Long-time HR specialists undoubtedly remember receiving stacks of resumes sent either by search firms, in response to newspaper ads, or through one of the other more traditional recruitment resources described in Chapter 2. Too busy to do them justice during a typical workday, you probably loaded these resumes into your briefcase and dutifully reviewed them during the commute home or after dinner in front of the TV (muted, of course). As the evening grew later and you came across a resume longer than one or two pages, you groaned, fighting the temptation to “file” it for violating the unwritten law against submitting a resume that is too long for a tired HR professional to review at the end of a busy day.
The process of receiving and reviewing resumes and employment applications has changed dramatically over the past decade. Increasingly, employers are using the Internet to recruit, either by developing an online presence of their own or by linking up with Web-based job search services. Applicants, too, are preparing and transmitting many more resumes electronically, thereby relieving recruiters from being inundated with thousands of paper resumes. The Internet, then, is rapidly moving up in the ranks of recruitment, as many more applicants and employers communicate with one another, computer to computer.
Definition of an Applicant
As a result of the onslaught of resumes and applications transmitted electronically, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has proposed guidelines to define when a person who applies for a job over the Internet is considered an applicant. This is important since employers are required to keep records for applicants on the basis of race, gender, or ethnicity, to preclude charges of discrimination. Until recently, the definition of an applicant applied to anyone who expressed an interest in a given job. Matters became complicated, however, when people started sending out dozens of electronic resumes without a particular job in mind. It's not uncommon for individuals to be unaware of which organizations receive their resumes.
The guidelines, formulated over a period of more than three years, are the result of the combined efforts of the EEOC, the Department of Labor's Office of Federal