An emerging trend points towards a reliance on skills-based hiring, and a departure from traditional résumés, based on new research. Over 70% of survey respondents stated that skills-based hiring is more effective than relying on résumés, according to a report published by Test Gorilla – representing a more effective, efficient and cost-effective way to hire candidates. The report relied on data collected across four continents, utilizing over 3,000 responses, split evenly between employers and employees. For folks looking for jobs, 86% said that the opportunity to showcase role-relevant skills would increase their likelihood of securing a “dream job”. Currently, 73% of companies already using skills-based hiring in some form, with 27% of companies adopting some form of skills-based hiring over the last 12 months. So, is the résumé dead?
Predicting that Gen Z could “wave goodbye to résumés” because of skills-based recruitment, Fortune says that 92% of companies view skills-based hiring as more effective than using a traditional CV (curriculum vitae), another word for résumé. The idea is that testing for specific skills is more effective than being “drawn by big names and snazzy titles”. But is that what résumés do – represent some form of HR click bait, based on job titles or company names?
According to Khyatai Sundaram, CEO of the skill-based recruitment platform Applied, just because someone says that they’ve worked with the CEO of Google on their résumé doesn’t actually mean that they have the kinds of skills needed for a particular role. “We are trying to make sure the test or the question is as relevant to the job as possible,” Sundaram said, adding, “That’s the reason that candidates love it too.”
Why Is Skills-Based Hiring Growing In Popularity?
According to Bloomberg, some job seekers are sending out as many as 500 résumés, flooding the interwebs with a strategy known as “spray and pray”. Forbes Senior Contributor Jack Kelly writes that employers are slow-walking the hiring process, in a tight job market. “Employers will still post job listings to appear as if the company is growing and thriving,” Kelly says, “but in reality, it’s a ploy to gain a pipeline of résumés for the future, when circumstances improve.” Meanwhile, FOX News reports American companies like Walmart, IBM, Accenture, Bank of America and Google have announced plans to reduce the number of jobs that require college degrees.
Notice the ingredients for a perfect storm.
When résumés are blasted out like white stuff from a snow blower, they tend to lose their impact. In a world where you can say anything, and post everything, employers want to know if you have the skills to really do the job. Making promises on a résumé is one thing. Keeping promises on the job is another.
Writing a résumé is a skill, but is it the kind of skill that ensures you will be a good project manager, nurse, architect or legal assistant? The impact of a college degree, once considered “table stakes” for white collar work, has been called into question. What employers value isn’t necessarily your education or experience, it’s your skill set. And rather than read a marketing document on those skills (that’s really what your résumé is: a personal branding statement, which may be filled with promise…or potential hype), employers want to know what they are really getting. So they test for it. Can you blame employers for checking the facts, when over 50% of employers say that they can’t be sure if a résumé is accurate?
Employers report that they have reduced the amount of mis-hires by 88%, as a result of skills-based hiring in the recruitment process. And nearly half of employers state that it is difficult to determine applicant’s skills using résumés. And, according to the report, 85% of companies cite diversity as a workforce objective. Using skills-based hiring, not just relying on résumés alone, has had a positive impact on diversity hiring for 84% of responding companies. For Asian, Arab or Black employees, over 70% identify that skills-based hiring leads to new employment opportunities.
Is the Résumé Dead?
No company would hire based on one single source of information. You need skills, and the ability to share those skills, in a variety of formats – including a résumé, an interview, and more. As Stella Adler famously said, “You’ve got to have a talent, for your talent.” Spending time creating a powerful résumé is still a good investment. Just make sure that you aren’t over-promising, or substituting SEO strategy for legit details on your CV. You will be tested, and questioned, and interviewed, to make sure that you are the correct fit for the role. Your résumé will never speak for itself – that’s why you have to. You have to share your talents in a way that’s clear, concise and compelling – whether on a test or in the interview. Don’t let a .pdf, or your LinkedIn profile, tell your whole story. Be ready to share your skills and talents in every way, to find success in a tough job market.
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