The Internet has radically changed recruitment methods that were nearly solidified. Why is that? Well, first off, job seekers can apply for multiple different positions with the click of a button. They can apply to jobs in different cities. They can alter their resumes swiftly to fit a posted job. They can sit on their couches and apply for jobs without pounding the pavement—which can engender disinterest in them.
Who’s on the other side? Stressed hiring authorities sifting through hundreds of resumes that can be ill-matched, inappropriate or simply poor.
Whether you’re looking for a top-notch executive or a seasonal employee, it feels like you receive an inordinate amount of resumes. Fortunately I don’t deal extensively with resumes, but I’d like to share some advice to help overwhelmed employers:
- Add explicit requirements at the top of the job listing. You can list “absolutes,” “musts,” specific degrees — whatever you think is necessary to be competent at the job. The key here is placing it at the top, perhaps in bold, to dissuade those who are mindlessly sending resumes.
- Place instructions within the body of the listing. These can include exact subject lines or job codes. The “instruction-shredder” method is useful because it employs exact calls-to-action. If a potential candidate isn’t reading the job listing carefully and fails to follow the instructions, it’s a good indicator to skip the resume.
- Include a task for the applicant. The typical approach is to ask for a resume and cover letter (or brief description why said applicant is a good “fit.”) Take this approach a bit further to deter stock cover letter responses by asking for job-specific tasks. Are you looking for a reporter to cover the arts in your city? Ask them to submit an original gallery review. This approach deters the less serious from applying. While this thins out your resumes, you are assured they are worth your time.
- Utilize new video software to pre-interview. Packages such as Hirevue, Interviewstream and others allow you to create a system where potential applicants can upload prerecorded interviews to questions you select. I guarantee you this method is a sure-fire way to garner qualified applicants. It also allows you to see their personalities and mannerisms (which I do believe give insight into the type of employee someone will be). First impressions are important—but not deal breakers.
- Create a set of screening questions. This is similar to a videoed pre-interview, but it involves setting up a number of timed questions that test aptitude and knowledge. I’ve seen large companies like Bloomingdale’s employ this approach. It might be more expensive to implement, but the value-added approach may actually reduce the number of hours you spend sorting through resumes. This streamlines the hiring process and lets you get down to business.
Hopefully these tips will free you from the ever-maddening process of hiring. With the ease of applying to jobs growing, well, easier, set yourself apart from the pack.
Recruiter.com contextualizes these tips for added clarification.