Manage A Hiring Surge

5 Ways to Manage a Hiring Surge

While many businesses have seen layoffs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many industries and companies are actually seeing hiring surges – especially those that employ essential workers. Getting outside help is one way to manage a hiring surge.

Hiring surges can be exciting. They’re a sign your business is growing, after all, but they also mean a lot of extra work. If you need to bring on a lot of employees quickly, it creates extra work for your current team.

If you’re experiencing a hire surge, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed. However, there are plenty of tips and advice to help you interview, hire, and onboard new employees quickly and efficiently.

#1: Invest in Contract Recruiters or Staffing Agencies

If you’re hiring because there’s a lot of work, your team may not have the bandwidth to parse through application after application. If it’s within your budget, it might be worth investing in a contract recruiter or staffing agency in order to manage a hiring surge.

This saves your current team time, and eliminates the need to bring new recruiters or hiring managers on board. It also allows for flexibility. Staffing agencies only make you pay for successful hires, and contract recruiters only need to remain with your company until the project’s complete.

However, the one con is both staffing agencies and contract recruiters will not know the strategic goals of your company, so they may not pick hires entirely aligned with your culture and values.

#2: Focus on Skill Sets When Looking Through Applications.

A high unemployment rate means the job market is in an unusual place. With a lot of people seeking work, companies that are actively hiring are going to see workers with a diverse range of backgrounds. This can make managing a hiring surge difficult, as you may not be able to immediately find applicants with a job history specifically related to your industry.

However, one way to combat this is by focusing on experience. You know what skills are critical for the position, and many quality employees have transferable skills from seemingly unrelated jobs. See this as a chance to build a more diverse team.

#3: Streamline Your Interview Process.

To manage a hiring surge, you don’t always have as much time to spend interviewing candidates. However, a faster interview does not mean a less thorough one. By taking steps to streamline your interview process, you can expedite the hiring process while still identifying quality candidates.

Keep the interview process consistent every time. Have a specific set of questions to ask, have the same people involved, and develop a set rubric to evaluate candidates. Not only will this save you time during a surge, it will also give you interview guidelines to follow in the future.

It’s also a good idea to think of a list of specific qualities related to your company’s current needs. During a hiring surge you’ll want candidates who can adapt quickly to a new environment, for example.

#4: Speed Up Your Background Checks.

Even if you’re only hiring extra work short term, never gloss over a background check. A bad hire can cost you extraneous time and money, which can be especially detrimental during a busy time.

Make sure you collect only information relevant to your specific background check. Review checklists of required information carefully before submitting to avoid delays or errors. Submit your screening requests as early as possible, as most background check providers process checks in the order they are received.

Mobile background checks, especially during the COVID-19 crisis, are becoming increasingly popular. SwiftHire Mobile Background Check is a completely remote mobile tool. It allows applicants to enter information directly into a system built into your ordering module, cutting back on potential inaccuracies that can slow down the process.

#5: Create an Efficient Training Process.

Much like streamlining your interview process, a hiring surge is a good time to give your training process a revamp. Not only will this help you smoothly onboard new employees, it will make processes more efficient in the long term.

Try speeding up the time between training, shadowing, and working independently. If you’ve been careful to hire experienced, adaptable workers, they may not need as much handholding early on. Also, make sure you zero in on the most critical skills you need to train so you don’t waste time with extraneous information.

Online training resources, which employees can complete on their own time, can also be a helpful tool. If it’s at all possible to provide some training materials this way, consider doing so to get people to work faster.


While a hiring surge is a sign your company is doing well, it can be a headache to navigate. However, there are many steps you can take to keep things on track even when times are chaotic. Not only will the above tips help with a surge, they can also streamline new processes down the road.

To manage a hiring surge effectively, a hiring surge is almost always a net positive. Not only does it mean your company is getting bigger, it can be a great way to grow your team and improve the interview, background check, and training process. If you see managing a hiring surge as an opportunity rather than a burden, it can lead to a lot of positive changes.

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