Sorting resumes to find the most promising applicant for a job can be tricky, especially when you get dozens of resumes that all seem like slightly modified versions of the same Google template. A lot of times people get overwhelmed and, as a result, just hire the first person with a half decent resume.
Unfortunately, the first person who seems like they could do the job, is not necessarily the best person for the job. You don’t want to miss the best applicant just because you are sick of sorting resumes.
The trick to finding a suitable candidate is figuring out exactly what you’re looking for as well as devising a simple way to assess how well each applicant matches your needs. A little prep-work early on will streamline the process and could save you from hiring the wrong person.
The 5 Steps to Sorting Resumes
Step 1: Identify what you require for the job
The first thing you need to do, before you even advertise the job, is figure out what you want from the position and what skills the person needs to have to do the job effectively. Start off with a list of around 5-6 skills, or specific experiences or expertise that you absolutely require and are essential for the job. If you skip this step then the whole process of sorting resumes will be a whole lot more time-consuming and inefficient.
Step 2: Use a scoring matrix to compare applicants
Use a scoring matrix to compare applications in order to find the most competitive people as painlessly as possible. This doesn’t need to be overly complex- we are trying to make the process easier after all. Your scoring matrix should just be a table or spreadsheet with people’s names down the left side and the criteria across the top. A tool like this keeps you organised, is easy to use and should let you clearly see which applicants are best suited to the job and worth interviewing. In fact, we have a free template on yourhrontap.com.au you can use, just to make things even easier!
Step 3: Look through the applications and rate the level of their skills
Now that you’re organised, it’s time to look through the applications! Find the people who have skills and experience that match the list of requirements or criteria you came up with.
Give them a score against each criteria depending on what level their skills are. It doesn’t matter what you use as a scoring method: letters (A, B, C, etc.), numbers (1, 2, 3, etc.), stars, rainbows, donuts – whatever! As long as you’re consistent and objective.
Step 4: Identify transferrable skills
When you’re looking through an application, take note of any work experience they have that suggests transferrable skills. For example, have they previously held a supervising role, even one in a different industry? If so, they may have leadership, organisation and problem-solving skills suitable for the job you’re trying to fill!
Step 5: Arrange interviews
Finally it’s time to get in contact with your top-rated applicants to organise an interview. The exact number will depend on how many positions you need to fill. In order to fill one position, you should only interview 3-5 at most. If you have two jobs to fill then 5-7 should be enough.
Once you have booked an applicant for an interview, send them a brief confirmation email with all the details (including time, location, etc.) to ensure there is no miscommunication. This will give you the best chance of meeting the best person for the job!
Tune in next week for the inside scoop on conducting successful job interviews!
Director, Your HR on Tap
Your HR on Tap is a pay as you go HR advice and support service – get support as you need it, when you need it, how you need it!