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Mass Recruitment: The Complete Guide

A group of candidates for a mass hiring drive

Suppose you’ve seen the avalanche of ‘now hiring!’ ads that appear from retail businesses before the holidays. In that case, you already have a pretty solid understanding of what mass hiring looks like from the outside. But what about behind the scenes? Mass recruitment can help you meet urgent business needs, accommodate rapid company growth, adapt to seasonal changes, or successfully establish a presence in a new location.

In this guide, we cover everything you need to know about mass recruitment, including the various channels for volume-based recruiting, the challenges this recruitment method poses, and the proven strategies for hiring success.

What is Mass Recruitment?

It is the systematic process of hiring many employees simultaneously. Companies may conduct mass recruitment for several reasons, including:

  • Market changes. The COVID-19 pandemic is a perfect example, as companies like Amazon responded to a swift and massive increase in demand for their services.
  • Company growth. Startups are a good example here. When a young company receives an influx of investor cash, leaders capitalize on the opportunity to beef up the workforce fast. 
  • Seasonality. Retailers recruit en masse as soon as the temperatures start to drop. Hotels hire many seasonal workers to serve guests during the busy tourist months. Catering companies shore up staff ahead of wedding season, and so on. 
  • Geographic expansion. A new office location comes with numerous empty desks to fill. 

Healthcare, retail, hospitality, manufacturing, logistics, and transportation are a few of the industries where mass recruiting is common. 

Volume recruiting can be handled internally but is often a task best managed by a recruitment firm. When hiring many employees simultaneously is needed, a staffing agency can help get the word out and identify candidates quickly as part of a bulk recruitment drive.

What are the Challenges of Volume Recruiting?

Volume-based recruiting brings about a unique set of hurdles to overcome. These obstacles can result in a time-consuming hiring process, a lack of visibility for the roles, and other issues with communication and the suitability of applicants.

1. Time constraints

When hiring multiple people simultaneously, matters such as job listings, application screening, and the coordination of interviews can potentially place a major strain on resources.

Working with an experienced high-volume recruiting team will remove this initial time burden. When a hiring professional leads this part of the bulk-hiring phase, a company can fill multiple roles much quicker than doing it themselves.

2. Visibility and reach

For any bulk hiring needs, ensuring you have a clear strategy to advertise and promote your vacancies is important. This can be a challenge when handling all hiring in-house, particularly for hiring managers who do not have access to appropriate bulk recruitment skills and resources.

Mass recruitment firms can reach a vast network of resources quickly. Many staffing firms leverage industry tools to ensure roles are visible and response rates are high.

3. Quality of applicants

If the job listings do not reach the right people, you will have fewer quality applications to choose from. If the skills and experience of these candidates aren’t up to standard, this could delay the hiring process.

With an in-depth pre-screening process and the right volume of applicants, a mass hiring agency helps you maintain high standards in the recruitment process. When only suitable candidates are moved forward, this increases the interview-to-hire ratio.

4. Collaboration and communication

Understandably, if an employer does not respond promptly to applications, these individuals could lose interest in the role or secure employment elsewhere.  Due to the highly collaborative nature of recruitment, a mass hiring drive can place a huge demand on the hiring team. All parties must work well together and do so under pressure. Therefore, clear communication between hiring managers, recruiters, and candidates is key.

Staffing agencies are well-equipped and accustomed to handling all candidate communications, gaining interview feedback, and ensuring the lines of communication are kept fluid. Technology, organization, and attention to detail are second-nature skills to volume-based recruiting professionals.

Related Post: How to help your business stand out in a competitive job market

How a Staffing Agency can help with Mass Recruitment

  • A bulk recruitment specialist will utilize their experience and reach to develop a mass hiring strategy that is tailored to individual business needs
  • Quicker time to hire
  • Access to a vast pool of talent
  • Saves time
  • Increases the interview-to-hire ratio
  • Best-of-breed recruiting tools and resources
  • Professional job advertisement and promotion
  • In-depth pre-screening maintains a high standard of applicants

If you need to fill multiple vacancies simultaneously or you need help with mass hiring, working with a bulk recruiting expert is a commercially and operationally viable solution.

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Mass Recruitment Tips and Strategies

Here, we share mass hiring strategies and tips that can apply to almost any vertical or job type. Whatever stage of the recruiting process you are at, read these tips to ensure you cover all bases.

1. Assemble the best hiring team

Regardless of the size or complexity of the recruiting need, getting the right team of people ready to help is key. This team may include HR personnel, management, recruiters, and staffing firms, all of whom will play a key role in helping with your bulk staffing drive.

