Unemployment numbers continue to remain high at a rate between eight and nine percent. Employers that are currently hiring are extremely excited about the prospect of so many top talent candidates being available. However, this volume of candidates does make it difficult to ensure a successful resume evaluation process. A process that is not organized can result in poor time management, a waste of company funds and may result in hiring a candidate that is not the top prospect for the opportunity.
An organized process includes job description review and selection of keywords that are essential candidate experience points. The keywords can be utilized to match the needs of the organization with the essential candidate credentials. Most large organizations have applicant tracking systems with Boolean search functionality to ensure an easier process but the for the company that does not have an ATS, you can utilize highlighers or word bold to ensure that the candidate has the required experience. The first review should be a credentials pass/fail process. Utilize Boolean search or visual search to decline those candidates that do not possess the required skill set. Once the resumes have been screened for required skills, a secondary review can be utilized to identify candidates that possess the desired skills for the opportunity.
The next phase of evaluation will require a much more careful credential review and a solid understanding of the position description. For instance, level of education, years of experience relevant to the position and candidate location should be reviewed more carefully. For instance, the position may require a Bachelor’s degree and 3 years of management experience and we want to make sure that the candidates possess these credentials. During this careful evaluation the resume review should also include a review of some resume red flags. Gaps of employment, job hopping and multiple positions held in a short period of time, resume mispellings, and candidates that use years rather than month and year for their previous positions held. Resume mispellings can denote a candidate that is prone to mistakes and does not take time to correct them. Candidates with year listings rather than month and year can be trying to hide the fact that they are a job hopper and a potential retention risk.
Once the resumes have been carefully reviewed and all unqualified or undesirable candidates have been declined, we want to take time to determine our first, second and third tier of candidates. A typical process will include five candidates per tier. The first tier will be the most desirable in terms of credentials and obviously the first on the interview slate. The second and third tier of candidates can be utilized if we have no viable candidates after the first round of interviews are completed or the candidates can be pipelined for future open positions that may become available.
An organized resume review process can be the difference between hiring the best possible candidate and hiring a candidate that will present the organization with risk. Careful review of the resume should minimize risk and ensure a targeted and successful review process.