Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.
Screening resumes is an unenviable but necessary recruiting function. With challenges such as high volume, time constraints, limited personnel, and human error, a little help from automation is often a welcome relief. I will take you through everything you need to know about successfully screening resumes. This post will cover why this task is worth doing correctly, the investment required to screen resumes accurately, and a step-by-step guide to successfully screening candidates.
Why Thoroughly Screening Resumes Is Worth It
According to Forbes, the average job posting receives 118 applications. Many recruiters might agree that this number falls short of the actual figures. Whatever the case, screening resumes is often a tedious and overwhelming task. But, the payoff for screening resumes thoroughly cannot be understated.
The first obvious benefit of screening resumes is the improved quality of new hires. Taking the time to go through all the resumes increases your chances of finding the best quality hire. This scenario is much different from finding the first good candidate for the position. In turn, the company benefits from increased quality and higher productivity.
Secondly, a thorough screening process helps save time and money. The process ensures that only the most qualified candidates are shortlisted for interviews. Otherwise, recruiters waste time and money interviewing prospects who are not qualified or suited for the open position.
Thorough screening can also help to reduce employee turnover. High employee turnover is expensive. You need to expend resources recruiting, training, and recruiting new hires. Even then, it will be a few years until the new employees reach their optimal job performance. Resume screening is a perfect place to judge which potential hires have the qualities of long-term employees.
Finally, thorough candidate screening allows the hiring manager to focus on the interview. The interviewer can focus on specific questions based on the candidate’s application, saving time asking generic questions that don’t lead anywhere.
The Investment Needed to Thoroughly Screen Resumes
The two most significant investments for thoroughly screening resumes are time and personnel.
The number of people it takes to screen applications depends on several factors, including team member’s availability and the nature of the position. You may also need to hire an external recruiter if you do not have experience screening resumes.
According to a Glassdoor report, recruiters spend an average of six seconds scanning a resume. However, it takes anywhere from four to eight weeks to go through the entire hiring process. This process includes reviewing resumes, conducting interviews, checking references, and delivering the final job offer.
Recruiting software such as Zoho Recruit can help significantly reduce the time and human resource investment. This software handles the entire recruiting process, including resume screening. Zoho Recruit automatically screens resumes with its resume parsing feature. This feature extracts curial information like educational background, skill sets, work experience, and contact information.
The software then populates candidate profiles with the extracted information. Thus, you can now view all the crucial candidate information at a glance. Zoho Recruit offers two distinct products for Staffing Agencies and Corporate HRs.
There are three pricing plans for staffing agencies including:
- Standard – Costing $25 per month per user
- Professional – Goes for $50 per month per user
- Enterprise – Costs $75 per month per user
The Corporate HR pricing plans include:
- Standard – For $25 per recruiter per month
- Enterprise – Costs $50 per recruiter per month
Besides candidate screening, Zoho Recruit comes with useful features such as:
- Building an employer brand
- Sending offer letters
- Employee referral
- Territory management
- Pre-screening assessments
5 Steps to Screen Resumes
The best way to screen resumes accurately is to get help from recruiting software. The software automates much of the process, leaving you time to deal with other crucial HR functions. The process works more or less the same for most recruiting software. For this guide, I’m using Zoho Recruit.
1. Sign Up For Your Application Tracking Software
You can always choose stand-alone applicant tracking software. But, recruiting software like Zoho Recruit is far more comprehensive. It lets you manage every step of the hiring process, including candidate screening, video interview, client review, job offer, and hiring.
Choose Your Plan
I also chose Zoho Recruit for its no-frills free trial. You can get set up with just your name, email, and password. You can also go right ahead and choose a paid plan. In any case, Zoho Recruit offers a 45-day money-back guarantee, just in case you don’t like the software.
If you are working with a recruiting team, you’ll need to add users. Recruiting software lets you add users. You can do this on Zoho Recruit by going to:
- Setup > Users & Control > Users
- Click +Add New User in the Users page
You’ll need to add details, including user name, email, role, profile, and territory. This feature works even for people who don’t have an existing Zoho Account. Non-members receive an invitation email with an access link to join the company account.
Configure Your Dashboard
Zoho Recruit has a clean dashboard that gives you a visual summary of the recruitment processes’ performance. The dashboard has several components, including:
- Active Jobs
Here, you’ll be adding report charts. These charts display a summary report of your recruiting activities. You can choose from funnel, bar, pie, or table charts to display data in pictorial form. To create the report charts:
- Click Add Component in the Dashboards homepage
- Choose the Component Type. This can be a table or chart
- Enter the Component Name
- Select the data source from the Source Report and click Next
2. Publish Jobs on Jobs Boards
Feel free to skip this step if you’ve already advertised your open positions and started receiving applications. Otherwise, Zoho Recruit lets you publish jobs on multiple jobs boards to increase your reach.
The software easily integrates with more than 40 jobs boards, including Indeed, Glassdoor, Careerone, and Monster. The software also integrates with all major social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.
Create a Job Opening
Creating a new job opening in Zoho Recruit is very easy. Simply go to the Job Openings module. Then, click Create Job Opening. Enter the job details and click Save. The software also lets you import job openings from external sources. You can import job openings via XLS and CVS files.
You can then view all your jobs from the Job Openings List view.
