[Motivated by the query on quora – https://www.quora.com/How-does-resume-screening-sorting-work-at-very-large-companies/answer/Shiva-Maran]
Most decent sized companies receive hundreds if not thousands of resumes a week from their various source. How each company handles these resumes varies. For simplicity I would put them under three broad categories:
Most companies fall under this category. The recruiters download resumes from multiple sources such as job ad responses to their mail accounts, resumes received at their career pages or resumes from recruitment/staffing firms. The recruiters focus on manually screening the profiles for the requirements they are handling at the moment. A typical recruiter can handle screening around 100 resumes a day. If the incoming volume is more than it there will be many profiles that gets missed. This is a very leaky screening process.
Here the candidate profiles that have been received previously or have been received by a different recruiter never gets looked at. It is humanly not possible to do so.
This is tragic for both the companies and the candidates as it is quite possible there is an excellent fit candidate for this opening already with the company or within the newly received profiles that got overlooked.
Some companies catalog the resumes by adding notes and tags to the profiles so that they can be pulled up sometime in the future. They use simple available tools to do this. This practice goes back in time where good quality recruiters would maintain a summary note of all good candidates they have connected with. This allows them to leverage these candidates when there is a new opening.
The tools used in this case are rudimentary, such as Excel sheets, gmail (with tags), ATS etc., Recruiters who follow this practice are also very rare.
Recently a few companies have started using automation solutions (Like HireWand). The software here pulls up the best-fit candidates for a requirement from already existing profiles that the company has received. The goal is to ensure a good candidate profile never gets missed. These would be the kind of companies where you will hear back when a new opening comes up that matches your profile. The software also looks out for good candidates from the incoming flow of resumes across the various channels.
The third category of companies is few in number. The goal of HireWand is to be a pioneer in this space.