HR Tips - Vetting / Reviewing Resumes - Zupnick Associates

(by Jordan Johnson)


The cost-per-hire for each industry in the U.S. is different, but Glassdoor suggests the average employer spends around $4,000 in a process that takes around 24 days. That said, there are some general HR tips you can take into account when vetting / reviewing resumes, which may help reduce recruitment costs and provide relief to hiring managers. 

Remember, depending on your industry and what type of employee you are looking to recruit, your review process for each candidate will change. Here are some tips for vetting / reviewing resumes well. 

Establish Minimum Standards

While a broad choice of candidates gives a hiring manager more to work with, there are usually always minimum requirements that you want potential hires to have. 

You don’t want to scare off candidates with a huge list of everything you hope for in a new hire, but make the deal breakers very clear – establish the requirements that absolutely must be met.

Be as accurate as possible in this stage to reduce your workload later.

Accuracy in your listing will help your sifting process from the beginning. Just like declaring your minimum standards, you might not be looking to hire those with a world-class resume either. 

You might consider establishing the following:

  • Potential salary.
  • Benefits.
  • Work-from-home opportunities.
  • Proposed schedules.
  • Minimum requirements.
  • Characteristics that will make a candidate stand out.

Providing transparency in your listing will help attract suitable applicants, further reducing the amount of time you spend in the review process. 

Additionally, transparency about pay helps job seekers in their decision about applying to your organization and serves to help sift applicants for you. It isn’t a requirement in most places, although some states in the U.S., like Colorado, require employers to provide intended compensation.


Ensure Your Applicants Have Read Your Listing

These days those seeking employment can find hundreds of job ads on a single site, and on many, one-click applications are possible.  This paves the way for candidates to perform a quick scan of what you’re looking for and apply. Unfortunately, job seekers sometimes feel like quantity is better than quality, especially in a saturated market.

A way to side-step this as an employer is to have applicants prove they have read your ad with intent by having them tell you a word that you hid in the text.  Something straightforward, such as “To ensure you have read and understood our proposal, please include the word “pineapple” at the top of your application. 

It’s that simple!

Have applicants upload their own resume directly

Another way to combat the swarm of applicants applying to each and every opportunity is to have them send you their resume directly, either via email or an upload form on your website.

This ensures the application was made with intention and potentially cuts down on the number of one-size-fits-all resumes you are going to receive, hopefully making the vetting process smoother.

Consider Adding Video Interviews to Your Vetting / Reviewing Process 

Video interviews provide hiring managers with the flexibility offered by conducting an interview over the internet, with the benefit of being able to hire from a larger pool of potential clients. 

It can be a great first step in the interview process before getting candidates on the phone or in your physical location for a longer, more drawn-out interview. 

“Video interviews present your organization as forward-thinking and tech-savvy.”

Offering video interviews also make your brand look good. It’s not always ideal for a candidate to make their way to your location for a single interview and can often take up their entire day, so offering video interviews shows your company cares about their people. 

Keep Your Process Consistent

A consistent hiring process is essential. Hiring managers should look for the same traits and attributes in each candidate and allow education and experience to trump other qualities.

In situations where some kind of assessment is needed, such as a coding test for software engineers, managers should keep the process highly standardized to avoid any potential involuntary discrimination.

Depending on the role you are hiring for, assessments are best used at different stages of the review process. However, regardless of where you find it fits, it’s important to keep it at the same stage for all candidates for a particular role. 


Not only does consistency keep your process streamlined, but it also protects the organization from a legal standpoint and helps hiring managers to avoid any type of involuntary discrimination.

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