How One Company Increased Applications by 400% Per Requisition

By Erica Grant and Aaron Sorensen | August 10, 2022 | ERE Recruting Intelligence


A multibillion-dollar technology conglomerate wanted to fuel business growth by improving its talent acquisition rate in a hyper-competitive labor market. But while company leadership rated “effective candidate sourcing” as their single highest priority, recruiters were actually spending less than 4% of their time actively sourcing qualified candidates due to the many other demands on their time. 

The company’s recruiters remained focused on managing the active recruiting process and delivering a positive candidate experience but were challenged to find time to address new demands that were growing in importance.

This situation is far from unique, as many large organizations that had previously had little trouble attracting applicants are falling victim to the Great Resignation and rapidly evolving employee preferences. While some businesses have chosen to invest in dedicated talent sourcers to ramp up the applicant volume, there are three proven high-impact strategies companies can deploy that both improve talent attraction and free up recruiters to take on more high-value work. 

Individually, these strategies can move the needle to a noticeable degree; collectively, they can bring a tremendous return on investment and deliver powerful results. 

How powerful? A $600 million-dollar company that had multiple pain points in the talent supply chain used these techniques to significantly enhance its employee value proposition, build its employer brand awareness, and improve its speed and applicant experience. The business:

  • Increased applicant volume by 400% per requisition in a tight labor market

  • Decreased time to fill a role by over 50% (down to 10 days) and improved candidate engagement with an omni-channel experience

  • Garnered over 275,000 social media impressions per month and improved brand reputation in a key geography for its business growth

What moved the needle to this degree?

Leveraging Omni-Channel Engagement Strategies

Businesses today face several significant challenges when they set out to hire new talent. First, how can they get the attention of the right people for their opportunities when it seems like every other company is also hiring? Secondly, how can they get that talent to engage with them and ultimately join the organization? 

A multi-pronged approach that meets candidates where they live is critical to attracting the right talent. This includes passive candidate engagement via online activity, like job posting sites and career sites, and more active engagement through individual outreach, talent communities, and similar efforts. It also means engaging in brand-building and awareness efforts that balance digital and in-person recruitment marketing strategies. 

To garner these results, the organization in this example had to fundamentally reinvent their employer brand and challenge assumptions around the most powerful channels to engage talent. The company launched a social media ad campaign that leveraged geotargeting to drive visibility across a wider geographic region and featured tailored branding and messages most attractive to key workforce segments. 

In addition, the organization ramped-up presence in the local community by sponsoring local events, launching “drive thru” hiring events, and building affiliations with local trade schools and programs to enhance their employer reputation.

Enhancing the Employee Value Proposition Where It Matters

What can an employer do once it has a candidate’s notice? That’s when it becomes critical to 

People’s preferences are changing, and what they demand from an employer has absolutely changed over the past few years as the balance of power has shifted toward employees. Organizations are being challenged to differentiate and improve their employee value proposition to meet employee demands around programs like flexible work, education benefits, and childcare, as well as aspects like the company’s culture, the experiences it offers, and the prestige of being associated with a top-notch company. 

This organization in this case needed to make clear and informed choices about where and how to differentiate itself via its EVP. Both internal research and external benchmarking were critical to identifying the elements of the EVP that provided the greatest differentiation from its competitors and resonance with current employees. Targeted investments in compensation and retention incentives improved both attraction and retention, while featuring the company’s innovative products, advanced technology, and warm and welcoming culture served as key differentiators. 

Automating Low-Value Recruiting Tasks 

The technology available for recruitment has come a long way. The goal of the recruiting process and the supporting technology should be twofold: create a seamless process for the candidate, as well as a smooth and efficient process for the recruiter. 

Remember that the recruiter’s primary job is to identify and convert candidates into new hires, so the switching cost between recruiting tasks should be minimized to maximize the time they can spend recruiting. Employing automation to the lower value parts of the process (e.g., interview scheduling, status updates, data capture) can also free up some of this scarce time. Automation also improves the response time from when candidates apply to when they are scheduled to interview, while providing invaluable touch points between the company and applicants. 

Technology and automation were key success factors in this organization’s ability to deliver an efficient and positive candidate experience while managing the significant increase in applicant volume. A critical first step was building seamless integration between all recruiting technologies and systems to ensure accurate and complete data capture.

This data provided a powerful tool for managing the health of the candidate pipeline and performance of various recruitment strategies. Implementing automation for minimum qualifications screening, candidate segmentation, scheduling, and dispositioning refocused recruiters on managing the active recruiting process, which resulted in improvements to time to fill and hiring quality. 

Individually, each of these three strategies is invaluable. Deployed in concert, they can move the needle in orders of magnitude. In these challenging times for talent acquisition, every business needs to maximize the capabilities of its recruiting team. Leveraging omni-channel engagement strategies, enhancing the employee value proposition, and employing automation to perform low-value recruiting tasks are three strategies that can collectively make the most of a company’s recruiting function.