Death Knell of Hiring As we Know It

Take yourself back ten years to the last throws of the Dot.Com Era and compare the difference between the amount of people available for job openings then to what we have today - way too many. When the economy is cooking and there are fewer people seeking work than available jobs, it’s all about finding people to do the work. When you have too many people for the jobs at hand, the real effort lies in making sure you get the right person for the job.

Pity the poor hiring manager that makes a bad hire with so many choices...but it is happening every day.

With hundreds of resumes to paw over for each opening, you’d think making a hire would be easier….think again. Resumes are woefully inadequate for times like these and better assessment methods are needed to uncover the 50 people you get for each job whose resumes all indicate a qualified match. Then consider trying to pick the five or so people out of those to interview for the role. How do you choose? Phone screens? Psychometric tests? Coin flip? Whatever the method, you then need to interview people that are given one chance to make their mark – and one chance for the interviewer, typically within 30 minutes, to make their choice. After 5-6 weeks of time invested (sometimes less), you settle for the best person of the group – I mean how many hiring managers will say all that time was wasted. So, somebody gets the job. That folks is the hiring process for 95% of all jobs…there has to be a better way, right?

There is, well, er…sort of…at least it is somewhat evolving!

I think it is inevitable that the Internet will continue to shape employment initiatives for the better, the way it has since the early 1990’s (OCC, Monster, ATS, Google, etc.), how it evolves will depend on the thought leaders of the employment universe.

For several years now employment focused people have marveled at the opportunity that the Social Web could provide, claiming it as the next frontier of job recruitment. I certainly believe this will happen, but not until human resources and recruitment gives up on the resume as the vehicle for job consideration. A resume does not work at all for Social Networks and goes against the basic doctrine of the Social Web - helping others and genuinely sharing interests, motivations and passions. A resume can never divulge the truest sense of a person. They diminish our skills and demean the complexity of our experiences. Resumes in their simplest context are for screening people out, plain and simple – not much helping or sharing there…

While the employment world comes kicking and screaming to a non resume world (it could take a while…), the Social Web can provide an excellent, world class benefit that hiring authorities can put to great use today. In fact, it has been my prediction that this will help bring the demise of the resume (I’m betting my career on it actually…), and that is providing a career development, training and job hiring process where people actually get into careers that they love, possessing the skills to do the work and getting hired for the right jobs at the companies where they fit in the best.

The last part of the equation is the one that the Social Web offers right now. There is absolutely no reason that a person should get into a job situation where they knew very little about what they were getting themselves into, nor for a hiring manager not to know whether a person they offer a job to has the right interests, motivation, attitude and functional capability to do the job they offer them. The tools at our disposal to evaluate both sides of the hiring equation are available and both parties make a big mistake by not using them. Through the use of Talent Communities, Online Assessments, available Internet data and other Social Media activities – we’ve never had more opportunities available to make the best hiring choice.

I agree that not all companies have availed the public of their employment “brand” and it is a bit more work for a person interested in a company to get a sense of this, but there are plenty of ways to do it (using Linked In to contact a current employee for example, checking Clean Journey’s Career Investment Score, etc.). More importantly, a career minded person has tons of ways to create a Professional Brand and make a Career Investment that will get them noticed and position them to be considered for the work they crave.

For employers with way more resources, there are no excuses. The Social Web provides all the ammunition that is needed to uncover most of what should separate one candidate from another (Twitter, Facebook, Clean Journey, Linked In, Google, etc.). Finding people that have the skill is of course important, but finding people that have the interests and passions to do amazing things with those skills is the key separator to finding the "best" person for the job. The Social Web has and will continue to greatly improve the Quality of Hire for both company and new hire alike, and the benefits that this will provide the overall American Economy should be immense.

A wise person taught me a long time ago that a passionate worker is a hugely productive worker who won’t dream all week about Friday Happy Hour…uncover the passion!

Views: 405

Comment by pam claughton on August 10, 2010 at 7:33pm
I'm actually a big fan of the resume. It makes it much easier to screen people IN with a resume than to see their title and picture on Facebook and wonder what they actually do. Plus, if you think about it, the most effective social media network so far for recruiting is LinkedIn and what is a profile but a detailed resume if done right? The more detailed and search engine optimized your profile is there with appropriate keywords, the better recruiters will be able to find you for the jobs you want.

If you are looking for a job in social media, you might be able to find one by just being visible, but for most jobs, I think a resume is important and a good one can give you a significant edge in getting the interview and that's really the goal of a resume anyway, just getting you in the door.
Comment by K.C. on August 10, 2010 at 9:15pm
So what do you do Pam when - like in this environment you get 50 resumes that all match 100% of the job spec...who do you choose? What about the 100 other resumes you didn't get because the person had the skills and the passion to do the job - but not the resume writing skill...few jobs require resume writing (personal marketing - as part of the job description). What about the 45 people that could do the job - but didn't get chosen for some random reason based on resume content - and the five you did choose to interview were good - but not great. Wouldn't you wonder if you missed something?

