Report: HR Takes Less Than 5 Minutes To Review A Resume

There is no more crucial aspect to any organization’s long-term success than hiring. Just one stat: a top-performer at a company, on average, is worth at least 14 times their salary while a terrible employee can cost 30 percent of theirs.

That’s more than a $700,000 difference between just one great $50,000-a-year employee and one bad $50,000-a-year employee. Multiply that total over your whole company, and obviously it is a tremendous amount of money.

And yet a recent report by the Society for Human Resource Management states that the average human resources professional spends less than five minutes reviewing a resume. Less than five minutes to decide if the applicant should go forward or if their resume should be thrown away.

What makes this particularly troubling is that, according to ERE, 80 percent of resumes contain misleading information and 53 percent of them contain outright lies.

Think about that – spending less than five minutes on a resume that is likely not accurate to determine if an applicant should move on in the process.

The Real Problem

Really, if you think about it, the less-than-five-minute number isn’t overly shocking – there just isn’t much information on a resume. It is generally a one-page self-reported history that lists a few of the applicant’s greatest accomplishments, some of which never actually happened. As this article points out, it just isn’t a good way to screen someone.

The solution is to conduct screening interviews, but those are time consuming and costly. Technology has helped fill the void, as you can use automated phone screening software to get some real information about your applicant pool before you start disqualifying applicants.

All told, the resume never was and still isn’t the best way to screen candidates. The solution is using technology to quickly gain real insights into these candidates to find out who really is the best for the job.

Photo Credit: Sun Ladder

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Comment by Keith Halperin on May 6, 2014 at 1:21pm

@Tiffany: I think we should "tran-source" (no-source [eliminate], through-source [automate], or out-source [send away]) recruiting and HR activities that we aren't prepared to pay someone at least $50/hr/to do.



Comment by Tiffany Branch on May 6, 2014 at 3:10pm

Agree and disagree. I know I shouldn't say this but paying $50 per hour to recruit isn't necessary. Many corporate recruiters, who aren't at the managerial level will not make $50 per hour. Are there some, yes, plenty. Most are probably found in larger organizations where recruiting is specialized or in certain industries. I've worked with highly paid "recruitment consultants" who have sucked and blew smoke and with some Jr. Recruiters earning a salary in the 40's who produced and rocked. 

Comment by Keith Halperin on May 7, 2014 at 11:55am

@ Tiffany. I hear you. Most things that we're paid to do AREN'T worth $50/hr or more (scheduling/coordinating, most kinds of sourcing, job posting, metrics, etc), and those can usually be trans-sourced for U.S. minimum wage or less. The high-touch, high-value add things l(advising, mentoring, building LT relationships, streamlining/improving hiring process, very specialized/deep sourcing, and CLOSING) can't be tran-sourced easily,and ARE worth $50 or more hr.BOTTOM LINE: If what we do isn't the high-level stuff, what we're doing can be done-away with, automated, or done by someone making a fraction of what we are, so we better learn the high-level stuff,or latch on tight to employers who're too ignorant, stupid, or stubborn to know that there are efficient  and effective lower-cost alternatives. (That's how many 3PR agencies stay in business-hiring newbies dialing for dollars to sell candidates from offshore boardscrapers for 15-20%.)


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