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Resumes Are Over

Resumes are Over

Quality, Consequences and the Construction Industrial Complex (part 277).

We are in a period of change and the workplace is no exception. For example, it is now unusual for me to receive resumes. Instead, I get several messages per week asking me to review LinkedIn profiles for any open jobs.

Matching employers with qualified workers has been a nightmare for decades. However, thanks to the internet and social media things are changing.

I believe there are 5 changes impacting hiring:

  1. Portability and opportunities. Historically, experience and seniority kept you in the job because switching costs were high .e.g. risk of failure, loss of benefits, economic strength of new employer. Talent today accepts short tenure with these switching costs because job security and benefits have been diminished.
  2. Death of industrialism. Industrial work requires compliance, hierarchy with layers of management and supervision. Creative, knowledge, selling and data related work does not.
  3. Outsourcing i.e. the gig economy. Performance is rewarded, competition is heightened and local taxes plus globalisation push firms to outsource work.
  4. Slack i.e. you can work remotely. This opens up a huge global work force. If you can work from home your job can be outsourced.
  5. Social proof i.e. individuals can now show their expertise and plaudits via social media, websites and YouTube. Social proof is now a factor in talent recruitment.

Companies are realizing there are now only two types of employees:

  1. Replicable, low value, replaceable cog like employees i.e. to be hired and fired as fast and inexpensively as they can.
  2. Lynch pin talent i.e. specialist, high skill people that generate value.

The good news is that skills can be learned and displayed, for motivated skill acquirers there is a lot of opportunity. Also IMHO, the university cast system is starting to breakdown, for example see Google’s latest initiative ( Employers are starting to ask, “show me what have you done and what can you do”.

The bad news is, there has never been a worse time to be average, lazy, low skilled and easily replicable. The competition is now global and “people discovery” is low cost thanks to the internet.

Employers are in a war for talented and skilled people. Job interviews are good at finding people who are good at job interviews but not necessarily good at their job. In todays world, a resume is evidence of compliance, not ability. We are moving to a “show me, don’t tell me” form of interview. This means a body of work and/or a level of social proof is the best way to demonstrate value and get hired.

The resume is IMHO, over!

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