Recently I read a blog, by a staffing professional with over 30 years of experience. In this blog he posted 9 things he uses to help quickly get through resumes in 10 seconds or so. Some of these criteria were; location, industry, function, level, recent experience, education, turnover, type of resume, and what he called obvious things, in this case spelling errors and the like. He had a very narrow and low tolerance for deviation in his guidelines. Allot of assumptions were made, for instance with regards to location, if the positions was located in LA, and you were not, you were disqualified. Now I can understand that but I do not agree. What if you are in a town right outside of LA, and the commute to the job site is less than 30 miles. Seems you might lose out on a great candidate, all because you either do not know, or have not gotten to know the geography of your opening. Something I would expect out of any staffing professional or recruiter. This is the simple pre search research that should be being done. Now he is and has been an executive recruiter and or agency recruiter. So the things he looks for is determined by his clients to a larger extent.
I thought about this for a while, I have been an agency recruiter, and executive recruiter and a corporate staffing professional. As you would expect I have my own quick scan methodology or check list. So I wondered if my approach was the same for all three. The answer was yes. Now where I place the emphasis might change but the basic things I look for and read will not. I always do my pre search research, so I know location information, industry cross over, functional cross over, title, etc.. I do believe, we as staffing professionals or recruiters need to have a way of quickly deciding if a resume is worth reading at length or not. But I believe you cannot do that without doing your pre search research. Now of course, as we work on more and more openings our need for research becomes less, as we gain the knowledge of having already worked on similar openings in similar locations, with similar requirements.
So here are the things I look for to quickly determine if a resume is the kind that should be read in more detail:
1. Location - assuming there is no relocation, and we have done our research, we can quickly determine if a candidate is within commuting distance. I usually use 50 miles as my radius.
2. Industry - this depends on the position. For example, if I am looking for someone to do UX work, the industry is not as important. If they are in the gaming world, but I need someone for the interactive marketing world, not as big a deal. Again research helps us understand this better.
3. Experience - now this is huge, easily the most important. We need to have people that have experience in doing what the positions calls for. I usually look for the key words, phrases or skills that I know they need to have, to have the experience I need, and then read around them to see what they did with regards to those key skills or words. For example, if I need a testers, I will look in the resume for the words; test, tester, QA, reverse engineering, etc.. and then read around them to see what they did. This really does not take very long, as you can use the find function to find the words or phrases.
4. Education - I do look at this, but for me once you get 7+ years work experience this becomes less of a factor. Not to say I still do not look, just it does not always determine whether I take a more in depth look later or not. However if the hiring manager wants it, then it needs to be there.
5. Level - This is more important as you start looking for more senior people, i.e.; VP, Dir, CEO, etc... Again the hiring manger determines how big a deal this really is.
6. Turnover - This is something I note, but I take into account the current market climate. For example someone who has job hopped over the last 3 years does not concern me as much as someone who did, back in the dotcom boom.
7. Misc A- I do pay attention to papers written, patents, and the like. These are important. I do note blogs, LinkedIn profiles, social media etc..
7. Misc B - Normally things like spelling errors and the like get my attention, but it depends how many there are. If there is 1 or 2, ok, everyone makes a mistake. If it is 5 or more, then I do not look further.
7. Misc C - Formatting, as long as it looks good, I do not worry too much. It also depends on where I get it from, if it is on the internet and I down load it to scan/read it, then I do not always worry, as the down load could have messed up the formatting. If I read it on line again it depends. Ultimately substance is more important then look. If you determine someone is worth talking to, you will always ask for an updated resume, if that resume, sent directly from the candidate looks bad, then you have a problem, but again you have not wasted that much time.
7. MISC D - Type of resume and length. I really do not care what type of resume is being used, or the length. As long as I can tell what they can do, what they want to do, and the skills they have in the first page. I do not care about how long it is or what style they use. I am not a conspiracy theorist, who thinks a particular style of resume means something. I mean it could, but it also could not, and is not worth taking the chance on passing on a good candidate for.
