Brilliant Hire by SAP: Are You Ready for the Post-Resume World?

We’ve been talking about how SAP SuccessFactors is focused on helping to eliminate unconscious bias and to move business beyond bias for a couple of years. I’m excited to share the next innovation in hiring: Brilliant Hire by SAP.

Brilliant Hire by SAP is a bias-free, skills-based, pre-screening platform that helps digitize recruiting to provide faster and greater insights. The goal behind it is to enable ‘blind hiring’ through anonymous evaluations from a network of expert screeners. The result is a faster, more inclusive hiring process focusing on what candidates can do, not what they write on their resume.

Brilliant Hire by SAP allows companies to use assessments that are evaluated by a network of subject matter experts to quickly and objectively screen candidates. The platform uses a mix of question types to get a full picture of the candidate and can be used for any type of role. Candidates are evaluated based on their responses to a series of questions and the outcomes are shared with recruiters — without their names and affiliations.

Think about why we use resumes when applying for jobs. The first use I could find for resumes comes from the early 1500s. Resumes were created as a way for skilled professional artisans like artists and metal workers to share their skills when arriving in a new town. In the mid-20th century, they became a required piece of job applications, and with the advent of typewriters, we started to follow a more standardized format.

Amazingly, very little has changed over the years. Resumes are still reviewed manually by a recruiter, which is an extremely time-intensive process and open to unconscious bias. What’s more — and there have been some pretty high-profile examples, but we see it every day  – it’s not uncommon for a candidate to embellish, exaggerate, or just plain misrepresent skills, given the importance of this personal representation as the heart of the recruiting process.

Let’s meet Hemant, Appaiah, and Swetha, teammates with closely located cubes at SAP Labs India. The three are highly engaged at work and regularly participate in innovation events at SAP, well-regarded for their entrepreneurial spirit, and hacking cool new ideas.

Hemanatha Shetty, Appaiah Ketolira Ganapathy, Swetha PB
Hemanatha Shetty, Appaiah Ketolira Ganapathy, Swetha PB

In the summer of 2016, another co-worker came to them for help. He needed to scale his team from four to 40 people — fast. To get there, the team spent a number of weekends onsite interviewing more than 12 candidates per day, and at best only extending one offer.

What occurred to them is that either there was something wrong with their hiring process or something wrong with the hiring process in general. What they found was surprising: 70 percent of first-round interviews do not result in a hire because recruiters can only spend a minute or two reviewing resumes before inviting a candidate for a phone screen. In addition, studies show that ‘white-sounding’ names receive 50 percent more callbacks than Hispanic- or African American-sounding names. Beyond names, university, address, and prior companies all introduce unwanted bias into the hiring process. The result being that the best person for the job doesn’t always get a shot at it.

So our three friends did what they love to do, they entered a worldwide SAP hackathon to bring their entrepreneurial idea forward and won. Next, through the SAP.iO Intrapreneurship program, they accelerated their emerging venture and convinced an investment committee to award them seed funding for incubation. In January 2018, the Brilliant Hire team joined the SAP.iO Venture Studio, where they successfully turned their prototype into the innovative product live with customers today.

At SAPPHIRE NOW, we’re offering Brilliant Hire by SAP free for up to 10 SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting customers. Interested attendees can swing by the SAP.iO booth or email our team at

Amy Wilson is head of Product for SAP SuccessFactors