Designing a Resume Review Process


After all the work you’ve done to prepare, vet and post your job opening, then promote and share it with others, your applicant tracking system (ATS) has started to fill up. Depending on things like the size of your company, how well-known your brand is, and even what industry you’re in, there might be anywhere from a few dozen to a few hundred resumes waiting for you.

Before you dive in, consider taking a deep breath, and giving yourself time to design a resume review process. Having one in mind—or on paper—could be a key step in helping this phase of your recruiting efforts go as smoothly as possible.

What does a resume review process look like?

As you start to build your resume review process, a number of variables might factor into your thinking. Consider the following questions at the beginning:

  • Who’s leading the review process?
  • How many people are on your resume review team?
  • Do you have an HR department?
  • What’s the relationship between the hiring manager and the HR department like?
  • How quickly do you need to fill the position?

Knowing answers to broad questions such as these can help you identify the type of process that will work best for you, and also determine how you can leverage your applicant tracking system.

Three types of resume review process

  • The individualistic process

This is common in companies where one person handles the entire hiring process from start to finish. You write the job ad, post it, and read every resume that comes in. But it’s not always about the size of the company. Sometimes, a hiring decision simply needs to be fast tracked, and the most efficient way through the resume review process is to put one person in charge.

Your process is a partnership that consists of different team members who handle specific parts of the hiring workflow. Ideally, you and your team understand the resume review drill, and you make room to bring other voices onto the team at different times. You’re a diverse group, with different levels of experience and expertise.

Your company puts its trust in professionals from the outside. In some instances, you work with a hiring consultant who is on-site once or twice a week. In other instances, you hire a niche recruiting firm that knows your industry. Check-ins and consistent communication is a must.

When you use an applicant tracking system such as myStaffingPro, you can build a resume review process that includes benchmarks, deadlines, next steps and other process-related concerns, no matter how many people are on your team. Our recent Spotlight, “Reviewing Resumes” provides more details about designing a review process and hiring workflow that works for you. Read it now.

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Using an applicant tracking system to review resumes can help simplify and streamline your process.

  • With an applicant tracking system such as myStaffingPro, you can keep candidate resumes and application materials in one central hub, rather than clogging your email. This is an effective step to organizing and managing your workflow.
  • You can design a scoring system inside your ATS that aligns with your candidate profile, and helps you rank resumes. Read more about creating a candidate profile and scoring system here.
  • Use your ATS when you assign specific tasks to team members, and set key benchmarks and deadlines to keep the hiring workflow moving forward.
  • Set your ATS to send alerts to team members as resumes move through various stages of review.
  • Add a new level of connectivity and communication when your resume review team is working at different locations, or when members are outside vendors.

Another way to empower your resume review process is to add levels of collaboration.   

Even if your process is individualistic, there’s always room for collaboration and calibration.

Perhaps you used input from team members when you wrote the job description for your current opening. Now that resumes are coming in, consider checking in with them again. Their feedback can help support your resume review. Questions to consider include:

  • What type of coworker do you want?
  • What mix of skills and traits do you think would most support the team right now?
  • Are there a few “must-have” skills you’d like to see the next hire possess?
  • In your opinion, what’s a deal breaker that would disqualify a candidate?

You can also review a handful of resumes with your review team as a group. Depending on your company, you could do this as part of an onsite meeting, schedule a 45-minute conference call, or use shared folders and the notes feature in your applicant tracking system.

When you review a few resumes together, everyone has an opportunity to discuss and resolve gray areas in order to get a clearer picture of what you’re looking for.

Even if your resume review process is mostly a one-person job, this can help you expand your own thinking as you consider the pros and cons of each candidate.

Building and following a hiring workflow is a powerful step in helping to speed up the time-to-hire. Contact a myStaffingPro representative to learn more about how our applicant tracking system brings you the types of tools and support built to simplify and enhance your entire recruiting process.

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