TIP: Don’t forget to include existing employees in your team. Those with experience in the roles you are recruiting for can help support the interview process. 

2. Develop a mass hiring plan

Now that you have the right people to help with your recruitment drive, it’s time to consider how the hiring process will be coordinated. At this stage, you should consider various metrics and activities for the bulk-hiring drive, including:

  • A clear outline for the individual roles you want to fill, including potential start dates
  • Review the local job market, consider if hybrid or remote working is an option, and ask your recruiter (if you use one) for their perspective on current hiring trends
  • Ensure each role you’re hiring for has an accurate role profile and that the skills or experience you seek are clear.
  • Review your initial timeframes once you have all the above information, and revise if necessary. If you’re working with headhunters, get their input on the feasibility of these timings
  • Make sure you break down each element of the process and allow enough time for each hiring stage. Notice periods will impact the time-to-hire metric, so make sure this is considered
  • Budget accordingly. Recruiting firms offer specific rates for bulk recruiting. Ensure you have a clear understanding of their fees and that all hiring salary expectations are clearly defined

3. Increase exposure to candidates

While the mass hiring plan and the team of people you have assembled will certainly help you spread word of your recruitment drive, it is important to consider the most cost and time-effective ways to achieve maximum reach.

  • Offer referrals to your existing team and/or wider network
  • Use social media, email marketing, your website, and job advertisements effectively
  • Post in local groups for regional positions
  • Host a hiring event – both in-person and virtual events work with different audiences

Related Post: Get tips for hosting a virtual hiring event 

4. Utilize technology

Various people, positions, and partners play an important role in mass hiring. As such, effective communication and collaboration are vital. Technology will help you keep your communications, applicant details, and interview documentation in an easy-to-access, centralized location.

Wherever possible, implement automation to streamline processes and reduce the need for manual or repetitive tasks. A good staffing expert will integrate online job applications with intelligent applicant-tracking software. This will enable you to filter candidates more quickly and effectively.

5. Use referrals

Referrals from existing staff are a great way to access new candidates quickly. For all of your staff and new hires, make sure they are fully aware of the referral scheme, and make it easy for them to access current job openings. Again, this can be easily automated and easily set up as part of the onboarding process.

6. Automate pre-screening

Bulk recruitment often requires screening hundreds of applicants. As such, developing a quick yet effective screening process is key. Here are a few ideas to automate your pre-screening process:

  • Sending a questionnaire via email for candidates to answer screening questions
  • Using an onsite recruiting chatbot to qualify visitors to your ‘careers’ page instantly
  • Screening via an automated series of text messages
  • Using asynchronous video interviews to simplify scheduling and consider more candidates
  • Incorporating candidate assessments into your hiring funnel
  • Using an ATS to sort and rank candidates via a series of screening criteria

Pre-screening is another instance where 3rd party recruiters excel. Their involvement in the process can help reduce time-to-hire and interview-to-hire metrics. The use of AI in recruiting means that applications can be scanned and ranked in record time.

As part of our own in-depth candidate screening process, our recruiters evaluate and speak with suitably skilled candidates to qualify their suitability. This is done before the hiring manager sees their application.

7. Efficient interviewing 

You can’t rely solely on one-on-one, in-person interviews because you’ll need to speak with far more candidates than if you were hiring one person for a single position. Supplement traditional interviewing with formats that can help you speak with more candidates in less time. 

Pre-recorded interviews remove much of the hassle of interview scheduling from the hiring process, allowing candidates to complete the interview at a time that’s convenient for them by a given deadline. Group interviews let hiring managers interact with multiple candidates at once. This is great for promoting efficiency and seeing how candidates act in a group setting, which is particularly useful for public-facing roles like sales jobs. 

In addition to utilizing creative interview formats, standardize the candidate assessment process as much as possible. Simple tools like interview scoring sheets promote timely assessments and make it easy to consolidate feedback among multiple interviewers. 

8. Maintain a great candidate experience

It’s easy to neglect the candidate experience when you’re hiring dozens of people at a time. Still, it’s more important than ever to focus on the experience because of the volume of candidates you’re interacting with. Every one of them has the potential to spread the word about your company–good or bad–to their family, friends, and other prospective new hires.

To start, outline your hiring process in your application materials so candidates know exactly what to expect. Use video recordings to highlight pertinent information, for example, explaining what candidates are expected to wear on interview day or outlining the basics of a group interview for candidates unfamiliar with the format.