Now of course depending on where you are sourcing will determine how many of these things you really need to worry about. Some methods of sourcing will make location a non issue.
So how does it work, simply. I have a resume, I look for location (usually determined at the very top of the resume), industry (again usually determined with most recent job or 2), Experience (usually determined with a simple employment date math check, title check, and quick reading around the positions specific words or phrases), education(again a simple check), Level (another simple experience and title check done at the same time as the experience check), Turnover(done at the same time as experience check), and then Misc again being done at the same time as the other checks. OF course as you do these checks you will notice other things that get your attention and that is ok. A resume is designed to get your attention and say look further or let's talk.
So you see most of these quick checks are done at the same time. It may seem like allot, but as you get more experienced, you will be able to do it faster and faster. Once a resume gets past all of this, you either read it thoroughly right then and there or copy it to your computer to reread later. Also remember these are guidelines, there are always exceptions. You will know one when you see it trust me.
Now of course everyone should have their own methodology, and most good staffing professionals do. As long as it works for you, and you get good results that is all that matters.
As for the candidate, of course every candidate feels he should be talked to, even if they are not even close to a fit for the position. If they submitted a resume to me directly, but they do not pass my quick scan or my in depth reading, I always send an email back letting them know and thanking them. If I sourced them , well at this point they do not know I have it anyway. If they applied to a company posting, then, the company should have an automated thank you, stating, thank you, if we see a fit we will get back with you, etc.. Of course much more PC then this.
Well there you have it a quick, down and dirty way to determine the fit of a candidates resume and if it should be read in more detail. Not in 10 seconds but in about 20, and with the extra 10 seconds you will have a much better chance of not overlooking a potentially great candidate. AS you get really good there will be some candidates you can contact based on this quick scan, they are obviously a fit. Others will require more in depth reading. But in the end this methodology or one like it will make it quicker and easier.
As you all know when you apply to a job, your resume goes into a huge database, were the recruiter then searches based on skills and buzz words. The problem is of course sometimes it is hard to know what words they will search on, and without these words in your resume someplace, you resume may not get pulled as being a fit for a position.
Well here are a few of the little secrets to help.
First look carefully at the job description, odds are the buzz words the recruiter will search on, will be listed in the job description someplace. Find them and ensure they are on your resume someplace and you will be fine.
Secondly and this is huge. Not only make sure your resume lists the words that you find based on the job description (JD) but ensure that it includes any other possible words. Due your research, use a thesaurus; use the internet to find out what words are being used to describe what you do. Now off course you cannot just put all these words on your resume, it will be very hard to find out how to do that, without being obvious, and making your resume to long and this leads to the third secret.
Thirdly, once you have your list of buzz/search terms; type them on your resume, separating each with a comma. Type them at the top or at the bottom it does not matter. Now change the font to 1, and change the color to white. This will make all those word invisible to the human eye, but guess what the ATS(applicant tracking system), HRIS (Human Resources, information System), or whatever database they are using, will still be able to read them, and your resume will still be marked as having those buzz/search terms, and you will be looked at for the position. Search on this post for the word Bio, you will see it show up twice, bio but your eyes will only see one.
Remember once your resume is selected as having the right buzz words, the recruiter or whomever will read the resume to see what you have done and how it fits JD, and in the end that is the idea.
We have all been through it. Sending resume upon resume, screen upon screen, over to the HM, only to have them disappear, never to be heard from again. Seemingly lost in some black hole. The question is what to do about it. Well there are numerous ways to deal with this.
1. Create a two way SLA, that states how long the HM has to get back to you about candidates. Ensure there are ramifications should he not meet his end of the SLA. Things like his openings go to the bottom of the list or even do not get worked on. This will give you some leverage as it then provides you with documented support to take to your manager.
