What Filters do you have in your Recruiting Process?

One statement I've heard a lot from recruiters is that they "receive too many resumes" and are so inundated with candidates that it just bogs their whole recruiting process down.  This is a problem but a good one to have (too many candidates is much better than too few).


But with any problem, the question is how can we solve it.  How can you create steps in your recruiting process to easily filter and pare down the candidates you receive into a nice neat pile of qualified candidates?  The answer is to start broad and move more specific throughout the recruiting and interview process.  Here are a few ways you might be able to do so:


Qualifying questions in your application - Simple questions like "Are you eligible to work in the US?" or "Do you have a specific certification?" can be great ways to filter out the initial batch of candidates that are not good fits for your position.


Phone Screens - Why set up a 30 minute interview with a candidate just off of their resume?  Instead have a 5-10 minute phone screen with a possible candidate.  You can usually tell within the first few minutes if the candidate is viable and worth having an interview with.  Save managers time and avoid bad interviews with a quick phone screen.


Task Based Interviews - This is something that we've utilized a lot when we are hiring as a start-up company.  After we screen candidates, we ask them to complete a task that will show them us their skills in a particular area.  For marketing interns, we value their ability to write and developing convincing arguments, so we have them write a mock blog article for this blog.  For Account Managers, we have them create a client-facing presentations to see their presentation skills in action.


Identify the skills you covet in your position and find a way to test candidates for these skills in a real world situation.


Keep in touch with the good ones - One of the best things you can do is to not only hire your top candidate but also keep in touch with the great candidates you've spoken to but didn't get the job.  These candidates are ones that you need to keep in your Talent Network / Recruiting CRM and contact when future opportunities become available in your company.  As it makes it much easier to fill the newly opened position.


These are just a few ways that you could create filters in your recruitment marketing process.  The key is to find what works for your organization and replicate it.  Make it easy to filter through these candidates by setting up a recruiting process around giving top candidates an opportunity to rise to the top.


Originally posted on the SmashFly Recruitment Marketing Blog.

About the Author: Chris is the Marketing Analyst for SmashFly Technologies, the creators of the first Recruitment Marketing Platform which enables companies to easily distribute and most importantly measure the performance of their job ads. The platform also provides Recruitment CRM, Mobile Recruiting, Resume Sourcing, Web Commercials and Social Recruiting functions

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Comment by Thomas Patrick Chuna on January 11, 2011 at 3:14pm

I am the filter, LOL.


Having too many resumes isn't an issue, if you understand the job description well enough.


I look for a few key things on the CV, if they are there, I then look for things I need expounded on..I handle that in an email, and if I get back good answers, then the guy gets a phone call.



Comment by Chris Brablc on January 11, 2011 at 3:22pm

Haha, knowing what you are looking for in a resume is a great filter in and of itself. 


I love your process and I think some organizations just don't have something that formalized and / or know completely what they are looking for.


Thanks for the comment, Thomas!



Comment by Chris Brablc on January 11, 2011 at 3:54pm
Great point, Jeff!  Standard resume templates could work well!
Comment by Sandra McCartt on January 11, 2011 at 7:23pm

Jeff, Great thought.  Fantastic thought in fact.


If i could design it:  Chronological with education at the top, short...very short summary of of experience the employment background with dates to the left margin, name of company, two liner of what the company does.


No long garbled up functional list of non measurable goop at the top.  No two page functional with "action" words puked up all over the page.


Now wait for the screaming to start.  If you could ever get HR/recruiting to agree on what is the best format for a resume to be reviewed you would win a Pulizer or a Nobel prize.  But you are certainly on target as to what would get resumes reviewed.  I quit reading at the second line of the garbage at the top of most resumes skip down to the employment.  If it's just dates and name of company ..delete...next.  :)

Comment by Thomas Patrick Chuna on January 12, 2011 at 9:44am

A standard resume format would be great from a data mining standpoint, sure. 

But if we reduce the process to a simple "match and send" based on keywords, where does that leave the idea of recruiting as an "art"? maybe that's a question for another time.

I don't mind the action words or the non measurable goop so much, as they are a good springboard for questions..again, if I get answers from moonbat - land, the guy is out.

I'm with Sandra, you'll never get agreement on the best resume form.

and good luck with getting job seekers to standardize how they express themselves.


back to the "filters" discussion, IMHO it's a mistake for recruiters to think internal HR will look at resume with a mindset of "here's why this guy is a fit", and will just mentally data mine and dig through the CV looking for nuggets to validate the recruiters conclusion..internal HR screens people OUT..when you get a zillion resumes, that's what you gotta do, right? 

it's up to the third party recruiters to do the heavy lifting and write up a cohesive summary that follows the resume through the process.


Comment by Chris Brablc on January 12, 2011 at 10:31am

Jeff, it's definitely an interesting idea.  But I agree with Sandra & Thomas that getting everyone to agree on a standard format would be tough.


But I think there are companies that already have candidates enter their information into a custom form within their application.  This exists in some ATS's and is something that can be done if an organization wants to do it.  I think the key is making it easy for candidates to take the information from their resume and flow it into the format that you would like it to be so you minimize overall drop-off rate of candidates in your application.

Comment by Chris Brablc on January 12, 2011 at 10:32am
Thanks for the comments, Sandra and Thomas!  This comment thread definitely went into an area I wasn't expecting.


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