I attended a panel discussion about recruiting recently. The panel included someone who wrote resumes, someone representing a staffing agency and two company representatives who handle recruiting as their primary task. I was not on the panel so I kept quiet.
I hate to tell candidates what I learned. I hate to be the one to confirm your deepest fears. But I have to. I can’t hold this in any longer.
The company representatives shared how they work. These two folks place ads in the Interwebs, gather resumes and responses in their applicant tracking systems, then they sort through them until they find 5 to 10 candidates that seem to meet the criteria. They forward those resumes to the hiring manager for review and dispose of the remaining resumes.
Yes, they said that! Not just one. These panelists are well respected enough to be asked to be on a panel. They were unapologetic, unembarrassed and matter of fact.
I never wanted to truly believe this was true. But both of these panelists confirmed it. They were busy and had no time to review all the responses. They stopped reviewing resumes when they found the first few that seemed good.
I have so much to say about this I am not sure where to start.
- HR people: If you do this you should be ashamed. No wonder colleagues outside of HR go around you. This kind of “service” is not helping. I don’t care how much you have to do. If you are recruiting you are responsible for finding top talent to help your organization grow and achieve objectives. No amount of paperwork is more important than this top strategic responsibility. Figure out how to rearrange your day so you can review all the resumes and make a sound selection.
- Hiring managers: Be aware that you are NOT getting the best talent you can get if you are getting only the first few people who meet the requirements. Aren’t you a tiny bit curious about who got excluded? I suggest you get more involved in the screening process and insist on a thorough search. External recruiters and staffing people are waiting to help. Maybe it is time to outsource the search process to the pros?
- Candidates: I am so sorry. I am embarrassed on behalf of my HR colleagues. I did not think it was true. Now that we know this sad situation, all the more reason to avoid the online application process. Go around it. If you feel like you have some extra time and absolutely must, go ahead and submit the application but do not have any confidence that you will necessarily get results. The black hole is real. Conduct a search with a job search marketing plan to find the people and companies interested in hiring people like you. Reach out to people. Make new connections. Network like crazy. Have a lot of coffee. Get your name out there. Anything you do to reach the real people who make decisions is better than sending your resume into that dark hole that is online applications.
We founded The Interview Doctor to help candidates present themselves better so they can find the job they love. I have said many times that even if I can “fix” every candidate, we still have a problem. Companies cannot make the best match unless the managers doing the hiring are able to organize an effective search.