Resume Bots are Ruining Recruiting!

Employees come and go, and recruiters are involved whether employees are coming or going. When you have to pore over thousands of resumes in a month, process applications, and recommend the right candidate, some help is not unwelcome by any standard.

Many companies resort to technology and take on recruiting software to help ease the burden on the human resources department, and one of the more common recruitment software out there are resume bots.

What Is A Resume Bot?

A resume bot, or applicant tracking system, is a type of software used to collect, organize, and analyze resumes received by a company or recruiter. Most resume bots have features that rank candidates based on the information on their resumes.

Resume bots were originally made for large corporations handling thousands of applications at a time. As of 2018, more than 98% of Fortune 500 companies use resume bots.

And now, recruiters for many companies have resume bots as a standard in their toolbox.

How Do Resume Bots Work?

As the first line of defense in the recruitment, resume bots mainly file and filter.

Candidates submit their resumes to a company’s applicant tracking system. Then, the program extracts information from the resumes and parses the resumes.

Resume bots automatically highlight the top candidates based on the skills, work experience, qualifications, and other pertinent detail available on their resume.

Bots do this by looking for phrases related to the position, especially words found in the job description companies provide in the job posting. Recruiters may also use the search function and filter the resumes based on these keywords.

This is a great way of cutting the work down. However, the very same keywords may also cause resume bots to filter out many great candidates.

The Case Against Resume Bots

Although a great tool, its nature may be the very thing that will defeat resume bots. This technology is not without faults, and its problems may cause a great candidate to slip through and get lost amongst the crowd.

Prone to inaccuracy

Resume bots are heavily reliant on standard formatting. Many of this type of software cannot process PDF files and have trouble reading graphics.

In some cases, even a slightly fancy font style may cost a candidate their chance of reaching the recruiter. Applicants often need to stick to more common fonts such as Arial, Courier, or Times New Roman just to make sure the program can read their resume.

Lacks flexibility

Since they’re highly dependent on keywords, resume bots can’t spot potential in resumes that may not necessarily be typical for the particular job posting.

For example, a resume bot may miss an applicant who doesn’t have the relevant job titles but have great experiences that may increase the candidate’s effectiveness at a job.

Resume bots also favor formulaic resumes. It basically prioritizes people with standardized formats and templates and filters out people with more creative and unique profiles.

Dependent on keywords

Since the software relies on keywords, resume bots may wrongly categorize great candidates. People can also tailor their resume in such a way that tricks the system into categorizing them as a good candidate.

And although keywords are very helpful, using the wrong keywords can greatly affect the results you can get from a resume bot.

At the end of it all, resume bots look for standardized resumes when we’re looking for great talent. During a time in which the machine does half the job, who should the modern recruiter be and what should they aim for?

The Modern Recruiter Is…

As society and technology evolve, recruitment did, too. Here are the main characteristics that the modern recruiter should have.


In some places, highly skilled candidates are often not candidates at all—they may be passive and are currently not looking for a new job. Recruiters may reach out to top talents and maintain constant contact with them.

Aside from top talents hiding from plain sight, recruiters should also have a sense of urgency. Recruitment processes won’t start without recruiters, and a “can-do” attitude is always great when initiating the hiring process.


What qualifications would be great to have? Which skills do you actually need in a candidate?

A great recruiter must have the ear for “needs” and successfully distinguish these from the “wants.”

Every department and company want the top talent, but knowing what each team needs specifically will greatly help you hire the right fit without necessarily going for whoever’s the best in the industry.


The hiring process has greatly evolved, and the industry today is more empathic towards the candidate. We know that looking for and successfully landing a job is hard, and a great recruiter is someone who can support and motivate someone through this arduous process.

Recruiters are no longer just a list of interview questions in human form; instead, they provide answers, insight, and even advice to candidates who need them.


Long gone are the days where only the companies get a say on the results of the recruitment process: candidates also need to be impressed.

Nowadays, candidates are equipped with tools to assess, evaluate, and rate the hiring process. We must consider every step of the process and determine whether the recruitment experience we offer is satisfactory by most standards.

A great candidate may even drop their application midway through the process. Recruiters need to maintain personalized and timely communication with applicants if they want to keep them on the line.

What Should We Aim For?

It’s no exaggeration when we say that a company’s future starts with recruitment. The right fit for a job and company should not only increase productivity and raise the quality of team output; the person should also be able to complement and fit into the working environment at the company.

As recruiters, what do we want out of the hiring process?

Great talent

Finding someone possessing a great skill set and qualifications that fit the job description is great—but, discovering 10 talents that all have great qualifications is better. Getting more candidates can increase chances of filling that job order!

Low new hire failure rate

We measure success not only by successfully hiring someone fit for the job but also on checking whether the employee lasts in the company. This is a two-way street, wherein both the employee and the company should be satisfied with one another.

Client and candidate satisfaction

Job placements can be tough for all parties involved. Knowing clients’ and candidates’ levels of satisfaction can help recruiters improve their process over time.

The Bottom Line

Hiring people is a very human-centered process, and people are too complex for a set of keywords to analyze and judge.

Resume bots do the job, but is it the best that employers could hope for? At the end of the day, a couple of pages of keyword-targeted resume can’t beat great people with unique experiences.

Resume bots may be fast and efficient, but it has no place in modern recruiting. Machines skip a great deal about the person on paper and losing a great candidate to a font style is a harsh reality that the modern recruiter can easily solve.