Resumes are BS!

Resumes are BS!

This past month a question was asked in the social network www.LinkedIn.com by Jennifer Ruano, a recruiter in the Los Angeles area working in the Healthcare and Financial industry:

“As I was sorting through 214 candidate profiles on one requisition (95% of which were not qualified), I rubbed the fog out of my eyes and thought... "whew... that was an hour of my life I won't get back." But it got me thinking. How many of us scan read a resume and are we as thorough as we should be? Do we quickly dismiss a resume that we should be taking a closer look at? “

Let's start with the problem of a system that sends Jennifer candidates, 95% of whom are not qualified. This is a marketing problem. Obviously her current attraction strategy is not attracting the right people and she is spending time, energy and resources processing poorly matched candidates. She is attracting the wrong people in the wrong places and making it as easy as possible for the wrong people to apply by allowing them to enter the game by simply sending in a résumé. With most online job boards it is as easy as checking off a number of employment opportunities from a list of thousands and clicking the “Submit Résumé” button. Instantly up to 100 employers now have to process the résumé that was sent with no investment of thought by the candidate.

The second part of Jennifer's question is “do we quickly dismiss a resume that we should be taking a closer look at?” Just think about it, how often have you been disappointed by someone who had all the right credentials and looked great on paper? The reality is that the content in résumés is at best an exercise in creative writing. All we can learn from a résumé is a person's education level, skills and experience – the least reliable predictors of success in a job. And research supports this, consistently showing that we hire candidates on the basis of their credentials and experience, and then fire them because they “didn't fit” or couldn't be effective in the organization's culture. The truth is that résumés miss the mark completely on what we need to know in order to hire the right person for our company.

Start measuring what matters

So how do we measure what matters? Instead of spending so much time trying to capture the “WHAT” of the candidate (WHAT work experience they have, WHAT education they completed, and WHAT their accomplishments are) we need to be capturing the “WHO” and “HOW” of the candidate.

We need to understand more about WHO the candidate really is (the attitudes, values and beliefs they live by) and HOW they interact with others (including HOW they perform in a team environment, HOW they deal with customers, and HOW they problem solve). These are the factors that determine fit within a company and that determine job success.

Change your results

So how do we get better results from the people we hire? For starters we need to change the way we attract and select candidates. HiringSmart offers a revolutionary résumé-free, on-line hiring process that helps companies understand "who" they're hiring and "how" the candidate will perform, so they can learn to better predict "fit" with their organization. Our unique online application makes it easy for candidates to apply and even easier for companies to assess whether the candidates may be right for the job. As companies learn how to hire better people, they also learn how to weed out poor performers, ultimately changing the way people work together in their organization. And the impact can be dramatic - reduced turnover, increased retention and productivity, more satisfied customers and better financial results.

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