High Volume Sales Recruiting Strategies

While not defined by an exact number, high-volume sales recruitment is designed to fulfill an organization’s need for many candidates. Often, these are single job roles for either one or multiple locations nationwide. Filling these positions requires processing hundreds, if not thousands, of candidates in a consistent, compliant method.  

Typically, businesses turn to high-volume recruiting during periods of extreme growth, seasonal peaks, new product launches, or consistent turnover. Building a sustainable, repeatable process that aligns with your resources and deploying it in an efficient, effective manner is key to surviving the pressure of high-volume sales recruitment.  

So, let us explore best practices for a successful recruiting program in a competitive market.  

Find the Right ATS for Your Sales Recruitment Strategy

Every high-volume recruiting strategy requires a robust database to oversee the vast amount of activity necessary to manage the project. In recruiting, this is commonly known as an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). Similar in functionality to a CRM, an ATS houses open requisitions, candidates, and activities generated by recruiters to process a potential new hire.

The past 10 years have seen many ATSs enter the market, so if you are in the market for a new one, make sure you thoroughly outline your requirements before buying. While they all have similar capabilities, few are designed to manage high-volume recruiting efficiently. You cannot afford this inefficiency when processing thousands of applicants.

Choose wisely. Focus on what you need, not a “brand name,” and make sure to include your recruiters in the selection process. Most ATSs offer a sandbox version you can play with at your own pace, allowing you to try before you buy. In my experience, big ATS firms are great at dealing with compliance and integration but offer inferior solutions for high-volume recruiting.  

Let’s Go Fishing  

Finding candidates in a tight labor market is not easy, especially when you have 100+ openings, so casting a wide net is essential. To put this in perspective, here’s what the typical volume may look like for an entry-level role:

This model takes into account ghosting (no-shows) and fallout from background checks.  

So, where do we start finding 3,000+ candidates? The most obvious place to start is your own database. After spending years recruiting similar candidates, most companies accumulate many candidates in their system. For example, our database surpassed two million salespeople and continues to grow.  

So, it’s essential to manage these gold nuggets properly. Companies can maintain a relationship by:  

  • Sending monthly newsletters  
  • Sharing job openings  
  • Building drip marketing campaigns  

If you haven’t maintained these relationships, now’s the time to reconnect and introduce new opportunities within your organization. Don’t forget to ask for referrals! Consider them warm leads and the most cost-effective way to start building your funnel.  

Next are paid job board postings: a costly but effective way to increase your candidate pool. To stand out from competitors, get creative with your content. This means ensuring it appeals to your audience and solicits a response. However, posting will not be enough, so be prepared with a hefty budget to sponsor your jobs to maximize their effectiveness.  

And keep in mind that just because people respond to your ads does not mean they are qualified; internal resources may be challenged to sift through a vast number of applicants in a timely fashion.  

Social media is another important channel for sourcing. Depending on your target audience, you will likely want to rely on some combination of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Strategize how you plan to engage prospects to maximize your investment in what will inevitably require paid ads due to your appetite for candidates.  

Outsourcing should also be considered as part of your strategy, whether to supplement your internal team or as the primary way to get the job done. Most agencies have highly effective tools at their disposal and an abundance of resources to get the job done. While they may use the channels listed above, their greatest advantage is Direct Sourcing applicants.

Imagine the difference between waiting for candidates to respond to an advertisement compared to contacting them directly. This method is time-consuming, but it targets the candidates you want to speak with rather than relying on who applies.  

This means you get higher quality candidates, and your team spends less time on no-show interviews.  

Humanize The Process  

How you engage your candidate pool is crucial; we only get one chance to make a first impression. So, let us review these crucial steps:  

60-Second Apply – Do not torture your candidates with long applications. If they apply online, keep it simple, collect only what you need, make sure the process is mobile-friendly, and clearly define the next steps. Most candidates are not prepared to complete an assessment or cultural index when initially applying. Having a complicated, time-consuming process will result in incomplete applications.  

Communication – Offer multiple ways for candidates to connect quickly and learn more. This could be an online chat tool, a recruiter’s phone number, or an auto-scheduling tool, so candidates can set up a time to speak with someone about the position. Never forget: we are in the people business. Humanize the process by making yourself accessible as much as possible. You learn more from speaking with a candidate than from reading a resume, especially when looking for salespeople.

