Reviewing job applications quickly and effectively

Job applications can be time-consuming, and lead to tough decisions, so hiring managers should know what to look for, and how to find it, in order to make finding the right candidate easy as possible.

Once you’ve posted that perfect job description and assembled your human resources A-team to help you find the right candidate, you’ll probably be facing an influx of resumes and applications. Approached haphazardly, this can make for a mess, and possibly a bad hire. When you’re interviewing for top NYC private equity jobs, you want to get things right. Before you ever meet the people interested in the position you’re advertising, you will get an impression of them through their applications.

“A massive stack of applications and a deadline to fill a position is a combination that nobody enjoys, but if you handle them the right way, and look for the correct things, the process will be much easier. “

A massive stack of applications and a deadline to fill a position is a combination that nobody enjoys, but if you handle them the right way, and look for the correct things, the process will be much easier. One way to speed up the process is by employing an online application process and resume parsing system. Automated applications will make collection easier, and allow you to screen the documents much more quickly by implementing settings that eliminate applicants that don’t meet your minimum requirements.

Whether you employ an automated system or not, you will have to know what to look for – and sometimes what not to – on applications. This is where the process can get especially tedious. Check out the list below for more on what you should be searching for when reviewing candidates’ job applications and resumes.

Speeding up the process
There are a few things that you can do to speed up the resume and application review process, such as skipping certain bits of information and organizing the documents. Check out these tips in order to streamline hiring operations.

1. Skip over information such as an applicant’s name, address and other personal information, in an effort to avoid subconscious biases.

2. Divide applications into three groups, sorted by likelihood to move on in the application process, if you can.

3. Don’t pay attention to embellishments to style or minor typographical errors unless they directly relate to the position. This could help you avoid accidently ruling out an applicant for a bad reason.

4. Take notes as you go through applications and resumes. These will help you compare candidates quickly, and also provide you with relevant information during interviews.

5. Create a process your department can use to review applications consistently.

Make sure you know what to look for in a stack of resumes.

What to look for on applications
There are a few small details that you should look for on applications – tiny bits of information that can make or break a candidate. Quickly scan for these vital factors before thoroughly reviewing applications, in order to rule out those who never would have made it through the process anyway.

1. Take note of gaps in employment, though you shouldn’t immediately assume they are for negative reasons.

2. Check for multiple references, as this will allow you to check for consistency in descriptions of an applicant.

3. Review the candidate’s educational history to make sure it matches your requirements.

4. Look for signs of decreasing responsibility or a downward career trajectory overtime.

5. Note any special skills that are useful for the position, such as with certain types of software or various kinds of office equipment.

6. If the candidate’s career trajectory is positive, how quickly did he or she move up?

7. When reviewing the various positions the person has held check for: length of time at each job, and awards or promotions he or she received and a reason for leaving each position.

When you are finished reviewing the applications, go over those in the “yes” group and review their strengths and weaknesses. Also talk through the “maybe” group, since there may be some diamonds in that rough.  Decide on eight to twelve candidates that seem right for the job, and get ready for the next step – interviewing. For more on organizing and keeping track of candidates throughout the hiring process, check out our recruiting solutions.