Our Head of People shares her insights from hiring employees based on their voice and personalities rather than on their resumes.
Talkpush was born from a desire to change the candidate/recruiter interaction by starting meaningful conversations, making the experience better for millions of candidates and thousands of recruiters.
“Millions of great candidates are never given a fair chance to be heard, much less hired because many employers have failed to evolve from resume-based screening to competency-based screening.” says Talkpush CEO, Max Armbruster
At Talkpush applicants are not mandated to upload their resume because with most candidates interacting with us via mobile phone, it would considerably reduce the size of our talent pool if we did. Instead we use our conversational agents (aka chatbots) to ask candidates questions, some via audio and video, that help us determine if they’re qualified. We’ve found that looking for specific keywords in a resume can often disqualify top talent, so we try to build a more holistic view of each candidate.
Better, Faster, Stronger
Better: As a startup, we are looking for high potential, not necessarily established experts in the field. We have developed a robust on-boarding model, including required literature, podcasts and a shadowing program, so that our newest teammates can get acquainted with the industry faster. We know that all competencies can be learned by the right people. Our recruitment strategy resides in hiring the good cultural fit, people who can make a difference by speaking up, by bringing innovation, by challenging us. Most importantly: we hire people who would buy-in the company vision and strategy.
A resume may highlight some of the values candidates hold dear, but a short conversation will generally perform much better in that regard. With our conversational chatbot, and by capturing their voice (not just their text), we give the candidates a better chance to be heard and our recruiters a better chance to evaluate soft skills and future potential.
Our first hire in the Latin American continent, one who has been instrumental in making it our fastest growing region globally, was initially located on Instagram a few years ago. We probably would’ve passed on his profile if we has relied on resume-screening, since he had no relevant experience. Reviewing his application, it was clear his answers were thoughtful, convincing, and that he believed in some of our our company’s core culture values. He has been a remarkable asset for Talkpush.
Faster: Recruiters just don’t have the time to start conversations with thousands of candidates, which is why they’ve traditionally relied on other methods – such as resume screening to eliminate 90% of candidates. This no longer has to be the case. Chatbots can now get those interactions started, while keeping the candidates engaged as they move through the funnel. Chatbots can interact with candidates via a number of channels, including email, SMS, and messaging apps like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp.
By giving candidates the opportunity to record their answers to questions, recruiters can now spend less time deciding which conversations to extend. Automation allows candidates to be informed of their status every step of the way, re-engaging candidates who have dropped off somewhere along the way, real time data of job campaign performance and talent pools, and even automatic scheduling of interviews.
This gives recruiters more time to focus on candidates with the highest potential while still giving everyone a fair chance and a satisfactory experience.
For example, in 2019, a content marketing position became available in Talkpush where we were looking for recruitment industry experience. If we had used a resume parser, we would have missed out on our eventual hire, who took full advantage of the recorded answers to express her genuine interest and curiosity for the industry. Nowadays our content is better than ever, thanks to her passion and sense of initiative.
Stronger: We want to focus on building strong connections with the candidates, showing them who we are with personalized notes, funny GIFs. Our bot has been designed to match our company’s personality—so they’ll immediately have a better idea of the culture and whether they fit in.
Talkpush operates on a distributed model, which requires ownership and independence. We’re a bit nerdy, love quantifiable results through data and don’t get too worked up about work/life balance. It’s a model that works for us, Talkpushers thrive because they’re allowed the freedom to nurture their ideas, show off their skills, and decide how they want to balance their time. This culture is not for everyone. Stanley’s communications are designed to paint a picture of who we are so that candidates can decide if it’s what they’re looking for.
Resumes not Mandatory
We want the days of “upload your resume here to proceed,” to be gone for good. It’s time to let the voice of candidates take precedent over their academic records. It’s time to record video job descriptions to create emotional connections with future hires. It’s time to answer questions from candidates 24/7 using conversational AI.
Hiring someone with fewer of those precious keywords but more of those hard-to-measure soft skills, along with the right attitude, will generally equate with success both in hiring and long-term performance and retention. It’s a philosophy that’s been gaining traction as traditional recruitment shifts to accommodate the digital age. Hiring for cultural fit and potential has yielded positive results for us, reducing employee churn.
Conversations are truly the future of recruitment, but to take in the sheer volume of applicants, we must automate as much of the process as we can, so that our human recruiters can spend time building upon those connections. Relying on resumes to create the shortlist is a huge wasted opportunity.