Applicants with Impressive Resumes Frequently Disappoint in Job Interviews, Robert Half Finds

Employers impressed by a job candidate’s resume often discover the person isn’t such a good match for the position after all, research shows. More than six in 10 senior managers (64 percent) in a survey from staffing firm Robert Half said it’s common for an applicant with a promising resume to not live up to expectations when interviewed.

The survey also looked at how much time employers spend assessing job candidates. Findings include:

  • On average, managers review 40 resumes per job opening and spend 12 minutes looking at each one.
  • Managers interview an average of seven people per open position, and those meetings take an average of 41 minutes each.
  • Verifying relevant experience is the top reason employers interview job candidates (61 percent), followed by assessing soft skills and corporate culture fit (21 percent) and evaluating technical skills (18 percent).
  • A lack of technical abilities (51 percent) and soft skills (49 percent) are common reasons new hires don’t work out.

“Finding good resumes is just one piece of the hiring puzzle,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half. “The full process can be challenging, but recruiters lighten the load and accelerate the timeline for employers by sorting through application materials, conducting initial interviews, and assessing skills and corporate culture fit. This allows hiring managers to focus their attention on candidates with the greatest potential.”

The survey was developed by Robert Half and conducted by an independent research firm. It includes responses from more than 300 senior managers at U.S. companies with 20 or more employees.

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