Ah, the resume… that document that spent hours crafting, editing and formatting to convince your future employer that you are the person they should hire; the golden unicorn to complete their team. We’ve all written them and wrestled with the dilemma of what to include, what to omit, and does anyone care that I once came 2nd in an inter-high school debating challenge? I’ve even written on here previously about what not to include in a resume, discussing the things that recruiters really aren’t that interested in reviewing. Well, what if I now told you that we are seeing more companies skipping past the resume, and in some cases refusing to accept it, and using other methods to evaluate your successful fit for their business.
As the talent market continues to get tighter and tighter, here in Australia, we are seeing a need for companies to expand their scope in what they view as relevant experience. We are seeing companies start to look more outside or the traditional profile that they have recruited for in the past. In order to do this, some are starting to be less interested in what you have done and focus more on what you could do. Potential vs experience. Some industries that we work with, by analyzing the companies that they recruit from and the companies that they lose employees to, are coming to the conclusion that they are part of a talent merry go round with people merely circulating on a loop of competitive companies. By being part of this they’re not gaining any competitive advantage and also finding that attrition levels remain stable, but stubbornly stably high.
Some clients are now becoming more forensic with their recruitment and focusing on what someone can bring to the table from a cognitive ability with numerical and verbal reasoning and emotional intelligence. The idea is that if someone is smart and has the right attitude then they can train and educate them on their industry and role.
Using testing and gamification tools upfront as part of the selection process assists them in identifying people with the relevant skills and breadth of thought that they are looking for and helps the recruiters focus on the right things as opposed to arbitrary opinions around what school someone went to or where they worked previously. This also helps deliver a level playing ground and helps remove bias in the process as they are focusing on data points that are indicators of potential rather than just previous experience.
This approach doesn’t work for all roles; clearly for some positions, like engineers, there is a strong relevance, importance and often legal requirement in having certain qualification. That being said, for many roles where the requirement is of a more transferable nature, this approach can deliver great results.
So, is the resume dead? Well, not completely. Companies are still interested in what you have done and experience is valued and has a relevance to that, but your previous experience shouldn’t lock you out of opportunities where you could shine and more and more companies are starting to appreciate that.