What You Need to Know
- Resumes can be overrated and should be utilized only with other vetting processes.
- Candidates usually have good intentions, still,
- There are specific interview techniques that can discover a person's problem-solving abilities.
Historically, resumes have been a large part of the hiring process. After all, what could be more helpful to understand a candidate’s experience and capabilities than a chronological account of their work history for hiring firms to use as a guide to developing interview questions and gather more information?
Yet as much as firms rely on these pieces of paper when hiring a new team member, they need to understand that a resume review is not the most effective way to ensure a good hiring decision. Resumes can be overrated and should be utilized only in conjunction with a more comprehensive candidate vetting process. Here’s why:
Self-Perception Biases: When people have time to prepare a story about themselves, it (almost) always is going to sound better than reality. It’s just human nature.
Our firm sees this all of the time — job seekers say they are detailed, organized, punctual, hardworking, etc., which doesn’t tell us anything about whether they actually are a fit for the position. It only shows us how they perceive themselves.
Measurability: Even if job seekers list specific measurable accomplishments (which is a good sign), such as sales goals, experience with software programs, problems solved, ideas implemented, etc., it is difficult to verify.
Approach interviews with the assumption that people always have the best intentions, but sticking with the “trust but verify” approach has kept a lot of employers from making a poor hiring decision. References help, but companies have become more tight-lipped about a previous worker’s specifics, only sharing generalities, such as position, title and dates employed, to avoid potential lawsuits that might arise from sharing negative feedback.
Unreliable Predictability: Past experience doesn’t necessarily predict future success in a new position. Every firm is different, and even small nuances can have a substantial impact in terms of job fit. There are many variables in each situation, and some people only can succeed if everything aligns.
Nor does this just include outside candidates. We have seen firms who had a great experience with an intern so they promoted them to an associate planner. But the person struggled because they weren’t able to make the adjustment of not having a set schedule, laid out to-do’s each day and daily deadlines to meet that they had while an intern.
Therefore, if you are prone to be wowed by flashy resumes, design a screening process for each role in your firm where the job seeker can demonstrate if and how they can help solve problems that need solving for your firm to grow.