I recently spoke with 3 Human Resources professionals and asked the questions YOU wanted to know. They gave answers to the questions that they felt most knowledgeable about. HR Professional 1 has 17 years of experience, HR Professional 2 has 15 years of experience, and HR Professional 3 has 20 years of experience.
1. Does someone from Human Resources or the Hiring Manager actually look at ALL the resumes that are submitted for a job?
HR Professional 1: It depends; if an overwhelming number of good resumes are received, the H.R. Department will not review all the resumes. The H.R Department will stop screening resumes when they have a sufficient number for interviews.
HR Professional 2: Yes, in most cases the hiring manager will review the resume. If it’s a large company the recruiter will filter through resumes and then pass them on to the hiring manager.
2. How many resumes on average are submitted for each job that is posted?
HR Professional 1: The number varies from the time of year the position is posted. More resumes are received from May – December due to new grads entering the workforce.
HR Professional 3: 200. It truly rangers from 100 – 700.
3. Does Human Resources or the Hiring Manager actually read cover letters?
HR Professional 1: Sometimes but not always. The H.R. Department is more concerned with what is on the resume.
HR Professional 2: Yes, the cover letter gives the recruiter a summary of the candidate applying instead of having to review the resume in details.
HR Professional 3: No. I do if I have time and something isn’t making sense when I read their resume.
4. How closely does a candidate’s experience need to match the job description to be considered a good fit?
HR Professional 1: For most positions the candidate’s background does not have to match, but the resume must show that the candidate has the potential to be trained for the job. This conclusion can be drawn based on the candidate’s degree or volunteer work in the community.
HR Professional 3: Very closely. If not, I would hire an internal person and train that person.
5. How often are companies utilizing phone interviews to determine the top candidates? How many phone interviews are done on average?
HR Professional 1: My company will conduct a phone interview for a referral out of state. Otherwise we will not conduct a phone interview.
HR Professional 2: Some companies are using videos to interview candidates as well as phone interviews. 10 to 15 depending on the position needing to be filled.
HR Professional 3: As the recruiting person, I am interviewing everyone on the phone. Then I decide if they should come in to meet the manager. We conduct online interviews for remote candidates instead of flying them in.
6. Do employers view candidates on social media as a way to eliminate them? If so, which social media is utilized the most and what are employers look for?
HR Professional 1: My company does not have a social media policy in place, so we were advised by legal counsel not to utilize this tool.
HR Professional 3: LinkedIn. I like to connect with the person, see how much time they spent on their profile and if it lines up with their resume.
7. What are you typically looking for in a background check? How far back do you go?
HR Professional 1: We go back 10 years. We are looking for felony convictions. A conviction does not necessarily mean the candidate will be denied employment.
HR Professional 2: This is industry specific. For an accounting position we are looking at the person’s background to make sure there’s no fraud or theft in their past. For drivers or anyone dealing with customers no illegal activity or warrants, etc. In some cases 7 or more years if they have violations.
8. If a former employer is listed as a reference, what information can they legally provide?
HR Professional 1: Most companies will only provide dates of employment, position and whether or not the candidate is eligible for rehire. If the candidate signed a release salary information may be disclosed.
HR Professional 2: Dates of employment, job title and if they are still employed there.
9. Do companies sometimes check your credit report? Is that legal?
HR Professional 1: It is legal if the position is a management position and the candidate is required to qualify for a company credit card or the position involves working with money.
HR Professional 2: Yes, they can check your credit report if you are applying for certain positions and it is deemed legal in certain areas.
10. What are some illegal interview questions?
HR Professional 1: Where were you born? Are you married? Do you have children? How old are you?
HR Professional 2: Birthdate, marital status, religious, etc. – anything personal.
11. Why does it take so long to make a job offer?
HR Professional 1: Waiting on reference, degree and background checks. Also, new hire paperwork must be sent up the chain of command for signatures.
HR Professional 2: There are several factors: budget for the position(s), background and reference checks etc.