2. Ensure you are using some kind of reporting, send a weekly update to the HM, your manager and the HMs manager. This will definitely make things happen.
3. Have a weekly meeting set up between you and the HM, were you can go through all the candidates, face to face.
4. Ensure the HM fully understands the concept of the "Hiring Team". Sometimes HM do not get it and need it explained further.
5. Ensure when you send submittals, they are clearly marked and sent as "High Importance", even ask for a delivery and read receipt.
6. Set up a weekly sourcing session and ensure the HM attends,. This will force the HM to be more vested and therefore more likely to respond and will also show the HM how difficult sourcing really is. Once they appreciate it more they will respond better.
7. Some companies had hiring as part of a persons review, I can guarantee this will ensure you get a response. Work with HR to make this happen.
Well there are some ways to help alleviate the "Black Hole" that is the HM.
I know what you are thinking, what does a Disney song; have to do with the Pyramids? Well the connection is really very simple.
Let’s start with the pyramids, or the premise of a pyramid. There is an old adage, if you tell a secret to someone, they will tell someone else, who will tell 2 more who will each tell 2 more, and before you know it everyone knows about the secret. Worse what you told the first person and what the last people were told will not be the same. The secret will grow legs and turn into some monster that is so far from the truth that it becomes out of control. This is the “pyramid principle” of communication. Each conversation builds onto another conversations and grows, like a pyramid.
Now let’s say you are a staffing professional, and you speak to a potential candidate and you treat them like a piece of meat. What do you think they are going to tell others? Trust me it will not be good. Of course given the number of candidates around, you figure so what no worries. Well here is where the “it’s a small world after all” comes to get you.
If you remember in a previous post I spoke about how good people in a particular vocation or with particular skills tend to gravitate toward others of like vocations and skills. Heck the whole social community phenomenon is built on this premise. Well let’s say you treat a C# developer like a piece of meat and they, for good reason, get upset. Who do you think they are going to tell? Answer, others they communicate with, in most cases more C# developers, and of course those developers will tell others and so on, and on, and on, until an entire community thinks you treat people like meat. Guess what now no one in that community will talk with you, and eventually it will grow even bigger.
Now perhaps you can see how “It’s a small world after all and the Pyramids” are connected. A staffing professional’s reputation, how they treat their candidates, coworkers, etc. is going to dictate how successful they might be in the future. Because people will talk, treat them well, and everyone will be open and available, treat them bad, and eventually you will find yourself on the outside looking in.
Falsehoods, that is the nice way to say lies. The act of stating falsehoods, or lies, is way more prevalent in staffing than we would like to think. Some staffing professionals(SPs) seem to feel whatever it takes to land the candidate is ok. Now this is much more prevalent in the contract world then the corporate world, But it does happen in both. Things as simple as, we can pay you this much, when you know you cannot. Are statements that are made that are false. Eventually it does come back to haunt you. As an SP, our business is people, and if we have a bad reputation, as someone that cannot be trusted, then that reputation will get out, and will grow. Now if it just stayed centered on the one SP that would be fine. But the reality is as it grows, as other SPs say things that are not true, and their reputation goes bad, and gets around, the reputation tends to become generalized. It only take a few bad apples to spoil the whole bunch. This means while maybe less than 10% of SPs use falsehoods to land the candidate, that less than 10% and their reputation will be what people think of when they think of Staffing Professionals. It is like the NBA referees, only 2-3 were linked to fixing and such, But even though it was only 2-3 out of 100, the fans, players, and even the league questioned all referees. The bad reputation of a few can become the reputation of all, even the good ones. The morale here is before an SP states something they know is false, remember it will be found out, it will get around, and it will not be just your reputation that suffers, but the reputation of all SPs, and the industry itself.
There is an old saying; people tend to gravitate towards those of similar likes, dislikes, thoughts, and perceptions. This saying holds particular weight and fact when dealing with candidates, and their chosen vocation. For example if you find a Microsoft MVP, I guarantee you they are connected in some ways to other MVPs. People who are good at what they do, will always connect with others who are also good.
