Recruiting Agencies – How do they Work? founder Jeff Taylor was recently quoted: “Pumping your resume full of keywords is a little dishonest.” Another pioneer in online screening mentioned that a class action discrimination suit was filed against resume screening for not searching on alternative words that may be used to describe the same experience.

Have we ever considered that how paper resumes or job applications are sorted may cause adverse impact?

The Contrast

The resume paradigm assumes the candidate presented his/her information in a manner that was usable/valuable to the company.

The scorable, multi-method screening process gathers information intentionally, based upon predefined information needs. One is hopeful, the other objective. Upon which type of information do you want to base your decisions? As we consider the evolution of the recruiting process the resume has not evolved, it has not kept pace.

And, the investment of major ATSs on building yet more sophisticated searching capabilities, coupled with the parallel emphasis on marketing this capability as the key to efficiency, prevents the staffing industry from letting go of the spin document.

In effect, the ATS vendors have perpetuated the paradigm, putting forth inferior screening technology and winning, like VHS winning over Beta in the video market. Superior technology lost to superior marketing.

The Opportunity

The sheer volume of hard to interpret data from resume spamming has opened the door to the room labeled: “Need for Change.” How easily the industry steps across that threshold may be in part directly related to (in no particular order):

1. The degree to which the HR profession acknowledges lessons learned from decades of research on improving the objectivity of selection decisions

2. The success stories that get broad publicity

3. The degree to which users become informed enough to use new methods wisely, (and avoid firing silver bullets)

4. The shift in the approach (and message) of ATS and CRM screening to methods more objective than the resume Simulations, virtual job tryouts and work sampling are the wave of the future, and are being used on a limited basis today

This medium creates an engaging, two-way exchange that offers both parties the opportunity to learn more about each other, the job, the culture, and affords each party the insight needed to make more effective decisions on whether to move forward in the courtship process.

As these methods advance, the stagnant resume will become less valuable and will fall from grace as the tool of choice for talent screening. Should we do away with resumes? No, but we should take a more objective approach to screening candidates. “Mother may I,… take three giant steps forward?”