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How to Find Top Talent without Being Inundated with Resumes

How to Find Top Talent

without Being Inundated with Resumes


Most corporate jobs receive 250 resumes per opening.

Everyone wants to cast their net wide and access all the best talent out there, but no one wants a tsunami of resumes flooding their desk and email inbox.

How can you access a wide array of talent but refrain from being accessed yourself non-stop by respondents?


There’s a lot of folks out there, actively and passively looking for their next job.

There are 25 million resumes on Indeed.
There are 332 million LinkedIn users, 107 million of them in the US.
The average number of daily LinkedIn mobile job applications is 44,000. (

There are 140 Million unique visitors on monthly. (


There are a lot of folks sending resumes.

Google gets over a million job applications each year and the company only hires about 0.5% of applicants. (

Procter & Gamble Inc. got nearly a million applications last year for 2,000 open positions. (

Most corporate jobs receive 250 resumes per opening. (


Post and pray – Is the answer a job board?

Sometimes the best way to get applications is using a job board. But you try or other large boards, you need to be prepared for the potential inpouring of resumes and have a way to handle them.

Sometimes a trickle of resumes is your best option. If you are seeking highly specialized candidates, pick a niche board that is appealing to the type of candidates you want. You still need to be prepared to sort through the responses.

The heavyweight generalist job boards Monster and CareerBuilder have lost traffic over the last years. And many niche boards have sprung up; these focus on specific types of jobs and industries. (

A lot of people using job boards take the shotgun approach to job submittals on line. Many don’t read directions or follow instructions. Many aren’t qualified for the position that is posted. This can waste a lot of time not only for the applicant but for the hiring company.


Is the answer an Applicant Tracking System?

The price tag for an ATS starts at $5,000 and depending on the size of the company these systems can cost into the millions of dollars. They are efficient for sure, but they are imperfect.

An ATS will search resumes for the right skills and experience using keywords. This screens out about ½ of applicants from the get go, which may be exactly what a company needs; depending on the position it may not be enough screening but the user can customize each search.

Unfortunately, an ATS may miss the most-qualified applicant if that person’s resume doesn’t include the same keywords as are used in the job description or by the user. All the information may be there, the perfect candidate may be there, but if user error or rote use of the technology inhibits finding him or her, it is wasted effort. It is estimated that 75% of resumes are never read by a human. (


What of social recruiting?

There is no magic bullet, so signing up for the latest social job gimmick probably won’t save you any time. In fact it may take up more of your time; if you aren’t social enough it may come back to bite you.

But really social recruiting is about using today’s tools to network. Networking has always been a social activity. LinkedIn continues to grow as a social/professional networking site, as well as a job board, and perhaps soon a full-fledged ATS. More than half of companies surveyed said that LinkedIn was a critical component for their recruiters and sourcing groups ( 96% of recruiter use LinkedIn to search for candidates, 92% to vet them (

Old fashioned networking, whether it is picking up the rolodex or searching contacts online comes down to the same thing: picking up the phone and connecting. This is a time consuming but worthwhile effort for all professionals, whether searching for a job or searching for a hire.


What about referrals and internal sourcing?

According to a Silkroad study, internal sources produce the most hires. Employee referrals result in the highest source of hire. ( This certainly cuts down on many aspects of the recruiting process such as job ads, social widgets, piles of resumes, and typically the vetting of candidates is more assured as the employee referring the candidate is essentially vouching for him/her.

The 2014 Source of Hire Report reports that companies find their best candidates in their own backyards, filling more than 41% of their openings from current employees. This suggests that organizations are doing a better job of developing talent internally. (


Is the answer a recruiting specialist?

Recruiting is a specialized function. Recruiting new talent includes administrative and legal aspects, screening, logistics and coordination, qualifying and vetting – there are many steps requiring varying levels of skill.

All of these aspects take time. Even if only 25% of resumes get read by humans, those humans must efficiently review and understand the potential of each applicant.

Once a company is large enough, the human resources functions start to grow, addressing work policies, and corporate perks, and company culture, and on and on. So depending on your company’s size and what internal talent is there, some combination of internal and external recruiting specialization will streamline the process and produce a reasonable number of great quality candidates for the hiring manager and team to interview.


External versus Internal Recruiting?

External recruiters don’t have the corner on the market, but they are specialized in what they do. Internal recruiters typically have multiple HR hats they are wearing and their focus is not solely on the latest talent recruitment trends and pipeline building. In very large companies, this may not be the case as internal recruiters may be given very specialized duties.

In most cases startups do not have any recruiting function. Medium sized companies are focused on their own business, and the HR staff that are tasked with recruiting are juggling a wide array of responsibilities. These are ideal situations to partner with an external recruiter who can take the lead on recruiting the talent needed and facilitating the hiring process to whatever extent the internal resources require. Many companies have a mix of ATS, HR with internal recruiters, and external recruiting partners.

When internal hires and referrals don’t produce the needed talent, and time for networking or sorting through a ton of resumes is not available, try a specialist. Recruiters have the network and the sourcing skills to tap into talent wherever it is. Just as job seekers should be proactive in job searching, talent acquisition specialists should pull out all the stops to actively identify and pursue the right people.


So don’t get buried in resumes!

Take a look at what mix of recruiting tools will best serve you.