For those of us in staffing, therein lies the, one of the best sources for candidates. If you find a candidate who is very good, but for whatever reason you cannot land them, ensure you make a great impression, ask them if they know any others who might be a fit and be interested. See if they know any groups or communities that might be a good place to connect with other good candidates. Ask them if there is any knew break through or ideas going around about their skill, ask them what they would look for in a new job, in hiring of a candidate. Don’t just treat them as a candidate but also as a knowledge base, a resource, an untapped gold mine of possible, information, connections and candidates.
Remember the best always connects with the best.
So what do you think happens when you are assigned for several years to groups that require you to be strong, hard charging, able to be fluid with the process, and take charge? Answer you get a reputation to match, and while this made you very successful in those groups, it will make it very hard in others and even make it hard to find other jobs within your company. While it was needed for those groups to be successful, the fiction is, that is the way you really are.
Your reputation within your company, like in social media, like within your chosen profession, will be based on 1 part fact and 1 part fiction. The problem is most people seem more interested in the fiction, and less in the fact. Especially when the fiction is negative. You might be able to show you are a great developer or designer, with facts. But the fiction is you are pushy, unable to deal with groups that are more senior. The fiction might also include you can write great simple code , but not great with the tough, high level code. It might also include an unwillingness to follow what some feel is or should be the process. All these things might be the fiction, and there may be facts to show the fiction is not true, but very few will take the time to find out the truth. It is easier to go off what they hear, right or wrong.
So what to do? Well for one ensure you have people within the company, preferably high level, that know the truth and will support you and let others know the truth. Ensure your reviews support the truth, and do the best you can to dissipate any fictions you hear that are not based on fact. Make sure your various online profiles, have factually based information, ensure you have recommendation and allot of connections. These things will make someone think twice about any negative fictions. It is hard to believe negative fictions, when a person has allot of positive recommendations, from people of all levels.
The thing to remember, the more successful you are the more of a target you will be of the negative fictions. So be ready, be strong, and you can ride out the storm.
Along the lines of Hootsuite, Twitterdeck, and the like comes another social media management tool, Social Oomph, http://www.socialoomph.com/. Social Oomph allows you to Schedule tweets, Track key words, Extend your twitter profile, save and reuse draft tweets, Set up automatic thank you to new followers, Has a URL shortening tool, Automatic following of those following you, Facebook features, scheduling of blog postings, and more. There are 2 types of accounts, free and paid, and all the benefits I listed above are free.
Throughout my career there is one thing I have noticed out of novice recruiters, interviewers, HR personnel, companies who are young or in experienced with hiring and recruiting and hiring managers. That is the "predetermined response". The predetermined response is the response the person asking the questions wants to hear. Anything but this is not good to the person asking the question and in most cases will disqualify the candidate from contention. This phenomenon is most prevalent when the person asking the questions is using a script or questionnaire.
There are several negative connotations that come from this phenomenon, first you come off as being very rigid, closed minded, incompetent, and in some cases dumb. Secondly you lose allot of very good candidates. Coming across dumb, incompetent, closed minded, and rigid, hurts both your name and the company you work for. While you might think there are so many candidates, it will not get out, and or no one will care, you should check out glassdoor (http://www.glassdoor.com/index.htm) and then tell me if you still believe no one will find out or it will not matter.
As to loosing good candidates, the reality is, that there is always more than one correct way to answer a question correctly. If indeed the interviewing is being done properly, you are using Behavioral Interviewing, BTOS (http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/the-btos-interviewing-system), or some other standardized interviewing style or technique, and you will not be looking for a standard or predetermined response, and you already know what I just said. However if you are not, and you are looking for a standard or predetermined response, then you will lose good candidates.
Companies say they want people who are smart, innovative, and think outside of the box. If this is true why would you want or expect a standard or predetermined response. What you want is the off the cuff, inventive answer.
