To Millennials, The Resume Is No More Valuable Than The Paper It’s Written On

To Millennials, The Resume Is No More Valuable Than The Paper It’s Written On

The traditional resume helped millions land that “dream job,” or maybe simply “that job to pay the bills.” But, despite its pervasiveness, I have to wonder if it’s time for an overhaul. The traditional written resume simply cannot convey why a person gets out of bed in the morning and what gets him or her excited.

The inability of the resume to communicate this type information also leads to inefficiency in the qualification process and results in bad hires. Yet, ascertaining this data quickly and effectively is exactly how you find the ideal new employee for your company.


The decline of the resume coincides with the maturation of millennials who have come to be known as creative, resourceful, energetic, outgoing, and–unlike their baby-boomer parents–they do not plan to stay at one job for the next thirty years. They want to be employed by organizations that support their ambitions, share their passions and work toward shared goals. Most millennials hope to live to work, not work to live.


In order to attract this generation of new talent, companies must consider the entire person. It seems trite, but it speaks to the fact that more than 50 percent of professional placements fail. The truth is that, when employees are happy overall, they are more productive and have longer tenure at the company–maximizing a company’s success. But no part of a resume communicates the passions, aspirations, likes, dislikes and other personal dimensions of an applicant. That is why the recruiting process has so many tedious layers, including qualifying resumes, conducting a pre-screen and then holding the formal interview. A traditional interview can take anywhere from four to nine rounds. There has to be a better way to both streamline the process and ensure successful matches between employer and employee.


The good news is there are technologies coming to market that can solve this challenge by integrating video and big data analytics to communicate all the dimensions of a job-seeker and the hiring company. A ivdeo of a candidate brings that person to life in a way that a resume simply cannot. Rather than words on a page, with video the jobseeker is suddenly an actual person with facial expressions, cadence and a style. This vital information is impossible to communicate with a traditional resume–even a digital one. Obtaining a holistic view of the candidate prior to the first interview enables employers to determine if this person has the right attitude and energy to work for the company. As a result, it can effectively eliminate the “pre-screen” step in many instances. In addition to saving time, this is important, because phone screens rarely tell the full story considering up to 80 percent of communications comes through non-verbal queues. Such insight is simply not possible with a resume.


Additionally, many online tools enable recruiters to spam potential job seekers, which is counterproductive for everyone. A more prudent approach is to contact job-seekers only when they are ready to make a transition to a new opportunity. The same goes for companies looking to hire people.  The vast majority of responses companies get from a posting don’t meet the requirements clearly spelled out in a job description or posting. Candidates and companies should only engage when: 1) A candidate has expressed an interest in transitioning and has clearly articulated what they are looking for in their next opportunity, 2) A candidate meets the requirements the company needs and they represent a strong match based on mutual goals.  Again, this reduces the time associated with wading through and interviewing countless applicants that would never be a fit for the position.


This type of technology empowers businesses of all sizes and job-seekers at all levels to find the perfect match with one another. A resume may find a job or a new employee, but it rarely finds a “perfect match.”


If recruiters begin to look at all aspects of a candidate, they will attract talent that is a holistic fit for the company – resulting in longer employee tenures. This heightens productivity and maximizes investment. This is particularly important, considering that it can cost upwards of $18,000 to select a new employee. Even worse, the cost of losing an employee can be up to 213 percent of the employee’s salary. Recruiters and hiring managers must look to more robust technology than the resume in order to drill into a candidate’s passion and goals. And job seekers must employ these same tools to sell themselves in a more effective way and let companies know they are passionate not just about the work, but about their personal ambitions.


Jeff Freeland


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