Resumes Go Way of the Dinosaur, Job Interviews Next
For an increasing number of companies, printed resumes are obsolete and the dreaded job interview may soon follow.
Remember eight-track tapes? Polyester leisure suits? Beer-can openers? The printed resume – long the standard way to apply for a white-collar job – may soon join those once-ubiquitous products in history’s dustbin.
In some cases, resumes have disappeared from the hiring process completely. Some employers don’t even want them in digitized format. They prefer customized online forms, tailor-made to cull the applicant field.
Some human-resource gurus suggest the personal interview could be next on the endangered-species list. John Sullivan, a management professor at San Francisco State University, says most interviews are as valuable as Ouija boards in measuring whether a person will be good on the job. Interviewers ask the wrong questions, and job candidates can lie, or simply not shine when on the job they’d do quite well, he says – all the better for online assessments. Companies – especially those that hire thousands of workers and have high turnover – are turning to a range of computer-based filters to pare down candidates to a manageable number.
While I understand the gains in efficiency for human resources departments in these moves, they may be self-defeating. I simply refuse to spend an hour filling out some online form that simply repackages my resume; my guess is that many other highly qualified applicants simply don’t bother, either. That may be a bonus if the company is looking for good cubicle drones; if they’re trying to find top-notch talent, however, they may be sending the signal “apply elsewhere.”
If I really want a job, I might well be willing to submit to an online personality profile assessment. Even then, however, I’m seldom willing to spend the time unless I’ve made it past some the first hurdle in the hiring process. It’s simply not worth the effort as part of the initial application process.