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Submitting resumes

Problem: As a small company, without the luxury of an HR department, how do you weed through 100 or more resumes when you post a new opening?

Iotum has been interviewing and recruiting people pretty aggressively for the last few months.  It’s been an interesting experience.  We’ve taken some of the best practices of Microsoft, which I have previously written about, and added a few wrinkles of our own. 

One of the best additions has been the use of additional screening questions that need to be submitted with the application.  You can see a sample of one of them on the Iotum website.  We’re hiring developers, so we asked applicants to write some code and submit it with their resume.  When we were hiring for a program management position, we asked a similar question but geared to product requirements development.

When we get applications, we follow a pretty simple algorithm.

  1. We circular file applications that don’t come with the problem solution. 
  2. Next, we read the problem solution (before reading the resume).  If the problem solution is weak, then we don’t waste any more time.
  3. We telephone screen the individual.
  4. Finally we interview using the team interview method.

So what’s the impact been?  3/4 of the applications we screen out immediately because they’ve neglected the problem solution.  We drop 2/3 of the remainder based on the quality of the solution, and interview the rest. 

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