At NewHire, we like to keep an eye on where our candidates are coming from so that we can ensure our clients are getting the most ‘Bang for their Buck’ when they advertise.  In 2015 Indeed surged ahead of the pack, with ZipRecruiter close on their heels. CareerBuilder was the biggest loser of them all, with their average candidate views per job, tumbling.  Craigslist fared little better. And LinkedIn continued its trend of lack-luster performance.

For the majority of 2015, our advertising package featured postings on CareerBuilder, Craigslist, Indeed and LinkedIn.  The graph below shows the number of candidate Views Per Job from each of these sources.  As you can see from the graph, CareerBuilder and Craigslist performance have both been declining for several years.   They’ve gone from almost 200 views per job in 2010 to slightly over 20 views per job in 2015.  That’s a huge drop-off for the King Kong of the Recruiting Boards.  Craigslist, too, has seen quite the decline as more competition in their particular field has appeared.

Indeed, meanwhile, has maintained a healthy number of views per job. ZipRecruiter, our newest partner, demonstrated a robust start  for 2015, with 70 average referrals per job.  LinkedIn, meanwhile, has meandered along, and has not experienced any growth over the years. Recruitment ads also appear on many other smaller sites,  including our own NewHire job board. All of these smaller players are included in the category we call “Other” Together these smaller players represent an important source of candidate traffic.

Views Per Job Per Year

We also have some breakdowns of our applicants (the people who have successfully filled out a job application on our system) for the last several years, and can see where they were referred from.  That data, pictured below, shows a similar picture.

Applies Per Job Per Year

Our newest partner, Ziprecruiter, is the big winner.  For only being with us for six months, they’ve already proved a better choice than CareerBuilder, Craigslist or LinkedIn for bringing in candidates who turn into applicants.  Indeed also surged back up in 2015 after dipping in 2014.  As in the the Views graph above, the losers are CareerBuilder, Craigslist and LinkedIn.  All three of these boards have lost traction over the last few years.

This year, as in the past, these metrics have led us to make changes to the advertising options we offer our clients. As always, crafting a great recruitment advertisement will improve your candidate draw, but being on the right job boards is key. Look for details from the NewHire team about changes in the works to provide you with the best candidate sourcing strategies needed to address your recruiting needs.

broadcastWant to know more about the changing world of recruiting and hiring? Check out our Webinar series, where you will learn to take complete control of the 6-Step Hiring process that defines who fills that next open seat. 

Eddie’s article first appeared on recruiter.com. Please find a link to that post here.

Isn’t it ironic that the people who think it’s their job to look at resumes (i.e., recruiters) try their hardest to not look at resumes?

It feels almost sacrilegious to start calling out resumes because of how dependent we are on them – employers and employees alike – but they’ve been an obstacle in the hiring process for too long.

An Ineffective Tool for a Complex Problem

The resume started as a basic solution to a complex question that employers didn’t even know they needed to ask: How do I hire the right person for the job?

Unfortunately, despite its ubiquity, the resume was never up to this task.

But I’m probably telling you something you already knew, or at least suspected. In fact, anyone who’s ever had to whittle down a pile of resumes has probably reached the point where they’ve realized that the whole process is somewhat broken. How are you really supposed to compare documents – and by extension, the qualifications of the candidates they represent – when those documents aren’t even standardized?

And that’s when the shortcuts come in: “Times New Roman?! Bye Felicia!” “Oxford commas? Better luck next time!”

Resumes are the worst

Suddenly, everyone has their own “system” based on preferences, snap judgements, and made-up narratives that they use to manage the resume-screening process.

We don’t create shortcuts because we’re bad, lazy, or incompetent people. We create them because we need to find meaning in the things we do. When there’s no meaning, we rebel. We find ways to minimize how much of our resources – time, energy, and attention – we commit to the task.

But if there’s meaning behind what we do, we become engaged in the process and we do it right. Doing the hiring process right means comparing candidates’ skill sets to the job’s duties. So if your system doesn’t start and end with this comparison, can you really say you have a functioning or meaningful hiring process?

