The value of resume narrowing Featured

4:20pm EDT February 1, 2004
It never fails. I clip coupons for pizza and fast food. Then, when I'm out, I never have a coupon for the restaurant where I want to eat.

The same thing often happens with recruiting. In a job-seekers' market, you are never satisfied with the scant number of resumes you receive for a single job opening. However, when the economy is down, as it has been for some time, you receive hundreds of resumes that you don't have time to read.

Many companies have yet to figure out how to manage this situation and turn it into an advantage. If this sounds like your company, during a downward economic cycle, think proactively about what you can do differently in an upward economy, and vice versa.

Consider this scenario. The economy is good. Your company has a position posted but you receive only a few resumes.

Often, the next step is to look to other sources such as third-party recruiters or staffing agencies for additional candidates. You may even repost the job, hoping for additional qualified resumes. Not only do these steps increase the cost of that hire, but you may finding that the best person for the job submitted one of those first few resumes.

Fear not. There are simpler ways to supplement your recruiting efforts.

The best candidate for that open position may be someone currently in your company. This person may be have applied in a down economy for his or her job that wasn't the right fit at that time, or it may be someone who had applied for a completely different job and who wasn't the right fit at all.

You may be thinking that hiring from within still leaves an open position. However, making sure that quality testing procedures are given when someone is hired and are ongoing during their employment means you will always have an accessible talent pool from which to hire.

Assessment of a candidate's true value will give you the ability to know who best fits each job. When you receive hundreds of resumes during a down economy and you only need a few, make sure you take the proper steps or use proper technologies to narrow and rank applicants.

Many cost-effective technologies on the market today treat each candidate equally and fit every budget. These technologies use everything from basic keyword ranking to Boolean and concept-based to very strong predictive match rankings using innovative artificial intelligence concepts.

Today, the economy is down, so more people are looking for jobs. When your company posts a position on an Internet career site or in a newspaper, you are likely to receive hundreds, if not thousands, of resumes.

So start reading the first resumes you receive and you may find a number of qualified candidates before you reach the 100th resume. You may find a good candidate this way, but ask yourself if he or she is really the most qualified, or was that diamond in the rough you really wanted at the bottom of your resume stack?

Prepare to hire today as if the economy were in good shape. And when it is, prepare to hire as if it were a down economy. This way, you can always be the best at managing an ever-changing recruiting scenario. Jeff Dahltorp (jdahltorp@trustarsolutions.com) is director of marketing and business development for TruStar Solutions, which creates exceptional hiring strategies. Dahltorp is a regular contributor to Human Resource industry publications such as HR.com, Electronic Recruiting Exchange and Online Recruiting Magazine. Reach him at (317) 813-0346.