Enough with the Resume Black Hole! It Should Not Exist!

August 23, 2013

Enough with the Resume Black Hole! It Should Not Exist!I recently read an article written by an HR professional, entitled, Stop! Don’t Send that Resume! The net of the article was that candidates who apply directly to job postings on companies’ websites may as well chuck their resume into a black hole. They can be certain it will never to be seen by human eyes.

The author goes on to state some ways to actually get your resume read, including the suggestion that the candidate should research the hiring manager and send a resume directly to them. After finishing the article and reading the comments, I was fired up.

Why Does the Resume Black Hole Still Exist?

Listen, at this point in time resume black holes should be a thing of the past. Most Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) can automatically send a letter of acknowledgment to an applicant, letting them know their resume has been received and that if they are qualified, they will be contacted.

Personally, as a recruiter I respond to EACH and EVERY applicant. Yep, whether I get 15 applicants or 150, every person gets a response. I also read all resumes. ALL resumes. I am willing to bet I have the same numbers of hours in the day as all other HR/Recruiters, but I prioritize our portfolio companies and their brands to make sure all applicants have a positive experience. If you want top talent, you have to be willing to make time to find it. Period.

Yes, it takes a lot of time to look over every applicant, but acknowledgment and resume reading is paramount. The author of the post states:

It is wrenching for me to talk every day with HR people who are bridging the human gap in broken and mechanical recruiting systems that weren’t built to celebrate creativity and spark, much less deviation from the norm. Human-focused HR people soften zombie processes and constraints all over corporate and institutional life, way beyond the recruiting realm.

Even the author admits that the process needs to be softened by humans who can actually read through resumes and not rely solely on keyword searches when they receive applications. So why aren’t we doing this? Why are companies allowing people to believe their resume was sent to a black hole? I am very frustrated that in this day in age, people are still complaining about not even receiving an acknowledgement that their resume was received!

It is companies that have no formal process for treating applicants that cause this resume black hole nonsense. As a company, you NEED to take that extra time to acknowledge applicants and read resumes. Sorry to break this news to you if it means more work. If you cannot keep up with resumes then do not post jobs that people can actively apply to.

So HR leaders, recruiters and hiring managers, listen up — it is your job if you are posting a role to READ the resumes of those who apply. No if’s, and’s, or but’s.

Let’s put an end to the resume black hole mumbo-jumbo.


Senior Corporate Recruiter

<strong>Lindsey Gurian</strong> is the Senior Corporate Recruiter at <a href="http://www.acquia.com">Acquia</a>. She was previously a Senior Talent Specialist at Sonian, responsible for recruiting initiatives at both the firm and its portfolio companies.