Bad Hiring Process? Blame the Resumes (Really)

How often have you seen some variation of the stat, “recruiters spend 6-30 seconds reviewing a resume”? If you’re an employer and you’re entrusting someone to review resumes in the search for the most qualified candidates, this stat should blow your mind! I can’t even decide in 30 seconds if this bag of Doritos fits into my Low-Carb-Paleo-Zone diet (it doesn’t), but we believe that recruiters and hiring managers are accurately gauging candidates in that same timeframe (they aren’t).

We can’t blame individuals in the hiring process for this dereliction of duty, though. We’ve based a giant piece of our hiring process on the resume, so any inefficiencies or shortfalls that result from that flawed process should be accepted as inevitable. If I know my mechanic is tightening lug nuts with his bare hands instead of a wrench, I really can’t get mad when the wheel falls off my car. I knew they were using ineffective tools, so how could I expect anything other than ineffective results?

Resumes are the tool we’ve chosen to assist us in performing a function, but experience, the stats, and the anecdotes should make it clear that we’ve been using the wrong tool. It’s ineffective, and it’s giving us ineffective results.

That being said, resumes are not entirely pointless. In fact, they do have a place in the hiring process – just not at the start. The start of your hiring process is about matching qualified candidates to the job by comparing qualifications and skill sets, and you can’t do that consistently when you’re using resumes.

Do yourself and your company a favor by finally “killing” the resume. You’ll find the benefits of consistently bringing on the best people greatly outweigh the temporary adjustment to how you, your father, and your grandfather hired.

 

broadcastWant to know more about the changing world of recruiting and hiring? Check out our Webinar series, where you will learn to take complete control of the 6-Step Hiring process that defines who fills that next open seat. 

Technology has drastically changed every aspect of recruiting in today’s job market.The social media revolution has bought many changes to the job search process of today. In the past the resume was the single focus for hiring managers in the recruiting process from the screening, to the phone interview, to the face to face interview.  Today social recruiting has become very prevalent among recruiters and human resource professionals alike.

LinkedIn and your resume both highlight you as a person and tell the world who you are but in very different ways. LinkedIn is used for multiple purposes but a resume can be used for one single purpose. So let’s examine how LinkedIn can be used more effectively in a job search over a resume.

Linkedin v resumes

Broader Audience for Your LinkedIn Profile vs. Your Resume

A resume is distinctly used for people who are looking for a new job. Normally a candidate will submit a resume to apply for a job and chances are your resume may never be viewed by the hiring manager if you are not selected as a viable candidate for the open position. However, LinkedIn is used for multiple reasons such as job searching, networking, connecting with new contacts, publishing articles, posting information, sales people communicating with potential prospects, recruiters reaching out to passive candidates, gathering information from industry leaders and many other uses.

According to the Pew Research Center 25% of adults use LinkedIn which is 22% of the entire adult population. LinkedIn is the only major social media platform in which usage rates are highest among the age group of 30 – 49 years old. With this social media platform 32% of users are employed compared to 14% of users who are not employed.  Therefore, the reach of LinkedIn users are vastly greater than the number of people a job seeker will send a resume to and who may view your resume posted online. LinkedIn will give you greater exposure than a resume ever will.

Professional vs. Social

A resume is a formal document that is professionally written to highlight a person’s employment history and past accomplishments. Your resume is a simple text document that is tightly formatted to highlight STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) bulleted points. However, LinkedIn is considered a business social site which allows a person to highlight more than just your skills and work experience. This format is less formal and more personable. On LinkedIn a person may highlight their accomplishments and skills by including media links on both your profile and positions. A person might include a portfolio, a professional presentation, a PDF e-book, pictures, links and videos to highlight your talent and work product.

