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Tech Talk
Tech Talk Posted on Nov 19, 2019   |  3 Min Read

Resume Response Rate (RRR) is the percentage reflecting the number of responses an applicant receives from prospective employers post resume submission. For recruitment agencies, RRR is an important metric which determines the probability of the applicant bagging the first interview and efficiency of the agency staff in forwarding the said resume to the right employers.

RRR like any other metric depends on several factors and a higher RRR can be achieved through utilizing industry targeted keywords, standard formatting, visual appeal, and optimization for ATS (Applicant Tracking System) algorithms.

The Client

We were approached by a reputed US-based recruitment agency for our resume formatting services. The client is an established player with centers in several states and extend services to reputed organizations.

The Challenge

The client was facing lower RRR possibly due to the CVs being filtered out of ATS. Even their star candidates were facing lower RRR and not surfacing at the top of the ATS list. They were operating at the top of their capacity and still unable to cater to the overwhelming number of applications.

The Process

We began with assessing their present RRR compared to that of our standardized resumes. The gap was huge. There was an opportunity amounting to almost 30% attributed to a lack of ATS compatible resume formatting. Their resumes were falling short of match to job descriptions, i.e a low JMR (Job Match Rate), and hence the rank of the applicant was pushed down.

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To address this huge opportunity gap, we followed a multi-pronged approach:

Segregation of resumes (basis industry and role)

Developing inventory of keywords (basis industry, role, and job descriptions)

Optimizing resume text (for industry-specific keywords and close match with standard JDs)

Enhancing the visual appeal of resumes (with contemporary graphics)

Testing the resumes (against top ATS’s such as Taleo, WorkDay, iCiMS and proprietary software)

1. Segregation of Resumes

Our team started with the segregation of resumes based on industries and roles. For example, the first round of segregation separated applicants applying for the automobile industry and insurance, while the second round segregated applicants for automobile industry management role from the manufacturing-line role.

Since the client had services for both on-field and soft roles, we sifted through thousands of resumes and uploaded them under various categories in their database.

2. Developing Inventory of Keywords

The client had recruitment services for several verticals and our team developed a repository of keywords based on industry, role, and job description. The goal was to make the candidate list at the top of ATS for the right role.

We built the repository upon our bank of keywords that we have collated working with diverse clients and are known to have higher RRR.

3. Optimizing Resume Text

This step is the most crucial and requires experience. We optimized the text for higher ranking in ATS and improved readability for human review. From standardizing headings and font to using both acronyms and long-form of common abbreviations, each resume was optimized with the end goal to improve RRR and JMR.

4. Enhancing Visual Appeal of Resumes

A resume where the text is supported with relevant design elements appeals more than a simple text resume. To take it up a notch, our designer team provided elegant design along with the branding of the recruitment agency. We took care not to include tables to avoid parsing errors.

5. Testing the Resumes

We took random samples of optimized resumes and tested with our own ATS simulator software matching them up with standard job descriptions. The threshold JMR was kept 70%. In case the sample did not meet the required JMR, we did another round of optimization to keep up with the threshold.

The Impact

The client observed huge spike in their RRR. The number of applicants making to first interview call increased by 40%. This implied that not only ATS, the resumes also qualified the human review.

The project is ongoing and Damco’s resume experts are supporting the client in enhancing RRR.

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Damco HR Support Services help businesses gain efficiency by effectively carrying out HR functions such as Resume Formatting Services, Job Posting, Job Mining and Form Filling services.

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