A better way to hire, and why the resume may not matter

Is the traditional resume becoming a relic? It depends on who you ask, but some think it should and will be.

For one thing, a resume can be intentionally misleading, and not just some of the time. According to a recent employment screening benchmark survey by HireRight, fabrications are common, and nearly 85 percent of the 6,000 HR professionals surveyed said they had found them.

But even when candidates don’t fib about their degrees, experience, or previous employers, a resume doesn’t always tell a company about a candidate’s soft skills, which employers increasingly prize. These include adaptability, critical thinking, problem-solving abilities, work ethic, interpersonal skills, self-awareness, and overall emotional intelligence.

The ability to learn is another biggie, which is especially advantageous in a time of exponential change. In fact, this is the number one trait Google looks for in a candidate says NYT columnist Thomas Friedman. Also, he notes, Google has determined that G.P.A.s and test scores are “worthless” as hiring criteria and “don’t predict anything.”

OK, so now what?

So how can an employer find out what it needs to know without the resume?

A growing number of companies and their HR teams advocate a combination of LinkedIn, Facebook, and/or other social media, as well as competency-based hiring.

Part of the reason the social media approach has gained traction is that it typically offers a more comprehensive (and less static) candidate snapshot. Not only can this provide essentially the same information one would find in a resume or CV (depending on how one structures a profile), it’s also refreshed more often and contains more information. Here, employers can see status updates, recommendations, comments from colleagues, groups followed, interactions with others, etc. Also, if one wants to also upload a traditional resume, this can be included too.

While LinkedIn has long been the dominant player in this area, Facebook has also jumped on the employment bandwagon. Last year it introduced job postings that candidates can access by visiting a jobs dashboard or the jobs tab of a company’s page. Once a job has been identified, a job seeker can then create an application. After this is received, he or she can then have direct contact with an employer via a Messenger conversation that opens with the business’ page. (For more on how this works for both job seekers and employers, click here.)

A new way to hire

The second component of this approach, competency-based hiring (skills assessments and behavioral based interviews), is also becoming more popular due to its ability to determine how someone is wired. This, in fact, was one of the four top trends identified in a 2018 LinkedIn study of global recruiting trends.

Although assessment tools have been around for awhile, they haven’t been as widely used. Now, though, they’re the hot new trend as the war for talent continues and companies are doing whatever it takes to alleviate skills shortages.

Further fueling this trend are organizations like Innovate+Educate, a nonprofit funded in 2015 by the Hewlett Foundation to understand the value of skills assessments from employers.

Not only does it focus on addressing critical gaps in solutions for assessment, hiring, training, and advancement, it also seeks to connect “millions of unemployed and underserved Americans to new paths to employment, training, and economic opportunity.”

This, but one example of up and coming approaches to competency-based hiring, benefits employers by enabling them to tap into a bigger talent pool, and hire the most suitable candidates more quickly and cost-effectively. Or, as Innovate+Educate founder and CEO Jamai Blivin told the Boston Globe, they’ll “retain more employees and spend less time and money on hiring in the long run.”