Past vs. Present

A resume is a one to two page document of your professional history, skills, experience and career highlights. A resume shows your job history and past accomplishments. By comparison a LinkedIn profile is a person’s present and future professional life.  A LinkedIn profile consists of many more sections such as your career summary, experience, education, skills & endorsements, recommendations, honors & awards, groups, volunteer work and more. Status updates are part of your profile and a person can update their profile daily which will organically grow your profile each time you add a new skill, a new job, receive an endorsement, share information, and engage in a discussion and other activities on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Profile Builds Relationships and Continuously Grows

By using LinkedIn regularly you are able to build relationships with people through your daily interactions and discussions. LinkedIn allows you to connect with people in your industry of business and also connects you with group members who share the same interests or profession. A resume just sits on a desk or the inbox of a hiring professionals email. However, with your LinkedIn profile each time you post an update it is shared with all of your first-degree connections. These updates will put you in front of an audience repeatedly which is what candidates need when looking for a new career opportunity. Your status updates can now appear on your Twitter feed which is one more avenue for exposure when looking for a new job. In addition, to these updates you can include links to articles, videos, websites as well as pictures.

Recruiters and human resource professionals now practice using LinkedIn once they receive your resume and may be interested in pursuing you as a potential candidate. They venture onto the social site to gain more information about a candidate’s personality to determine if they would like to initiate a phone screen with you. Lastly, with LinkedIn a person can separate themselves from the competition better than using a resume. The LinkedIn profile will allow a person to demonstrate and articulate what value you can bring to an organization and why you can become a valuable addition to the team.

broadcastWant to know more about the changing world of recruiting and hiring? Check out our Webinar series, where you will learn to take complete control of the 6-Step Hiring process that defines who fills that next open seat. 

This is a true story about a mid-sized manufacturing company in Oklahoma that needed some help finding the right person for their job…

 

For any company, recruiting can be a daunting task. From putting the ad together and advertising to managing a large pile of applications and resumes – the entire process can be a headache for business owners or hiring managers who don’t have the right tools in place before they start. Especially when you are stuck handling the process single handedly or on a small team, screening alone can dominate your time. Much of this is true for companies in the manufacturing industry – companies like Progressive Stamping, who reached out to NewHire.

When Dave Younge, President at Progressive Stamping, initially contacted NewHire, he expressed interest in establishing a recruiting process and getting assistance filling an Account Manager position.

“I wanted a person that would be a good fit to our organization’s culture.  I did not want a person who had great skills and experience but was a poor person with whom to work.  I shared this concern with Sean Little (Account Manager) and asked how NewHire could make that happen.  He demonstrated the technology and explained how they could customize the application.” – Dave Younge – President of Progressive Stamping

He needed the framework to get started, and then he would be able to drive the hiring process forward on his own. With these things in mind, he purchased our NewHire Elements service.

Continue Reading…

Rejection is hard. No one likes to say no, and no one likes to be said no to. But when you have two to three great candidates, and only one job title to hire for in your company, unfortunately, you will have to deliver some bad news. There are a few things to think about before you speak with a candidate who isn’t moving forward.

Delivering bad news to candidates

First, understand why you need to follow up.

The farther a candidate goes into your process, the more interested they are in working for your company. They are investing more time and energy into landing a spot in your special role. If they are not the right fit, don’t lead them on or hang them out to dry. It is good to keep them in the loop, but also important to consider the timing of your response. If if you’re in the phone screening phase, and you know early on they won’t be a good fit, then deliver the news. By avoiding them or not following up altogether, you might be holding them back from other opportunities that they could be going after. However, if it is a candidate that has moved further along in the process, you should wait to deliver them a rejection until the other top candidate officially accepts. If the candidate does not accept, you will have another top candidate or candidates at the ready. Whereas if you were to reject all the other candidates right away and your pick does not accept, you will have to re-start the process.

Second, consider the method.

If you are turning down a candidate who had made it to the final stages of the process such as second interviews, you should call them. Let them know that you appreciated their time throughout the process and that it was a hard decision. If you would consider hiring them for another position in the future, let them know that they should apply for those opportunities if they really want to work at your company later on. If your candidates did not pass the phone interview or first interview, a general follow-up email would suffice to let them know you will not be pursuing their candidacy, but appreciate their interest and time.

Third, don’t feel so terrible.

