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Paper, shmaper! As résumés go high-Tech, so should HR

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in Career Management,Hiring,HR Management,Human Resources,Workplace Communication

Your organization could be missing out on some top talent if you shrug off the new high-tech applications and résumé tools that could someday make paper résumés obsolete.

Here are some of the more popular high-tech methods that candidates (especially young ones) are using to market themselves, plus some of the advantages and disadvantages of welcoming them:

Web-based services

MySpace.com and Facebook.com. These social networking sites can be gold mines for employers—or a big waste of time. More than 115 million people use MySpace, while Facebook has 31 million users. MySpace users generally are younger.

Candidates post video résumés, profiles and other personal information. Search for potential candidates by skills, current employers, job titles and other terms.

Hundreds of professional organizations have discussion boards on both sites. Employers can create their own recruitment web pages complete with videos.

MyCreds.net. Users can create a personalized site called a “career portal” that includes video résumés, video referrals from former employers and traditional résumés. HR can search for candidates using key words involving job description, salary, experience and other criteria.

Jobster.com. Use a range of services to search for active and passive job candidates by title, company, location, industry and Standard Industrial Classification code. Build an online network of recruiting contacts.

Online résumé analysis services

Trovix Inc. and NimbleCat Inc. are two firms that search web sites for online résumés, then score and rank them based on employer-provided criteria, such as work history, education and skills.

Various software also can help you analyze and rank nonvideo résumés received online directly from candidates. The software routes résumés to the right person in an organization.

Such software has several advantages, especially for organizations with small HR staffs. The software reduces résumé-sorting tasks that once took hours by hand, which helps you contact top candidates while they’re still available.

HR departments at 94% of the top 500 U.S. corporations solicit online résumés and use software to select candidates, according to Taleo Research.

Disadvantage: Search-term technology is imperfect, so using software rather than eyeballs to scan résumés can result in missing promising candidates.

Video résumés can pose legal and time risks

Video résumés do give you a better idea of a candidate’s speaking ability, poise, personality and demeanor. That can be important when hiring for jobs that demand such skills.

But videos also can eat up a lot of your time; some run as long as 20 minutes. 

Another risk: If you view their videos or photos, rejected applicants have an easier time claiming you discriminated against them based on their age, race, weight, appearances, disability or other physical attributes.

Earlier this year, the EEOC issued a warning to employers that new video and web technology could lead to discrimination.

Some state laws prohibit employers from using photos or anything else that reveals a job candidate’s protected traits. It’s not clear yet whether such laws include video résumés.

Bottom line: View video résumés as supplements to paper, not as replacements. And when possible, view paper résumés first.

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