I have spent two blog articles helping you define what is important in a new hire. The idea of this is to provide you with a set of tools to help you filter the resume pile that you get into those that need further exploration and those that don’t. The modern world has made this worse with the trivial way to find open jobs and submit a resume. This means that employers need to be able to sort through large numbers of resumes.
Larger employers will have resumes scanned for specific keywords. Smaller employers must go through resumes the old-fashioned way. Let’s go back to our principals and start with the qualifications from the Job Description. The first sort is for those that do not meet the mandatory qualifications. Those resumes go straight to the “no” pile. If the pile needs more sorting, then you look for those resumes that meet all the preferred qualifications. At this point, you would hope to have between 5 – 12 resumes to work from. If you have fewer, then scan the mandatory pile for a few more that seem good. If you have too many, then look for those candidates that have something special you are looking for. You may have jobs that are so general or so specific that this process yields resume counts that are too large or too small. You can then think about changing your needs slightly to change the candidate pool.
Once you have 5 – 12 potential candidates, it is time to start making calls. I prefer to set firm appointments with people. It tells me if they can operate from a schedule. This also allows them to be in a proper mindset and situation for a call. My goal with the phone interview is to reduce my pile to 3 candidates that I will bring in to the company to interview. This first contact provides a chance for context around the role. It allows those people to ask you questions for the first time. If they have no questions, that should tell you something right there. In general, I am looking for people that were prepared to be called and talk effectively about the role and their potential interest.
I hope this has helped you think through some strategies on how to get from a pile of resumes to an effective number of candidates to interview in detail.
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