Date of Award

Spring 2019

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

School

Interdisciplinary Studies and Professional Development

Committee Chair

Dr. Dale L. Lunsford

Committee Chair School

Interdisciplinary Studies and Professional Development

Committee Member 2

Dr. Cyndi H. Gaudet

Committee Member 2 School

Interdisciplinary Studies and Professional Development

Committee Member 3

Dr. Heather M. Annulis

Committee Member 3 School

Interdisciplinary Studies and Professional Development

Committee Member 4

Dr. Patricia P. Phillips

Committee Member 4 School

Interdisciplinary Studies and Professional Development

Abstract

Resume screening is among the most frequently used hiring methods in U.S.-based organizations (Behrenz, 2001; Wilk & Cappelli, 2003). While little research has been conducted to establish its validity (Russell, 2007), 90% of hiring personnel in the United States use some form of resume screening to eliminate job applicants during the hiring process (Boatman & Erker, 2012). Researchers have noted that the use of resume screening is a likely source of hiring errors (Robertson & Smith, 2001) that have a range of negative impacts on organizations including loss of revenue, damage to the organizational image, lowered employee morale, customer dissatisfaction, severance and legal costs, and sunk costs of supervision and training (Abbassi & Hollman, 2000; Careerbuilder, 2013; Robert Half, 2013; Sutherland & Wocke, 2011).

While resume screening is used widely among employers for all job classes, the primary focus of the extant research on the method focuses on hiring recent or impending college graduates (Brown & Campion, 1994; Burns, Chrstiansen, Morris, Periard, & Coaster, 2014; Cole, Rubin, Feild, & Giles, 2007), a population that only represents 7% of all job applicants (Rynes Reeves, & Darnold, 2013). The lack of insight into the resume screening process used when hiring experienced job applicants, including managers, likely results in hiring errors and prohibits employers from making informed decisions when attempting to improve hiring processes.

The purpose of this study was to describe the resume screening process used by employers when hiring managerial job applicants. The study used the descriptive phenomenological method, a qualitative research approach that has been previously used in the psychological and organizational development research domains.

The study found that human resource (HR) personnel utilize resume screening as an integral part of the hiring process for managers. Further, the criteria used to assess managerial applicant resumes are distinct for recent or impending college graduates. This study also documents the idiosyncratic approaches used by HR personnel in developing resume screening paradigms used when assessing managerial job applicants. These results may be used by employers to improve hiring processes used for managerial job applicants through selection method modifications, standardization, training, and system utilization.

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