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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Attack of the Resume Monkeys


I have been fortunate to have encountered a number of talent acquisition professionals throughout my career.  Aside from working alongside some very talented folks, I have also done quite a bit of networking with members of various organizations at various conferences.  I can tell you one thing with a great deal of confidence; TA professionals come in all shapes and sizes with varied backgrounds, different skill sets, and a wide array of ideas about the different facets of their job.  Although I can generally appreciate the diverse philosophies that occur in our industry, there is one type of talent acquisition professional that scares me.  These people perpetuate the idea that recruiting and sourcing professionals are order takers that should act subservient in nature.  They focus on the transactional piece of the business.  They review applicants, disposition candidates, set up interviews, and throw resumes “over the fence” for hiring managers to review.  I call these folks Resume Monkeys and they give us all a bad name.  Whether they are the bi-product of their training and environment or they don’t have a passion to be a true Talent Advisor, these people provide little value outside of reviewing and emailing resumes, hence the name.  If you want to bring true value to your organization and grow as a professional, here are some things you can do.  

Make sure that you have a proper intake meeting for each requirement

One of the biggest mistakes that you can make as a talent acquisition professional is to work on a requisition without a proper intake meeting.  By doing so, you lay the foundation for the belief that you are simply an order taker and nothing more.  What makes up a good intake session is an important thing to understand and we can delve into that at a future time.  For now, it’s important to understand that there are numerous benefits associated with a well planned and well run meeting with your hiring manager.  According to a recent Bersin report “developing strong relationships with hiring managers is the top driver of talent acquisition performance.”  This all begins with the initial meeting.  The same report states that 80% of recruiters believe they have a good understanding of the jobs they’re recruiting for, but 61% of hiring managers disagree.  Therefore, these meetings are crucial to you having recruiting success.  In addition, they give you the ability to ask targeted questions, set expectations with your hiring manager, and share your strategy and outlook.  This will help you establish your role as a true subject matter expert as well as a trusted advisor.  That is the goal.  

Help the hiring manager understand their role in the process

This is closely related to the intake session.  If you’ve read any of my posts before, you probably know that I firmly believe that recruiting is the ultimate team sport.  It always reminds me of the old saying “It takes a village to raise a child.”  Well, in this case it takes a village to land a top candidate.   Too often I see organizations whose hiring managers simply shoot off a job description and wait for the resumes to come pouring in.  Not only is this ineffective but again, it promotes the idea that recruiters are simply order takers.  What’s even worse is that recruiters let it happen.  The intake session is the first step, but shortly after that it’s important to let your hiring manager know that they play an important role in the process and their part is not limited to giving you the information that you need to search and screen effectively.  Hiring managers are in a unique position to promote their open jobs as well as your employment brand.  They are going to have a more robust network in their field than you do.  I have also found that messaging that is delivered by a hiring manager can be more impactful than anything that you or I could deliver.  Getting information straight from the source can resonate with potential candidates.  According to Beamery, 52% of content shared by employees is trusted by candidates.  Of course the role of the hiring manager doesn’t stop there.  Obviously they play a critical role in landing or closing candidates.  Spend some time informing your hiring teams about the market today, what a passive candidate is, and how they should alter their approach to attract candidates today.  

Leverage data

Here is another point that I seem to touch on quite a bit.  There are so many tools today that allow you to access labor market data.  I won’t tell you which is best suited for you, but I will tell you that the information that you can access through these tools is invaluable.  Not only can it help with the formulation of your strategy, but these reports can make a lasting impression on your hiring manager.  Presenting this data and being able to speak to it shows a couple of things.  It shows that you are prepared and thinking strategically.  It also shows that the advice and insight that you are sharing does not simply come from your own opinions.  It brings validity to the points that you are trying to get across.  It will instill confidence in your hiring managers and set you apart.  When we think in terms of creating the idea that we are partners it is essential that we leverage data.  

Be transparent

magnifying-glass-1020142_960_720.jpgThere are many things that happen behind the scenes when working on a requisition.  Resumes are reviewed, outreach initiatives occur, candidates are screened and vetted, etc.  The list goes on and on.  One of the mistakes that people make is assuming that the hiring manager understands all of the day-to-day activities that take place in order to locate the right fit for an opening.  If possible, have a weekly update meeting with your hiring teams and share the efforts that have been made.  At the very least, make sure that you send a weekly update email that summarizes your activity and gives the hiring manager a snapshot of what the current candidate pipeline looks like.  This accomplishes two things.  First, it strengthens your relationship with your hiring manager.  There is little doubt that hiring managers appreciate being kept up to date and knowing that you are still keeping their opening top of mind.  Secondly, it gives you the opportunity to educate the hiring manager, giving them a glimpse “behind the curtain”.  There is a lot of work that goes into bringing that perfect candidate to the forefront and you can highlight this work.  People don’t know what they don’t know.  If you give them a look into all of the effort that you’re putting in, you gain credibility.  

To summarize, it’s important that as a talent acquisition professional you strive to be a valuable resource and business partner to your hiring managers.  There are many ways to do this but it starts with establishing yourself as an expert, increasing communication, showing your value, and being a teacher or advisor to those that you work with.  

Will is an average guy who is currently living his dream in talent acquisition.  When not rambling on the internet he enjoys spending time with his family, fishing, listening to records, and tacos.  The opinions expressed here are his own and do not reflect the opinions of his employer.  He is offering a virtual high five to anyone who subscribes to his blog at  You can also check him out at the spring ERE event in San Diego.


  1. There are various fields in the psychotherapy of dentistry. Those who specialize in every single one the fields graduate as general practitioners. A general practitioner is licensed to treat a broad range of teeth illnesses. To know resume for accountant

  2. The people nowadays are roaming here and there in search of high quality jobs with their fake resumes and sometimes they do get the job leaving injustice for the deserving ones. Hope this trend ends soon.