So you wanna be a…volume recruiter

Looking for a TA career change but not too sure how to get there? Our ‘So you wanna be a…series of articles takes a look at some of the more niche TA roles and digs deep into the who, how, and why behind them. Our resident editor Jody Smith will chat with some of your favourite TA leaders in that space to find out how they got started, what their role really looks like, and what tips and tricks they have for other TA superstars looking to get a foot in the door.

In this issue, Jody sat down with Farhan Khodabux, Talent Acquisition Team Leader – Campaigns, People & Culture @ Australia Post to find out what really goes on in the life of a volume recruiter.

What kind of roles do you volume hire? 

As a Talent Acquisition Team Leader working in the Campaigns team, the largest piece of work my team delivers is our Peak Christmas casual campaign. The roles we typically hire for are Mail & Parcel Sorters, Van Drivers, Forklift Drivers and Posties to support our operational facilities on a national level. My other Talent Acquisition colleagues who work within a different portfolio also recruit for Truck Drivers and Contact Centre staff to support operational requirements during the busiest time of the year.

Tell us a bit about a typical intake cycle.

Last year we received over 50,000 applications in which we placed approximately 5,000 casuals in roles across 250+ sites nationally. Our process involves completing an online assessment along with video interview questions through Vervoe (a platform to help view a high volume of interviews) followed by rigorous pre-employments checks and further assessments dependant on the role.

That sounds like a huge amount of work! Do you work in a team to deliver these campaigns?

Yes, the team is important! This work is heavily dependent on having a great team to work with who support each other and are passionate about the work we do to deliver for our communities we serve. We have an excellent team culture and have a ‘one team approach’ mentality to combat any challenges we face along the way.

Our Campaigns team is scaled according to volume of casual hires required for the business but typically we bring on an additional 12-15 resources to additionally support our team of 6 during busy periods. We focus on bringing in personnel with a good blend of diverse backgrounds and experiences at all levels right from experienced recruiters through to administrators or entry level HR Grads. If you are in the market for an exciting and challenging high volume recruitment role, please do get in touch as we are recruiting! You can view the opportunities we have available through here.

How much of the process is automated? Do you open every CV or do you need to rely on the tech to do some of the heavy lifting? 

The tech is very important. We have streamlined our process for the upcoming 2021 Christmas casual campaign from previous years making it a lot more automated given some of the challenges and pain points we have experienced in previous years.

We have added more information to our website, application forms, and candidate comms throughout the process to make it more automated and informative whilst utilising our application tracking system, PageUp, to automate things such as sending comms, inviting candidates to complete Vervoe, booking driving assessments, and booking inductions.

Do you follow the same process for every campaign?

As part of every large campaign wrap-up, our campaigns team perform a post-implementation review where we address any challenges and pain points and collectively discuss solutions to the problems. We not only focus on what is in our control and things we can change as TA professionals, but also bring other key stakeholders from different departments along the journey. This is an important step to ensure there are no downstream implications to the overall process for future campaigns.

What could a recruiter who has only worked on specialised roles expect to be different when working on volume projects? 

Coming from a diverse Talent Acquisition background myself working on technical white-collar roles and on high volume projects in a blue-collar environment, it is important to stay resilient and team focused as that is the key to success. The real difference is the fast-paced nature of working on volume projects; you have to be agile in your approach and consider many contingencies whilst having a structured plan in place. We often include a large ‘buffer’ of candidates we progress with to cater for candidates dropping out during the process or after commencement.

What do you need to keep in mind when approaching candidate care in a volume capacity?

Candidate care in a volume environment is paramount as our Christmas casual campaign is a friends and family referral program for all Australia Post employees, which means every candidate is a friend or family of someone that works at Australia Post. Ultimately, these candidates are also our customers, and we want to ensure each candidate has a positive experience as working in Talent Acquisition we represent the Australia Post brand.

The key is to utilise your systems to ensure all candidates are communicated with in a timely manner with regular updates. We run a transparent process where a lot of information is provided to our candidates on our website, application form, applicant portal and throughout the candidate comms journey so candidates are accustomed to knowing what to expect.

Farhan’s Cheat Sheet for Aspiring Volume Recruiters

What are some of the actionable things you can do if you want to be a volume recruiter? Here are some suggestions from Farhan of who to follow, what to use, and where to seek out your info.

Absolute must-use productivity and tech tools to make your life so much easier

Automation to assess, screen, weight and rank is a must have in the ATS. Other systems I find very handy are SharePoint, OneDrive, MS Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams & Webex for day to day activities.

Newsletter and event recommendations to keep the brain ticking over and your network fresh

Just the obvious one – LinkedIn!

Is there a specific niche area of recruitment you’d like to know more about. Email us and let us know.

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