Automated resume screening systems are growing in popularity. In fact, a new survey by the human resource consulting firm Development Dimensions International – with support from Electronic Recruiting Exchange, or ERE – indicated that in the coming few years, nearly half of surveyed organizations would increase their use of automated resume screening. But what are automated resume screenings, how do they work and are they right for your company?
Reading resumes takes up a lot of time for hiring managers and recruiters looking to hire graduates. While it’s nearly impossible to hire a new worker without looking at his or her resume first, considering the amount of time resume screening takes, it yields exceptionally little. For that reason, many professionals use software to seek the ideal candidates. Usually, this software will scour emails, documents, websites, blogs and just about everywhere to assemble a shortlist of ideal candidates.
While certainly a time saver, what gets lost in the process? Consider this quick list of pros and cons.
PRO: Time is money, so screening software is essentially more dollars in the bank. This is the primary advantage to automated screening software, and most of the time you’ll have to weigh the cons against it.
CON: You may overlook a diamond in the rough. Not all excellent candidates for college graduate jobs are going to proffer excellent job resumes – although most of them will. You’ll just have to accept that some good fit could potentially slip through the cracks.
PRO: You have quicker access to better candidates. By not wading through piles of emails from unqualified candidates, you’re seeing the top tier employees first. This means you may be able to reach out to them before competitors or other industries do.
CON: You won’t have the serendipity of scoring an amazing new hire everyone else missed… because they were using screening software.
At the end of the day, it’s best to keep in mind that as Time magazine noted, the algorithms may be extremely advanced, but they’re still going to be filing resumes into two black and white categories: yes and no. A quick Google search can show you the numerous sites and blog posts devoted to helping job candidates get past screening software, and this also provides fascinating insight into just how finicky these algorithms can be.
Some examples of parsing error factors that Time noted included problems that could arise from resumes send as PDFs and not Word files, graphics that show up as white noise to parsing software, headers or footers jamming the process and other issues.