It’s one of the great statistics in recruiting…”Recruiters spend an average of six seconds reviewing a resume.” According to The Ladders, 4.8 of those seconds are reviewing four areas; name, current position, current employer, and dates of employment. It seems like a ridiculous statement (how, exactly, does one measure this?), unless, of course, you’ve spent time as a recruiter dealing with a motherlode of resumes – then it seems like a pretty rationale estimation.
Bad recruiting? No, it’s more likely a matter of bad habits, bad systems, over-appropriation of requisitions, or some combination of the aforementioned. But here’s the kicker – this lack of attention is only committed to the resumes that are actually seen. There exists another great statistic in recruiting: 80% of submitted resumes are never even seen by a recruiter.
Think for a minute about the impact these two trends can have on the overall talent of your organization. If these statistics hold true, a recruiter averaging 1,000 resumes a week is scanning 200 of them for a total of 20 minutes spent reviewing the qualifications of l,000 candidates. That’s the price you pay for allowing “paper” (realizing most of these are viewed electronically on an ATS) to speak for people.
You know, part of the occupational residue of being a recruiter is to expect resumes to be perfectly constructed to get to the point quickly, be SEO optimized (redundancy alert, thank you), properly updated and ripe for Boolean search. That’s not necessarily the case for a great number of people; those who are heavily tenured, or those who might be first-time job “shoppers” may very well have a pretty dysfunctional resume. Chances are it matches a rather spare LinkedIn profile – a lot of us (guilty) exist in a social media bubble where we expect everyone to have a user-friendly format, . Careful, or you’ll end up hiring a great resume.
So that’s the situation, but what is the solution? Is there one solution? Doubtful. So what do you address first?
First, let’s talk about what you don’t want to do —- resist the urge to follow your initial reaction. Do NOT try to minimize your resumé flow. As a matter of fact, open the dikes.
Next week: “Riding the Avalanche“
John Whitaker is Vice President, Talent Acquisition for DentalOne Partners. For more than 20 years he has built and developed high-powered recruiting teams focused on developing a competitive advantage via strategic Human Capital positioning, planning, and practices.