Opining on Resume Speed Reading


HR recruiters spend an inordinate amount of their time scanning candidate resumes. But from various studies, we’ve all heard how little time that translates to on a per resume basis: about 6 seconds. It’s a clear testament to the humungous mountain of resumes to be dealt with in this age of digital recruitment.

Thinking about it reminded me to go back to some eye tracking research I saw released by the U.S.-based online recruiting site The Ladders. It revealed what recruiters look at in those 6 seconds to determine if a candidate might be a match. And it breaks down to this:

  • Name
  • Current title and company, current position start and end dates
  • Previous title and company, previous position start and end dates
  • Education

That’s it. Obviously, I can’t fault recruiters for taking such a summary glance. They are positively deluged. But in my mind, it only drives home the inadequacy of resume screening in online recruitment. Not surprisingly, I am a very big advocate of using competency-based screening instead. And I can say, clients of ours who’ve made the switch from traditional resume reviews to competency assessment screening report that they are now hiring candidates they never in the past would have considered based on their resume AND that they’re performing better. Oh… and they have a lot more free time too.

OK, need to get back to my mission of converting the world of HR.

Superstars are Your Best Bargain


Looking for a super-cheap way to boost productivity? Hire better people. Really. A multi-industry study published in Personnel Psychology (and reported by John Sullivan on ere.net) revealed the new 26-5 Rule: 26% of total output was produced by just the top-performing 5% of workers. In other words they produced 4X the output you would expect based on their numbers. Wow! But what’s even better news for employers? “They are generally paid less than 20 percent over an average worker in the same job.”

It confirms what we in the assessment industry have been saying all along. Invest a little bit to screen candidates upfront to assure you hire only top performers, and it will pay for itself many times over.



As someone out there developing and selling new HR assessment technology, it has certainly been my experience that corporate HR divisions are hungry for innovation, and that our industry is poised for tremendous growth.

A large reason for my bullishness is that I’ve had my head in the “cloud.”

Cloud technology makes it easier than ever to switch HR tech systems—and better inform the recruiting process by tapping into big data…

AND integrate a whole host of emerging/evolving tools like simulations, games, video-based interviews, viral recruiting ads and more to custom create a wholly unique, localised and branded experience to give your organization an advantage in identifying and attracting top talent.

Always on the lookout for evidence to support (or even sometimes refute) my point-of-view, I found my thoughts echoed in a recent article on Forbes.com, summarizing key findings from recent research conducted by Bersin by Deloitte, titled “7 Reasons HR Technology Is So Hot Today”

One quote that really stood out for me:

“Our research now shows that the #1 driver of change is the need for a more compelling, consumer-like, experience.”

That is definitely something we are striving to do at Talegent, and is driving innovation throughout our industry.

And here are the 7 reported research findings why HR tech is so hot:

  1. HR Software systems are aging.
  2. Cloud HR software is now easy to buy.
  3. New user interfaces are a top driver for replacement.
  4. Companies have too many systems and are ready to consolidate.
  5. The Potential for BigData Analytics is Driving Adoption
  6. Cloud Technology makes it Easier to Switch Vendors
  7. Talent has now become one of the most important issues on the mind of the CEO

Definitely worth a read!