Conquent: Without Limits
Conquent: Without Limits
Kristen Fife's Blog

Comment on WSJ "No More Resumes"

2012-01-25 10:21:39

Yesterday one of my network discussion groups shared this URL:

No More Résumés, Say Some Firms

I wrote a letter to the author and thought I would share it here in case you are getting excited about the prospect of being able to throw your resume away:

----Original Message-----
From: Kristen Fife
Sent: Tuesday, January 24, 2012 6:32 PM
To: Silverman, Rachel
Subject: Your article "No More Resumes" on WSJ

I'm a senior recruiter in the Seattle tech market. I read your article, and while I can see how the employers you profiled are trying to connect with "today's" (ie younger, more tech savvy) candidates, there are a number of things which your article did *not* cover from the employer side.

There are several governing bodies and regulations such as EEO, Affirmative Action, OFCCP, USCIS (immigration) and SOX compliance which require a very strict adherence to recruiting standards that employ repeatable, auditable processes that ensure that all candidates are being considered fairly, equally, impartially, and objectively for *each and every position*. In the recruiting world, OFCCP especially has turned our industry upside down in the last 5+ years. Basically, the simplified version of this entails

1) Defining the minimum quantifiable/qualitative qualifications for each position.
2) Developing a single process that makes sure that *each and every candidate is qualified for each and every job based on those minimum quantifiable qualifications*
3) At each step of the process, if a candidate is disqualified, that the reason is objective, quantifiable, and justified.

The processes your outlined in your article are going to give many job seekers unrealistic expectations of job hunting and will create even more divisiveness between recruiters and job seekers. There are some ways to combine "new media" with traditional recruiting processes, but the companies you outlined are not doing so.

If you would like to write a follow-up article I would be happy to be a source; I have been quoted in the WSJ before, as well as the Seattle Times, ABC News, and a host of other publications. (I also had my own employment column on the Seattle Times until October).

Kristen M. Fife, Sr. Recruiter and Sourcing Specialist

(Her response, BTW, was to thank me for my thoughtful comments.)

Some of the issues I, as a recruiter have with the methods that are outlined in this article:

1) As you can see from my response, these employers are not following regulatory-compliant practices. Now, it's very possible that they don't fall under any of the agencies, with the exception of EEOC and Affirmative Action. *It is the law that all candidates must be considered objectively and hired based on qualifications for every job in the US*.

2) Video resumes *NEGATE* objectivity in the initial screening process. Once candidates have been objectively screened, video interviews are fine. This includes Skype, pre-recorded questions/answers. Companies are not required by law to interview anyone to make a hiring decision. It's standard practice, but by no means mandated by law.

3) For most of the other types of compliance I mentioned above, organizations must have a repeatable process that applies the same criteria (the "job description" or requirements) to all candidates. Pre-screening questions are fine if all candidates are given the same questions to answer. In the case of the StickerGiant, as long as the questions adhere to legal requirements as far as non-discrimination and are applied evenly, there is no issue with using that method. IGN's approach was unique, but applied equally across the board and relevant, so was fine.

4) Regarding social media profiles, there is a potential for serious error here. I know for a fact that there are at least 3 "Kristen Fife's" in the US. How do I know that a potential employer is looking at ME as vs. the woman that played the drums in a Japanese band from California? It's the same reason people sometimes have their credit profiles mixed up with someone that has the same name. Not to mention people that choose to use an alias or "nom de plume" for their online activities.

*Companies are opening themselves up to serious lawsuits by using social media profiles as one of the sole determinations of employee screening.

I have always supported some sort of online or media portfolio. There is almost no industry where you cannot create examples of your work efforts to share with potential employers. Having an industry blog is a great way of doing so, and totally appropriate to put on your actual resume/CV. Just make sure that what you are volunteering to share is polished and professional.

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