Historically, resumes have been a large part of the hiring pro- cess. After all, what could bemore helpful to understand a candidate’s experience and capabilities thana chronological account of their workhistory for hiring firms to use as a guideto developing interview questions andgather more information?
Yet as much as firms rely on thesepieces of paper when hiring a new teammember, they need to understand that aresume review is not the most effectiveway to ensure a good hiring decision.Resumes can be overrated and shouldbe utilized only in conjunction with amore comprehensive candidate vettingprocess. Here’s why:
Self-Perception Biases: When people have time to prepare a story aboutthemselves, it (almost) always is goingto sound better than reality. It’s justhuman nature.
Our firm sees this all of the time —job seekers say they are detailed, organized, punctual, hardworking, etc.,which doesn’t tell us anything aboutwhether they actually are a fit for theposition. It only shows us how they perceive themselves.
Measurability: Even if job seekerslist specific measurable accomplishments (which is a good sign), such assales goals, experience with softwareprograms, problems solved, ideas implemented, etc., it is difficult to verify.
Approach interviews with the
assumption that people always have the
best intentions, but sticking with the
“trust but verify” approach has kept a lot
of employers from making a poor hiring
decision. References help, but compa-
nies have become more tight-lipped
about a previous worker’s specifics, only
sharing generalities, such as position,
title and dates employed, to avoid poten-
tial lawsuits that might arise from shar-
ing negative feedback.
Unreliable Predictability: Pastexperience doesn’t necessarily predictfuture success in a new position. Everyfirm is different, and even small nuancescan have a substantial impact in terms ofjob fit. There are many variables in eachsituation, and some people only can succeed if everything aligns.
Nor does this just include outsidecandidates. We have seen firms whohad a great experience with an internso they promoted them to an associate planner. But the person struggledbecause they weren’t able to make theadjustment of not having a set schedule, laid out to-do’s each day and dailydeadlines to meet that they had whilean intern.
Therefore, if you are prone tobe wowed by flashy resumes, designa screening process for each role inyour firm where the job seeker candemonstrate if and how they can helpsolve problems that need solving foryour firm to grow.
FINDING THE BEST SKILL SETS
Here are exercises to screen for prob-lem-solving skillsets you need:
Financial plans completed quickly and accurately: Provide a casestudy, and have a fixed time limitto complete it. Make sure the casehas some omitted and conflictingdata to replicate what clients actually provide. This also gives you greatinsight into how the applicant dealswith uncertainty, asking questions andmaking assumptions.
Prioritizing meeting preparationfor several new clients: Provide a one-page brief on each client situation andhave applicants rank them in order ofwho they think will take the most timeand should work on first.
Develop new client onboarding(or other) process: Have them provide a flowchart, checklist or someother process they have created in thepast. Have them walk you through theirthought process.
Close warm leads: Have them role-play a mock prospect interview withsomeone on your team while youobserve. Write out some likely objections from prospective clients to seehow applicants address them.
The key is to design an interviewprocess where the applicant has todemonstrate their skills, not just talkabout them. It may not be time to retireresumes, but consider these suggestionsas you design your hiring process andhone interview techniques.
Caleb Brown is co-founder and CEO ofNew Planner Recruiting and hosts TheNew Planner Podcast which you find atnewplannerrecruiting.com/category/podcast
THE NEW SCHOOL
By Caleb Brown
A Better Way to Interview Job Candidates
Resumes are not the best method to judge talent. Here’s why, and how youcan improve your hiring process.