The hiring process has remained virtually static for 60+ years. Employers advertise job openings and wait for resumes to come in. All resumes are sent to Human Resources for screening. Most HR departments today are bombarded with resumes and lack the time (and personnel) to thoroughly read and evaluate each and every resume.
To cope with so many resumes and the pressures of time to screen them all, they usually just look to see what’s listed as the current job title and industry. If those are different than the open position, the resume will almost always be screened out at that point. IOW, screeners use resumes to look for a reason to eliminate, rather than select the sender for further scrutiny.
Assume that a resume does show the sender is currently employed in the same or a similar position at one of their industry competitors. Does that then mean that HR will contact the sender to confirm that information and invite the sender to come in for a personal interview? You could be forgiven for thinking so, but the initial screening process isn’t finished yet. Not by a long shot.
Resumes sent by people seeking even a mere lateral move are very likely to be screened out if one of the following exists:
*Age - too old or too young
*Education - wrong degree, no degree, and maybe if the degree listed isn’t from a prestigious college or university.
* Experience - too much (more than five years) or too little in the same position.
* Short tenures in prior positions - i.e. job hopping.
* Size of present/recent employers - too large/too small.
* Periods of unemployment, self-employment, underemployment.
* Income at current/recent companies is out of sync with the compensation planned for the open position.
The current hiring practices of many employers may be efficient, but they often result in hiring mediocre people - i.e. “go along to get along” employees who won’t make waves but also won’t bring enthusiastic high energy and creativity. Worse still is that lowest common denominator employees often bring their prior company’s ways of doing things and resistance to the new company’s ways, means, and culture. Such an employee is likely to question decisions and have a less than positive influence on her or his colleagues.
In part two, we’ll explore a better way to approach hiring and a better way to get hired.