The end of the résumé? The Dutch startup reinventing recruitment

·2-min read
Could it be the end of the resume?

The résumé has become an essential tool for job hunting or even for applying to educational programs in today's society. And yet, TestGorilla, a human resources startup founded in the Netherlands, no longer believes in this model, which emphasizes recruiters' biases rather than highlighting the real qualities of the candidates applying for a job.

Résumés in the trash! That's the idea behind a project helmed by TestGorilla. The startup specializing in human resources, founded in the Netherlands, wanted to find a way to eliminate recruiters' prejudices and biases when selecting candidates. The pandemic proved the perfect moment to develop this, since recruitment was massively carried out online and without going through the traditional process of face-to-face meetings. That meant that the CV took on an even greater role in the hiring process. TestGorilla claims to work with 1,500 companies and organizations worldwide, including giants like PepsiCo, Sony or the NHS (the UK's National Health Service) since 2018.

Understanding unsuccessful applications

So what should recruitment be based on if it's not a résumé? The Dutch start-up has created fairly short (10-minute) tests based on a multitude of information and tailored according to a company's profile. The test database is vast, and includes questionnaires on personality, culture, language, cognitive abilities, situational responses or job-specific skills. These exercises are developed by a team of psychometric experts who use a data set to design the tests. These are then reviewed by experts in the field of practice to ensure their accuracy and effectiveness. It's also possible to create bespoke tests based on specific business needs. The algorithm creates a scoring and ranking system to sort the candidates. The recruiter then simply has to make their choice.

For candidates, the undeniable advantage of these tests is the feeling of being judged on their real abilities rather than on a set of variables such as qualifications or experience. Plus, social, ethnic or beauty biases evident from a CV can often tip the balance -- even unconsciously -- during the hiring process. This method drastically reduces these biases. For job applicants, it's also a good way of (finally) understanding problem areas, rather than receiving a simple refusal, often without explanation. So, in light of these new data and analysis possibilities, should the résumé remain the standard way of applying for a job? Time will tell if more and more companies decide to make the switch.

Axel Barre

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