The First Cut
Pre Covid, for jobs with a remuneration of less than £50,000 p.a., adverts on a job board would attract
20 -30 applicants. Since Covid that figure has exploded to 200+.
The recruiter’s first task is to identify the most suitable 6-7 to interview for the vacancy from the
applicants. That means making 2 stacks, (1) an interview shortlist of 12 candidates (roughly double the
number of interviewees) and (2) the rejected. This is the First Cut.
Sounds relatively easy in principle, however what really happens is that the more CVs the recruiter
reads through, the bigger the shortlist stack. Automation such as keyword checking is supposed to
alleviate this problem but it is an open secret that ‘Resume Robots’ are too easily gamed as there are
sophisticated CV optimisation tools freely available.
How Long Does It Take Using Existing Tools?
Keyword Checking / Resume Robots
A fabulous innovation when first introduced, but even with A.I. they are too easily gamed, not really fit
for purpose and therefore no longer really trusted.
Traditional Method – Manually
So the theory goes that if it takes 20 seconds to realise that the CV of the applicant is not suitable for the
job, it will take just over an hour (66 minutes) to separate the 200 applicants into the 2 stacks. Except of
course that the recruiter has no idea of what level to set the bar for rejection until they have read all the
So, all things considered (including taking into account CV’s that arrive after the process has started) the
conscientious recruiter will probably need 3 or so rounds, before they have made the first cut and have
a shortlist of interviewees. Best case 1-2 weeks, and your time to fill metrics are badly affected.
Shortening The Time
Of course there is a 4 step process you can use to shorten the time it takes to make the First Cut.
1. Mark out a random line on the ground,
2. then throw the CV’s up in the air,
3. reject those that land to the right of the line,
4. repeat where necessary.
The trouble is that using this method does not maximise the quality of your eventual recruit.
Improving The Selection
At Talent Recognition we have a new, patented approach that instantaneously sorts the applicants in
the order of best fit for the role, cutting your Time To Fill by up to 90% and improving employee
retention rates by 20%. To find out more……. follow this link