Yes, telling a candidate that they aren’t moving forward certainly isn’t joyous, especially if you have met with them a few times and they are in your top two. But think of it this way – if they were so qualified to make it that far in your process – imagine how far they made it (or will make it) in some other company’s process. It is likely that the candidate you reject will accept an offer somewhere else, so you shouldn’t feel like you ruined all of their hopes and dreams. Think positive, and understand that the candidate you reject will probably find another opportunity that is better suited for them.

Lastly, business is business, but remember bad news shouldn’t leave a bad impression.

When you deliver a rejection, whether it be in person, via email, or over the phone, make sure to do it gently. While you want to make it clear that you won’t be moving them forward, you also don’t want to say it in a condescending or harsh way. Every interaction you have with a candidate is a chance to sell your Employee Value Proposition to the talent world. Leaving them feeling like their time was wasted or they were bad candidates will give them a bad impression of your company and how you treat people. This can lead to bad company reviews online or through word of mouth, so be sure to get your point across in a nice way. If a candidate presses you on why they are not moving forward, you can explain it was a difficult decision, competitive, and you had to consider every detail. Be very careful in your choice of words when delivering the news. You do not want to say anything that would put you or your company  in a situation where you risk being accused of discrimination. The best thing to do is to thank them for their time and wish them the best moving forward on their job search.

For most people, rejecting someone or taking rejection is just plain difficult, but it’s a necessary task. We can’t hire them all, and we certainly cannot take every rejection we deliver personally, because, in the end, you need the right person for the role, not just anyone. As NewHire puts it, “Every job deserves the right person!” and your job is no exception. You will have to reject some good candidates along the way in order to hire the right candidate. For more information on best practices for making employment offers, check out our webinar recording on Step 6 in the recruiting process: Hire ’em!

Kill the Resume

It is our declared intention to change the world of employment recruiting in this way:

  1. Stop using resumes as the primary screening method for choosing which job candidates to pursue
  2. Start choosing candidates based on the answers to questions most important to the hiring manager

It may seem a small change to some, however the implications are huge.

At NewHire, we believe that the resume:

  • hinders the connection between the right candidate and the right job
  • causes employers to overvalue experience at the expense of behaviors, motivations skills and aptitude
  • clogs up talent pipelines and fills inboxes with useless, uninterruptible data
  • creates electronic noise when candidates apply for 10 times the amount of jobs and apply for jobs beyond what they are qualified for in the futile hope that one will get noticed
  • invites intentional and unintentional bias in choosing candidates to pursue
  • invites hiring managers to tell themselves stories about candidates without actually speaking to them, creating a situation where potentially qualified candidates are overlooked

At NewHire we want to “kill the resume” to:

  • improve the connection between the right candidate and the right job
  • help employers choose candidates based on behavior, motivations, skills and aptitude
  • free those responsible for recruiting from the barrage of emails with useless information that comes with resume-focused recruiting
  • reduce the electronic noise associated with unqualified candidates applying for jobs
  • reduce hiring manager bias by providing better information from which to choose candidates
  • cause hiring managers to spend more time getting to know fewer, more qualified candidates

At NewHire, we know that companies make better hires when hiring managers stop reading resumes TwitterLogo_#55acee and start choosing candidates to pursue based on their answers to key questions. Because every recruiting process should be shaped like a funnel, with more candidates starting out at the top of the funnel than come out the bottom of the funnel, the manner by which we narrow that flow matters.

Resumes document a person’s work experience and can say nothing about a person’s character, behaviors, motivations, aptitude and skills (all of which are better predictors than experience of on-the-job success!)

Instead of reading resumes for clues of “who” a person is and not just “what” that person has done, ask job-specific questions related to the:

  • work behaviors required for success
  • motivations the job rewards
  • skills the job requires and/or develops
  • culture of the company, work group or department

The most common hiring mistake is that we hire people for what they can do and we fire them for who they are. Resumes are the single biggest contributor to this common error.

It’s time to Kill the Resume.

 

broadcastWant to know more about the changing world of recruiting and hiring? Check out our Webinar series, where you will learn to take complete control of the 6-Step Hiring process that defines who fills that next open seat. 

