This article has an in-depth look at the complete process your Scrum Master application takes after you clicked the “Apply” button on a job description.
The hiring process may differ from company to company, but they all have a similar approach. This process is a kind of a funnel where all applications go into that funnel. At every stage, the hiring process and the people involved filter applications for the next step.
There are always more applications than available positions, so HR departments have to choose which resumes make it to the next round and which ones will be rejected.
Nearly every company uses an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). That system tracks the life cycle of every application the company receives.
The typical hiring funnel supported by an ATS consists of the following stages:
1. Entering the Applicant Tracking System
After you click the “Apply” button, your resume will enter the system. It will progress through the next stages until you get rejected or an offer.
There are two conditions when the HR department does not consider your resume:
- The HR department already has enough qualified resumes from the previous batch.
- The company hired someone for the position already.
The later your application comes in; the higher are the chances of rejection.
2. Resume Screening
A recruiter or inbound sourcer will have a look at your resume in this stage. “Having a look” means screening or skimming, which only takes 10-30 seconds. At this stage, the company only scans if you might be a good fit for the position.
Companies receive many applications every day, so they cannot have an in-depth look inside every resume.
Write your resume so that the recruiter can scan your resume very fast and understands you are an excellent fit for that Scrum Master position.
Your resume needs to grab the recruiter’s attention.
At this stage, the dropoff is usually the steepest. From hundreds of resumes, only a small percentage make it to the next step.
3. Recruiter Screening
At this stage, the recruiter spends more time reading your Scrum Master resume in depth. The recruiter might set up a call to confirm your experience, motivation, and maybe asking about soft skills.
Prepare for this call with the resume you used in the application.
Print your resume to make sure you don’t get confused because you are nervous.
4. The Hiring Manager
You have made it quite far. At this stage, you are talking to the person who asked their HR department to fill a new Scrum Master position.
Think about this person as the sponsor/investor of your position. Mostly you talk to the Hiring Manager by phone, maybe video call.
5. The Interview
The people involved in the interview (other Scrum Masters, Agile Coaches, maybe team members) would like to get to know you personally.
Depending on the previous call with the Hiring Manager, they will ask questions to test your skills and experience.
Their main goal is to learn about your soft skills, culture match, and values alignment.
6. Get to Know the Team/Organization
Depending on how the company involves their Scrum Teams in the recruiting process, there will be a meeting (maybe a whole day) to get to know the team and organization.
During this day, you can get insights into the team’s challenges and hurdles. Sometimes they ask you to facilitate a retrospective or any other Scrum event.
Usually, only one person gets the job offer from more than a hundred qualified resumes.
Congratulations, if you do get an offer!
Keep in mind: The company did not hire you yet. From there on you negotiate salary, benefits and all that stuff.
If you reached the hiring funnel’s end, you know for sure that this company wants you to be their next Scrum Master.
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