You’ll have to follow specific guidelines when creating and posting jobs. These guidelines help jobs boards determine legitimate employers. Be sure to follow these guidelines, or your requests for publishing the jobs may be denied. These guidelines include:
- Company Profile: You can create your company profile by going to Setup > Job Board Integration > Job Board List. You’ll need to enter your company name, user’s email address, and company website. Please make sure this information matches what you entered while registering your account. Otherwise, you won’t be able to publish your jobs.
- Job Posting Date: Zoho Recruit removes all jobs that haven’t been published in 30 days. Be sure to post your job within 30 days of creating it.
- Specified Location: Make sure that your job posting has a city and state.
- Job Opening Details: Be sure to include specific details about the job opening. These may consist of part-time, full-time, or long-term.
Publish the Job Opening
Again, Zoho Recruit lets you publish your open positions on free and paid jobs boards. You can also post your job opening on your company website’s careers page. To publish your job opening:
- Go to Job Openings
- Click on the job you want to publish
- Click Actions > Publish
- Select where you want to publish the job opening. This may be on a jobs board or your careers page.
- Choose a Candidate Application Form
- Click Publish to complete the process
3. Import Existing Candidate Data
Zoho Recruit lets you seamlessly import candidate data. This data may be in the form of spreadsheets or maybe data from external recruiters. You can easily combine this data with incoming candidate applications in one seamless platform. As a result, you can create a comprehensive database of potential candidates to choose from.
Choose The Files You’d Like To Import
Zoho Recruit supports diverse formats. So, you shouldn’t have a problem importing candidate data. Supported formats include CVS, ASCII, Excel, VCard Format (VCF), and Business Card. Unfortunately, there are also forbidden characters to look out for. These include a vertical bar, double quotation marks, and angle brackets. So, make sure your files don’t contain these characters.
Import Your Data
To import data to your Zoho Recruit account:
- Click the Module tab
- Click Import
- Select Import My Records
- Browse the files and choose the one you’d like to import
Zoho Recruit also lets you choose what happens with duplicate data. For example, choose whether to clone, overwrite, or skip duplicate records. You can also choose the field you want the software to use when comparing existing to imported records.
4. Automatically Screen Your Resumes
It is now time to screen the incoming resumes. You’ll do this with Zoho Recruit’s Resume Parser feature. First, the software automatically parses resumes from your job postings. Then, the software picks up crucial candidate details from attachments and emails. Finally, the software automatically imports the details to your Zoho Recruit account.
Configure the Field Mapping
There are a few more steps before you can start parsing resumes. First, you’ll need to standardize the parsed resume structure to match your organization’s structure. This way, you also don’t have to spend time manually sorting resumes with different file formats.
To set up your field mapping:
- Go to Setup > Resume Management > Resume parser mapping
- Zoho Recruit Resume Parser Mapping Screenshot
- Next, map the Zoho Recruit Fields to the relevant Import Fields
Configure the Parsing Mode
The Parsing Mode feature allows you to configure the success rate and accuracy of the resume screening results. You can choose from Lenient, Moderate, and Strict. In each mode, the software searches for specific field values in resumes. To configure the parsing mode:
Go to Setup > Resume Management > Resume Inbox
Next, choose your Parsing Mode.
Now your resume inbox is fully configured. The software will automatically add candidate records to your Zoho Recruit account. This happens as candidates send their resumes as email attachments.
Finally, you can view the parsing results for all the resumes. You can find this feature in the Parsing Results section. The results will be divided into three categories, including All, Success, and Failure.
You’ll also be able to see resumes that couldn’t be successfully parsed. You can find the resumes that failed under the Failure section.
In this case, you can try and adjust the parsing mode. Then, simply reparse the attachments to try again. You may need to review those resumes manually.
5. Find Candidate Matches
Besides screening resumes, the parsing feature essentially lets you create a candidate database. From here, it’s easy to find the best candidates for your open positions. The software’s Zia Candidate Matching feature assigns candidates a score based on how well they match the job.
Match Candidates with the Job Opening
To quickly match candidates with your job opening:
- Go to Job Openings
- Choose the relevant job opening
- Click the Zia button
The software will calculate a match score for each candidate. This score is based on the candidate’s skills and qualifications. You’ll then get a list of all the candidates matching the job opening. This list will be displayed in descending order based on each candidate’s Match Score.
The next step is shortlisting the candidates that meet your requirements for the role. This process shouldn’t be too complex after parsing resumes. Finally, you’ll get a glance at how each candidate matches your needs, complete with a percentage figure.
Zoho Recruit also lets you seamlessly transition to the next stage of your recruiting process. For example, you can conduct candidate interviews using the same software. Specifically, you will be able to create and schedule face-to-face or video interviews with successful candidates utilizing the platform.
Finally, you’ll also be able to send offer letters to the candidates you hire. The software lets you create offer letter templates or import existing templates. Additionally, the software integrates with ZohoSign, AdobeSign, and DocuSign. This means candidates will be able to sign offer letters or other documents and forms sent from your Zoho account.
Zoho Recruit is undoubtedly great software to help you automate much of the recruiting and hiring process. But, it’s hardly the only software out there that’s up for the task. Be sure to check out our Best Recruiting Software Compared post, where our Daily Eggspert provides a helpful rundown of the seven best recruiting software on the market.