Chess pieces recruiting game

Great Job, Great Company

Recruiting is an endgame. A lot of businesses see their inability to retain top talent as a product of their recruiting practices (“I hire people who tend to hop from job to job, so I will fix it by hiring people who prefer to stay put.”) I could go on for hours about the misuse of the “job hopper” label to disqualify candidates, but I will spare you the word count. Businesses can improve the approach of their recruiters and hire people whose behaviors, motivations, skills, and experience fit the company and the job, which is something that NewHire helps our clients with everyday. Recruiters must be sure to include appropriate language in job ads and sell the job itself to potential candidates. But the fact of the matter is, recruiting is an endgame, and if the company isn’t doing the work to sell the company to top talent, it may be a difficult one.

Here’s what I mean: the market for talented individuals is a complex one. The employer is both buyer and seller, as is the potential employee. In order to win over the best talent at a fair price, the employer must create and market a desirable work environment. Then, the recruiter must communicate what makes the job unique to other available jobs. Finally, they must select from the available pool of interested talent and negotiate a price that doesn’t break the bank. All the while, the potential employee walks the tightrope between expressing interest in a new company and looking out for their needs as an individual (“I want to work for you, so long as you meet these requirements for me.”)

This isn’t just happening with the employees you’re looking to hire. The employees already in place at your company are playing the same game, and it benefits you as an employer to remember this. Your employees are consistently (if unknowingly) aware of what other options are out there. Job boards send daily email reminders, recruiters consistently bombard them with InMails, and friends or peers are always talking about the good, the bad, and the ugly of their own work environments.

Whether they are looking for a job or not, sometimes hearing a buddy talk about his job at an ad agency in the city can get the gears turning in your best employee’s head. Not to mention, if your employees are badmouthing your company, word is likely to get around. So as an employer, you must recruit and re-recruit the people who you have already employed.

But how? 

Keeping your existing employees engaged and employed is not a simple task. If you’re looking for a few things you can tweak at your business to motivate people to make you the next Google, now would be a good time for a reality check. This is something that is going to take some time, some thought, and maybe some professional help.

Okay. Here’s what I think it boils down to: employers need to understand why they are in business, who they are in business for, and where their business will be in the next 10 years. Then, they need to communicate those things to employees, and fulfill the expectations they set.

For example, I work with a lot of small manufacturing companies whose sole purpose is to build widgets. All day, every day, 10 people in a 12 person company sit in a factory and build the pieces that attach to the other side of industrial bolts. They are in business because people need lock-nuts. That’s why they are in business.

These manufacturers usually say, “We are in business for our clients. Everything we do, we do for them.” And that’s a great sentiment for selling widgets, but it’s not a great sentiment for pleasing your employees. The idea, then, is to have a message that is compelling for your employees that is just as visible and consumable as the message you have for your clients.

If you’re in the right industry, both messages can be the same! Because quite frankly, I don’t really care that the person I buy my widgets (or burritos, or dental floss) from is “dedicated to my happiness.” What if my widget supplier said to me, “Listen, I sell widgets because I want to build a better life for myself and my employees. Widgets are the vehicle in which we approach that goal . We’ve built something great here, because we know that the better this widget is, the better education our children get. You understand that?”

Heck yeah I get that! Now you’ve got a message for your clients that says “We’ve got a personal stake in the success of that widget,” and a message to your employees that says, “We do this all for you.” And if you back that message up and actually provide your employees with an improved environment and lifestyle (and dare I say have a little fun once in a while), do you think that they’ll want to stay? Do you think that talented individuals will want to join them?

That’s the why and the who of it. The final task is to set up processes for communicating to employees where you’re going. This includes lofty goals (see: Google) as well as shorter term goals. Giving your employees a road map for where you’re going as a company is a great way to ensure that they’re focused on bringing you there. If you say it for long enough — and loud enough — the employees who will make the biggest difference will hop on board.

 

In closing, people want good jobs at good companies. Those two things aren’t mutually exclusive, but each piece needs to be defined and communicated in a compelling way in order to find success in the search for talent and beyond. In order to win at the recruiting endgame, you will need to build a great foundation for your recruiting strategy. This falls conveniently into Step 1 in our 6 Step Recruiting Process — Preparing to Recruit.

