Resumes are Explicit, Experience is Tacit, Expertise is Elusive

Does your resume really describe all that you know how to do?

For most, resumes are simply a high-level snapshot of generally recognized terms, projects, education, certifications, etc. They’re effective for generating interview questions but do not reveal the nuanced depth of someone’s true experience; especially if their roles are heavy in knowledge-based work as most are.

Enter the challenge with the growing interest in ‘Expertise Location.’  In many discussions I’ve had people feel that by just uploading resumes/work history into a collaboration platfrom this will enable others in the organization to find the experts associated with any given topic.  Not so fast.

The problem is that a resume uploaded today is likely to be out-of-date within weeks or months.  People’s work in organizations is often quite fluid between different projects, functions and departments and not only is that nearly impossible to capture in text, almost no one is going to go back and update their uploaded resume [until their looking to submit it elsewhere].

This is where the advancements in collaboration platforms comes in handy.  Most of the platforms on the market [i.e. Jive, Socialtext, Telligent] will track the different areas in which someone is partcipating and allow others to find them based on that activity.

So when an analyst hired for their prior roles in finance is quickly sent out to your understaffed office in a high growth area they’ll be learning new skills very quickly.  These skills likely won’t make it onto their resume on your system – but they will reveal themselves through the activity generated in a collaboration platform while getting up to speed on these new competencies.

If  your collaboration system and the corresponding processes are set-up correctly you now have an expert in some unique areas that someone in the future can find and leverage.  If not, what are the chances that someone else in the same situation struggles with similar questions, challenges and roadblocks on their road to expertise?  And what is the impact to individuals and the organization when this happens?

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