In an era where we can access information online anytime, anywhere and using whatever device we prefer, why on earth do resumes still exist? Better yet, why are resumes still the primary mechanism that job candidates use to express their interest? Point blank resumes are now completely useless.
Can You Really Trust It?
Many think of a traditional resume as a marketing tool to showcase experience and abilities but resumes can be written by anyone, and often include information that I would say “stretches the truth” — yeah, you may have played a supporting role on that multi-million dollar product launch but you didn’t lead it. Oops… hopefully the Recruiter won’t notice! Plus Applicant Tracking Systems’ have completely stripped the ability to leverage that pretty resume you worked so hard to create (see example below) — they take your resume and parse the data into their system for the benefit of the Recruiter. Branding completely gone — all that is left is plain text, which leaves only 1 thing to determine your fit to move forward, that being keyword search. We all know how well that works when there are 4,614 other applicants. Nobody actually reads your resume.
The Data is Old
As soon as a candidate hits the apply button on a traditional application using an Applicant Tracking System the data contained in that application is immediately old… unless the candidate logs back into the ATS and manually updates the information. How many candidates do that?
Case in point — I received a phone call from a Recruiter approximately 6 months ago saying she found my resume on Workopolis and was wondering if I was still working at CIBC. Ummmm… I last worked at CIBC in 2006 and I probably last went into my profile on Workopolis in 2004. That was 1 DECADE AGO FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!!
In the Interest of Time
How many Recruiters search their ATS for potential candidates before posting a new job? Less than 5%! What does that tell you? The users (the Recruiters themselves) don’t even use their own data. This broken process results in everyone spending more time on stuff we really don’t need to if we actually got away from traditional recruitment processes. As a candidate, company X has my resume from 3 months ago, why is that person spending 45, or more going through the online application process, again? The Recruiter has to deal with multiple resumes in their database and the data integrity issue becomes more of an issue. They also have to spend more time screening incoming resumes when they really don’t have to.
So What’s the Solution?
The solution has been around for years, and it involves both changing our own practices and altering our technology mix. As I have said on numerous occasions the core product in HR/Recruitment is talent, and our simple objective is to find creative ways to help the organization we work for to attract, recruit, engage and retain top talent. How we do this is exactly how successful Marketers build brand awareness of the products they are marketing. The only difference here is the product itself, people versus physical items (e.g. computer, basketball shoes, cars, watches, whatever…).
As a result of the many significant changes in our marketplace relating to the workplace, the degree of importance the employer brand has on our work has skyrocketed. Further, the web has leveled the playing field regarding access to information. Job seekers can access information on our organizations faster than most Recruiters can, and from platforms we never knew existed. The referral or the employee recommendation is more important than ever to us because they are no longer made 1 to 1. Instead, they are public and instantly accessible to the world.
With all the above said, Recruiters need to shift business practices from that of an “order taker” (reactive) to “relationship builder” (proactive). We will always be in the market to hire new talent — we often don’t know when exactly but a) we can tap into workforce planning, b) leverage predictive data analytics to help forecast and c) know that the majority of the workforce is “active/passive” candidates — always on the lookout and willing to move for the right opportunity. The definition of right opportunity is defined by how each person feels about the company as a great place to work.
Case in point — even if 99.9% of talent out there has never worked for Google, let alone set foot in a Google office they would likely jump at the opportunity to go work for Google, or at least seriously consider it. Why? Strong employer brand recognition.
Given we have data on everyone that is accessible on the gazillion of web platforms available to us, we should be a) building talent communities of specific jobs, roles, areas or however else it makes sense for you to do so, b) engage with prospective talent ongoing (not just when you have a hiring need), c) integrate your own screening tools within the community, d) build profiles on each “top prospect” using platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, etc…, and e) recognize that you need to change with the times, or you risk becoming obsolete.
For more information check out my presentation that I delivered last week at the HR+Tech Professionals T.O. Meetup where I talked about “Social Media in HR & Recruitment”.
With everything said, how in the world does a resume add any value to anything anymore? It doesn’t… time to drop it and move on.