I took just 6 seconds to disqualify a resume. When looking at a stack of 200 resumes for a job, 6 seconds (or less!) was all I needed to find some disqualifying factor. Maybe it was a company name in their history, a gap in their experience, a college I didn’t like, or whatever other excuse I could find. I wasn’t looking for what was great about a candidate, only what I could use to get rid of them; I had a day job to get back to and I needed to trim the list of resumes down to a number I can humanly deal with.
Then along came the Applicant Tracking System (ATS). The ATS became a huge help because I could configure it to do the same screening I did but rather than taking 6 seconds, it would do it in 6 MICROseconds - WOOHOO! Productivity at last. Now we could disqualify candidates 1000 times faster to get down to a manageable list. And now with AI coming our way in HR tech, we will get even more efficient and maybe we can disqualify that same resume (person) in 6 NANOseconds (1000 times faster than the ATS).
What will I do with all that spare time?
The “6 second resume review” is a common practice that I have in common with other hiring managers and recruiters. It’s an uncomfortable topic because we are not proud of the criteria we use (otherwise known as Biases) to disqualify a person through their resume. It’s certainly not fair but that’s the way it’s been done for decades and, thanks to technology, we have gotten very efficient at it.
But, wait a minute …
How many great candidates did I trash due to this 6 second review? How many rock stars were lingering in that “no” pile that I never got the chance to see shine because of their school or a gap in work, or a company I didn’t like? I, along with many peers, allowed our Bias (unconscious and conscious) to disqualify people long before we truly knew anything about them. And I’m sure we lost out on many great hires.
Technology is great in making processes more efficient and thus giving us more time in our day as well as saving money. But, what if the process was flawed?
Is it really considered “efficient” if we can do something inherently wrong faster than ever before?
In this process of hiring, filtering candidates by details (many not needed to "do" the job) in their resumes is a huge flaw. Rather than a process designed to find great talent, it promotes a process of disqualification on any detail we can find; inviting bias (conscious and well as unconscious) to disqualify candidates. We hire people to fill needs. Why not focus on what those needs are and use technology in a smarter way to consistently and fairly evaluate candidates against those needs?
Instead of automating for the “sake of automation” and celebrate new efficiencies, shouldn’t we take a step backwards first? Review our existing processes to ensure they are practical and do what we need them to do? And then make sure that what we are about to automate meets our hiring, our D&I, and our corporate needs?
Come check us out at career.place to see how we do this. We’re here to help you remove Bias, add automation to save time and money, and bring your diversity goals in alignment faster than you think.