Recruiting is not immune to the laws of evolution

I came across an interesting article on The Wall Street Journal online. The title, “No More Résumés, Say Some Firms”, caught my attention. No more résumés? How cool is that! Don’t get me wrong, I am satisfied with my résumé. In my opinion I have an impressive academic and professional record. However I find a cover or motivation letter together with a résumé an inadequate medium to promote oneself. To me the traditional application often feels like an exercise in summary writing and merely shows that I have made the effort to write the letter in such a way that catches the recruiter’s attention. After all a job application is comparable to a sales pitch. I want to convince the company to pay for the product “ME”! As I writer, it is no problem to paint a wonderful picture of myself in a thousand words or more. But I have to consider the page and formal format constraints in a traditional application. I was terrible at summary writing in school because I did not see the sense in it and I still don’t. I love words, need I say more? Thus here I was, dreaming of ways I would revolutionise the recruiting industry, when I came across this article.

The article talks about alternative recruiting approaches adopted by firms like Union Square Ventures and Sticker.com. The approaches mentioned in the article range from submitting a list of the applicant’s personal web presence together with a short motivation video to answering questionnaires designed to highlight the applicant’s skills, real interest in the company, the offered position and fit with the company’s culture (SILVERMAN, 2012). After reading this I realised my revolutionary dreams were not very farfetched after all.

Who would disagree with me, if I said that we live in a casting era? Turn on the TV anywhere in the world and I bet that you will find a casting show. Whether it is to find the next singing sensation or the love of your life, casting is the way to go. I was walking down the main street in Luang Prabang in Laos last year and came across 2 teens wearing numbers on their shirts, like the ones runners get in a race. Later I found out that they were auditioning for the very first Idol show in Laos. With the infiltration of YouTube, Facebook, etc. in our lives, we are getting better in the field of self-promotion all the time. I believe this is especially true for the younger generation. I apologise for saying it but today’s youngsters are tomorrow’s recruiters. I see it coming that in the future castings would be a normal form of recruiting.

Here are the points that speak for such an approach.
1.    Today a recruiter takes about 5 min to go through an online or paper application. In future the recruiter would watch an applicant present for 5 min in the initial selection round. If you ask me, I think that the latter has the potential to be more entertaining.
2.    Today the recruiter has to personally filter the suitable candidates from a load of applications. Recently an acquaintance, who works at a well-know consulting firm, mentioned that the HR department received about 3000 applications for a few vacancies. In the future I envision, the recruiter would publish a date and time for the casting. Here is where self-filtering occurs because those who are only interested in getting a job and lack an affinity to the company would probably not be willing to invest a lot of time waiting for their turn. The really desperate but unsuitable applicants will be filtered out after the casting round.
3.    Today the initial candidate selection is two dimensional. The two dimensions are academic and/ or professional qualifications and skills profile. The recruiter has to wait until after the interview to determine the applicant’s social fit to the company. There is always the danger that a suitable candidate doesn’t make the first cut. In future a casting would enable the recruiter to make a decision based on a three dimensional analysis. The third dimension would encompass the soft skills aspect as well. Some applicants might not have convincing data on paper but possess the X factor, which would make them excellent for the offered position. As a result castings could ensure a diversity of potential candidates, who make it to the next round. After all variety is the spice of life.

I admit my idea is far from fully developed and there are some weak points. But I truly believe that it is the direction, we should be heading in. Unfortunately for me, I would have to stick with the traditional approach, if I want to find a job soon. An alternative would be to go into cryopreservation now and be resuscitated in the future, when my vision is reality.

References
SILVERMAN, R. E. (2012, January 24). The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved February 04, 2012, from http://on.wsj.com/Aq0558

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