Resumes play a critical role in the recruiting process and your decision to interview a potential candidate and ultimately whether to make a job offer to a potential new hire. Although a typical business may review dozens or even hundreds of resumes in a single year, even the most seasoned manager can find it difficult to tease out the qualifications that are really important from the sea of words and bullet points that make up most resumes today.
Learning how to effectively evaluate a resume can be a real make-or-break point for some businesses, and it can certainly prevent wasting time in the recruiting process or on-boarding a new hire who just isn’t an ideal fit for your company.
If you find yourself struggling with resume evaluation, or even if you just need to brush up your game, here are the key steps to take to improve your odds of picking a “winner.”
Identify Tangible Achievements
Most savvy job applicants know recruiters use “keywords” during an initial scan of resumes to help filter out candidates who aren’t suitable — and that means you’re likely to see those keywords cropping up even when they have nothing to do with the skillset you’re seeking. Instead of looking at vague “job duties,” try to find applicants with notable (and ideally measurable) achievements in specific areas that are relevant for the position you’re offering. Keep in mind that in order to know what you’re looking for, you need a good job description outlining the duties and candidate requirements.
Look for Stability
Moving from one company to another is much more common today than it was even a decade ago, but that doesn’t mean you want someone with a long history of staying with employers for six months to a year. Your employees represent a major investment in your business and its success, so while some job-hopping is to be expected, it’s important to look for applicants who’ve demonstrated a desire to remain with some employers for a longer period of time. (Of course, recent college grads with short-term summer jobs or internships are an exception.) Also, if candidates have moved jobs a couple of times, you’ll want to understand their reasoning. There may be very good reasons for them switching jobs.
Keep Your Business Goals in Mind
It’s easy to get drawn in by a candidate’s successful achievements, but try to view those accomplishments in terms of your own business’ needs and whether they can help your company achieve similar successes. Don’t forget to think about your company culture – essentially, the way your company operates and the manner in which your employees and management teams interact. For instance, if your company is big on team-building and daily collaboration, someone who prefers to work independently probably isn’t going to be a good “fit.”
Do a Quick Ranking to Slim Down the List of Prospects
Use your initial pass through your stack of applicants to identify absolute “no’s.” Then rank the remaining applicants into two or three groups to really determine the handful of applicants who truly suit your business’ objectives and “fit in” with your company’s culture and management style. Schedule interviews (or an initial phone screening) for your top prospects and toss the “maybe’s” — or file them away for a second round of interviews if your first round winds up being fruitless.
If, after all these steps, you’re still not finding the ideal candidate, it could be time to revisit your job posting. Maybe the wording needs some tweaking or the qualifications you’re looking for or the pay you’re offering isn’t realistic. In any case, revamping your ad could be the key to attracting a new pool of applicants that’s far more suitable for your needs.
At Insight Performance, we can help coach you on top recruiting practices, so you’ll always be on top of your game when you’re looking for new hires. Contact us today to learn how we can make recruiting simple by calling at (781) 326-8201 or (781) 326-2631 or by filling out our online form.