The CEO of the world’s biggest job portal says he has a solution to the labor shortage: getting rid of the resume

November 17, 2021, 4:47 AM UTC

The company behind the world’s biggest employment portal says it has a solution to the labor shortage gripping the U.S.: 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 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 jobseekers reevalaute 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, a surge that has made it Japan’s fourth-largest enterprise by market value. 

Modern hiring processes need to adapt for the times, Idekoba said, with many small- and medium-sized businesses still seeking to fill jobs the way they did a decade ago. He raises the example of one restaurant which hasn’t updated its job description for a 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 that 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 to find properties, used cars, book hotels and restaurants in Japan, where it is looking to expand its its software as a service offerings. 

Idekoba says now helps double the number of 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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