Congratulations, it’s time to interview your top candidates! You’ve been working diligently through the steps of the recruiting process and you’ve narrowed the field to a few top candidates. Now it’s time to bite the bullet and conduct interviews. “What’s Love Got To Do With It?”  Everything and nothing! What better way to explore this emotional time in the recruiting process than quoting this iconic song?

“You must understand That the touch of your hand Makes my pulse react”

From the first handshake and introductions to the final thank you’s; it’s common that both the interviewer and the interviewee’s pulse will react. We are all human and our heart rate and blood pressure are likely to rise in any stressful situation. Interviews are no exception.

One way to manage the stress is preparation. Have a game plan. Know what the goal of the interview is, and have a prepared set of questions that you will use to achieve that goal. Before the interview, study up on the candidate too. Review everything you already know about them; re-read their application, resume, results from tests or assessments, and their LinkedIn profile.  Make a list of candidate specific questions that you want to ask in addition to the ones you have already prepared.

“You must try to ignore that it means more than that …”

The overall goal of interviews is to gather additional information to aid in making a selection decision. You are likely also trying to get to know the candidate to find out if they will be an asset to the team and pleasant to work with. Every aspect of the conversation is important, from the candidate’s initial contact with security or reception personnel at the front door to body language and communication style during the interview.

There are a number of possible specific goals for the interview. Your specific goal for the interview may depend on the job title you are filling. The specific goal of the interview will impact its structure and content.

For example you might be assessing technical knowledge, and ask the candidate to perform technical tasks to demonstrate knowledge. Or,you might ask the candidate to solve a coding problem on a whiteboard, assembling a product from instructions, or producing a writing sample.  Alternatively, you might be exploring specific soft-skills including personal motivations or work behaviors like the ability to manage multiple simultaneous projects and teams. You might probe for this behavior by asking the candidate to reflect on how they would respond to a situation you present.  Another goal of the interview is to verify details of past work experience as a way of exploring personal integrity issues, past accomplishments and experience  appropriate to this opportunity.

“It may seem to you that I’m acting confused”

Sometimes candidates find details of the opportunity confusing and want additional clarification. It’s important to allow enough time in the interview to give the candidate an opportunity to ask questions too. Listen carefully to the questions the candidate asks. These questions are important and  might give you insight into their past challenges or about employment issues important to them. In the best case the candidate might express an eye-opening concern that indicates to you that they have gone the extra mile in preparing and thinking about the company and the opportunity.

Remember that in a one or two hour interview you won’t be able to learn everything about the candidate, so use your time to find out about factors you know to be important for on-the-job success.

“I`ve been thinking of a new direction but I have to say I`ve been thinking about my own protection”

When you’re hiring be aware that you are considering a new direction –  in the form of a new person who will be joining the company. Everyone involved, the candidate and the employer is also thinking about their own interests and about protecting themselves.

You, representing the employer, want to avoid a variety of possible negative outcomes. Those include possible liability and the costs of a mis-hire. Additionally, you want to get the right person in the job. Typically, the candidate wants to be sure the new position includes the opportunity to learn more, earn more and do more. The candidate also doesn’t want to quit his or her current job, only to discover that they don’t get along with the manager. Neither the employer nor the candidate wants to discover down the road that the new opportunity is a poor fit. Everyone involved is assessing risk and acting to protect themselves. After all…”Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken?”

By TimDuncan (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By TimDuncan (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

“Oh what’s love got to do, got to do with it?”

It’s easy to fall in love with a candidate during an interview when you discover that you share similarities Perhaps you graduated from the same college or know people in common. Other similarities might be more obscure – like discovering a shared hobby or interest. But love is not necessarily the only emotion to focus on during an interview. It’s possible to really love a candidate during the interview, and realize that despite the feeling of personal affinity, they are a poor match for the job.

