What Does A Stoplight Have To Do With Hiring?

What Does A Stoplight Have To Do With Hiring?

I think it is safe to assume you are familiar with traffic lights. You should know the colors involved and what each means. If not, then this short article will benefit you in two ways!

If I haven't totally lost you, did you know a stoplight is a perfect recruiting tool? I swear I haven't gotten too much sun lately! The colors of a traffic light are a simple, visual way for you to “score” candidate resumes.

I have been successfully recruiting in the residential building products industry for over 14 years and I swear by RYG. Here is why I think you should start using it as well!

What Is RYG?

RYG = Red, Yellow and Green. Simple, right? OK, have a great day, thanks for stopping by!

Just kidding, let me break it down for you. I use Red, Yellow and Green to designate my interest level in a candidate based on their resume.

RED – Red makes me STOP because they don't have the skills or background for the role. Or, something is not spot-on about them.

YELLOW – Yellow is CAUTION. The candidate's background could be a fit but they don't have exactly what I need. Maybe they are too much horsepower or don't have the right product mix.

GREEN – Green is GO. The candidate has the right experience, product mix, skills, etc. They probably are within my salary range and I definitely want to talk with them.

How RYG Works

Whether I have a printed or electronic resume or an online profile, I can use RYG. I have to review their resume and background before I set up interviews no matter where/how I found it.

As I work my way through resumes, I designate them as Red, Yellow or Green. I can either write it on the top of the resume copy, change the font of the email subject or tag them in an electronic format.

Once I have reviewed everything, I can easily see exactly who I want to focus on moving forward.

I connect with my GREEN candidates first because they have the closest experience to what I need. I may review my YELLOW candidates further but probably I will hold on to them until I see how my green candidates play out. Typically, I don't ever reach out to a RED candidate.

Making It Work For You

You can easily implement this process for yourself. When you are doing your 10-second resume review, either write RED, YELLOW or GREEN on the resume, put the word in front of their name in your e-mail subject or change your font color on their e-mail. You'll have a super easy snapshot of who is moving forward and who needs to be declined.

As simple as this system might be, it can save you a great deal of time.



Related Posts

Never Settle For The Best That Applied Again!

Learn my simple framework to get more qualified applicants for every job opening without breaking the bank or spending time you don’t have.

Recent Posts


About Rikka

Rikka’s the go-to girl for growth-minded Building Products Owners and Executives who want to hire the right people to take their manufacturing, distribution, or retail business to the next level.

Let's Talk

Looking for expert help?

Schedule a call to learn more about our training, coaching, and consulting opportunities.


An e-newsletter for leaders in the building products industry who want to hire better, lead stronger, and work smarter. Every other week you can expect relevant tips, insights, and news that will help you succeed as a leader.

Let's Connect

What are you looking for?

Interested in learning about how we can maximize your results on your recruiting and retention efforts?

Are you a building products professional? If so, confidentially register with us.