If you’re involved in staffing for an agency or hiring for a corporation, the resumes you capture are concrete proof that you’re building an effective talent network. Anyone involved in the candidate search and interviewing process knows how vital these connections are.
With the current talent shortage, every resume is one more link in a chain that might lead you to a new hire. These documents are like little gold nuggets as you panhandle a stream of candidate contacts. Sure, we’re being dramatic, but resumes are critical data points that assist in your hiring process. Resume parsing tools organize all that data.
Resume parsing software can help you capture, store, and search for the data found on all of the resumes you have on file. This article will help you understand the applicant tracking system (ATS) resume parsing feature, why good resume parsing software matters, and how you can use it to your advantage.
What is Resume Parsing?
Resume parsing software is also called CV parsing, CV extraction, or resume extraction. These digital tools are one part resume scanning software, one part resume storage, and one part extraction and sorting tool. If you’re old enough to remember the days of paper resumes, you know how disorganized things could get when you had 200 resumes on your desk. It was a mess! Today, the application process for most companies is digital, and we have automated resume parsing software to help us stay on top of reviewing and sorting CVs. Some of the most common questions about resume parsing software are related to how these tools work.
Resume parsing software is simple to use. But behind the scenes, a resume parsing tool is an extremely sophisticated piece of software. Automated resume parsing uses machine learning algorithms to convert data into usable formats within your ATS. It allows for searchability and secure storage of this data. All of this makes for a streamlined recruiting process that can benefit your business.
Here’s how resume parsing software works:
- A candidate applies for a job from a job board or on your careers page. The resume they upload could be in one of several formats, from PDF to Word to TXT. The resume can come in from any digital device, and the software must compile that data in a way that makes it easy to find later on.
- Automated resume parsing converts what is really unstructured data from the upload, segments it by category, and places it into the preset fields found in your ATS. Resume parsing software culls contact data from the resume and puts it in the contact field in your ATS. Think about that for a minute. Every resume you receive is formatted slightly differently, isn’t it? Some candidates use abbreviations. Some do not. So not only does the resume parsing software have to work with the various file formats the resume is saved in, it must also scroll the entire document and find the phone number (for example) to put in the number field of your ATS. It must find the person’s name and do the same thing. How does this happen? Machine learning.
- Machine learning is one of the building blocks of artificial intelligence (AI). Machine learning is an algorithm within resume parsing software that helps the tool discern data and then organize it within your ATS. Each information block must be pulled out and sorted by category. Machine learning leverages pre-set parameters to define data in very structured ways to fit your ATS. But what’s even more interesting is that machine learning literally allows the automated parsing software to improve over time. Machine learning remembers prior behaviors within the software and adjusts how it operates over time to improve performance.
- Resume parsing software also uses an AI algorithm known as natural language processing (NLP). NLP is the same tool that helps your Alexa, Siri, or other automated assistant understand your speech, interpret it, and respond appropriately. NLP is used in the resume scanning software process to understand the language written on the page. Why does this matter? Because language is nuanced, the same word can mean several things, and the context matters to our interpretation of the written or spoken word. For example, “MD” could mean Maryland. But it could also be the credentials for a medical doctor. NLP helps the automatic parsing software understand the relationship between words and the context in which they are used.
- Once the data is sorted into your ATS, you can search for specific keywords just as if you were doing a Google search. This speeds up your resume review process, as you sort through dozens, perhaps hundreds, of contacts to find the right fit for the job you’re seeking to fill.
Automated resume parsing is a behind-the-scenes activity that has a huge impact upfront during the candidate search and application process. Even better? ATS resume parsing software is nearly 90% accurate in nailing the data sort.
Imagine if you had to enter this data by hand, and you can already understand why resume parsing software is so valuable to your recruiting efforts. What are the other benefits of resume parsing and why should your staffing agency use these tools?
Why Should a Staffing Company Use Resume Parsing?
Staffing agencies often handle dozens of simultaneous job openings. They must work fast and efficiently to not only reduce the time to hire and impress the client, but also to get paid for a closed candidate. What is one of the most time-consuming of all the staffing company tasks? Resume screening. And, without resume parsing software, you lose valuable time to manual tasks that can be automated. This frees up your recruiting team to focus on what’s really important: sourcing, screening, and closing candidates. Resume parsing tools help staffing agencies work smarter and more efficiently. That’s why you need these tools.
What Are the Benefits of Resume Parsing?
Some form of resume parsing software is likely hard at work in your ATS already. COATS Staffing software incorporates automated resume parsing as part of our state-of-the-art digital tool. But why are these features and processes so beneficial to staffing agencies and HR teams? We believe there are three key benefits:
- Speeds Up the Hiring Process
It costs companies a lot of money for every day that passes and they don’t have a candidate to fill a job. A job vacancy puts more pressure on the existing staff who must cover and fill the gap left by the absent employee. Production can decline, and your existing staff can even burn out as they try to fill in the hole left by an employee vacancy.
ATS resume parsing can improve the workflows surrounding the hiring process. The software lets you organize resumes with no time wasted. Less time is needed to review talent and pick up the potential right fit for the job. All of this speeds up the hiring process, and that’s a benefit that can literally pay for itself.
- Positively Impact Candidate Experience
Today’s candidates will grow impatient if your hiring process takes too long. Manual resume screening unnecessarily bogs down recruiters. On the other end of the process, the eager job candidate grows less enthused as they wait for someone to respond to their application. The longer they wait, the less they’re engaged. If you delay hiring with outdated manual processes, the chances are high that the best candidates will go somewhere else. In fact, 62% of job applications say they lose interest if they don’t hear back within two weeks. If three weeks pass, that number jumps to 77%.
Automated parsing software can also positively impact the application process. If you’ve ever applied to a job by uploading your resume but still had to manually type in data, you understand the importance of the auto-fill feature on resume parsing software. Applicants will have a better experience as the software pulls resume data and then applies it to the correct field. It makes for a faster application process that is more satisfying to a job candidate.
- Improved Data and Machine Learning for Your ATS
Automated resume parsing software helps you capture more accurate data and find the best candidates more quickly. You can easily import thousands of resumes from a job board after you go home at night. Then, when you come in the next day, you can easily search for keywords from the captured data to hone your top candidate selections and potentially have a better chance of finding the right fit.
What Are Some of the Challenges of Resume Parsing?
Resume parsing tools are rarely perfect; there are too many variables between resume formats for even the best software to get it right 100% of the time. However, one benefit of automated resume parsing tools is that they use machine learning to improve function over time.
How Should You Choose Resume Parsing Software?
If you’re ready to choose resume scanning software, you’ve come to the right place. Coats Staffing Software offers what we believe should be industry-standard features for any resume parsing tool. This can include:
- The ability to parse software from any format
- Easy integration with existing staffing or recruiting tools
- A highly evolved library for identifying searchable candidate skills
- Parsing multilingual resumes
- Helping with unbiased recruiting by blinding certain demographic categories
- Create an executive or management summary from the resume data
- Use machine learning and NLP
- Allow bulk imports
- And more
We know you have many choices for resume parsing software and other types of recruiting databases. Find out why COATS Staffing Software is the silent hero of staffing software around the country. Call us today at 1-800-888-5894.