There are times when you might find that candidates you are interviewing are dissimilar from you. For example when a founder or CEO who is focused on sales, interviews candidates for a key accounting position, that founder, an extrovert with a customer-focused sense of urgency, might be put off by the reserved, methodical and detail orientation that a well qualified CFO or Accounting Manager exhibits during the interview. If you’ve been in this type of situation you know that these types of differences might prevent you from feeling personal affinity and you might not fall in love with ANY of the candidates, even though one or two might be well a great asset to your company.

In this case, on-the-job success is more likely with a candidate who exhibits certain types of behaviors which are different from the CEO. This is a case where the interviewer might NOT feel personal affinity or love for the best qualified candidate. You might find yourself in a position where you have to overcome a feeling of lack-of-love in order to make a solid hire.  Remember what Tina said…” What`s love but a second-hand emotion?”

Tina Turner taught us a lot about love and a lot about interviewing. Here a few key take-aways:

  1. You might feel nervous – but preparation will carry you a long way

  2. Know what the specific goal of the interview is – are you assessing technical knowledge, social skills, or work behaviors, or a combination of all three?

  3. Make sure that there is time to address the candidate’s questions – you can learn a lot by listening to the candidate’s concerns

  4. Every job deserves the right person – and you, the interviewer, might not feel personal affinity with that best candidate, especially if you are hiring them to do a job very different from your own.

This article appeared in the Winter 2015 issue of Strategize Magazine:

Capture

It’s time to kill the resume. Plain and simple… using resumes as the primary tool for screening job applicants is ineffective and outdated. Traditionally, resume content includes a summary of academic history, followed by a timeline of employment and unconfirmed accomplishments, but says nothing about the applicant’s on-the-job behaviors, motivations, or attitudes. As a result, it is not surprising that many new hires fail. In fact, a three-year study of 20,000 new hires conducted by Leadership IQ revealed 46 percent failed within 18 months. Lack of skill accounted for 11 percent of the failed hires, while attitude and behavior were responsible for the remaining 89 percent. These numbers are simply not acceptable. After all, what executive is willing to accept a 46 percent failure rate in a core business process?

Identifying, hiring, and retaining quality people cannot be left to chance. When it comes to hiring well, a revolutionary change is in order. Until businesses leave the resume behind, they will continue to hire based on what candidates say they know, only to turn around and fire the same individuals for who they really are.

Why resumes don’t work

Prior to computers and online access, resumes typically provided the only way for potential candidates to show interest in a position. Fast-forward to today. As technology revolutionizes the hiring process with such time-savers as electronic job posting and online submissions, resumes have transitioned from paper to digital format, but they have not changed in substance or effectiveness.

Technology aside, selecting potential employees with such limited information benefits neither the candidate nor the business seeking to fill the position. From the employer’s standpoint, resumes allow candidates to take control of the hiring conversation by telling the story they want the employer to hear. In fact, a 2012 survey of college students reveals 70 percent would lie on their resume to get a job (Accu-Screen, Inc., ADP and The Society of Human Resource Managers, 2012). At the same time, because no two resumes contain the same information in the same format, assessing and comparing skills or experience among candidates is challenging. It’s the hiring equivalent of giving a different test to every student in a class. Using that approach makes coming up with a grading scale next to impossible.

Additional reasons why resumes fail to lead to successful hires include:

  • They equate previous job experience with future success. Unless job variables, such as the manager, product, selling cycles and buyers remain consistent across the board, this is an unrealistic expectation. More importantly, past experience offers no insight into characteristics that indicate future job success, namely behaviors, attitudes and motivation.
  • They lead to dismissing candidates based upon small details or personal biases that likely are not related to future success on the job. Resumes allow hiring teams to select candidates based on a particular gender, race or age, or reject candidates due to typos, misspellings, incorrect grammar, unusual email addresses and uncommon fonts.
  • They result in faulty assumptions. A prime example is the candidate who lists multiple jobs within a certain time frame. Traditional resume-reading leads employers to suspect lack of success when a job change may be the result of a life situation beyond the candidate’s control, such as a spousal move or a company-wide layoff.
  • They lead hiring managers to talk to the wrong people. Overconfident recruiters and hiring managers often assume they can choose a qualified pool of candidates from resumes alone, and then look for desired motivations and behaviors during the interview process. Approaching the process in this way not only leads to beginning with the wrong candidates, but also results in hiring the wrong person or no one at all.

