Why You Should Ditch the Resume in Your Hiring Process

By Joel Patterson
hiring process

Resumes have been a basic requirement in the hiring process for decades, but are they still as relevant and useful as we’ve been led to believe? A resume is just a piece of paper, and sometimes just an email attachment. 

Tell me, how could I ever truly know whether or not a person is a good fit for my business from looking at this information alone? The person behind the resume is more important to consider in the hiring process. I believe hiring based on a person’s true nature creates a far better team than simply hiring based on experience and academic achievement. 

Here are a few of my thoughts on ditching the resume during the hiring process. 

Resumes are subject to embellishment. We’ve all experienced, and some of us have even concocted resume jargon. Take the following statement, for example. Served as a client liaison. Readily received, handled, and resolved client concerns remotely, while maintaining a professional and friendly demeanor. While the previous sentence may sound like a noteworthy skill, it could also describe a task as simple as answering the phone. 

Even if a resume is as straightforward and accurate as possible, it still doesn’t give you a good understanding of what it might be like to work with a person. Many people with stellar credentials will still not be a good fit for your team. It’s nothing against these individuals, it’s just about finding the right person (not resume) for the position. 

Takeaway: It’s better to base a hiring decision on first-person interaction than assumptions taken from a resume.  

People are a part of company culture. People are the #1 “secret” ingredient to the success of my business. That’s by design. We choose new hires with our unique company culture in mind. We gravitate towards people who will thrive in the environment we’ve already created. Even if an applicant isn’t the most qualified choice on paper, they could still be the best choice for us.

Of course, possessing foundational skills is a necessity in a new team member, but there’s always the opportunity to learn on the job. By choosing people based on their personal attributes, you nourish the team. By providing those people with the support, training, and space they need to hone their skills, you set them up for success. These techniques create a compatible team that is constantly learning and growing together. 

Takeaway: A highly collaborative and eager team of novices is more valuable than a collection of experts in discord. 

Be someone’s chance to succeed. The last thought on why you should largely disregard a person’s resume. Not everyone has the opportunity to attend top-level schools. Not everyone is on the same academic and professional timeline. Life happens, and it can’t be understood through the sterile lens of a resume. You will learn more from one conversation with another human than words on a page could ever express. 

Takeaway: The best person for the job doesn’t always come with a flawless work history or perfect life story.