Procurement Resumes- 5 Steps To Reduce Resume Screening Time

Ever wonder how long does it take to hire new candidates? The answer is,  it varies from industry to industry. At the beginning of the year, we surveyed around 100 hiring managers from Procurement departments, to understand their hiring patterns and challenges

  • 90% of the hiring managers have hiring cycles as long as 5 months.

  • 10% of hiring managers have hiring cycles between 2 - 4 months.

When we further break down the hiring cycle, we found that

  • 25% of time is spent in screening resumes.

  • 25% of time in spent in interviewing.

  • 20% of time in selection.

  • Rest 30% of the time is spent in candidate onboarding.

So if you are looking at cutting down the hiring cycle time, time spent on screening resumes seems to be the obvious candidate for process optimization. Also if you improve your screening process, it will automatically weed out candidates who slips through to the next round, because they use the right keywords in their resume to pass the ATS(Application Tracking Systems) test.

A close analogy to screening resumes would be running a RFP, the better the structure of the RFP, the easier it is to evaluate supplier responses and shortlist suppliers for the next round of supplier selection.

So how do you reduce the resume screening time?

1. Define Clear requirements

Job description is one the ways to define your requirements. However, requirements are generally very lengthy and descriptive. Alternatively, you can define your requirements in the form of skills required to perform the job. So for example, if you are hiring for a strategic sourcing position, then your requirements can be grouped under following categories

  • Sourcing Skills:For example, skills like direct sourcing experience, savings realized, spend under management etc.

  • Category Skills:If you are only looking to hire candidates with prior experience in certain categories, for example IT, then mentioning that in your requirements will help to weed out candidates who doesn’t meet that criteria.
  • Analytical Skills:The typical assessment is around tools applicants have used in the past. Whether it is related to spend analysis or other tools like e-sourcing and contract management etc.
  • Collaboration skillsThis is hard to assess in a resume, however certain categories like outsourcing services, needs strong collaboration to drive the vendor selection. Get creative on how you can assess the collaboration skills of the candidates.

2. Define your eligibility criteria

Having a clearly defined eligibility criteria would inform the candidates whether they are eligible to apply or not at first place. So do both yourself and candidate a favor, clearly define what is the eligibility criteria to apply for the position, some examples

  • Number of years of experience

  • Specific Industry domain expertise

  • Specific category expertise etc.

  • Specific travel requirements.

  • Specific work hours if applicable.

3. Define Assessment methodology

With clearly defined eligibility criteria, you have ensured that you don’t receive resumes that doesn't meet your needs. There might be cases where some applicants slips through your ATS (Application Tracking System), but your HR recruiter should be able to easily identify those candidates.

Once you have defined the job requirements, you need a way to assess those job requirements along with the resume.

  • Think if you were creating an RFP for candidate sourcing!, each job skill category is a requirement category in your RFP. For each skill category, you create questions to assess, if the candidate meets those requirements.

  • Start with creating questions for each category of job requirement. For example, if you are trying to assess analytical skills of the applicant/candidate, you can ask questions around specific excel functions like Pivot tables, or what if conditions. If you are trying to assess sourcing skills, you can ask questions about candidate experience in performing spend analysis.

  • Keep the questions objective rather than subjective. Some of the categories lends itself to more subjective questions, for example collaboration. But stay away from subjective questions if possible.

  • Create a scoring mechanism so that you can auto score the responses. Having single response questions make it really easy to automate this process.

4. Assess the candidates/Job Applicants.

Once you have defined the assessment questions, figure out a way for candidates to complete the assessment during the application process.

Some ideas on how to implement it

  • Ask your HR team if your current Application tracking system (ATS) has the capability to include a survey which job applicants can take,along with uploading their resume.

  • If that is not possible, create a survey in tools like survey monkey and provide a link to the questions in the job description itself or on your website.

  • You can use tools like Hireo, where all this is automated with ready to use templates. Sorry, for the shameless promotion!.

One of the challenges while implementing assessment, is that how do you ensure that candidates doesn’t google the answers to the questions you have asked. The obvious answer is that it is difficult to avoid. However, you can use the following to avoid this

  • Putting a time limit by when the assessment needs to be completed. It is best to inform the applicants first and then start the timer when they start filling the job application.

  • Hireo allows you to put a timer, so that the candidates have limited time to answer those questions.

5. Assess and Filter

By implementing the methodology defined above, you now not only have resumes, but also have assessment survey results, which should help you in faster screening and identifying qualified  candidates.

Classify your job applicants into three different buckets, based on the total score of the assessment (Assuming that you have automated your scoring, the way like Hireo does)

  • Meet the criteria: These are candidates who stand out and meet your criteria. For example, candidates with score more than 80% of total score.

  • Borderline case: These are the candidates who are borderline cases based on the total score.For example, score between 60% and 80% of the total score.

  • Doesn’t meet the criteria: These are the candidates who does not meet the criteria. For example, score is less than 60% of total score.

Now instead of screening of resumes for all the applicants, start with candidates who meet the criteria, followed by borderline cases if need be. Needless to say, you don’t need to screen the candidates in the “Doesn’t meet the criteria” bucket.

Hope this helps to not only reduce the time for screening the resumes, but also find better qualified candidates.

If you are interested in how Hireo can automate the screening process, check out here.

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