It’s no secret – the resume is rotten, but there isn’t an obvious alternative, leaving both job applicants and employers struggling to sort through the mess. It’s time for an update and companies everywhere are coming up with all sorts of options to supplement, change or completely remove the resume from their hiring process, but which ones will work for you?
Resumes are notoriously fickle. You are often left to guess at soft skills and personality based on an overly formatted and basic document. With the recent digitization, resumes are simply keyword dumping grounds used to optimize scanning, whether by a computer or a recruiter, and convey no real quality information.
Furthermore, you are dependent on the various applicants to be honest with their resumes. It’s true that misinformation, fudges, or all out lies can (and often are) discovered on resumes during a background check and reference check, but the process of getting an applicant to that point can be long and expensive – meaning either you must overlook these lies, renegotiate with the applicant, or simply start the whole process over again.
All those options mean more time and money to fill an open position. On average mangers review 40 resumes per position and interview 7 applicants – each interview taking about 41 minutes. That time can be costly if resumes are misleading you to interview incompatible applicants. To know how much hiring truly costs you use our free hiring and onboarding calculator to help breakdown the real cost of your new hire.
Resumes are overall an employer’s first line of assessment, but they are clearly missing the mark on important indicators of good applicants. 64% of managers agreed that its common for promising resumes to churn out applicants unsuited for the role. Interviews, the second line of assessment is most commonly used to
- verify experience (61%)
- assess soft skills (21%)
- evaluate technical skills (18%)
Yet these are the indicators that should be your first line of assessment so that the interview can focus on cultural fit.
New recruiting technology often allows applicants to submit their resume information online, and many employers have opted to add screening questions to the application process – a sort of mini interview that can act as your first assessment. Struggle with employees showing up on the first day of work? Set a distance filter for applications.
For software engineers, hackathons are the new recruiting option, but this style can be applied to the rest of the workforce as well. No matter the industry, pre-interview testing can be simple and can further sort your pool of applicants. Got a janitorial position open? Have a short answer form where they explain how they would deal with certain cleaning situations. This way they show you their skills and qualifications instead of just telling you about them.
These short answer forms are more personalized than a resume allowing applicants to use personal pronouns and express their thoughts and skills easily. Cover letters are another way that allows applicants to share their personality with possible employers and for employers, you get a chance to see those soft skills at work and start to gauge cultural fit.
Beef Up Referrals
For many industries, applicants who were referred to the company by an employee become great assets. It’s no wonder why, referred applicants are more likely to be a good cultural fit. Setting up a reward process for referrals can increase the number of well suited applicants. These applicants are probably not in your normal scope of applicants, but it is often the variety of backgrounds that create better employees and culture.
Other companies have taken a different approach by making resumes blind to hiring managers removing gender, age, and other identifiers that might bias hiring managers, but this process also blinds hiring managers to cultural fit and personality – which some might say is the opposite of what they need most out of hiring process these days. In fact, 96% of HR leaders said they prioritized cultural fit.
Thought Leaders Pushing Limits
Overall the employer-applicant relationship is changing. Employers are looking for good employees just as much as applicants are looking for a meaningful position. Employers are starting to realize that their greatest investment and tool to push their business forward is employees. Its no longer any butt in any seat, but targeted and specific hiring for roles, from CEO to dock loader, the individual employee impact is being recognized.
One way that employers have gone about narrowing down the list of applicants is through personality tests, customized assessments or even language assessments. While these options are being embraced by top thought leaders, they are far from becoming easily accessible – and even more importantly - reliable. So while most of us may want to completely replace the resume, supplemental options like short answer responses and applicant screening questions are the best next steps for today's recruiters.
At EPAY Systems, we are dedicated to relieving the burden of hiring. With our applicant tracking system hiring and recruiting managers can easily set screening questions, send assessments and keep notes on applicants as they move through the hiring process. Take a two-minute tour to see how else EPAY Systems can help your human process.