your process faster and fill your seasonal positions sooner (and better) this year.

#1. Engage large numbers of candidates faster and more efficiently with text interviews.

When you have a large number of applicants, how many days do they wait before you make first contact? Are you able to make contact with all of them? These familiar seasonal hiring challenges are easily solved with text interviews. Text interviews enable digital, one-to-many recruiter-candidate interactions, so you can reach deeper into your applicant pool for answers to simple qualification questions, like availability for overnight shifts, or possession of a forklift license and certification. With text, recruiters engage candidates with their hiring process in a matter of hours, and can identify those who should move forward more quickly. Some organizations rely on text interviews to gauge market interest level in certain positions, and use that data to redirect their recruitment marketing efforts as needed to ensure they increase their flow of candidates for each type of role.

#2. Spend more time interviewing, less time on scheduling.

The sophistication of automated scheduling applications within mature interviewing platforms has advanced to the point where there’s virtually no business basis not to be using them. As with text interviews, automated scheduling connects large applicant pools into your hiring process with just a few minutes’ effort by the recruiter. With both automated scheduling and scheduling handled by an AI-enabled chatbot, candidates experience a fast, simple, convenient interaction they can complete on their mobile device. And, with the time saved, TA teams can get down to interviews much sooner, too.

#3. Take advantage of automation.

With seasonal positions, the most successful employer brands are known for their speed in hiring. Using recruiting automation can keep your candidate flow fast and smooth and protect your candidate experience. Take automated candidate advancement within a single-solution interviewing platform, for example. Here’s how it works: Your team sets a qualification threshold for candidates responding to a text interview. That threshold could be the completion of the interview or the number of positive responses to qualification questions like those described above. Your AI-enabled recruiting assistant invites applicants to complete the text interview, and also invites qualified individuals to the next step in hiring, whether that’s scheduling a live interview, or completing an on-demand interview. Either way, candidates move through your process and remain engaged without any extra steps needed by your team.    

#4. Replace phone screens with on-demand voice or video interviews.

For many types of seasonal positions, a phone screen is just right for assessing candidate fit.  Leading organizations are replacing their phone screens with on-demand voice or video interviews to increase convenience for candidates as well as their own efficiency with screening. The digital one-to-many aspect of on-demand interviews means large numbers of candidates can be invited simultaneously to complete them.

As candidates’ responses come in, recruiters can review, rate and tag the most qualified, sending the top choices on to hiring managers for their review. High-potential candidates move quickly along in your process. There’s added value for seasonal hiring with on-demand interviews, too:

  • Recruiters don’t have to review the entire recorded voice or video interview if they reach a decision within less time.
  • Candidates who advance to your next steps experience a seamless, high-tech, branded process.
  • Candidate responses are captured and can be integrated with your ATS, making it easy to get an early start on next year’s seasonal hiring.

#5. Manage interviews and assessments at the same time.

Some single-solution interviewing platforms now integrate proven, validated assessments and on-demand interviews. Many more of your seasonal candidates can participate in the combined interviews and assessments in the same amount of time, increasing your team’s efficiency and generating data to inform smarter hiring decisions.  Candidates flow through your process more quickly, and you can reach decisions faster, reducing the number of qualified candidates who get another offer before yours.

What would your candidate flow look like with automated scheduling?

Applications like automated scheduling, text and on-demand interviews, and auto advancement can offer an effective solution to your seasonal hiring candidate flow. At Modern Hire, large enterprise organizations see 54% of candidates schedule their interview within the first two hours of the invite, and 84% schedule within 24 hours.