So the morale is, do not interview anyone with any expectations of what you want to hear. Instead observe, and listen. You do these two things, called Lookology and Lisology or Looklisology (http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/lisology- and http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/lookology-1) and you will not lose out on any good candidates, and also make you and your company look good.
So like all vocations and companies, staffing has their own language of sorts. Most of it revolves around acronyms and abbreviations. I know in the US Army alone they have a "book of Acronyms". Actually more like a set of books, in that the "book" is composed of 28 books each book being 400+ pages of acronyms.
Well the Staffing one is not that big. Today I am going to state what some of the more common acronyms stands for. For a definition, simple put the following string in your search engine: define XXX were X equals what the acronym stands for, example define “Affirmative Action”, you will get: " Affirmative Action- program to stop discrimination: a policy or program aimed at countering discrimination against minorities and women, especially in employment and education."This will work with most of the acronyms.
On to the acronyms!
AA- Affirmative Action
AAP- Affirmative Action Plan
ACIR- Advanced Certified Internet Recruiter
ADA- Americans with Disabilities ACT
ADEA- Age Discrimination Employment ACT
AIRS-Advance Internet Recruiting Strategy
AM- Account Manager
AMR- Account Management Recruiter
ASA- Addition by Subtraction by Addition (See my blogs)
ASA- American Staffing Association
ASK- Abilities, Skills and Knowledge
ATS- Applicant Tracking System
BFOQs- Bona Fide Occupational Qualifications
BQs- Basic Qualifications
BTOS- Business, Targeted, Open Door, Sequential Interviewing system (See my blogs)
CBT- Computer Based Training
CDR- Certified Diversity Recruiter
CERS- Certified Employee Retention Specialist
CGR- Candidate Generation Recruiter
CIR- Certified Internet Recruiter
CPC- Certified Personnel Consultant
CPRW- Certified Professional Résumé Writer
CSP- Certified Staffing Professional
CSSR- Certified Social Sourcing Certification
CTS- Certified Temporary-Staffing Specialists
CV- Curriculum Vitae
DOL- Department of Labor
ECRE- Elite Certified Recruitment Expert
EEO- Equal Employment Opportunity
EPA- Equal Pay Act
ER- Employee Referral
GPHR- Global Professional In Human Resources
HM- Hiring Manager
HMCS- Hiring Manager Closer to Staffing (See my blogs)
HR- Human Resources
HRIS- Human Resources Information System
ITSM- Information Technology Staffing Management
JD- Job Description
KPI- Key Performance Indicators
KSAOs- Knowledge, Skills, Ability and Other Characteristics
KSAs- Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
KSI- Key Success Indicators
MBO- Management by Objectives
NAPS- National Association of Personnel Services
NCRW- Nationally Certified Resume Writer
NHSA- National Healthcare Staffing Association
NWRA - Northwest Recruiters Association
OFCCP- Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program
PARWCC- Professional Association of Résumé Writers & Career Coaches
PDA- Pregnancy Discrimination Act
PHR- Professional In Human Resources
PRC- Physician Recruiting Consultant
PRC- Professional Recruiter Certification
RR or Req review - Requirements Review- a review of a soon to be open headcount
SAT - Systems Approach to Training
SC - Staffing Consultant
SEO- Search Engine Optimization
SHRM- Society for Human Resource Management
SLA-Service Level Agreement
SMS- Social Media Staffing or Web2.0
SP- Staffing Professional
SPHR- Senior Professional In Human Resources
STL- Staffing Thought Leader
Tech or Tech screen- a technical interview.
TS- Talent Sourcer
TSC- Technical Services Certified
TSO- Total Staffing Optimization (See my blogs)
UGESP- Uniformed Guidelines of Employee Selection Procedures
URM- Underrepresented Minority
Of course there are allot more, these are just some of the common ones.
Helping people connect with their Destiny”