Resumes? Why Are You Still Hiring Like It’s 1999?

Eddie Cantave —  March 28, 2014 — 3 Comments


Sometimes you have to jump into that new millennium (+14 years) and embrace the breakthroughs that are at your fingertips. There’s a reason CD players, Napster, and M. Night Shyamalan were all mercifully put down like rabid raccoons. Progress and innovation have rendered them all obsolete. The role of the resume as the central piece to the hiring process is on that same path. You have other tools at your disposal to identify the best candidates for your job besides the resume. So if your recruitment process still begins and ends with the resume, then you’re doing it wrong.


Resumes ignore personality fit:

All employees are not created equally; different employees thrive in different environments (and hopefully you’ve already done the work to define what sets your environment apart… if not, try our EVP Checklist.) Some employees do better when they’re allowed more autonomy; others do better when they have a set routine to follow. Some are better at working on one thing at a time; others are great at multi-tasking. Resumes give you no insight into an applicant’s personality, which means you have no insight into how your position matches up with their strengths, priorities, or optimal working conditions. If you want to set an employee up to succeed, then you should make sure that whomever you bring on has the right personality to match the position.


Resumes ignore culture fit:

Matching the personality of an employee with the culture of your company is as important as matching their skills to the requirements of the position. An employee whose values are not aligned with the company’s values runs the risk of hurting morale or distracting the team from reaching common goals. If a resume can’t tell you that an applicant plays well with others, then that resume is leaving out a valuable piece of information that can determine how successful a new employee will be at your company.


Resumes ignore motivators:

Work is more than a place we go to earn money. Today’s workers are looking for reasons beyond a paycheck to commit themselves to their job, and resumes are a poor tool for uncovering what those motivators could be. Motivators — like mastery, autonomy, and purpose — are strongly correlated to job satisfaction and engagement, which in turn are strongly correlated to productivity. If you want to get the most bang for your buck, then you should figure out what the motivators for your top candidates are. The right candidate is the one whose motivators overlap with what the position offers.


Resumes ignore YOU:

You are the most valuable source for judging a qualified candidate. You know exactly what skills and experience a successful hire will need to do the job well; applicants don’t. Resumes end up being a long list of skills that were useful in their past positions or strengths they feel they can bring to any job. Now you’re stuck guessing if the skills and experience an applicant listed would be a good fit for your position when you should be evaluating those candidates based on criteria you know are essential. Stop relying on industry standards and guesswork to figure out if a candidate is the right one for your company. Customize the recruitment process to answer the questions that you know need to be asked.

Resumes have been a standard part of the recruitment process for a long time. They still have a place in the recruitment process, but their importance has been mitigated by the introduction of new methods of evaluating applicants. Relying on resumes is like relying on hammers to fix everything in your kitchen. Both are just one tool in your arsenal, and sometimes they aren’t even the best tool to get the job done. Looking for an alternative? Use online employment applications and questionnaires that allow you to customize questions for each specific job.

Eddie Cantave


Eddie is our fun Payroll & Accounting guy at NewHire. He likes to say he’s a closet nerd and political junkie.

Get more recruiting tips via email. Straight forward. No spam.

3 responses to Resumes? Why Are You Still Hiring Like It’s 1999?

  1. I interview ALL of my clients and demonstrate their personalities through creative writing about their skills and experience.

  2. And this is written by a person who has no background on HR/Recruiting…….

  3. Will – Apparently you’re still in 1999

    When i look at hiring a person, I use the resume to break the ice, but i could care less what they put on it. I’m curious, about their personality when i talk to them about the job position. After all, when hiring someone, you don’t know who they are until it gets down to the work.

Leave a Reply

Text formatting is available via select HTML. <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>