In today’s hiring landscape, HR pros typically find themselves with an embarrassment of riches — too many candidates and resumes, not enough time to review them all. Here are two ways firms are making it easier for themselves.
Everybody hopes for a broad range of candidates for any open positions they post online or in print. But job boards like Careerbuilder and Monster have made it easier for candidates to apply for open positions at the click of a button — even if they’re not qualified.
With unemployment at record levels, there have rarely been this many people looking for work.
That’s put a strain on recruiting and hiring teams, who typically have to slog through huge stacks of resumes looking for diamonds in the rough.
So how are firms fighting back? The Wall Street Journal recently highlighted two hiring trends that are working for companies:
For some firms, their response to the ongoing barrage of resumes is to bypass them entirely.
Instead, these companies have taken a more active role in the screening process by devising alternative ways for candidates to show the company they’re the right employee for the job.
Here are three examples of firms that have stopped asking for employee resumes, and what they’re doing instead:
- For certain positions, Union Square Ventures, a venture-capital company in New York, asks candidates to submit a short video explaining why they’re interested in the position they’re applying for, as well as providing links that represent their “Web presence,” such as their Facebook profile or a blog they maintain.
Company officials say the approach works well for positions that require a lot of social media and Internet usage.
- StickerGiant.com, a bumper- and marketing-sticker firm in Colorado, has designed a survey that acts a self-filter for applicants.
Questions on the online questionnaire such as “What is your dream job?” and “What is the best job you’ve ever had?” are tailored to the open position the candidate is applying for, and help hiring managers get a better idea if the applicant is a good fit for the open position.
- Media and gaming firm IGN Entertainment has taken a more unusual approach for open jobs in a programming sector of their firm.
The company posts a series of challenges online that attempt to determine applicants’ thought processes.
One example: “Estimate how many pennies lined side by side would span the Golden Gate Bridge.”
One surprise: Company officials found that several of the hires they made as a result of the new hiring technique had atypical work experience or didn’t attend college.
It’s apparent that the key to eliminating the resume requirement is designing an alternative hiring approach that identifies the skill set you’re looking for while also determining if the applicant will be a good cultural fit.
That’s a lot to bite off, but it may make a lot more sense than having your hiring managers sifting through piles of resumes for every position.
Filter the responses
The other way employers are handling the resume deluge is by installing applicant-tracking systems to scan resumes for keywords, years of experience, former employers and schools attended to find the most qualified candidates.
Using software to filter out qualified applicants is nothing new, and it’s by no means foolproof — applicants can trick the system into passing them through by loading their resumes with keywords from the job description, for example.
The idea behind using the software isn’t to completely eliminate the people typically involved in the process — it’s to make the process more manageable for time-stricken hiring managers by narrowing the candidate field.
How can firms determine if an applicant-tracking software is right for them? For very small firms, the systems probably aren’t cost-effective — prices range from $5,000 to millions of dollars.
But for medium- and large-sized firms, such software can potentially ease the workload of stressed HR pros.