Are Your Résumé Screening Techniques Up to Date?

February 16, 2014 at 10:00 PM Kathleen de Lara

resume screening techniquesAs a recruiter, you may suffer from tired-résumé-eyes syndrome. Symptoms include decreased attention to qualifying candidates, monstrous stacks of cover letters and applications, and a team with a formidable turnover rate — or worse, an especially slow hiring pace. (Whoops.)

Don’t fret. Check out these strategies to apply to your résumé screening method. They may just be the cure-all.

(Re)Add a human touch.

If your entire recruiting process is run by robots, you may want to reevaluate your hiring practices and take back control. Applicant tracking systems run the risk of debarring qualified candidates. These technologies can eliminate talent purely based on the lack of keywords in their résumé, excluding potential hires who may be an excellent fit for your company, but are overlooked by systems that simply don’t know any better.

Only you (a live recruiter) can genuinely recognize who could be a great addition to your team. Focus on hunting for résumés that exemplify and illustrate the use of the respective industry keyword. Does a candidate quantify skills with measurable successes? How are work experiences represented in and indicative of previous roles and positions? Do the number of years at a company correlate with the progression and development of the organization?

Look to portfolios and recommendations to demonstrate résumé statements.

Nobody likes a fraud. If you’re still perusing through a résumé without using other sources of validation to supplement the search, you may be adding on unnecessary time and insecurity to the candidate hunt. For one thing, résumés are, at its core, self-reported accounts of one’s achievements, skills, and knowledge, making them a conceivably fallible means of judging a candidate. An online portfolio is an easy, accessible way to check out if a candidate talks the talk and walks the walk. The social web is a multi-functional platform that lets candidates to show recruiters what they’re made of, allowing you to get a feel for their skill set and digital footprint.

Run a quick search through candidate’s professional profile and read through their recommendations, if there are any. Be mindful of recommendations from those who managed a candidate, and be even more attentive of extraneous recommendations from personal connections who just may be sugarcoating a candidate’s qualifications.

Utilize an online survey as a factor to determine whether or not a candidate is a good fit.

If an applicant looks good on paper, so what? Leverage a short online questionnaire or fill-in-the-blank assessment to evaluate whether or not a candidate should move through the next level of the hiring process. Adding in this extra layer of screening will enable you to sift through top talent by extracting more details about work experience, relevant skills, and accomplishments in order prioritize who you want to reach out to and to rule out irrelevant candidates. It’ll also weed out job seekers who merely mass submit generic cover letters and applications.

These days, résumé screening isn’t just about speed. Making the right, most efficient uses of an applicant tracking system or more traditional means, like individually reviewing résumés, will help your company build the right team for its hiring needs. Establish an optimum screening routine, and you’ll be able to find and engage with undiscovered talent pools.

7 recruiting strategies