This trend doesn’t just benefit the recruiter, though, and in this post, we’re going to take a look at how a resume screening tool works — as well as the ways it helps job applicants and entire HR teams alike.
Whether you’re hiring or applying, you’ll have a better experience when you understand the different tools used throughout the recruitment process. The digital revolution means that thousands of companies are designing and searching for new ways to make hiring processes more efficient, meaningful and successful. A resume screening tool is one such solution, and when used well, it increases the chances of matching the perfect candidate with the perfect job considerably.
So why is it that hiring isn’t just being done the good old-fashioned way? Surely, a recruiter or HR professional must be better suited for evaluating an application and resume than a computer program ever could? In an ideal world, the answer is yes — although there are drawbacks to human resume screening, too, which we’ll take a look at later. The main reason for automating this first stage in the hiring process today is quite simply the sheer volume of applicants per job listing.
In part, we have digitalization to thank for this development. Rewind 50–60 years, and job listings were published in local newspapers, with a local readership — and so had local applicants. And even though history certainly has its examples of too many candidates for too few jobs, it isn’t comparable to the reality HR managers face today. With LinkedIn, Facebook, and online talent databases, a single job can have thousands of applicants. People are willing to move continents, work odd time zones and accept sub-average wages for the right job.
The most obvious consequence of this is that the resume screening stage of the hiring process is taking up more and more time when it’s done manually. The solution for larger companies with multiple job listings and a growing number of applicant volumes has been to implement resume screening tools. These are becoming sophisticated, and are powered by AI applications that can sift through enormous amounts of applications in a very short space of time.
The programming behind good resume screening software is complicated and is made up of several stages to ensure that the right resumes and applications actually make it to the human recruiter in charge of hiring. The basis for the process is something called parsing. Simply put, this means breaking things down into their different components and then analyzing these components. When it comes to resume screening tools, the AI breaks down the resumes of the different applicants and then organizes and analyses their information.
This also means that the first stage of AI-powered screening is for the tool to go through the job posting in question. Here, it’ll look for the specific qualifications and skills the employer wants in its applicants. Once the information is extracted from the listing, this serves as the foundation that the individual applicant resumes will be screened against.
Using minimum requirements, the AI can separate the qualifying applicants from the non-qualifying ones, using the initial information from the job listing. By digitalizing this very first step of the hiring process, the most time-consuming task for most recruiters is eliminated. The successful candidates will, after the parsing is completed, be forwarded to the next step in the screening process, which is also increasingly often an AI-powered stage.
Because AI technology has come as far as it has, a sophisticated applicant screening tool may also include preliminary candidate interviews. These are run after the initial parsing, and become a second checkpoint to make sure the individuals selected hold up against the employer’s requirements. By drawing on the organized and analyzed application information, an AI chatbot can follow up on skills and qualifications the candidates listed in their resumes.
Let’s say a job requires the selected candidate to be fluent in both English and French. The AI robot has detected this at the parsing stage and knows it’s an essential skill. Alongside other questions that are designed to double-check the applicants’ eligibility, it throws in a few follow-ups in French and analyzes the answers it receives in the chat.
By making use of sophisticated AI screening tool that also includes a second-round interview feature, HR departments are made more efficient. Additionally, they can spend their time on the candidates that have already passed through the essential requirements needed for the job in question. It’s important to remember that HR is always a human-to-human game, and so a resume screening tool should only be used at the very first stages of the hiring process. That’s also where it can actually benefit the job seekers.
Search for ‘automated application screening’ today, and you’ll find stacks of guides on how to beat the process. What to keep in your application, how to phrase it, and things to leave out to increase your chances of making it through to the human recruiters. The thing is, resume screening tools aren’t just here for recruiters, although there’s no denying that HR is where they do the most good. But these systems are also in place to make sure that the right applicants get through to the jobs they're best suited for. Here are the three most important ways they help you find the perfect position.
Imagine you’ve applied for a job that you know you’re perfect for. You’ve got the exact qualifications and personal skills in question — and you have the work experience the employer says they’re after. A few weeks go by and you contact the company hiring, only to discover that you didn’t even get invited for a first interview. It turns out several hundred people applied for the job. What are the chances your application and resume, along with all the others, were given a thorough read-through?
No matter how dedicated an HR manager or recruiter is to their work, no one has time to go over 400 applications for a position and evaluate them equally against each other. It’s a near impossible task, which means that now and then, the perfect candidate for a job gets lost in between the cracks. In traditional resume screening, you’re sometimes playing a game of chance, against hundreds of other contestants.
With a more automated process, which a resume screening tool like an AI contributes to, you up your chances considerably. You'll indeed be more objectively scrutinized. But if you’re a good fit for the job you’re applying to, this also means that you’ll most likely make the cut of people that are called in for the first round of (human) interviews. In other words: you can dedicate more time applying for positions that specifically match your expertise, and feel more confident that when you’re qualified, you’ll be noticed.
Part of what makes HR so fascinating, and the allure for many who choose to work with it, is the diversity of people on the work market. An applicant base can be filled with people from every continent, in every age group, of every gender, and with a huge variation in personalities and social skills. On top of unique educational and professional backgrounds. This human aspect is also what makes traditional recruitment riddled with both conscious and subconscious discrimination — which can be a major setback for the applicants.
