Promising Resume May Not Equal Promising Hire

Survey: Applicants With Impressive Resumes Don’t Always Meet Expectations in Job Interview

Toronto, ON — 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. Nearly one-third of Canadian senior managers (29 per cent) in a survey from global 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 34 resumes per job opening and spend 13 minutes looking at each one.
  • Managers interview an average of 13 people per open position, and those meetings take an average of 26 minutes each.
  • Verifying relevant experience is the top reason employers interview job candidates (57 per cent), followed by assessing soft skills and corporate culture fit (23 per cent) and technical skills (21 per cent).
  • A lack of technical abilities (54 per cent) and soft skills (44 per cent) are common reasons new hires don’t work out.

View an infographic of the survey findings.

“A comprehensive hiring strategy is essential for establishing a competitive and productive workforce,” said Greg Scileppi, president of Robert Half, International Staffing Operations. “To help navigate an often challenging process, organizations should consider partnering with recruiters, who can manage and streamline the search. Beyond evaluating applications, they will conduct initial meetings with job seekers to assess their skills and corporate culture fit, allowing employers to focus their decision on a select group of skilled candidates.”

For additional tips on hiring, see Robert Half’s blog post: How to Hire an Employee: 6 Tips to Head Off Hiring Headaches.

About the Research

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

About Robert Half

Celebrating its 70th anniversary, Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm. The company has more than 300 staffing locations worldwide and offers online job search services on its divisional websites, all of which can be accessed at For career and management advice, follow our blog at Follow Robert Half Canada on Twitter at @RobertHalf_CAN for additional workplace advice and hiring trends.

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