If the key to a highly effective team is highly effective resources, it stands to reason the biggest detriment to a team’s effectiveness is highly ineffective resources.
That’s not true.
Highly ineffective resources are easy to identify and repurpose or remove. It’s the marginally effective resources that can truly keep a team from ever achieving excellence. So how can you prevent populating critical positions with only marginally-effective resources?
Hire a Resource, Not a Resume
Choosing the most effective resource starts with matching skills to job or project requirements. The most common tool used to match skills and requirements is a resume. In a perfect world, the most well qualified candidate also has the best resume – resume quality is perfectly correlated with candidate quality.
The end result of the candidate process is a binary decision: either you choose a candidate, or you don’t. The process of deciding is anything but binary. This is because candidate quality and resume quality exist on a continuum as two independent values. This creates a “candidate space.” The ideal candidate occupies only one point in that space.
Because the resume is the starting point for your evaluation process, the people you consider for the position are the ones that have the best resumes. The middle area is where the marginal fits enter the equation. Well-qualified candidates that don’t have the best resumes will remain invisible to the selection process.
Since judging resume quality is subjective in nature, it’s easy to miss excellent candidates. It's also easy to consider candidates that have great resumes, but in reality are only marginally-qualified. This is especially true if a 3rd party or automated method is used to assess resume quality.
Of course, you’re not hiring someone because they are an excellent resume writer or have done their research and know what keywords to include. You’re hiring someone because their skills match your job or project requirements. There is certainly some overlap, but there is also a large pool of qualified candidates that won't make it past the first gate.
With infinite time, you could read every resume, interview every candidate, try each person out for a few weeks and then make an assignment decision. You probably don't have infinite time. Thus, the resume is used to “sell” the candidate’s skills, which results in an unavoidably subjective and unreliable evaluation process. Given this reality, how can you better ensure the best match of resource skills and project requirements?
The answer is simple: stop using resumes! Use a tool that has the following features:
- Presents skills, qualifications, and experience uniformly for every resource.
- Contains only objective information.
- Enables easy updating as candidates' experience evolve over time.
- Can easily format and translate candidate qualifications into the language your project teams use to define their requirements.
Whether you build it or buy it, a resource evaluation tool that can accomplish these things may not come cheap. But, the benefits gained by teams performing at their peak will be worth the time and cost.
If you’d like some help breaking free from resumes and getting started with truly matching resource skills to job and project requirements, download our free resource evaluation tool.
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