Recruiting & Candidate Development
Based on the large number of calls and e-mails I continue to receive from practitioners who want to know whether or not it’s a good practice to send candidate resumes to prospect/clients, this topic obviously continues to be a contentious issue within our industry.
My position on it has been documented several times over the years, most notably in my article, “Sending Resumes – It has Everything To Do With Positioning”. Nevertheless, to send or not to send resumes is a business decision. It’s not whether it’s right or wrong, rather whether or not the practice supports the operational model for your business.
Therefore, if sending resumes is part of what you do, then make certain you gain the maximum benefit from doing so. One of the ways to insure this is to send something in addition to the resume, something that is better than a resume, the “Match-Comparison Sheet”.
The advantages of using a “Match-Comparison Sheet” as a cover for any and all resumes you submit to clients are numerous.
1. It many times can serve as a good substitute for a resume when no resume exists or if the resume is not properly constructed.
2. It clearly demonstrates your understanding of the agreed upon selection criteria. If either you or your client has misunderstood the standards against which all candidates must be measured, it will be very apparent on the “Match-Comparison Sheet”.
3. It eliminates any distortion or misrepresentation of the candidate’s qualifications, skills and experience. Because of the clarity in which the information is presented on the sheet, it will tend to speed up the screening process for your client.
4. The narrative portion provides an opportunity for you to elaborate on the suitability of the candidate as well as to further explain your rationale for matching them to your client’s position.
5. The “Match-Comparison Sheet” is easy to read and understand for your client thereby facilitating their decision making process. They do not have to wade through a litany of unnecessary information to get to the key points.
6. The sheet clearly represents your active involvement in the matching process while strengthening your position as a key player in the client’s selection process. It demonstrates to your client the care and thoroughness of your efforts on their behalf.
7. Properly utilized over time, the “Match-Comparison Sheet” can serve to transition you away from sending resumes on candidates to be considered to providing profiles on finalists to be interviewed (See my article, “Candidates or Finalists – A Reflection On Your Process”).
Although it takes some time to complete, used in the proper situations, the “Match-Comparison Sheet” can save tremendous time in the long run.
The “Match-Comparison Sheet” can easily be constructed as a Word Document template. At the top of the sheet you state the position title and name of the candidate being presented. On the left side of the sheet, in priority are listed the agreed upon candidate selection criteria. On the right side of the sheet, corresponding to each of the selection criteria are listed the appropriate qualification, skills, experience and/or education of the candidate.
At the bottom of the sheet is an area for comments. This is where your narrative further expands on the candidate’s qualifications and your rationale for matching them to your client’s position.
As a final entry at the bottom of the sheet, you place the date on which it was completed and your name.
For those of you who do send resumes, introducing the “Match-Comparison Sheet” to your client is not difficult and with all the potential advantages, it certainly is worth the effort. Your introduction of the sheet could be similar to the following:
“When you receive the information on the candidates we have recruited and screened for your consideration you will note that each resume has a cover sheet. Our clients refer to this as the “Match-Comparison Sheet” and find it of value in order to better understand the qualification of the candidate as well as a tool to cross check the validity of our selection process. You may not be familiar with this approach but we do believe you will find it beneficial.”
This is an assumptive presentation. Instead of asking them permission to use it, you automatically include the sheet as a standard “value add” that is appreciated by all your clients.
Regardless of the circumstances under which you send resumes, including a “Match-Comparison Sheet” will improve your resume to interview ratio, enhance your professional standing and possibly serve as a significant step toward eliminating the resume as part of your client’s screening process. Meanwhile, if you would like to receive an example of a completed sheet, just send your request to Terry@tpetra.com.
As always, if you have questions or comments about this article or wish to receive my input on any other topic related to this business, just let me know. Your calls and e-mails are most welcome.
About the Author
Recipient of the “Harold B. Nelson Award”, Terry Petra is one of our industry’s leading trainers and consultants. He has successfully conducted in-house programs for hundreds of search, placement, temporary staffing firms and industry groups across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, England, and South Africa. To learn more about his training products and services, including “PETRA ON CALL”, and “BUSINESS VALUATION”, visit his web site at: www.tpetra.com. Terry can be reached at (651) 738-8561 or e-mail him at: Terry@tpetra.com
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