Do you trust the resume more than your staffing partner?

Do you trust a resume more than your IT staffing partner? If you do, you’re most likely losing out on top IT talent.

So often, hiring managers get too focused on the resume – what information is included, the style and tone it is written, the number of keywords (per the job description), etc. They want the resume to tell them everything they’re looking for; they want the resume to “wow” them even when they’re not exactly sure what that “wow” means.

Yes, a candidate’s resume should be as meticulous as possible. It should provide relevant skills and details pertaining to a particular job description. It should be written professionally, and its purpose is to attract the attention of the hiring manager (and technical recruiter) so that he will want to learn more about the candidate. But there are some problems with relying solely on the resume to determine whether a candidate is a good fit or not:

  • Focusing on one or two skills, and not looking at the candidate’s overall abilities, experience and accomplishments can severely limit your pool of potential candidates. Instead of thinking outside the box and looking at the total package a candidate brings to the table, hiring manages fixated on a particular skill set may be turning away a candidate that would bring new ideas and innovation to the organization.
  • Companies want candidates who are able perform dual roles (if not more). It can be difficult for a candidate to write a resume that encompasses ALL the skills a hiring manager believes is necessary. Not only is it difficult to write a resume for a job that requires so many skills, consider the fact that most candidates are applying to and interviewing for multiple jobs – each containing their own unique skills and requirements. Try writing five different resumes for five different jobs that each requires a set of different skills.
  • Many of the best workers are employed, and are therefore, passive candidates –they’re not looking for a new career. And when you are fortunate to find a passive candidate who has expressed interest in your opportunity, be aware that she may not be as motivated to ensure her resume is written to your exact requirements. She may feel that updating the resume to include her most recent role is sufficient since you’re the one pursuing her.

This is where a disconnect can occur between the hiring manager and IT staffing partner. For example, the hiring manager may review a resume that doesn’t “wow” him, and decide he’s not interested with the candidate. When asked why the manager isn’t interested by the staffing partner, he replies “I can’t give you specifics, but her resume just doesn’t wow me. And she seems to be too technical.” However, the staffing partner has worked with this candidate before and knows she is a great fit culturally, and has the necessary skills and ability to be a top performer at the client company. The staffing partner presses the manger to interview the candidate, but he refuses. His opinion of the resume outweighs the partner’s knowledge of and experience with the candidate. As the old saying goes, “ he let a good one get away.”

As new jobs and positions continue to grow across the nation, top talent will be difficult to find. That’s why hiring managers need to consider three things when reviewing resumes:

  1. Don’t count on the resume including 100 percent of the skills listed in your job description. Companies have high expectations today – and there’s nothing wrong with that -- but it’s difficult for candidate’s to write a resume that encompasses all the skills outlined in the job description. One skill included on the job description may be extremely important to the hiring manager, but the candidate may think that skill isn’t a big deal. She may even possess that skill, but decides to focus on other skills listed in the job description that she feels are more important.
  2. Resumes usually focus on the professional’s hard skills. Realize that hard skills are important when reviewing a resume, but keep in mind that soft skills can be just as important when gauging whether someone will be successful in a particular role. Soft skills compliment hard skills, and if a person is unable to communicate effectively or isn’t a team player, he may not be right for the job even though his hard skills are solid.
  3. Make sure you partner with an IT staffing firm that consistently brings you results. Look at that partner who delivesr top talent time after time; who knows your business objectives; who understands your culture; and who you trust is looking out for your best interest. That’s the partner you need to listen to. If a candidate’s resume isn’t wowing you, but your staffing partner insists that this person is the right one for the job – take a leap of faith and know that she hasn’t let you down before. Most likely, you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you interview the candidate.

When considering candidates, don’t put all of your trust in the resume. Very few resumes will meet 100% of your technical criteria, and most of them aren’t going to tell you anything about the person’s soft skills. Talk to your trusted IT staffing partner, listen to what she has to say, and believe that she has your back. Remember, your success is her success.

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