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Goodbye to the résumé – the system doesn’t work, Hiwook job portal CEO says

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The job search is usually the same for most workers: the candidate sends the résumé, with or without a cover letter, and waits for the company to contact him or her for an interview. The founder and CEO of Hiwook, María Gutiérrez, believes that the résumé is the source of many “false positives and false negatives.”

“Every time I hear that there is no talent and I see those studies it makes my hair stand on end. What can happen is that there are not enough engineers or not enough people who are 1.95 and you want them for that trait, but there are people who would fit in your organization if you have well defined what that person has to do, regardless of being an engineer or not,” explained Gutiérrez in one of her speeches at the XIII Smart Business Meeting, organized by Business Insider España.

The CEO of the Hiwook job portal insisted that it is not necessary to have a degree certifying that you have specific skills, but that the candidate can demonstrate that he or she knows how to proceed without them.

“There are people who are not engineers by degree, but they are very good data scientists. However, they don’t make the cut, they are absolutely invisible. They are what we call hidden talent at Hiwook,” she said. And she emphasized the need for an evaluation of competencies: “I believe that this is the cornerstone of the main problems of talent detection in this country, the association of competencies with qualifications”.

The general manager of Talent Solutions at ManpowerGroup, María José Martín, pointed out that, although “companies are increasingly aware that a degree does not give you everything”, the candidate needs “some knowledge to be able to advance” that must be certified in some way.

“It doesn’t have to be a university degree, but they do need to have that knowledge. When you hire (…), you want someone who knows what they are doing,” Martín defended. “We’re a little bit obsessed with degrees, but you need something to draw you in initially, to show you that they know how to do it.”

For his part, Tommaso Canonici, co-founder and CEO of Opinno, believes that, although it is true that there is hidden talent, it is necessary for people to certify their skills as soon as possible, even if it is through courses because this is the criterion that companies take into account.

This 29-year-old Spaniard managed to get 300 interviews in one week thanks to this peculiar resume.

“I agree that there is a lot of hidden talent and that in the résumé you can’t see what a person knows how to do. But to start changing the world I think is not the strategy. If you have a hidden talent, do a micro degree and put it in evidence. Put it out there because in the end, that’s what you’re going to be valued on,” Canonici defended. “For the companies that are still hiring, it’s good for us because it’s a way of filtering, the one we know.”

In the wake of the pandemic, websites have proliferated that allow students to obtain a degree and certify that they have spent a number of hours learning a particular subject.

“It’s hard to ask people to train to be able to certify because right now (…) there are people who have several degrees and master’s degrees, who have complied with all the rules of the game, and yet they are invisible,” Gutiérrez specified.

“We have grown up with a social promise that if we studied and knew languages, had many degrees and master’s degrees, we were going to be successful and when we entered real life we realized that this was not the case,” explained Trivu CEO Pablo González.

However, Gonzalez does not believe that the university is useless, but that it is necessary to find new solutions to this problem. “I believe that we should not be radical in the approach that the university is useless, but that we should look for intermediate formulas. The education system in a country like ours has to evolve, not only for and for the people who are being trained, but also for the work it does,” he stressed.

“Associating competence with title prevents us from detecting talent”.

Gutiérrez defended that the requirement of titles often prevents us from detecting talent in selection processes and advocated changing the latter, something that corresponds to each company.

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“Putting the responsibility for that visibility on people who are making an incredible effort to make themselves visible… Those people already feel bad,” Gutierrez explained. “Companies, and more so those of you who are innovative, are the first ones who have to review your internal processes and see if they can be innovated, if they can be improved.”

Hiwook’s CEO defended that implementing this type of change is easy, since it does not involve large costs, but rather changing a very simple process. But Martin does not see it so easy: “We have lost 100,000 companies in 2020 and this is very hard (…). We are faced with very dramatic situations and people that the first thing they have to do is to overcome their grief”.

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