Are you Filtering Out Good Talent?

Resume-PicInstead of reviewing resumes personally, we’ve evolved to allowing the super-computer robots and machines to tell us whether someone is a good fit or not. Now if someone so happens to get through the electronic garbage disposal having their resume selected for a significant use of “key words” then congrats! They are well on their way to a job interview; them and about 3 other people out of the hundreds, maybe thousands that applied.

With such a smooth process in place, I wonder why there’s such a problem finding good talent. I hope you can see the sarcasm in that! I always tell my clients that although a great resume is necessary, it doesn’t end there. Getting hired has several components in addition to a resume. Networking, volunteering, creating an impression, showing initiative and confidence – these are all great qualities of a good hire and when blended together help an employer decide if they should make the investment. See my blog on unemployment advice.

Lets ponder on this convoluted computer process for a second

What would happen if we were to limit the electronic applications and try the old school way of doing things, like actually filling out an application at an office? Who knows, maybe you’d get applicants who are willing to get up, go out and get the job; showing initiative and self-motivation. It’s an easy way to fish out the lazy workers. These are things we try to decipher from a computer program anyway right? Ambition, drive, a thirst for success. These characteristics are shown through action, not keys on a keyboard.

bluen men - employment adsI’ve found that employee referrals and those recruited through some form of networking are more loyal, engaged and productive in the workplace. Why? Because they have established a connection with the employer in some fashion. It’s not just a luck of the draw from sitting behind a computer void of emotion; its more than that. Referrals and those hired as a result of networking see the opportunity as a personal accomplishment. See my blog on Networking. 

Landing a job through a connection proves the benefits of taking initiative to create valuable relationships. Now I’m not saying who a person knows is all that matters, but I am saying it helps to get their foot in the door! I tell my clients, “It’s who you know that gets you in, but what you know that keeps you there”.

Here’s my concern

When we allow a computer system to do all the recruitment work, our recruiters become lazy. They forget the importance of the personal connection. In our tech-savvy society, we’ve gotten too far away from that. Recruiters and HR administrators are simply being told by a computer which applicant may be a good fit for the company based on some key word criteria it receives. This process often filters out good talent.rejected stack

Is it fair for someone with great talent, skill and character to be overlooked because someone else knows how to manipulate a computer system? I’d rather hire the person that gets up to go create opportunity than hire one sitting behind a screen waiting for it to come to them.

Would it be so terrible to move further away from automated job-application programs and recruit through other means involving a direct connection to job-seekers? Career fairs, networking, employee referrals and in-person application processes; these avenues provide the opportunity to create a personal connection and often result in lasting relationships.

Mary V. DaviMDD-160ds is Principal Consultant at D&M Consulting Services, LLC. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. Book Mary to speak at your next event or hire Mary for leadership & professional development consultation today. Follow Mary on twitter @MVDavids.


About Mary Davids

Mary V. Davids is Principal Consultant at D&M Consulting Services, LLC., and creator of the Honest Model™. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing workplace performance, career coaching, leadership coaching and training & development. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. To connect with Mary, you can follow her on twitter @MVDavids or you can email her at
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