The recruiting process often becomes most strenuous with a large applicant pool. It can easily take up to 23 hours on average to screen resumes for a single job vacancy. Moreover, 75% to 88% of applications received for one opportunity are from unqualified candidates.
This leads to the unnecessary wastage of time and resources. Recruiters are constantly under pressure to meet hiring needs, and they do not always have the capacity to sit and screen each and every resume that comes their way.
That is where resume screening tools enter the picture, assisting recruiters in reviewing and sorting resumes that meet their hiring requirements.
But what exactly is resume screening?
It is merely the process of looking through resumes submitted by candidates for an open position and sorting them into qualified and unqualified candidates. The goal of resume screening is to quickly reduce an organization's time-to-hire and assess the accuracy and effectiveness of job descriptions and listings.
What is a resume screening solution?
A resume screening or candidate screening solution helps find the right applicant from the enormous volume of applications the recruiters receive for a job opening. The solution scans the resume to check if the applicants meet the necessary qualifications, skills, and experience.
The results are often sorted based on the candidate's suitability for the role, making it easier for recruiters to find the best candidates. Resume screening tools perform the following functions:
- You can create job-specific templates by including company, qualifications, job description, location, and contact information.
- As you have all the information about the hiring status, you can communicate easily with the applicants and keep them posted.
- You can store all critical job-related documents such as job descriptions and interview evaluation forms in one place.
- You can post job postings on your company website, job boards, or even social media through easy integrations.
- You can visually represent the information for easier reporting and quicker review.
Three common types of resume screening tools
A popular resume screening tool is the Applicant Tracking System (ATS), which screens resumes for specific keywords, such as qualifications, location, years of experience, and so on.
The platform deploys advanced technologies such as AI to scrape its database for suitable applicant profiles and probable red flags to fetch relevant results. The most common types of automated resume screening tools apt for your hiring process include:
1. AI-based resume screeners
These offer a new and innovative way to automate the hiring process. They use AI to apply the information from recruiters and data on existing and previous employees in the same position to filter, shortlist, and score new candidates automatically.
These screeners can also analyze the success rate of past hires. They use the information to screen and score resumes using AI algorithms. Since the algorithm is driven by historical data, its accuracy rate is at par or better than human recruiters.
2. Resume enrichers sourcing public data
These are resume screening tools that help employers collect all possible candidates' information from their digital footprint. The tool mines an applicant's online profile and gathers public data that might not otherwise be available on their resumes.
This includes their past work experience, additional qualifications that could be useful for the role, awards received, and so on. You can also compare these findings against those presented during the job interviews.
The availability of such rich data allows recruiters to understand the applicant better and make informed hiring decisions.
3. Parsers with a search function
Parsers are tools that semantically match resumes using keywords and Boolean search functions from the database to shortlist candidates. They match metrics such as minimum education criteria, work experience, and required skill set.
You may have to provide the application screening software with relevant keywords or allow it to pick them from the job description automatically. However, these screening tools are ineffective if a candidate has a resume stuffed with keywords.
Such candidates could also get shortlisted without possessing relevant skills and consume the precious time of the hiring personnel.
Manual review vs. resume screening
As the name suggests, manual review involves manually reviewing each resume received to check if a candidate has the necessary experience and qualifications to move towards the interviewing process.
Although a resume screening tool helps you sort through large volumes of resumes quickly, it can overlook relevant candidates who have included the right keywords in their resumes but have the relevant job experience and skills.
Manual screening of resumes is time-consuming, but it allows you to look at all important details included in them and handpick suitable candidates.
For instance, some areas that are not always intuitive on a resume but look different include the minimum required education, minimum required skills, or previous titles such as manager, which can be misleading and need more context to discern actual meaning.
On the other hand, a resume screening tool uses keywords from a job description to filter out many applicants. They save an HR personnel's time and effort by scoring resumes.
Smart automation scores candidate resumes by using predefined criteria to evaluate them. They are then sorted and ranked to ease the review process.
A resume screening tool considers everything, from the basic information on a candidate's resume to details of their employment history when assessing a profile.
Besides keeping track of current vacancies and job descriptions, it follows applicants through the interview process, storing resumes and related documents such as pre-employment assessments and interview notes.
The challenges of resume screening
The most significant recruiting KPIs in this day and age are the quality of hire and time to fill, which heavily depend on your resume screening process. However, that is not free from obstacles. Here are some common ones faced by organizations:
1. Longer screening processes
Scanning resumes manually may take too long to find suitable candidates. Meanwhile, some of the applicants could even move on to other roles.
2. Unfair "first come, first served" approach
Manual resume screening can also be limited to reviewing the first few eligible candidates instead of searching through the entire database.
3. Painful high volume recruiting
The most daunting aspect of resume screening is volume. ATS is an excellent solution to handle the large volume of resumes.
However, the system has a drawback regarding the quality of the resumes scanned. It could include keyword-stuffed resumes of undeserving candidates while filtering out qualified candidates whose resumes might be missing specific keywords.
The resume scores of such profiles can be misleading when it comes to making hiring decisions that affect company success.
