The Resume Is Not the Candidate

We have placed hundreds of thousands of people in jobs since 1980. Over a long period of time, experience teaches you things that you would have a tough time learning any other way. It’s not that what you learn is counter-intuitive, but more the fact that the common practices are at odds with what is truth. 

One of our favorite misconceptions is the idea that you can tell whether or not you should hire a candidate based on their resume. 

Hard and Soft Skills

First, let’s acknowledge that when you need to hire someone with a certain experience, a lack of that experience on the resume is good, solid evidence the person represented by that resume is not going to be a good fit. When your strategy is to buy the talent you need, then you are paying for that experience. 

But, more often than not, we see companies reject resumes for reasons other than a lack of experience. The candidate has the experience, but the hiring manager either sees something they don’t like, or they don’t see something they want to see. 

Recently, we had a client reject a resume because the employee worked less than three years on their last two jobs. She wanted to see stability. Having interviewed and screened the candidate, we shared with the client that the person was laid off from both jobs when the companies he worked for had financial difficulties. 

In another case, a hiring manager was looking for experience with a particular, rather rare software program that not many people have used. In this case, we identified candidates that had learned different, similar software programs that were required on prior jobs. Because that experience was rare, we looked for the soft skill of being adept at learning new software programs, which bring us to what we know. 

You Are Not Hiring a Resume

We have placed people with the exact experience to be successful in the job for which they were being placed. We liked them. Our clients liked them. But they failed in their new role for some reason that wasn’t easily discovered on the resume. 

We have also placed people who seemed to lack the experience necessary to be successful in the job they were being considered for, but who were wildly successful because they had the right set of attributes and soft skills to succeed in their new role. 

Whether you use us to fill your orders (and we hope you do) or some other firm, it’s important to remember that we are screening candidates for what isn’t seen on the resume. We are sending the candidate that we believe is the right person for the job based on a truer, fuller view of who they are, what type of work they really want, what kind of company they will do their best work, and their likely cultural fit. 

While we look at the resume, the person we send is not their resume. If your staffing firm recommends them, it’s because they have looked beyond the resume, and there’s a good chance that when you interview that individual, you will see what they saw.