Don’t Hire Resumes
There is much to be said on how to execute interviews, how to evaluate candidates, how to make final decisions. This article is about only one thing though — not leaning on resumes to make hiring decisions.
Do not make a hiring decision based on a resume.
Of course, resumes may contain an optimistic view of one’s career and education. But that’s also not what this is about. For the purpose of this discussion, suppose resumes are always completely accurate.
Do not hire someone because their resume says Princeton University, for example.
Or because it says SDE @ Amazon.
Or because the resume has words like Vice President or CTO.
Or because they have a Masters degree from Columbia.
Or a certificate from Yale.
Or 25 years of experience! Please not that.
Or because they are certified in everything.
Or because they increased revenue 10x at some previous job.
Or because they worked on a team that built Google Chrome.
Or because their GPA was 3.85.
All of those things are probably very fine things — impressive things. This is not to degrade even one of those things. But those things are not reasons to hire someone. They are reasons to interview someone.
We need to hire energetic, engaging, proactive human beings, who want to work with you every day and solve the hard problems that you deal with every day.
What most matters is who they are today. How they interact. How they treat others. How well they learn. How much they care. How emotionally intelligent they are. How invested they are in your business. How good they are at solving problems in an ambiguous world.
Take the time to talk to people and figure this stuff out during the interviews. However you do it.
When new folks arrive on the first day, their resume is irrelevant. The resume won’t make up for any shortcomings. If they worked at Amazon, they do not bring Amazon with them. They are not covered in Amazon magic. They do not ooze Amazon solutions.
Resumes are papers with words on them. Even if someone has the best words, those words don’t solve problems.
Resumes do not count for anything when it’s showtime.
If you are largely leaning on someone’s resume to feel good about a hiring decision, then you should be concerned that you need to do that. You should feel excited about a hire even if you never saw their resume.
Don’t hire resumes. Hire great people.