How to Read 100 Resumes in Half the Time


HR Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for HR pros

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

One of the most time-consuming areas of HR is looking through resumes when trying to make a hire. Here's how to improve your efficiency and get through them as quickly as possible.

Article 3 Minutes
How to Read 100 Resumes in Half the Time

HR managers will know how time-consuming making a new hire can be, and a large part of this is down to the initial stages. A good job can have hundreds of applicants, and sorting through every single resume and covering letter can take you hours, or even days. This is a lot of work, with no guarantee you will even find the right candidate.

Many HR professionals will try various methods to be quicker when sorting through applications, but this is not something you want to rush. After all, you don't want to miss out on the perfect employee due to haste. Luckily, there are a few tactics you can use to cut time without missing out.

Focus on key criteria first

Recruitment software creator Ideal found that the average job opening receives 250 applicants, each with a cover letter and resume. However, the firm estimates that between 75% and 88% of these applicants are unqualified for the role, usually applying on the chance that there would be no better candidates.

As a result, you can potentially get rid of the vast majority of your resumes without having to look at them in any depth. Simply check for the main qualifications that would determine whether or not an applicant is qualified. This could be a university degree, a certain amount of experience or anything else you are looking for.

Learn more: 3 Reasons Why You Should Hire Candidates Without a College Degree

Check the basics

Recruitment organization Search recommends you check for spelling and grammar mistakes. The best candidates will have carefully proofread every aspect of their application, and shouldn't have any errors. You could easily weed out applicants based on this, especially if the job involves writing.

Invest in software

With HR software becoming more advanced every day, candidate screening software is commonplace and can sort through applicants for you. By detailing what skills and qualifications you’re looking for specifically, you can save yourself a number of hours manually going through each application.

Kelly Barcelos from Jobsoid highlights the benefits of this kind of data driven recruitment:

“Data driven recruitment connects all employee data from the time of hiring to beyond and also link this with strategic workforce planning.”

Additional benefits also include:

  • A more accurate hiring time
  • Improved candidate experience
  • Increased diversity in candidates

Score the applicants

Monster suggests another way of looking through resumes is to chart each of your job criteria with a spreadsheet. Work out exactly what you are looking for - qualifications, experience, etc - and give each category a score from one to five. For example, if you're looking for a degree, you could give a score of one for a candidate who doesn’t have a university education and five for a postgraduate.

Once you've made this sheet, you can go through all your applications and score them for each criteria. This will be much quicker than reading through each resume or cover letter thoroughly. At the end, each candidate will have a score, and you can select the top ten scores and read through their applications in more depth.

HR Insights for Professionals

Insights for Professionals provide free access to the latest thought leadership from global brands. We deliver subscriber value by creating and gathering specialist content for senior professionals.


Join the conversation...