Better tools, better hires

In a 2013 Careerbuilder survey, 66 percent of the US companies surveyed said their businesses had been negatively affected by a bad hire in the prior year, and 27 percent said that each bad hire cost their company more than $50,000. For companies that want to avoid these costly pitfalls, hiring the right people at the right time will require a revolutionary change in hiring practices and mindsets. Here are four tips to accomplish that goal:

  1. Make sure hiring team members understand the company culture. Successfully targeting the right candidate requires knowledge of not just the position, but also of the company.
  2. Create a profile of the target candidate. Use assessments to help teams construct a consensus of behaviors the job requires and the motivations the job rewards.
  3. Gather a wider range of information about candidates to determine behaviors, motivations and personality. For example, before reading a single resume, use an online form to ask candidates to answer the most important questions. Take advantage of applicant tracking systems that offer this process, or create an auto-respond email to deliver questions to applicants.
  4. Recruit continuously, not just when a position needs to be filled. Approach competitors at conferences; connect with friends and acquaintances at social gatherings and through social media. Leave no stone unturned.

Start the revolution

The numbers tell the story. Today’s hiring process is broken, and nothing short of a radical change will improve the rate of success. It’s time to lay the tired resume to rest and make hiring decisions based on the characteristics that make a candidate successful on the job. Only then will companies hire the exceptional people necessary to compete, grow and succeed.

©Strategize Magazine, published by Avenir Publishing, Inc.

Just like every superhero needs a title, so does every job or position that you are recruiting for.  As the main searchable component for your job ad, having the wrong title could be your kryptonite.

With the huge surge in superhero movies lately, I figured I would take a stab at addressing the whole name and title issue.  One of the first Marvel comic book series ever created was the story of the Fantastic Four.  Four scientists were sent to outer space to conduct a mission and during the mission, came into contact with cosmic rays.   These cosmic rays forever changed the four scientists by giving each of them a unique power.  There was Sue Storm, who gained the ability to make herself transparent leading her to call herself the “Invisible Woman”.  Her brother, Johnny Storm, found himself with the ability to surround himself with flames and called himself the “Human Torch”.  Not bad so far but here is where it gets a little misleading.  Reed Richards gained the ability to stretch his entire body into different shapes and sizes.  Now, instead of going with the obvious choice of “Elastic Man”, he decided to go with “Mr. Fantastic”.  The fourth and final scientist obtained the unique ability that gave him super human strength hidden underneath a rocky shell.  While “Super-Human Strong Rock Man” has a great ring to it, he decided on the name “The Thing”.

Superhero

So, how do poorly named superheroes fit into the world of recruiting?  If your job title does not match your job duties, you are going to have a hard time getting the right person to apply.   Having the wrong job title or job name can confuse likely applicants.  If you are looking for an Account Manager but your job description reads more like a Sales Representative, the right people won’t apply and your recruiting efforts will be unsuccessful.

Let’s stick with the examples from the top of the page.  If I were to lay out the abilities that Mr. Fantastic has, it would look something like this:

  • Can stretch to impossible lengths
  • Can take the shape of most objects
  • Elastic properties
  • Super strength

Now, if we didn’t know the name of this superhero was Mr. Fantastic, based on what is highlighted here, what would we call him?  My guess is Mr. Fantastic wouldn’t even be one of the top 100 choices.

If we do the same thing with the Human Torch:

  • Can surround himself with fire
  • Has the characteristics of a torch
  • Looks Human
  • Can Fly

Do you think someone would have stumbled upon the name “Human Torch” rather quickly?  I think so.

Think about the two examples when creating a job ad.  If the title of the job doesn’t match up with the skills and experience the job requires, you will get a lot of applicants that are unqualified for the job.   If you are looking for a woman with transparent qualities, the job title should be “Invisible Woman”…not the “Thing”