Should job applicants forego a traditional application in favor of a targeted Snapchat geofilter? As Fast Company reported, one enthusiastic aspiring summer intern did just that, creating his own on-demand geofilter that he scheduled to appear at his potential employer’s office during prime working hours and following up with a miniature social media campaign. The unusual application generated buzz at the office – and a job offer.
Snapchat isn’t yet a common path to finding a job, but social media is an integral part of job searches. Thirty-nine percent of respondents to a survey on LinkedIn indicated that utilizing social and professional networks is an essential and long-lasting recruiting trend. As a result, recruiters, applicants, and employers are beginning to reevaluate the traditional hiring process, and at some companies, experiential tests, gamification, and modern technology are replacing more traditional hiring tools such as resumes. That begs the question: is the resume going extinct? And would that be a good thing?
The answer is not a simple yes or no.
Resume No More?
Critics of CVs and resumes argue that removing resumes from the hiring process in favor of skills tests promotes blind hiring, which means candidates are assessed based on ability rather than pedigree. For industries notorious for homogeneity, such as technology, getting rid of resumes may help combat unconscious bias and increase diversity.
Relying on alternative hiring tools also allows recruiters to reach and evaluate a wider variety of candidates more efficiently, and Silicon Valley has embraced the trend with gusto. Google asks savvy job hopefuls to modify their homepage as a creative test. Uber invites riders to participate in three 60-second coding games within the app. Those who scored high enough were invited to apply to engineering jobs at the company.
Or Maybe Not…
While there may be benefits to incorporating technology into the hiring process, the revolution seems to be limited thus far.
“We have not really seen a trend towards more creative job applications, but we would certainly welcome it,” says Pippa Burridge, Managing Director at H+K London. “Ultimately, our hiring decisions are based on those individuals that demonstrate a hunger and ambition.”
That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Recruiting technologies are not a foolproof way to level the playing field. Though gamification can offer a foot in the door to some diverse candidates who would otherwise be excluded, an entirely gamified process can also be exclusive in its own way.
“Administering a test or a game remotely has the potential to pull in a lot more job candidates who might not otherwise have been considered — people who didn’t go to elite schools, for example — but it could also screen out entire classes of workers,” Catherine Rampell argued recently in The New York Times Magazine. “Millennials might be totally cool with playing a video game set in a sushi restaurant as part of a job application, but some older workers might balk.”
Striking a Balance
Happily, games and tests are not the only way to diversify the hiring pool. Researchers found that participants were unlikely to hire a female or black candidate when they were the only minority in a pool of white male finalists, but when researchers changed the status quo by adding another minority candidate, everyone had a fair chance at being hired.
In the end, whether companies incorporate creative assessment measures – or even an eHarmony algorithm – or old-fashioned ones to match recruiters and potential employees, it’s important that industries follow the spirit of hiring innovations. A commitment to recruiting and hiring a talented, diverse workforce has to drive the hiring process no matter what tools a company uses.
“It is not an either-or for resumes and new technology – it is both,” says Ruth Clark, Global Human Resources Director at H+K. “Hiring is a process of discovery. The resume is only the jumping-off point.”
Indeed, companies should also remember the most old-fashioned hiring tool of all – the face-to-face conversation.
“When I look for a new member of our H+K team, I don’t just look at a piece of paper,” says Jack Martin, Global Chairman and CEO of H+K. “A conversation can reveal so much more than what is on a resume. My decision to hire someone depends on the talent and ability he or she puts into action.”