As for Linked In, their Profile is woefully neglectful of what makes a person tick - keep in mind that it was created to promote better networking and contacts for sales and business development people - not recruiting so why should it...don't get me wrong the 15 million people I can access at the site is great - but it tells me little about the person without reaching out for a chat with you really only look at nuts and bolts when you decide who to interview based on key words found on a resume...whew! Is it possible that you may be missing just a wee bit of the passion or interest or motivation of a person...

That is the whole point of what the Internet can do for us today...not key words, but key attitudes and drivers found in a blog a candidate writes or a forum response (just like this one) that sheds a bit of light on their make up...

No offense Pam, but exactly what you proscribe is what will completely change...whether you like it or not you will be dragged by your talented candidates who will by pass you and go right over your head...

Try not to be the last one caught playing an 8-Track tape...
Comment by Sandra McCartt on August 10, 2010 at 10:16pm
I agree with Pam totally, but i would sure like to have some of what KC is getting from his undocumented pharmacist. If i ever got 50 resumes that matched 100% i would place one in that job then go place the other 45 and retire. Passion without qualification and experience is called delusion. If the delusional pass Pam and by, we are good with that. I think what you are talking about here can be compared with fraternity rush parties to see who has the best bullshit to get pledged.

A resume is just a ticket to the play. Don't think the metropolitan opera will let someone in just because they are passionate about music. Buy a ticket - Get a good resume.
Comment by pam claughton on August 11, 2010 at 8:20am
Respectfully, I think you are referring to a very different world than the one I recruit in! Maybe your post is more targeted to corporate headhunters? I'm not sure though, as even when I did a contract years ago on the client side, we never saw 50 perfect resumes for a search. In the world I'm in now, like Sandra, I am a headhunter. Most of the searches I work on are the needle in a haystack kind, where I have to go out and find the few people that exist who are perfect for the job. It's not a post and sift world, it's a seek and find one. Also, I'm a fan of social media myself, but as a support to my recruiting efforts, not as the be all end all and certainly not instead of a resume. Just my opinion though from what I see in my space.
Comment by pam claughton on August 11, 2010 at 8:33am
Ah, I think I see what is going on here now. I just checked out KC's profile and his company focuses on talent communities, so it's no surprise that he'd be advocating for the death of the resume and pushing for all social media all of the time. Guess that was the point of this initial post, to promote that business. What is surprising though is that he is also in the Boston area, as am I, I thought from the post and mention of all those perfect resumes that he might be from overseas or in an area hit much more heavily by the recession. The market has picked up hugely in Boston for recruiting and we are in a much more candidate driven market. I'm seeing multiple offers from multiple candidates right now. KC, it looks like you've been away from actual recruiting for many years? At least from what I saw on your LinkedIn profile, so maybe that's why your perception of our world is a little off.
Comment by Alasdair Murray on August 11, 2010 at 9:26am
Nice try KC, but I wouldn't wager your entire career on the death of the resume any time soon.
Comment by K.C. on August 11, 2010 at 12:25pm
Pam, Sandra and Alasdair...let me buy you all a cup of coffee...

It seems important to uncover the witch - burn her! In water does she float? She turned me into a newt...well I got better...BURN HER!!!! Heresy you say, impossible says another, he is out of touch says a third or worse is merely self promoting - UGH!

Well, you should know that I do float, but I also have been on the side of finding very small needles in huge piles of hay for many years - and right up to the present...but I listen to my clients and constantly try to uncover ways to make more than a $40K fee 2-3 times a month - not to earn more cash, that's the simple part, its to become more relevant and bring a bigger value to the industry...

You would have to have your head buried in the sand to not realize the massive shift that is going on in the candidate marketplace, pushed along by large entities (Linked In, etc.) and dozens of small ones (Vizibility, Brand Yourself, Brazen Careerist, etc.). Personally, I got bored with tracking down the needles and wanted to do more, make a bigger splash - and at the same time do my part to help ensure a future for my children and grand children...lofty goals - sure...but to understand how to better achieve this - spent the better part of the last two years in research and ideation activity to be able to Make a Difference...

Alasdair, don't take things so literally, resumes (like oil use) will be around for decades more (never said they wouldn't), but as the Social Web takes over more and more of everyday life, it will certainly lose its relevancy...ask yourself, would you want a rehashing of someone's past work experience, or a vibrant understanding of their motivations, interests, attitudes and functional capability - all in the same amount of time that it would take you to review a few resumes...we all won’t be using resumes my recruiting friends - it will be online Profiles - and Linked In, Monster and Dice (watch this video: and the rest are already scrambling to add dynamic capabilities for people to breathe life into their staid old profiles/resumes.

