Cut Through the Clutter

The good news is, you're hiring. The bad news is, you've received over 200 résumés for the three positions you have available. It's enough to make any hiring manager feel a little overwhelmed.

So how do you find that proverbial "needle in a haystack?" Here are some quick tips for cutting through résumé clutter:

Plan: Do your homework.
  • For each available position, develop an effective job description which details the qualifications, skills, personality traits, and experience of the ideal candidate.

  • Make sure you know which criteria are absolutely required versus those that are merely desirable.

  • Determine the salary range by using a market pay study or other appropriate salary research materials.

  • Set aside a block of time for your work. You'll accomplish much more in one 60-minute block than you would in four 15-minute periods.
Process: Start with a hatchet; finish with a scalpel.
  • Grab your hatchet. If you have it, now is the time to use your company's résumé parsing software. Use keywords to generate résumés that meet the minimum requirements.

  • Create three piles (or electronic folders), based on easy-to-find, essential qualifications or keywords (e.g., college degree, related experience, etc.): "Reject," "Maybe," and "Potential Candidate."

  • Reject résumés with careless errors.

  • Set aside résumés of those candidates who are obviously way overqualified, if they may be right for another position within your company.

  • Weed-out electronic résumé spammers. Tip: The unqualified applicants usually fail to write cover letters.

  • For the remaining group, scan the customized cover letters and résumés. Look for correct spelling and grammar, attention to detail, and a flawless presentation.

  • Now it's time for the scalpel. Review each potential candidate's description of what he says he's looking for in a job, as well as the summary statement of qualifications and experience. Select those résumés that have customized information and contain the most important keywords relevant to the position.

  • Review most recent employers and stated experience, accomplishments, and contributions. Eliminate those candidates with red flags that are unexplained:

    • Employment gaps

    • Decreasing responsibility, or evidence of a career that has reached a plateau

    • Serial short-term employment

    • Multiple shifts in career path

  • Review your potential candidates against your criteria and one another.

  • Telephone screen the top four or five candidates and schedule interviews with those who pass your initial screen.

Save Time, Money, and Headaches: Put Your Staffing Firm to Work
Obviously, finding ideal candidates is a lot of work – especially when you're inundated with résumés. A staffing firm can make the process more efficient and less stressful, by carrying out the most time- and labor-intensive activities such as:
  • Screening large numbers of potential candidates

  • Conducting telephone screens and initial interviews

  • Administering skills assessments

  • Performing background and reference checks, as well as drug screens
Because we specialize in screening, interviewing, and hiring, we can leverage economies of scale and cost-effectively present you with only the most qualified candidates. To make things even easier, we can offer these services a la carte, or on an hourly basis. You can hand-off whatever screening activities you choose, while keeping control of the rest – and save time, money, and countless headaches in the process.