Here’s a riddle for you: What fits onto an 8.5” x 11” piece of paper, is predictably formatted, and provides almost no detail about the person it represents? It’s a resume, and it is the most discriminatory part of the hiring process today.
As a hiring manager, you know that job seekers are much more than the list of qualifications that they’ve included on their resume. But, one of the biggest challenges in today’s hiring process for hiring managers is learning to accept – and to screen – dynamic job applications.
Even though many organizations understand that the resume is fast-becoming just one aspect of a job seeker’s total job application, many do not know how to incorporate multimedia, pre-screening questions or other dynamic information into their own application processes. Because the hiring process has remained virtually unchanged for more than a decade, hiring managers are struggling to make sense of how social recruiting and dynamic job applications fit in to the outdated process that they’ve come to rely on. But, as technology progresses and hiring managers continue to be bombarded with paper resumes, dynamic content may be the only thing to set applications apart.
Here are some ways that hiring managers can take the first step in setting a precedent for accepting dynamic job applications within your organization:
Encourage job seekers to share a link to their professional website in the application process. Professional websites are a great place that some job seekers are starting to post their resume, accomplishments, letters of recommendation and other dynamic aspects of their professional lives. LinkedIn is a narrowed-down version of a professional website and may be a great alternative to a full-blown professional site.
Project-based interviews are a great way to learn more about a candidate during the hiring process. Specifically, project-based interviews help hiring managers to get a sense of how a candidate will work with the company’s existing team, both culturally and technically. And, the candidate can also decide whether the work environment is a good fit by taking it for a test drive.
Consider all aspects of a job seeker’s application that helps that person to stand out. Some job seekers are starting to record a video introduction talking about why they are a great fit for your open position while demonstrating their soft communication skills. Others are compiling infographics that depict past work experiences in a dynamic way. Still other job candidates are sharing ideas and proposals to help make a hiring company better before they even come in for an interview. It is up to hiring managers to recognize the extra effort that goes into this type of application and to take that into consideration.
By finding ways to accept dynamic resumes now, when the technology and adoption are still in early stages, hiring managers are judging job seekers on their own merit – and not some arbitrary filters like where they went to school or how long it took them to backpack through Europe. And, to some extent, this helps hiring managers to take the burden off of themselves in combing through hundreds of resumes so that they can focus on only those job seekers who created dynamic resumes.
Best of all, once hiring managers start to universally consider the whole job seeker, the onus will be on applicants to finesse their online personal brand and to make themselves come alive to the organizations at which they apply. Although the process may be bumpy at first, we can start to train ourselves to be more open-minded about what we’re looking for, and where we find it.