4. Lack of information on the quality of hire
Research shows that the top recruiting KPI for 60% of talent acquisition leaders is quality of hire. They lack the tools to link the resume process to post-hire metrics. For instance, an ATS cannot gather data regarding which candidates became successful and unsuccessful employees.
Advantages of using a resume screening tool
Although resumes can be screened manually, that is an uphill task. That is why many companies use resume screening tools designed specifically to speed up the job and determine if the candidate is qualified for the position. Here are the benefits of using a tool:
1. Saves time
The use of resume parsing and filtering tools saves recruiters time while increasing the chances for a successful hire. Resumes are scanned for keywords or skills you need and are sorted by relevance. You only need to review relevant resumes, which saves a lot of time.
A resume screening tool reduces the waiting periods between interviews and improves your hiring team's efficiency.
2. Automates data organization
Resume screening software helps you automate candidate data organization. It tracks and stores crucial information such as application forms, resumes, and employment-related documentation, thus enriching the applicant database.
The application screening software makes it easy for recruiters to pull out candidate data as needed during the hiring process. It also eliminates the chances of losing candidate information while sharing it with the other team members in the HR team.
3. Enhances candidate quality
A lot of applications received in response to a job posting are irrelevant. They are filled with inaccurate keywords in an attempt to match skill sets as mentioned in the job description.
Recruiters can save themselves the effort to review hundreds of applications from non-qualified candidates with automated resume screening.
They can eliminate irrelevant resumes by considering other factors with the keywords used. They can also generate a list of high-quality candidates by matching their skill sets and experience with the job opportunity.
4. Improves candidate experience
Resume screening software can make the hiring process more efficient by facilitating communication between candidates and employers. A great candidate experience matters when it comes to onboarding high-quality hires.
The thing is, candidates may decide to move on if they do not hear from the company's hiring team. Organizing the recruiting process makes it easier for candidates to remain informed about interviews and the next steps.
5. Reduces bias
Unconscious bias can affect our decisions without us even being aware of it. For example, a recruiter might have an unconscious preference for male candidates over females or people of a specific race or ethnicity.
As a diverse workforce is critical to driving innovation for the company's success, addressing any unconscious bias should be your top priority to ensure all applicants are treated fairly. An automated resume screening can help eliminate it.
Disadvantages of using a resume screening tool
Even though automating the screening process will save recruiters a ton of time and effort, it is not fair to say that the tools do not have any cons. Here are the top three cons:
1. Good candidates neglected
A resume screening tool is designed with specific rules in mind, but it can still neglect good candidates due to the absence of keywords, qualifications, and certifications.
For example, a person may be disqualified from being considered for a job if they do not use the right words in their resumes despite possessing the required skills or enough experience.
It could lead to losing out on potential employees who would have been the perfect match for your company's requirements.
2. Perpetuated biases
Resume screening software is an integral part of many organizations, but it can also develop biases that are not always intentional. Cases have been reported by Amazon where recruiters discovered how filtering devices were inequitable to applicants and held a bias against women.
For instance, as the tool eliminates candidates based on keywords or specific traits, it could eliminate resumes with keywords predominantly used by females, resulting in discrimination against female job seekers.
3. Technical Issues
If a resume is not formatted properly, resume screening tools may not scan them properly. It could mean the suitable candidates may be missed leading to an opportunity loss for the company.
Maximize the use of your resume screening tool
The benefits of automated resume screening are not limited to shortening the process. By identifying critical areas for improvement and understanding your company's priorities, you can make more informed decisions. You must invest in tools that you can utilize optimally and which are in line with your recruitment strategy.
1. Research well
There are many options for resume screening tools, such as Lever, SmartRecruiters, Greenhouse, and LinkedIn Recruiting. All these tools have numerous features, and you must select the one that fits your company's recruitment needs. Also, consider the price in comparison to the features to avoid overpaying.
2. Try before buying
Many resume screening and ATS companies work around their offerings to fit into customer budgets, timelines, and specific needs. You must ask them for a trial period before finalizing one for subscription or purchase.
3. Check vendor support
The success of your team is dependent on vendor support. Be mindful of your learning curve when using a new tool and ask the vendor how they plan to implement it. Ensure the vendor is providing relevant training and technical assistance.
4. Talk to your team
Before implementing it, make sure you consult your HR team about their thoughts on the resume screening software. The more buy-in from your people, the better chance you get optimal results.
What happens after resume screening?
As every organization is unique, each thrives on attracting, hiring, and leveraging top talent. The good news is that the time-consuming process of finding and interviewing potential candidates can be streamlined using a resume screening tool.
Given the benefits they have to offer, there is no doubt the resume screening tools will continue to disrupt to match the pace of change and demand in the workforce. However, what happens after you have filtered relevant applicants for a job?
How do you assess their capabilities and ensure they are fit for an interview? Research that 82% of organizations use a pre-employment assessment tool in recruitment.
Using a tool like Adaface, you can conduct a series of tests such as situational judgment tests, technical skill assessments, cognitive ability tests, and so on, and screen the best talent in the fastest way possible.