Digital Transformation: 3 Elements of an Efficient Hiring Strategy

Author Sean Behr Date 04 Feb 2021

High volume recruiting presents a different set of challenges from those found in traditional recruiting. It typically requires recruiters to manage the full candidate cycle, while assessing more than 5x the candidate volume of a corporate recruiter. 

This is why standard applicant tracking systems, that corporate employees interact with during their own job searches, don’t adequately address the problems found in high volume hiring. These tools, such as Lever or Greenhouse, are great in their own right, but they’re not built for the type of hiring that your organization is doing. 

Effective high volume hiring is going to look different from what a corporate employee may have experienced during their own search. Where traditional hiring is focused on prerequisites and intangible skills, high volume hiring is going to be more focused on creating a simple and automated workflow. 

If you run a high volume recruiting process and you’re looking to improve your team’s efficiency, we have 3 ways to do that. 

Data & Metrics 

Tracking the accurate data will help your organization make more informed decisions. The difficult part of implementing proper metrics is sometimes just knowing where to start.

There are a lot of metrics you can measure, but here is a high-level shortlist: 

  • Number of (good) hires 
  • Cost 
  • Time 
  • Effort 

Every company cares about these in some capacity but might care about one more than the other. Here are a few key metrics we track at Fountain around hires, cost, and time. 

The main hiring metric you’ll track is your hiring rate. 

  • Hire Rate = # of hires / # of applicants

I need to hire 10 people, how many applicants am I actually going to need? The hire rate will give you some idea of that. This isn’t a universal number for your company. These numbers will change over time, with context.

Another key hire metric is your stage conversion.

  • Stage Conversion = # of applicants into the stage / # of applicants out of the stage 

The hiring process is broken up into discrete stages. One thing we look at is how many applicants started in a specific stage, versus how many made it out of that stage. It gives us an indication of where the drop-off may be if we’re having trouble getting applicants all the way through the process. 

The two main cost metrics you’ll want to look at are the cost per applicant and the cost per hire. 

  • Cost per applicant = $ spent on hiring / # of applicants 
  • Cost per hire = $ spent on hiring / # of hires

It’s important to note that what you include in your spending might change depending on the context of your company. There isn’t one specific benchmark you should be looking to achieve. 

The main timing metric you’ll want to look at is time to hire. 

  • Average time to hire = time total hires spent in workflow / # of hires 

This is measuring of how long does it actually takes you to hire an applicant on average. 

There are a few things to keep in mind. These metrics are not static. They change over time, and that’s exactly why they’re useful. You’ll be able to track their changes and draw analysis from there. 

These metrics are interrelated. For example, the number of applicants is used in a number of the prior equations. If that number changes, it’s going to adjust a lot of your data sets.

Take a holistic view; don’t put all your faith into one number or metric. These numbers come with context. If one changes, focus on “why” it’s changing. 

Automated Workflow 

The ideal workflow is a repeatable process that we’ve seen be successful across industries for high-volume recruiting: 

Application → Review → Onboarding → Posthire

The application stage should be as automated as possible, where candidates are filling out forms and answering qualifying questions. 

The review stage is a manual interaction with your team, where they’re looking over and vetting profiles to make sure they’re a fit for the role. If a candidate doesn’t get past the review stage, it’s important to be sending polite rejection messages. 

The onboarding process should also be automated, whether its sending gear, training, or filling out paperwork, remove as many manual steps as you can. 

Post-hire will also be automated and involves continuous learning and document signing. 

The distinctions in workflows are a big reason why a traditional ATS just doesn’t work for high-volume recruiting. You need a system that allows for a high level of automation if you’re going to evaluate your candidate pools effectively. 

You can’t allow automation to come at the expense of the candidate experience, however. There has to be a healthy balance, and you need to identify which stages can be automated. Candidate screening and feedback is a step that can’t be automated, but a “thank you” email after applying can be. There are enough candidate touch points in a candidate’s lifecycle (at least 5 within the first 48 hours) that some can be automated. 

Successfully personalizing messaging and communication at scale is difficult, but a necessary component if you are to successfully scale your recruiting.


The integrations that CHROs need to focus on primarily are tied to workforce planning. This refers to organizations preparing employees, managers, and organizational structures for future success. Greater integrations with these tools bring strategic advantages, which is why it’s no surprise that HR teams desire better integrations with their applicant tracking system.

While there are a variety of features that would be beneficial to your system, these are the 3 main integration essentials for your ATS:  

Human Resource Information System (HRIS) 

HRIS combines a number of systems centered around easing the management of all Human Resources related tasks. Recruiters and Human Resources have a relationship that can be comparable to that of an Account Executive and Account Manager. 

Recruiters are the prospectors and closers, while Human Resources are the relationship managers once candidates are signed and part of the organization. It’s crucial that these departments are able to work together seamlessly.


Companies like EduMe, Lessonly, Northpass, and Traitify are commonly used as assessment tools by applicant tracking systems. They do a great job of providing a simple way to train and test your candidates. 

These tools are necessary when you’re recruiting a high-volume amount of candidates across many different locations. Ensuring applicants have the skills necessary to perform in the role they’re applying for is crucial as you scale your recruitment.


Online verification tool integrations are a necessity for all applicant tracking systems. Oftentimes they’re used to determine a candidate’s eligibility to work for your organization. E-verification can include online ID verification, document signing, and applicant background checks. 

There are a variety of e-verification options to choose from. We’ve compiled a few here for your convenience: 

ID verification 
Document signing 
Background checks

Enter a new era of frontline workforce management.

Learn more about how Fountain Hire can help you transform frontline recruiting, onboarding, and retention for improved workforce management.

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About the Author

Chief Executive Offier

Sean Behr

Sean Behr is the CEO at Fountain and has served in leadership roles at STRATIM (acquired by KAR), (acquired by AOL), and (acquired by Ebay). Behr also advises, mentors, and invests in entrepreneurs and early-stage companies.