Sending the Resume a Pink Slip

Jordan Ingersoll
February 2, 2020

(The article summarized here was first published by Crain’s New York Business, titled “The most useless document in New York business. Read the full article here)

The term “resume blackhole” probably resonates with most 21st-century job seekers. Due to higher volumes than ever of applicants per role, most resumes don’t even get reviewed, and even worse, of the candidates that are ultimately hired, most don’t succeed in the roles they’re selected for. The resume thus paves the way for many missed opportunities on both ends of the talent pipeline, which can mean high turnover, long hiring processes, and lots and lots of unhappy job seekers. Perhaps most concerning, however, is the room for bias that resume reviews allow for, resulting in homogeneous, like-minded employees, and reduced professional opportunities for individuals from non-traditional backgrounds.

While state lawmakers in the U.S. have made strides towards reducing bias in the hiring process by not allowing recruiters to make decisions based on hairstyle, criminal, or salary history, Frida Polli, CEO and Co-founder of pymetrics, asserts that change must extend beyond policy if we want to achieve the most level playing field possible for job candidates across the globe. She says it best herself:

“It is ridiculous that candidates are supposed to jam their life’s work and education into a document that they hope will be read by an HR representative, and have this document also represent their personality, cognitive ability, and dedication.”

Not only are resumes unhelpful to recruiters, but to add insult to injury, an exorbitant amount of time is spent by job seekers on perfecting the content and design of the document-- oftentimes to never even be seen. Perhaps this time would be well-spent if education and past experiences had high validity in predicting future job performance. And perhaps it would be well-spent if recruiters spent more than five to seven seconds reviewing resumes, and job applicants with white-sounding names didn’t experience 50% more callbacks than those with African-American-sounding names. But this isn’t the world we’re living in, and unfortunately many calls to action are falling on deaf ears.

To learn more about how pymetrics is challenging this status quo and providing employers with a more data-driven approach to evaluating candidates, head over to our Solutions page and continue exploring!