To Win the Talent War, Kill the Resume and Use These Tools Instead
When it comes to job applications, the resume reigned for decades. But with the rise of social media and online job boards, is the resume still necessary? Or is it an archaic tool best left behind now that better alternatives have emerged?
Times have changed but many companies still rely on the resume to assess candidates’ skills and fit for a job. Most job websites require candidates to upload a resume, and some then ask candidates to fill in the same information in a clunky job form as well. This is time consuming and redundant.
There are many different tools that can be used nowadays in place of the resume. Social media, online portfolios, networking, and even blockchain solutions are all great ways to assess fit and skills. Most software developers have a presence on LinkedIn or GitHub which should tell recruiters all they need to know before they proceed to an interview.
Resumes are impersonal, easily embellished, and it often comes down to who can write the best one, not who is the best fit for the job.
In the war for talent, especially in a software developer context, clinging to outdated hiring practices can cost companies great hires; the best software developers may have the most outdated resumes because they rarely need them. They are approached by recruiters, offered interviews, and hired on the spot. No resume necessary.
The developer context
Surging developer shortages make it difficult to find talent. This is only going to get worse.
In the US, the developer shortage is likely to exceed 1.2 million by 2026. Taking into account bootcamp graduates, computer science graduates, and even all available H-1B visas, there are only around 165,00 potential applicants per year. Meanwhile, unfilled vacancies cost companies about $680 in lost revenue per day.
This issue is partially resolved with distributed teams and by hiring remote developers in other countries.
But other countries are facing similar shortages too.
Companies need developers more than developers need companies. They don’t need to actively apply to get a job. They’re sought out and invited to interview without being asked for a resume at all.
The best developers have the most out of date resumes.
And companies that ask them to send in resumes may lose out to companies that bypass this step altogether and go straight to interviews.
This isn’t necessarily because software developers are too arrogant to send the requested materials. But, by the time they’ve updated their resumes, they may have already landed multiple other interviews just by responding to emails in their overflowing inbox. There are cases where developers are interviewed and made an offer on the same day.
They simply do not need to expend time creating CVs when they are so in demand.
Employers need to move with the times. It is an employee’s market out there.
LinkedIn is the modern-day resume
In the war for talent, recruiters are getting creative and resorting to social media for their hires. In fact, when polled, 67 % of recruiters said they expect competition for candidates to increase.
Research suggests 75% of potential hires aren’t actively searching for a job. It is down to recruiters to leverage social media to find them. If not, they are severally limiting their candidate pool.
And, as 89% of companies plan to use social media to recruit, it’s a good idea to learn how to leverage it now.
Hiring the right software developer, especially, is down to the hiring manager reaching out and social media is increasingly becoming a tool to assess and hire candidates.
Many candidates have a LinkedIn profile which acts like the modern-day resume. However, unlike a clunky Word doc, it’s a lot easier to update with new accomplishments and experiences and it's instantly public.
Unlike resumes, LinkedIn can also include testimonials from happy clients and employers who have verified LinkedIn profiles. This helps recruiters get an idea of the candidate’s performance without having to navigate references which are often limited in what they can say for legal reasons and mostly serve as background checks.
Hiring managers can therefore see an overall picture of a candidate’s experience and skills as well as a solid indication of their performance.
They can then reach out directly via the platform to speak with a candidate and arrange an interview.
Social media has made it easier than ever to get a feel for the person we’re hiring before we even speak to them. Many candidates are aware of this fact. They know building their personal brand can show off their authentic self, as well as their skills and expertise.
And, as for many companies cultural fit is as important as experience, many candidates work hard to build their personal brand online.
This is achieved by keeping an updated LinkedIn profile, requesting testimonials, but also posting thought leadership content or creating posts to show off their personality and expertise.
Hiring managers have access to all this information at the click of a button via LinkedIn. And it is a much better indication of experience as well as fit.
GitHub – a developer’s resume and portfolio
GitHub is home to more than 73 million developers as of 2021. GitHub profiles are especially popular with entry-level and non-traditional applicants who want to show off their skills, but it works well for developers of all levels and backgrounds.
GitHub allows developers to work on open-source projects and collaborate. Developers can also upload their own projects.
It shows employers tangible evidence of a developer’s ability to code. They can view current and past projects and see how developers have improved over time.
Because GitHub is collaborative, it also shows hiring managers that developers can read others’ code too, especially if there is evidence of them working with other developers and collaborating on projects.
Incidentally, collaboration is another key skill that employers look for in future hires. And GitHub is highly collaborative which shows that the candidate can work with others.
So how can you leverage GitHub?
Many developers have their own GitHub profile which mimics a social media layout. Others can follow them to keep up with them if they wish.
Their GitHub profile shows off their personality as they can customize it to highlight whatever is important to them. They can link to their current projects, they can link to other social media, their own portfolio websites, as well as packages they are proficient in.
Some users link to projects from their profile page and also provide background information about the project, much like they would in a classic portfolio. It can show recruiters their skills in real time as these are often projects they have completed recently or are currently working on.
They also have a repositories tab where they store their project information for easy access.
When hiring software developers, recruiters should concern themselves more with whether a developer can actually do the work and less with where a developer got their training.
GitHub provides the evidence hiring managers need to back up their hiring decisions.
Portfolios are stronger indicators of success than a well-written resume. If a developer has a GitHub account, you can skip the resume and portfolio altogether. Just ask them for a link to their profile.
Blockchain – a way to verify experience and education
If there is one universal truth about resumes, it is that most candidates embellish their accomplishments and experiences. In fact, it is estimated that 78% of candidates outright lie on their resumes, making them a poor hiring tool from the outset.
These aren’t small lies either. About 60% of applicants have lied about having skills they don’t have, 40% have inflated their job titles, and nearly 40% have lied about obtaining a degree from a prestigious university.
But companies are aiming to solve that problem by using blockchain technology. Velocity, for example, allows candidates to manage and share their career credentials.
Candidates add their past education and experiences much like they would do in a traditional resume. These experiences are then verified by past educational institutions and employers. Once they’re recorded and verified on the blockchain, they become immutable.
That means they can’t be changed or tampered with.
What this means is that you will see a verified overview of a candidate’s education and experience. This not only does away with the need for a resume but background checks as well.
While resume verification via blockchain is still in its infant stages, it could become mainstream in the next few years. This will do away with the need for resumes and most background checks altogether.
The resume is dead; but are we ready to change?
Hiring managers may need to overhaul their recruitment process to accommodate these changes. But, with these new, efficient processes available, it makes sense to at least consider ditching the resume.
An updated LinkedIn profile can be a much better indication of skills and fit than a poorly written pdf document. And if your candidate has a GitHub profile, that could give you a great indication as to what they’re currently working on and their real-time skills.
Best of all? This information is available in real time. A candidate can send a link to their LinkedIn and GitHub profile or portfolio in seconds, allowing you to review their information and move quickly in this increasingly competitive field.
Doing away with the resume may be the only way to stay relevant. Many top software developers get approached by recruiters, offered interviews, and hired on the spot - no resume necessary.
Not to mention, the advent of blockchain technology could transform hiring altogether. For instance, some companies are recording and verifying candidate information on the blockchain. Everything from their education to experience is logged. It is then verified by employers and educational institutions. Because it is logged on the blockchain, it is immutable. It can’t be tampered with.
This does away with the need for resumes and most background checks too.
There are several alternatives to resumes that work better. So, if you're looking to hire the best software talent, you may want to ditch the resume and try one of these newer methods of assessing skills and fit instead.
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