In other words: Equal and fair screening is a challenge for HR departments everywhere. We all form opinions about people based on our background and specific experiences. That means that something as basic as a name with a negative connotation for the person reading through applications could affect the hiring decision. Subconsciously, we construct conceptions of the individuals we meet, whether we meet them in person or on paper. This prejudice is part of what makes us human, and another solid argument in favor of using a resume screening tool.
Although interaction should always be the basis for good HR, eliminating prejudice in the screening process is inarguably a good step in the right direction for the field. It means that candidates are evaluated solely based on the necessary skills, qualifications, and experience for a job. It also means that you won’t have to wonder if you were selected based on your gender, race or age.
Knowing what makes you a perfect employee (for the right job, that is) is a job-hunting superpower. It allows you to think realistically about the listings you come across, and means you’ll avoid applying for positions you weren’t suited for in the first place. Sure, urgency almost always plays a part when you’re looking for work. You might be out of a job, and in serious need of an income — or desperate to leave your current position. But even when this is the case, long-term career benefits generally come from finding a job you’re actually well-suited for.
In this sense, dealing with an automated resume screening tool provides more clarity than speaking with a recruiter — or just being cut from the huge chunk of applicants interested in the same job as you. Remember, the AI will organize and analyze the pieces of information it extracts during the screening process. In essence, this means it’ll end up with a pretty good report of how you function as an individual in the workplace.
If you enter a screening process with an open mind and some consideration for how you’re being screened, you’ll quickly discover where your strengths and weaknesses lie. Make the cut, and you can build on these in the next stages of the hiring process. Don’t, and you’ll know more about yourself — and be better for it — when the next job listing comes around.
So we’ve established how an AI-powered screening process works — as well as how it’s often more beneficial to applicants than traditional screening. Still, HR is what these systems are built for, and it’s also where they do the most measurable good. If you get the right solutions in place in your company, human resources can focus their efforts on building a driven company culture, and onboarding the right human capital for the positions that come up.
As a hiring manager, you’re faced with a continuous flow of challenges from beginning 'till end of the hiring process. The reach of potential candidates has grown from local to global, and so any professional HR department is trying to achieve one thing: finding smarter solutions for identifying the perfect candidate. This pursuit takes place at every stage of recruitment, and it’s driven the shift we’ve seen from the traditional to the groundbreaking in applicant tracking systems.
No matter the size of a company, every human resources professional or department benefits from removing tedious tasks. That’s because it’s usually substituted with the tasks that made the HR team get into their field in the first place: dealing with humans in the workplace. The allure of this has resulted in a global and fast transition towards the kinds of solutions AI can provide within hiring processes for businesses everywhere.
With more and more applicants submitting resumes, finding the perfect employee is like finding the perfect running shoes: it takes serious effort. On the flip side, we also know that if you hire the right person for a job, and offer them a good working environment in which they can thrive, chances are they’ll become a long-term asset in the company you’re hiring for. You want the right human capital, and with a resume screening tool, that task becomes considerably easier.
With pre-employment screening automated, you and your recruitment team can spend more time on candidates you know are potential employees. This is a substantial psychological boost. Rather than feeling uncertain or outright bored at the beginning of the search, you’re given the chance to tailor later screening stages with more precision. All the while knowing that the people you’re interviewing in person possess the requirements you want them to.
Recruiting is ultimately the chosen candidate’s first impression of your company. If they see a fair, exciting and challenging process, they’ll be more likely to accept the job — and to feel more enthusiastic about their onboarding. Similarly, candidates that weren’t chosen will probably walk away from the experience with a positive attitude. That builds employer brand and can really help setting you apart from other businesses when looking for talent the next time around.
So stronger technology and more advanced programming make it possible to take guessing out of the screening equation. A recruitment team no longer has to spend all their hours just getting to the first round of interviews. Instead, AI’s makes it possible to deliver actually suitable candidates for any given job in a neat little package. In turn, this has serious effects on the day-to-day work of recruiters and HR managers alike.
First off, no more impossible piles of resumes and applications to get through. This first step of any hiring process — which should be the easiest — is generally the most time-consuming and frustrating. Even an HR superhero can’t be expected to glance through hundreds of applications with a fresh eye and excitement at every turn of the page. With the right tracking systems in place, your HR department can focus on the later stages of the hiring process, and make sure they tailor each checkpoint carefully to the job in question. Additionally, they’re able to spend more time building a company culture the right candidate will be welcomed into.
And secondly, AI-powered applicant tracking means an updated and organized digital database of human capital. Used over time, this eventually serves as a library of suitable candidates and means you may actually be able to skip the first screening stage altogether. A resume screening tool is, in other words, something that ultimately puts the focus of HR back onto making human resources thrive — just the way it should be.
A resume screening tool is a digital solution for HR departments that makes it possible to screen applicants' resumes efficiently using AI technology.
The basis for AI screening is something called parsing. In a resume screening tool, this means that the AI software breaks the resumes of the different applicants down and then organizes and analyses the information.
Often, the resume parsing is just the first stage of the resume screening tool functionality. The results are usually followed up with other AI-powered tools, like chatbot interviews that double-check the candidate resume information sets.
In many online guides, applicants and automated resume screening tools are pitted against each other. Actually, an automated first step of the hiring process is generally beneficial to applicants because:
In addition to streamlining the hiring process, choosing a resume screening tool can have a substantial effect on the entire HR department in a company, in three key ways: