Times are changing when it comes to hiring processes. It’s time now, more than ever, to question standard tools, like the resume. How do you improve recruitment in the face of the new candidate and recruiter expectations? How do you offer a hiring experience that’s both efficient and supports the employer brand?
Marie Taquet, CEO of IconoClass, an intensive training program for new business development professions; Fabrice Codjia, VP Sales of SumUp, a simple and affordable payment solution, and Maxime Legardez, founder and CEO of Maki, had a conversation about the resume question and shared their experiences.
How is the resume ill-adapted to the realities of recruitment?
This is the first point all three speakers agree on: The classic recruitment process, resume included, doesn’t match candidate aspirations.
The resume is a vector of bias
It’s a closed proposition, and it doesn’t open up opportunities for atypical profiles. “I’m particularly sensitive to the question of social origins. We don’t all have the same chance of getting a job via a simple resume. It can provide some indication about a profile, but recruiting based solely on this, that no longer makes sense. Companies may be missing out on the talent they’re looking for,” according to Fabrice Codjia.
The resume is not a 100% reliable tool
Another argument, largely shared among the three speakers: “A resume is usually a poor summary of oneself,” explains Marie Taquet. She continued, “I started a school so students could define themselves by something other than their degree. Skills promised by schools are not always justified. Furthermore, job titles don’t always mean the same thing from one company to another.”
The resume doesn’t fit the aspirations of the young generation
The resume responds poorly to expectations and methods preferred by young people entering the workplace. First, because they are not necessarily seeking a certain job or salary. “With a resume, we try to put them in boxes, while the young generations have deeper, more aspirational qualities we may want,” explained Maxime Legardez. And if, according to a report published by Dell Technologies and authored by the Institute For The Future (IFTF), 85% of the jobs that will exist in 2030 haven’t even been invented yet, hiring via new criteria and training talent internally seems more than necessary.
It’s also about form. “By asking for a resume, we’re sticking with dated formats that don’t allow for creativity, while candidates are on TikTok all day,” Maxime observed.
The resume does not reflect a modern image of hiring
For Fabrice, it’s also a question of image for the employer brand: “We’re in a market where there is tension among competition. We must, as employers, propose an original candidate experience. By relying only on a resume, we share a negative image.”
Let’s not forget the perception of the company. According to Glassdoor statistics, 75% of active job seekers are likely to apply to a job if the employer actively manages its employer brand and 68% of Millennials visit an employer's social media properties specifically to evaluate the employer's brand.
A resume can lead to recruitment mistakes
Hiring is a hinge moment for HR teams. They can’t miss the mark. Missing out on a rare gem is a shame and so is recruiting the wrong person.
“Hiring mistakes come quickly and we increase the risk by only taking into account the resume. The financial cost is significant; we lose money on recruitment and also during onboarding. But there’s an emotional cost, too. It’s hard to say that we don’t want to continue with a certain candidate and to disrupt the equilibrium of a team,” noted Fabrice.
Verifying compatibility by something other than a resume is a way to complete an assessment. Put all luck on your side by multiplying your methods of selection. “The search for a profile is meaningful to companies. Recruitment is not an exact science. And the resume doesn’t allow us to evaluate essential criteria like the sharing of values, for example, or the fit with a team. There needs to be a match between recruiters and recruits and that we feel that the candidate will be able to integrate into the existing team. And for that, personality counts a lot,” continued Fabrice.
Beyond errors in judgment, it’s the economic pressure that comes into play. “By evolving the process, we can also save a lot of time. At IconoClass, we ask for a video resume where candidates for our school pitch their profile in two minutes. We test their motivation. Hard skills will be tested in turn, through situational exercises. And it’s only after starting the interview that we can go even further," detailed Marie.
Assess candidate skills without a resume
How do you better evaluate your candidates and not just take the resume at face value? What solutions, methods and tools are available to recruiters to help improve the candidate experience?
Mixing selection tools and methods
The conclusion of 20 years of research on the most efficient recruitment methods? Businesses need to bet on a mix of approaches to better select talent, notably by taking advantage of multidimensional tests.
Things are starting to change. Maxime mentioned a January 2022 study by CodinGame which shows that in the tech sector, 57% of businesses claim to be ready to hire without a resume. It may be a sector that’s more advanced than others, but this shows a promising start.
Having a precise vision of your recruitment needs
Before all else, one step is essential: It’s about getting your needs, expectations and demands straight first, before defining a process adapted to the situation.
Fabrice recalled his experience at Doctolib. “I have a rule that I adhere to. I first look to surround myself with entrepreneurs, people who know how to co-create with me, people who 1) have a vision, 2) are optimistic and resilient, 3) continue to learn at every moment and know how to question themselves, 4) have a sense of responsibility and push themselves to find solutions, 5) are conscious that business success takes work, patience and a collective feeling.” This perspective attests to the importance of setting up the search and that it operates on very different levels.
When the needs are clear, the process happens naturally. “At Maki, we define the skills that are important first, whether in terms of personality or knowledge for each open position. Then we propose a skills test that will allow us to take only the best profiles, and then analyze the results to see with whom we want to pursue the process,” explained Maxime.
Evaluating candidates with skills tests
Skills tests can be proposed throughout the process as a first filter if HR receives many candidates for a job. “By targeting your recruitment process, we limit the incoming flow of candidates. We can then take more time to meet them. The more we invest in the recruitment process (like by being more agile, and not leaving the job open for months), the less it will cost us in the management of human resources,” advised Fabrice.
Especially since these new recruitment methods allow us to prove our adaptability. Marie pushed this process: “I think that tests and assessments are indispensable. After COVID, we saw a lot of reconversions. It’s a shame that profiles can’t show off any newly acquired skills. We also see a significant boom in self-taught talent. It’s the dream opportunity for them to show off their skills in a test. They can also demonstrate their motivation. And this encourages the company to leave an opportunity to a less typical profile.”
Something to be attentive to? An assessment can sometimes discourage recruiters and candidates alike. It takes time, effort and implies judgment…However, the available solutions are more and more fun and robust. That they can be done via video, or using gamification, the use of mobile, or through known personality tests is also reassuring.
The candidate experience is becoming memorable, and from the business side, the time saving and fairness in hiring are important pluses. “We say that if the fit is there, we can always train the candidate in any missing technical skills,” explained Marie.
Adapting the recruitment process to your target
It’s impossible to offer a miracle recipe that works for all companies and every job. It’s important to have in mind the field of possibilities and to have support in the design of an adapted process.
“A group interview can be interesting in certain contexts and less so in others. Because it can disadvantage more introverted profiles. Or in sales teams, we know that the two profiles [introverted or extroverted] can work very well,” affirmed Marie.
“A company that uses Maki to create tests defines its own process. This can be a 5-minute assessment test if we’re talking about a more technical position. For consultant roles, we offer high-level personality or language tests, with business cases to turn in. Candidates should continue to the end of the process, which is a way of showing their commitment,” explained Maxime.
The conclusion of this rich exchange? Long seen as the exhausted parents of the company, HR directors can start to see their place within the company evolve. Once better integrated into the business goals, efficiency and fairness in hiring become an important lever for nourishing the employer brand. This way they can find the right people and succeed in keeping them on the team in the long run.