Start with clear job descriptions and specifications
In an ideal scenario, all jobs must have separate and sharp JDs and candidate specifications. They should be distinct even when the job titles are similar. Firstly, it helps the candidates in assessing whether the job is right for them and vice-versa. Secondly, recruiters can use it as a reference document to match candidate skills and competencies as mentioned in the resume.
As part of the next step, the recruiter can create a list of must-have and nice-to-have skills, competencies and behaviours. An easier way to prepare this list is by studying the traits and behaviours of successful employees. It is a one-time activity that will come in handy in future sourcing and screening processes.
The must-have list will help you in eliminating the ineligible candidates. It can contain all the minimum criteria that you think are required for performing well at the job. It can consist of educational qualifications, certifications, skills, and the type of experience. While creating this list, it will help to keep it open. For instance, instead of being too particular about the number of years of experience, it may help to understand the type of experience the person carries.
The nice-to-have list is what will help in differentiating the candidates once you have narrowed down your choices. It can include certifications and skills that will enable the candidate to perform better in the job. You can rank the resumes on the number of such attributes.
Once you have made these lists, it will become easier to scan through the resume and look for these keywords. Apart from making your task quicker, this list will also help in shortlisting only the qualified candidates.
Look for accomplishments
To make their resumes wordy, a lot of candidates tend to include unnecessary information. They may also include buzzwords or important terms to attract attention. While there is nothing wrong with that, you can look for achievements to shortlist only the best candidates.
Most individuals tend to write their daily tasks and activities in their resumes. While there is nothing wrong with that, you should try to look for successes. The star candidates will mention their achievements, and this is where you can make a difference in the shortlisting. For instance, a marketing professional may write that the job includes networking with channel partners. The star performers will mention how many channel partners were successfully onboarded by their efforts.
A deeper understanding of the roles will come in handy here. It will help to study the duties of the current employees in these roles. You can make a note of them to ask pointed questions during the interview.
Remember the best resumes are the ones that speak with lots of data and figures. It shows the candidate is confident to talk about past experiences. These figures can also become conversation starters during the interview process.
Study the gaps
It is advisable to look at the employment timeline as the first thing while scanning a resume. It will help you in understanding the employment history and the overall work ethic of the candidate. While breaks are not always negative, too many gaps have to be taken with a pinch of salt.
An organization spends a lot of time and resources on training an employee. It also takes time for a new employee to settle comfortably in the new culture and become productive. As a matter of fact, it takes between 1 to 2 years to become fully productive at a job. Losing an employee around this time means a loss of resources for your organization. Moreover, it will also impact the quality of hire metrics and the overall productivity of the recruitment function.
Understand the resume
It is suggested to take a good look at the resume to understand the consistency of the writing. Try to look at the overall presentation and any grammatical or spelling mistakes. As a rule of thumb, the candidates should avoid writing in a direct first-person voice. An implied language sounds much more professional.
Read the personal statement to know if it is passionate and relevant to the job. If there is a cover letter, read it in detail to understand what the candidate is trying to say. If it is general and could hold true for any job, it is not well-written. The cover letter should be specific to the position, and the candidate should be able to articulate the expertise in the role.
It may also help to find evidence of a career that has plateaued or any indications of responsibilities being reduced or career changes. While such signs are not always red flags, you may want to probe these during the interview.
Manual screening is useful only when the recruitment numbers are reasonable. During volume hiring, recruiters may have hundreds of openings and receive thousands of applications. Using technology is the best way to screen qualified candidates at such times.
AI in recruitment can simplify this task and also automate the resume screening checklist. Impress offers chatbots that can effectively resolve this situation. The best feature is that Impress chatbots are customizable. The team has worked in the past to offer custom solutions to target organization-specific problems.
impress.ai chatbots can perform the first-level assessment of the candidates. You can customize it to ask specific questions and evaluate the candidates based on the responses. The platform can also be linked to video assessment tools and give an overall score to the candidate.
This technology is reliable and can offer accurate results. It can drastically reduce the screening time of candidates and fasten the hiring process. That too, without compromising the quality of hire.
Note the warning signs
As a recruiter, you will be adding more value to the process by identifying the reg flags. Make a note of these warnings when you assess a resume. There are good chances that you may forget them when you are working on several resumes at once. The hiring manager will also appreciate your efforts as it will help them in finding an eligible candidate.
In today’s time, the job of a recruiter is much more than scheduling interviews and negotiating offers. Organizations expect recruiters to contribute more strategically and assist the line managers in hiring qualified candidates. With a resume screening checklist, recruiters can enhance the quality of hire. It will particularly come in handy when an organization has to hire for mission-critical roles. Technology can simplify this task and also enhance the efficiency of the recruitment department.