The paper resumé may be becoming as dated as the cigarettes and sexism of Mad Men, with websites, blogs and video resumes taking the future of recruiting online.
When MuchMusic wanted a new VJ, it opened the VJ 2.0 contest to anyone who could wow them with a video resumé. When The Score wanted a new on-air personality, it launched Drafted, a multimedia online contest for the coveted spot.
Derek Snider, host and manager of new media for The Score, says the web has radically changed the way people recruit.
“Broadcasting used to be one of those fields where it wasn’t necessarily what you knew, but who you knew,” he says, adding that hiring a decade ago would have meant asking around the office. “We wanted to cast a really wide net (with Drafted).”
That web caught 3,000 applicants as the online process opened the door to top talent across the country. Web presence counted heavily and the serious contenders had Twitter-sized bios and video resumés.
“Some were basically broadcast quality, and that really gave them an edge over some of the other applicants. There were also some videos that were really intriguing, but weren’t high-end,” Snider says. “We’re not (just) looking for a broadcaster, we’re looking for somebody who’s really comfortable and confident in who they are, and that comes across on camera.”
The old ink-on-dead-tree approach just doesn’t cut it anymore.
“When it comes to broadcasting, it may well be the end of the paper resumé. Video and people that have their own websites and blogs would certainly show us their abilities,” he says. “It really shows you what they’re capable of, outside of standing in front of a camera and saying the Leafs beat the Canadiens 4-3 last night.”
Byrne Luft is vice-president of marketing for Manpower Canada, which just launched Jobs2Web, a tool that allows companies to boost their search-engine presence for job postings.
“When a person is looking for a particular job, our clients’ jobs will show up on the first page of any Google, Yahoo, Bing or MSN organic search,” Luft explains.
They also broadcast jobs on social media like Twitter and Facebook, which gets them in the minds of people not actively looking for work, but who might be lured into a new position.
Video resumés highlight the applicant’s “soft skill abilities” in a more time-efficient way than initial sit-down interviews, he says. It also means a boss can easily forward the link to colleagues who may have a more suitable position.
But there’s a huge risk if you don’t monitor your online presence and your potential boss comes across photos and blogs that throw an unflattering light on you.
“When candidates come to Manpower, we coach them … to market their personal brand most effectively,” Luft says. “If you don’t do it in an effective way, it can actually hinder your ability to find employment.”
Luft sees a future for paper, though. “You still have a group of people who still like to have that piece of paper in front of them,” he laughs.