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Do you really want to handle the “load” of implementing your own resume parsing?

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Do you really want to handle the “load” of implementing your own resume parsing?

10 September 2018

Resume Parsing is a key requirement for any customized ATS, HR analytics solution, or other candidate and student solutions like college admissions or placements. Often, managers and IT professionals, after looking at a few resumes, conclude that parsing is easy and they would easily implement it on their own. But nothing could be further from the truth.

There are many reasons why almost all teams should not venture into implementing their own resume parsing engine, and some of these are:

1. Parsing is not easy

Resume parsing is not an easy problem to solve. In fact, it is quite difficult. It may appear easy at first glance over a few resumes where one is able to see some pattern between the text in those initial resumes.
The key reasons behind its difficulty are:

a. Everyone writes their resume differently.
The patterns seen in the first 5 resumes will not hold in the next 5 and so on.
b. Document formats keep changing over time.
At some point in the recent past, most people wrote their resumes in Doc or other similar formats. Soon Pdf format became very popular because of its ability to retain the immutability of the content. And for sure, more new formats will come into use in the future.
c. The solution requires knowledge of Linguistics, Artificial Intelligence, and Text processing
It is a tough problem with its involvement of Linguistics, AI, Text processing, and software engineering. It is not possible to achieve acceptable results without a proper treatment of all the involved areas.
d. Master data is essential to support any good parsing
Any good parsing engine relies on a big dictionary of core facts, and it is a significant effort to build any global dictionary of credible size.
e. Cannot control where the resume comes from
Resumes today can come from any source with any type of formatting and language variations. And hence implementing simple rules with assumptions can break down very quickly.
f. Documents can be corrupt, broken or not understandable
To ensure proper robustness in the parsing engine, it is important to deal with various failure cases, and they can be non-trivial as the documents received for parsing can be corrupt or broken.

2. Compute-intensive

Parsing using any technique is a highly compute-intensive, and hence a substantial IT investment is needed to implement it in your solution.

3. Missing on some documents would make the solution ineffective

The above complexities would result in a partial solution failing on a significant set of documents. And any solution which does not work on even a small subset of documents is bound to be rejected by its users.

4. It will require time to mature

Considering all the above complexities, any new implementation will require time to mature. And if your primary area of business is something else, it will only delay your success in your core area.

5. Easy integration available without big effort or cost

Resume parsing web-services is available with very easy integration path. And such services are metered services where you pay for only as much you use. So an immediate integration can be achieved without any big effort, cost, or commitment.

Considering all the above it is clear for developers of custom ATs, HR analytics, Admissions, and other such applications, the right strategy is to integrate with a robust parsing web-service like ResumeMill which is available today so that you can make progress in your core business today.

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