Imagine the impact – on our lives, our companies and our nation’s economic health – if we were all working towards goals that allowed us to reach a moment where we felt like this …
The Entitled Sheep ~
Someone once told me that when you find what you love to do the left and right side of your brain are forced into engagement. Yet as I sit here at this desk writing as the founder of this company that has become as important to me as family, it brings a tear to my eye to think about all the disengaged workers that continue to expect a handout every two weeks as our company fights to stay relevant in an ever changing business environment. This company was seeded by the sincere conviction that my partners and I held for our service; today I am frustrated by the seemingly impossible task of staffing my company with people who care as much as I still do about its success.
Have Resumes Become More Effective Hiring Tools Over Time?
The last few decades have seen tremendous advancements in our society, ranging from healthcare and transportation to telecommunications and information technology; even our fundamental understanding of the universe has grown more rich and complete. Yet ask anyone the first thing they should do when looking for another job? Most likely, they will answer that you should update your resume.
A recent article in Bloomberg Businessweek, ‘Stuck in Jobs: The New Swing Voters,’ highlighted the fact that an average of 1 million fewer Americans have been quitting their jobs each month since January 2009. This adds up to almost 30 million people who, according to the article, may prove to be a powerful voting bloc in the 2012 Presidential election (along with the 14 million unemployed). Although the article makes an interesting political point (“If the President wants to keep his job, Americans may first have to feel more confident about quitting theirs”) the broader economic implications seem to be totally overlooked.
Stop Using Resumes: Solutions for Today’s Jobs Marketplace
Our last post encouraged both job seekers and employers to take greater responsibility for the unacceptably high levels of disengagement in the American workforce. To help remedy the problem – wrong people in the wrong positions at the wrong companies – RNR recommended that people stop submitting resumes and employers stop accepting them. This advice obviously “stirred the pot” and raised a variety of questions and comments, some of which we will respond to below.
“I found a better way… built a web based marketing/networking tool that landed me job offers with Goldman Sachs, Deloitte, FBI, and many others.”
A few of the responses to RNR’s recent LinkedIn posts on higher education have misinterpreted our critique as a “crusade against college.” To reiterate – college can be an extraordinary opportunity to inspire ones intellectual curiosity , acquire both practical and critical thinking skills and learn more about the world and other cultures through international exchanges and programs abroad. However, it is not for everyone and it is just one [increasingly costly] way in which to acquire new knowledge and experience. The societal expectation that says a person must have completed a four year college program in order to be considered as a qualified candidate to do a job is totally misguided. It hurts employers, it hurts job seekers and ultimately, it hurts our economy.
Degrees a Poor Metric for Value When Buying Human Capital
Over the past several weeks, the Resume Not Required blog has been generating discussions about several topics related to higher education – what is the purpose of higher education in America? Is it relevant to the workplace? And what does holding a degree convey about a person’s motivation to succeed?
Reaction to the questions varied. Some respondents were bewildered, even outraged, that we would imply that holding a four year, or advanced, degree is a bad metric for judging someone’s potential. Others mistakenly asserted that we were advising high school seniors that education is unimportant and irrelevant to their lives because we listed a small handful of uber-successful billionaires that skipped out on school.
Question: Besides all sharing a personal net worth in the billions of dollars, what do Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, British entrepreneur Richard Branson and Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich all have in common?
Answer: They all dropped out of school (Branson actually quit high school).
So, what’s the lesson here – dropping out of school leads to great success? Hardly. But the reverse is equally untrue. Yet society continues to stigmatize those who have not completed a four year degree; in fact, Jobs, Branson, Abramovich, and other notable CEOs like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg would have a difficult time breaking through their own companies’ human resources departments (where recruiters, and even software, scan resumes in order to eliminate candidates based on predefined criteria like college education and number of years of experience).
Like most people, you probably want your job to matter. Over three quarters of employees say that they want to be engaged in their career. They want a paycheck, sure; but they also want to go into the office on Monday mornings believing that their work actually matters, that they are an integral part of the success of their organization.
Yet sadly, most people have no idea how to go about finding and pursuing a job like this. Many passively wait for someone to tap them on the shoulder and offer them that “dream job,” which they invariably say they’ll know “when they see it.” Even the more proactive among us are still probably just chasing job openings, for which the competition is typically fierce.
Imagine you come across a magic lamp. A genie emerges and says you can pick any job you want – from over 20 million companies and 140 million jobs – as long as it’s something you can do with very little training (in other words, becoming a golf pro or a brain surgeon might not be realistic).
Now – how would you go about choosing the right job, one that would not only satisfy you in the short term but would also give you the ability to reach your personal and professional definition of success in the future?
Don’t Believe Hiring an Agent can Take You Where You Want to be in Your Career?
A sampling of recent responses to RNR clients’ direct outreach to companies they selected as organizations that they want to work for. Neither RNR nor their clients had any previous connection to these companies and they did not use references or networking to establish one: