ISG in Pittsburgh Business Times: “Go Beyond Surface When Reviewing Resumes”


Bill ScherfelIntegrative Staffing Group LLC offers a program to employers that it calls a “payroll service.” Through this program, a company is able to hire someone as a temporary employee.

“A try before you buy,” said Bill Scherfel, managing partner of the Coraopolis-based staffing agency.

The firm foots the bill for the employee’s salary during the tryout, then the company decides whether to make a permanent hire.

“If you bring someone in who says they are a hard worker and they can work a piece of machinery, you can’t measure that,” Scherfel said, adding Integrative’s process can protect employers against that.

Scherfel discusses other ways to protect yourself when reviewing resumes.

What do companies do that they shouldn’t when reviewing resumes?

One of the areas we always seem to have a challenge with —and today not as much, but it’s still a challenge—is this industrial-era mindset.  We would submit resumes or backgrounds of candidates to potential employers—and what they would immediately do in a lot of cases is disqualify a candidate because their resume appears to be that of a job-jumper.  Back then people who worked did it for one or two employers for their whole career….I think it’s prudent to delve further to understand why that is the case—why do they have multiple employers?  It could be because of the concerns they have.  But these days you have to have a bit more of an open mind.  You may find they were victims of downsizing or changes that eliminated their position.

Are there other things employers dismiss that they shouldn’t? 

When you look at a resume, I think you need to identify more than a candidate’s technical aptitude, if you will.  Try to identify what he or she has learned on the job, what the candidate is intrinsically good at doing.  So try to identify innate skills.  If you don’t do it with the resume, certainly do it in the interview.  And, see whether or not those innate skills set you can identify are in line with the job itself, the department where the job lies or maybe just the overall culture of a company.

How can a company protect against misinformation on resumes?

I’ve read statistics that (the percentage of) people who lie on resumes lies in the mid-50 percent range to as much as 80 percent.  What exact number is really is not as important as the understanding that a lot of people lie.
How do you vet a resume?  One, you just have to get better trained as to what you’re reading and be able to ask deeper questions based on that resume.  The problem with resumes is simply this: Resumes are filled hyperbole, overstatements, and vague generalities.  It’s important to look for measurable data.  They say they can do Excel—actually put them through some kind of test, something that actually directly translates to it from a technical aspect.

Article credit: Pittsburgh Business Times,


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