While many automated tools are available to support this process, choose ones that add value to the “candidate experience,” not those that simply make your job easier. You are in the wrong profession if you avoid interacting with candidates!  

Let’s Dance  

If recruiting is your forte, then this part of the process should be your happy place. Having meaningful conversations with candidates, listening to what is important to them, answering questions, and discussing the opportunity should be extremely satisfying.

Make sure you take time to connect with your candidates and earn their trust. In most cases, this will help reduce fallout as they move through the process.  

If they are qualified for the role, schedule them for an interview with the hiring manager before hanging up the phone. Every extra step in the process is an opportunity for the candidate to either change their mind or consider other offers. Likewise, make sure the next interview takes place within 48 hours. High-volume recruiting demands a sense of urgency.

If necessary, this is also a suitable time to discuss completing things such as assessments or cultural indexes. Engaged candidates are more open to these activities after making a personal connection with your organization.  

Learn the Tango  

In a competitive market, hiring managers must be on their “A game” to entice candidates. So here are a few pre-interview tips:  

  • Do not be late - Be respectful of the candidate’s time.  
  • Organize your meeting space – The candidate will assess their surroundings.  
  • Be prepared - Review their resume and arrange your thoughts/questions to conduct a structured interview.  
  • Allow enough time - Candidates have questions too.  
  • Know HR best practices - In an ever-changing work environment, make sure you are familiar with what you can/cannot ask.  

In today’s world, interviews are a 2-way street; candidates are evaluating you and your organization just as vigilantly. Your role is to act like a buyer and a seller throughout the process, providing good examples of why they should consider working for your organization or, more importantly, working together.

Like sales, taking the time to build trust and learn what is essential to the candidate will impact their decision-making process, especially when they’re selecting between multiple offers.  

I always like to end a good interview by asking, “Tell me what you liked about this opportunity and how it compares to other ones you are considering.” This gives you a chance to overcome any potential objections (just like a good sales call).    

Due Diligence Process  

Communicating the offer clearly and concisely should be taken very seriously, so do not drop the ball. While HR may prepare the package for candidates, the hiring manager should stay involved, making themselves available to answer any questions.  

Likewise, background checks can be an arduous process as well. An involved HR team who actively engages with the candidate to complete the procedure is key. Far too many automated links are sent to candidates and not followed up on.  

If you want to provide a great candidate experience, HR should schedule a call to go over the entire post-offer process and minimize incomplete applications. Unfortunately, most companies fall short and lose around 10-20% of potential new hires.  

Welcome Aboard  

Most new hires decide during their first week whether they plan to stay. So, it goes without saying how important the onboarding process is. Ask yourself: why do departments typically have a going away gathering when someone leaves but do little when they get hired? Start celebrating the win, not the loss.  

Investing in a great onboarding experience is essential to every organization. We only get one chance to make a first impression. Here are a few tips to consider:  

  • Inform your front desk of any new hires so they greet them by name.  
  • If you have a welcome board for clients, use it for new hires.  
  • Make sure their desk is ready, including any equipment.  
  • If required, have business cards printed ahead of time.  
  • Ensure HR does a superb job making new hires feel welcome and assist in any remaining paperwork.  
  • Introduce them to other team members and have someone volunteer to be their support system for the first week.  
  • Schedule a manager/new hire lunch date to develop a great connection.  

An Example Roadmap

Here’s an example of a roadmap for a great high volume recruiting process:  

Humanizing Sales Recruitment and Retention – ACA Talent

Do you want to get a high volume of high-quality candidates? Are you concerned about the impact that no-show interviewees are having on your talent pipeline? If so, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

September 29, 2022

David Sargeant

My recruiter at ACA Talent intuitively knows what kinds of candidates I want to see, so I don’t have to see four candidates to get the one that I want.

- Field Sales Manager -

I spend zero time recruiting now that we’re working with ACA Talent. I don’t have to pound the pavement to find people.

- Route Sales Manager, Snack Food Brand

In the past, recruiting all fell on the sales manager’s shoulders. It used up so much of our time at the expense of running our business. ACA Talent has made it possible for me to focus on my job with little concern over manpower. It’s like pushing the “easy” button with them.

-Regional Sales Manager, Security Firm