Blind reading a newspaperPaul is a manager for a well-known banking branch. When an employee quits, it is his job to read resumes and interview those that seem like a fit. When a solid resume passed through his fingers, he quickly placed the applicant into his interview pile. A week later, Paul was sitting across the desk from a recently graduated, very intelligent young lady who could not speak louder than the room’s gently humming air conditioning. Looking at the resume, this applicant was a fit all around, but in a fast-paced, customer-centered banking atmosphere, she would not thrive.

It’s not rare to see a beautiful resume slide across your desk. The resume that has an easy-to-follow layout, detailed job history, personalized cover letter, college education and even some personality. With all the right information, it is understandable that an interview is scheduled as soon as possible. Though this method may work a majority of the time, how often are these employees sticking with positions or even being successfully hired on?

It’s not a little-known fact that recruiters skim resumes, spending only a little time to find a few key items. Those clues are great indicators of what will make a successful employee, but they aren’t foolproof.

Are these resume-reading shortcuts leading to your hiring process shortcomings?

His/Her job history just isn’t what we’re looking for…

In the 6 seconds a recruiter takes to skim resumes, one shortcut being used is that of well-known previous employers. While employer brand is huge, the idea that an employee is only as good as his or her last employer might lead to a missed opportunity.

Start-ups are a common thing nowadays and not all start-ups hit it big. Not to mention family-owned and small businesses—a recruiter’s time is crunched, so the practice of throwing out the candidates who have worked for a company you’ve never heard of may seem beneficial, but are you overlooking a raw, talented multi-tasker?

How long did this individual work for the company? What was their job title? What did their position entail and did they help streamline processes or organize new business opportunities? Sometimes the potential lies in the details and not the name.

We’re looking for a skilled employee who has some experience in the business.

The average skilled employee’s age is 56 and while hiring a baby boomer might give you all the skill and experience you think you need, are you letting culture or other factors fall short? Of course, a baby boomer can be well-rounded and a perfect addition to your company, but there may be some other qualified fits sitting in your “no” pile simply because they haven’t had the chance to work in the industry yet. Even more, by 2025, 75 percent of the workforce will be millennials.

Do not fear investments. If you’re looking for a hire based solely on the skill set they already have, you are allowing time investments to get in the way of lengthy employee-employer relationships. Things like cultural fit, motivation, willingness to learn and values are much more withstanding than a predetermined list of skills and years in the field.

Yes, the resume is important. It is a one-page biography of our work history, cultivated for years, edited multiple times, passed through many hands, and yet, never perfected. But it isn’t the end all be all. Just when the best method to read these pieces of someone’s life is found, another curve ball comes through and more trends lead to a change. One thing always remains, however: there is a person behind that page and they could be your next best hire.



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