Keep candidates informed at every step in the process, especially if delays slow down the timeline you initially provided. The more you can improve your candidate experience, the easier it will be each time you need to conduct volume hiring in the future. 

9. Streamline feedback and communications

To ensure your employer brand is upheld and that candidates are given the best impression of your business, you must handle all communications and feedback with care. At every stage of the hiring process, candidates will be keen to know any next steps or gain feedback following an assessment interview.

Always ensure they receive a follow-up message with any relevant information about the next steps. This can be automated to a point, but if you use a mass hiring recruiting company, they will usually handle and coordinate candidate feedback on your behalf.

10. Start dates and onboarding

Whether you plan to onboard and train your new hires together or in groups, it is important to consider who and how they will be welcomed into the business. Early attrition can occur as a result of a poor onboarding experience. As such, you need to plan ahead of time to ensure there is a structured induction in place. This is also another area where your existing staff are a valuable source of support.

High Volume Recruitment Software

Specialized recruiting software can help you improve efficiency by automating menial tasks, aiding with candidate screening, and more. Consider these options to hire a high volume of employees swiftly and accurately:


The more efficient your application process, the faster you can get candidates into the system to begin screening. Lever’s candidate-first hiring tools put engagement at the forefront, making it easy to design an application that can be accessed on any device, with your employer branding incorporated into every stage. 

Lever’s advanced analytics capabilities give you a holistic view of your hiring pipeline. Hence, assessing whether you need to ramp up your candidate acquisition activities, move faster in conducting interviews, or take other steps to keep the funnel moving is simple. 


iCIMS was built to address many of the core challenges of mass hiring, like communicating effectively with large populations and conducting pre-screening at scale. 

Its customized messaging capabilities allow you to reach hundreds or even thousands of candidates simultaneously while adding a personalized touch. Conversational AI supports pre-screening activities over text, chat, and more. 


When you need to hire for hourly positions like retail jobs, HireVue is a great option. It automates the process of identifying the most important characteristics in applicants so you can fast-track the best candidates, then use tools like pre-recorded interviews to screen them and make a decision quickly. 


Phenom’s high-volume hiring solutions were built for the challenges of the current labor market. By combining AI scheduling, video assessments, and multi-channel candidate messaging, employers can take candidates from application to hiring action in a few minutes. 

One major retail chain used the platform to hire more than 7,000 workers in two weeks, while an education provider decreased its time to apply to under three minutes. 

Let Us Help You With Your Mass Recruitment

When handled correctly, a good hiring strategy will help you find the best people in the fastest time. It will also help you provide a great candidate and employee experience to those who join your business.

Working with an established staffing agency with mass hiring experience is highly advantageous if you need to undertake a recruitment drive. Aside from an agency’s expert support and reach, a good hiring experience will boost your employer brand, enable growth, and ultimately support your future success.

Volume Recruiting FAQs

What is the meaning of bulk hiring?

Bulk hiring, or mass recruiting as it’s often called, involves simultaneously recruiting for multiple roles within a business. This may include considering individual candidates for different roles, like a marketing specialist and a marketing coordinator, or hiring many different candidates for the same role, like if you were looking to onboard five new customer service associates.

How do you do mass recruitment?

This requires a solid hiring strategy and a team working together to promote, screen, and interview applicants. When you must recruit multiple people simultaneously, coordination, communication, and clarity are needed throughout each stage.

Which is the best sourcing channel for volume hiring?

As mass recruitment experts, we would always advocate using an experienced bulk hiring specialist. This will give a hiring manager immediate access to a team of recruiters and their resources, networks, and tools. The time it takes to hire will be reduced, and the interview-to-hire ratio will increase.

Aside from this, much of the burden of time spent during the initial promotion and pre-screening for open positions will then be met by the staffing. This saves time and means you can focus on scaling up the workforce quickly with high-quality candidates.

Pete Newsome

About Pete Newsome

Pete Newsome is the President of 4 Corner Resources, the staffing and recruiting firm he founded in 2005. 4 Corner is a member of the American Staffing Association and TechServe Alliance, and the top-rated staffing company in Central Florida. Recent awards and recognition include being named to Forbes’ Best Recruiting Firms in America, The Seminole 100, and The Golden 100. Pete also founded zengig, to offer comprehensive career advice, tools, and resources for students and professionals. He hosts two podcasts, Hire Calling and Finding Career Zen, and is blazing new trails in recruitment marketing with the latest artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Connect with Pete on LinkedIn