Finally, Pam and Sandra, you may think I’ve got some pretty terrific psychedelics, but my intent of the Blog was to get people (just like you folks) to begin thinking about the concept of Dynamic Professional Branding, so they can make use of them – not to advance any personalize agenda as you suggest (it’s a pretty big leap to Talent Communities from the ideas in my post…keep in mind as you try to find those needles that there is a huge world out there with 17+ million (new BLS stats) under employed workers in the US, and the other millions that hadn't left their current job for fear - yet are dying to due to some professional frustration are also now joining the active job seeker ranks (could be the largest turnover in history...) - and you DO have dozens of on-target applicants for MOST openings.

Before dismissing me like an, “empty headed animal food trough wiper,” do some research, survey 100's of companies (as we have) and remember that there is a big world out there...oh yeah, and have a cup of coffee on me!
Comment by Sandra McCartt on August 11, 2010 at 1:40pm
Dear Warlock,

Since you are so sure that we have all these hundreds of qualifed candidates just laying around in chat rooms ready to fall into new positions and millions of people who by virtue of their "want to" can fill all these jobs, would you please direct me to a talent community where i can pick up 40 or 50 fellowship trained, board certified dermatopathologists, a neuro surgeon or two that i can chat with on a web site or would you suggest that i simply pick out someone who always wanted to do brain surgery and then ask my medical director to go on line and engage with a few of them.

I can hear it now. Dear Hiring Manager, I do not have a resume on this candidate but i ran across him in a talent community. From what he posts on the web he seems to be a perfect fit for your position. Yes i have chatted with him and he really sounds cool, uh references, well no he doesn't want to provide those either. All you need to do is join this forum, log on and engage with him in your spare time. I am sure you will be impressed with all the top talent you and I can find online who don't want to prepare a resume but have the passion and drive to do a lot of blogging about what they do. They don't want to do a resume they just want to tell you about themselves and how passionate they are to change jobs.

Am i what? Oh no sir, i have never been under any kind of psych care. Yes sir i realize you run the medical practice and don't spend a lot of time digging around in talent communities but gee just think of all the doctors and PHD's who spend their evenings chatting on the net, think of all the people you could meet. Yes sir, i realize that somebody is going to have to die before you have time to meet anyone else and the physicians you want are....hello, hello, hello

KC If i called my clients and told them that i wanted them to interview a candidate without seeing a resume they would tell me they would be happy to call another recruiter. They even have their known colleagues that they personally interact with send them a CV before they will offer a position to their former medical partner.

Thanks for the coffee offer but i would fear that there was something in it that would turn me into an artichoke. I bet your world is expanded wasn't that guy's name Leary or something like that? But have a great trip, the green lights look a lot greener. I suppose however if you are correct we will be printing off online profiles to send to the hiring manager cause trust me Clyde the hiring managers i know and work with won't log on and review a profile online unless they can then teleport that candidate into the corner of their office to show the folks they have supernatural powers
Comment by pam claughton on August 11, 2010 at 1:55pm
Sandra, you crack me up! KC, why on earth would you state that we absolutely DO have dozens of resumes for MOST of our jobs when we've already stated that we don't, not even close.
Comment by Sandra McCartt on August 11, 2010 at 3:21pm
Don't worry about it Pam, those who think they have arrived at a great truth or have just written the great American Novel or developed the ultimate solution to revolunize any industry are always sure that they are smitten with supernatural all knowing insight into what everybody is doing. Most of them stand on a box in the park and scream about the end of the world instead of being completely sure that job boards are dead, resumes are dead, sourcing is dead, third party recruiting is dead, computers are dead in that they are being replaced by smart phones, even saw one the other day about the demise of social networks. All i know for sure is that Elvis is dead, unless KC knows something about him that i don't. Maybe Elvis is the one who DOES have all those resumes that fit MOST of our positions. That's it Pam we just need to find Elvis, knock him down, steal his shit , then we can place them all in a week and go to the South of France for the winter.

Since there are millions of people who will not put information online or even buy anything online because something will get them or their address or steal their cat i don't think we need to make any large pronouncements to our candidates that they can ditch the resume any time soon. I would be thrilled to death if i could just get some of them to put their phone number on the resume. Or maybe all resumes will be online and we will have to send private emails to people to see if we can have a password to review their resume. Then we could just send passwords to hiring managers and tell them it's a shhhhh. secret password to their next superstar. But now think about it, who would give out their password online.

Anytime you see a headline that something is dead brace yourself for another prophet on a box. Poof, you're a newt! At this point if you told me the sun was going to come up tomorrow i would go buy flashlight batteries. But the entertainment is great and i will use this the next time i speak to a professional group about the strange things that recruiters can come up with.

So Linkedin hit a home run now we are gonna have niche talent communities, no resumes, eliminate interviews, background checks, drug tests. Just send a "friend request" with a note that says Hey, come to work next Monday KC needs some surgery, he believes that resumes are passe so you can do his surgery.


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