Staff hiring process – how to streamline resume screening

If you are sifting through a pile of applications, you have already failed at hiring the perfect candidate. In the following article, you will be guided through a system of streamlined resume processing. This system will save you countless hours and improve your chances of finding the ideal candidate.

Avoid generic adverts

Pre-qualify potential candidates by putting filters in your ads instead of just a generic ad. This way you can easily remove a large portion of candidates who are not suitable for the position you are advertising.

In short, a filter is a task that a candidate is required to perform when applying for the position you are advertising. This could be anything from creating a design to a spreadsheet, depending on what is relevant to your business. The filter should be relevant to the critical skill set required for the position.

For example:
Should you be looking to hire a marketing manager, an appropriate filter might be to request that each candidate submit a marketing strategy proposal.

By completing the filter, the potential candidate should be able to demonstrate that they have the necessary skills and ability to fulfil the role being advertised, should they be hired. It also quite simply means that you can disregard any application that does not complete the filter.

Filtering candidates immediately from the advert allows you to not waste time on candidates who are a poor fit, review actual examples of a candidates skills, and focus on the highest quality candidates applying for the position.

What to look for

So what should you look for when those resumes starting coming in?First and foremost, look for individuals who have gone the extra mile to stand out from the rest. It might just be something as simple as an interesting cover letter that isn’t generic and lacking personality, but it shows that the candidate is serious about getting hired and not just going through the motions.

Other things to look out for include:

  • Concise and well-articulated content
  • Exact or better qualifications and experience required for the position
  • Specific facts as to what they were able to achieve at their previous position, ie, increased sales turnover by
    30% per annum.

What to discard

Every position you advertise will have chancers trying their luck, knowing they are not qualified for the position, but going after it anyway. By simply eliminating resumes with these bad qualities you will greatly streamline the entire process.

Resumes with bad spelling and grammar are a sure sign that the candidate lacks attention to detail. Lack of longevity, where candidates consistently spend less than 2 years in a position. Significant employment gaps without a valid explanation. Avoid candidates that focus on generic fluff, like “being a team player”.

Use technology

Don’t be afraid to take full advantage of technology to help streamline the process.

Many recruiting sites will carry the burden of preselecting the best candidates for a position without you having to do a thing. You supply them with the job advertisement and they will do the rest as per your instructions. At the end of the advertising time period, you are supplied with the best candidates for the interviewing process. This can greatly relieve the stress of doing the entire procedure yourself.

Many companies have even taken to following up on potential new employees on their social media accounts, to make sure that they are not going to bring any disrepute to the company through what they get up to in their off time away from the office.

For example:
If you are looking to hire an ambassador for your company, any potential candidates that you find on Facebook should have a certain standard of content on their public pages. Should their profiles be filled with content relating to questionable morals or behaviour, you can remove them from your list of potential short-listers immediately.

Selected Resumes checklist


Create a checklist for yourself to measure up the best resumes to.

First impression

Is the cover letter inviting and relevant?

Does the resume look original or has the candidate used a template?

Is the resume inviting to read?

Do the design and layout look professional?

Is the length and appearance of the resume appropriate for the career level?

Resume Sections

Are all resume sections clearly labelled?

Are the sections placed in the best order to highlight the candidate’s strongest credentials?

Is the work history listed in reverse with the most recent jobs at the top?


Is the resume visually pleasing?

Is the font used appropriately for the career level?

Do the design elements guide you through the document while highlighting important content?

Are the design elements used consistently throughout the document?

Does the resume exceed a single page, if so are the page breaks and headings formatted correctly?

Writing Style

Does the content flow logically and is it easy to understand?

Has the candidate avoided writing in an implied first person?

Is the resume as perfect as possible, ie no careless typos, spelling or grammatical errors.

Career Goals

Does the resume target any specific career goals and do

those goals meet the career level and ambition of both the individual and the company offering the position?

If the resume is for a career change does it include supporting details that show how the past experience is relevant to the new position?


Does the resume include a solid listing of career accomplishments?

Are the accomplishments quantified using numbers, percentages, cash amounts, or other concrete measures of success?

Are the candidate’s accomplishments separated from their job responsibilities?

Relevance to the job advertisement

Is the information in the resume relevant to the hiring manager’s needs?

Does the resume’s content support the candidate’s career summary?

Did the candidate include appropriate keywords, buzzwords and industry acronyms?

Is applicable, additional information such as awards and affiliations included?

What to do next

A resume definitely gives some insight into a potential candidate, but it by no means tells the whole story. You will need to look beyond the resume to truly gauge the value of a shortlisted candidate.

Begin examining intangible soft skills such as work ethic, motivation, adaptability, flexibility, communication and so on. This will lead to the final step in the hiring process: Interviewing the shortlisted candidates.

This final step requires personal interaction, face-to-face meeting, video conferencing, or even a telephonic interview. Using the right approach will help you identify the strongest contender for the job position. The interview process is an art in itself and requires both the interviewer and the candidate being interviewed to be prepared.

A list of specific interview questions will greatly help during the interview process, and they can be presented to each candidate that is brought in for an interview, allowing an accurate comparison between each of them.

Some examples of good questions to ask are as follows:

  • What do you feel our company can learn from you?
  • What is the biggest challenge you have had to overcome in life?
  • How do you see yourself growing within this company?

Finding the right candidate is not just based on their skills, they will need to interact with other staff members currently employed by the company on a daily basis and bringing in a new person must add to the strength and dynamic of the existing team not detract from it.

Do you have any tips or tricks that you can add? Share your experience with us so others can learn and benefit. We hope this information helps you in building a powerful team!

Start looking for your ideal team today…