The company behind the world’s biggest employment portal says it has a solution to the labor shortage that’s gripping the United States: getting rid of the traditional resume.
Despite the acute need for workers, “the hiring process is still resumes, sending resumes, checking resumes,” said Hisayuki “Deko” Idekoba, chief executive officer of Japan’s Recruit Holdings Co., which runs Indeed.com and Glassdoor. “This is a great opportunity for us to move forward from old-school, incumbent resume-profile culture to asking: What can you do?”
The U.S. is set to enter the tightest job market since the 1950s according to one estimate, and employers are struggling to fill both white- and blue-collar positions as job seekers re-evaluate their priorities post-pandemic.
That demand for hiring saw revenue more than double at Recruit’s hiring technology division in the quarter ended September, earnings figures released this week show. Shares are up more than 80% in 2021, in a surge that has made the firm Japan’s fourth-largest enterprise by market value.
Modern hiring processes need to adapt for the times, Idekoba said, while many small- and medium-sized businesses are still seeking to fill jobs the way they did a decade ago. He gave the example of one restaurant that hasn’t updated its job description for an entire decade. “You are requiring a college degree, why?” he asked. “Forget about it!”
Idekoba, who divides his time between Tokyo and Austin, Texas, where Indeed is headquartered, said he had to wait 40 minutes recently in a restaurant in the U.S. due to the shortage of serving staff.
Instead, Recruit suggests posing questions and assessment tests to job seekers to see if they know how to navigate the specific tasks the job will require. It also stores the answers, so unsuccessful job seekers can use them elsewhere.
For truck drivers, who are “needed desperately” in the U.S., Recruit has started offering a chat-based hiring process, according to Idekoba, because drivers spend most of their days on the road and tend not to have laptops.
In addition, “there are a huge amount of people who can’t write resumes” or don’t have the skills to fill one, he said, as well as the issue of the tens of millions of Americans with criminal records. Recruit is expanding its training options to help people write better resumes for jobs that need them, and aims to use technology to identify skills an applicant might have that could be transferable to another area.
Recruit bought Indeed, then a startup, for a reported $1 billion almost a decade ago. Idekoba ran the unit before being promoted to CEO of Recruit in April this year. In addition to recruiting and staffing, it runs sites used to find properties and secondhand cars, and book hotels and restaurants in Japan, where it is looking to expand its software as a service offering.
Idekoba says Indeed.com now helps twice as many people find jobs as it did before the pandemic. “20 hires per every minute,” he said, “but still we couldn’t fix” the labor shortage.
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