How surprised would you be to walk into an interview with a recruiter who does not have your CV? No, not because he expected you to bring a copy, but because of the new trend – resumes banned from interview rooms. According to Anna Lambert from Shopify, Ottawa-based high tech success story, this innovative approach is at the core of the company’s recruitment methodology. Laval’s mega retailer SAIL Plein Air takes it a step further – no CV necessary to even apply! The company invites job seekers to submit a compelling story instead. You can read more about it here.

Anna shared the idea behind Shopify’s approach at our #NewSchoolHiring event and it resonated with many of the guests in the audience. Shopify’s recruitment team simply does not believe in trying to stump you, their applicant, make you uncomfortable, zone into something on your CV and dig relentlessly. They believe in having a two-way discussion between two equals, a genuine conversation aimed at discovering if there is a potential fit between the company and you. Fit trumps skill and although many may disagree with this approach, Shopify’s low turnover rates are the best metric of its success.
So what does this mean to you? Shopify’s and SAIL’s unique style will probably not become a standard, but the tendency of leveling the playing field between you and a hiring manager is prominent.   Here is what you can expect to see more frequently during your job search process:
  • Informal conversation-style interviews. Companies are realizing that an interview is a two-way dialogue and that candidates need to be impressed and engaged. Expect more hiring managers to take the time to make your comfortable prior to the interview and to tone down the formality of the overall process.
  • Fewer behavioural style questions. All those advice books on answering questions of the “When was the last time you had a conflict and how did you handle it?” variety are quickly becoming obsolete. Recruiters are realizing that rehearsed answers serve no purpose and that trumping a candidate does nothing for building rapport. Instead of answering useless questions expect to spend more time discussing projects you have worked on.
  • Say “adios” to riddles, brain teasers and puzzles. As headhunters, we always shuddered when hearing our clients say they were going to hire like Google. We knew what it meant was having you tortured with such questions as: “How many golf balls can fit into a bus?” What did it ever do to predict on-the-job success? Nothing! And Google finally admitted it last year – let’s breathe a sigh of relief.
  • Your “chemistry” with the hiring manager is taking precedence over your experience and skill set. This one is tricky. You want to work for a company whose mission and values are aligned with yours, yet you get frustrated when not retained for a position that matches your skill set perfectly on paper. This is a big topic and we will address it more in a future post, but companies that hire based on fit between you and the company culture do report lower turnover rates and happier, more engaged, employees.

All of this is major bad news to old school recruiters and hiring managers who enjoy the power trip of riding into an interview on a proverbial high horse, making you feel uncomfortable and inadequate and then disappearing into oblivion unless your candidacy is retained.

For you, this is great news! Next time you leave an interview disappointed and doubting yourself, remember this post and rest assured – you don’t want to join a company that still has not realized the core importance of candidate experience. And when you walk away energized and feeling that the person you met took the time to make you comfortable and truly listen to you, it is a very good indication of a company worth considering!
Join us for this year’s GotCulture? event to listen to another amazing talk by Shopify! Sign up before June 2015!
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