Resume Overload – There is a Better Way

August 6, 2014
Resume Overload – There is a Better Way

If you were hiring around the middle of last year you were struggling to attract a “live body”. My, how times have changed. It’s a new world out there. The application pool is in flood! We’re hearing from clients that a hundred plus applications can come through for just one position.

With high unemployment and antiquated employee selection practices, businesses are caught in a vortex of too many CVs and reduced resources to manage the influx of the applications.

For entry level roles, some hiring managers have resorted to taking the first 25 applications, interviewing and then hiring. If they can’t find enough qualified applicants in the first 25 lot, they then go onto the next 25, and so on. Unfortunately, the best fit employee may not be at the top of the pile. Hiring shouldn’t be based on a first-come, first-served basis.

A few astute businesses have entered the 21st Century with an automated applicant processing interface. However, most of these applicant processing systems are nothing more than a “resume net,” capturing just the data, but lacking in effective filtering capabilities. In other words, not all applicant processing systems are created equally.

Managers hate recruiting. It’s time consuming and costly. There is a better way. Now you can collect information from candidates to assess their knowledge, skill and experience, plus their personality, mental ability, values and motives all before you even spend a minute of your time. This helps you short list automatically around the total “job fit” required for the role. Boy, what time saver!

Following is a short list of recommendations for minimum requirements of an effective online screening process:

  1. One Place, One Time. There must be a system to collect CVs and/or customisedapplication forms in one location, allowing for easy access and review. The system must be easy for the candidates to access and manoeuvre…and just as easy for hiring managers to scan, screen and select. The system must be productive and follow legal guidelines for collecting information.
  1. Filtering System. The system must require applicants to fill out a shortquestionnaire (in your choice of open or closed formats) that automatically allows hiring managers to see applicants that are most likely to meet the hiring criteria. Does it allow you to weigh each closed-ended question so that a candidate must exceed a cut-off target score to be included in the qualified pool? If the candidate fails to meet the basic requirements (eg, required licenses, willingness to travel, minimum degrees or certifications), they should be excluded without little, if any, employer intervention – receiving a customised auto response.
  1. Pre-employment Testing. Highly efficient automated processing systems includebuilt in unlimited psychometric testing. There are many systems that collect CVs, application forms, auto respond and act as a database – this is great for evaluating the “fruits of the tree” – knowledge, skill and experience, but what about the “roots of the tree” – personality, mental ability, values and motives? A system that can do all this for one competitive monthly fee, or one off appointment is worth its weight in gold.
  1. Auto Responder. An auto-responder system that immediately replies to thecandidate thanking them for the application is required. It should allow easy follow-up to both the unqualified and qualified applicants during the selection process. Despite the current demand exceeding availability situation for jobseekers, courtesy and first impression still remain supreme if a business is going to attract the mostly highly qualified candidates (especially after the economy rebounds). Many businesses are getting sloppy and arrogant with the current high employment. This strategy will surely come back to bite them! Even if you choose to manually screen applicants, every candidate deserves a prompt and courteous response.
  1. Retention of Information. An employee who doesn’t fit one job today might be theperfect fit for another opening tomorrow. Excuse being so blunt, but hiring today and then starting the process all over in a few weeks or months if the new hire doesn’t work out is just plain stupid. A manufacturer wouldn’t discard all the excess raw materials after a product run and then re-order the same materials when they received a new order. Why should HR?


Many current applicant processing systems are very costly and required a lot of high-tech expertise. Many lack the ability for the customer to customise – leaving expensive

“add-on” consulting to achieve a customised solution. These systems are designed and priced with top 100 corporations in mind.

Now there are comprehensive, customised online systems that allow small to medium employers to pre-screen dozens of applicants for a very small fee. Large corporates, already using an application portal, can now switch to a system that adds psychometric testing at no additional cost – this can save thousands of dollars for those companies doing testing independently of their online application process.

Businesses can ill afford to have paid employees doing tasks that can be done faster, better and at a lower cost by using technology. Each step of employee selection should add value to the process. Wedding through hundreds of CVs to screen out unqualified candidates adds little value and no Return on Investment! It’s costly and often unproductive.

An applicant processing system, that also includes unlimited psychometric testing, allows manager and HR professionals, who are already stretched, to spend their time interviewing the right employee for cultural fit and less time and effort attempting to eliminate the unqualified ones.

Download a brochure on the Total APS recruitment web portal – includes unlimited use of two psychometric tests for personality, mental ability, values and motives – 5 years in the field use, with 1000s of users around the globe – More info here…

OR Small smaller businesses checkout our cost effective onlinesystem – video demo at…


Rob McKay MA(Hons) is a Business Psychologist and Director of AssessAdvantage Aust/NZ Ltd. He can be contacted at +64 9 414 6030, or www.