CVs could be about to be made redundant. That’s according to some recruitment experts, including Accenture’s former head of recruiting, Jennifer Carpenter. Instead she says, in the future, technology will allow recruiters to pick up on behavioural signals to identify skills and characteristics that make candidates suitable or unsuitable for a particular role.
Will technology kill the CV?
Certainly while a CV might be useful to deliver a quick summary of skills, employment history and experience, recruiters don’t know how accurate those details are without taking steps to verify them.
And a CV says nothing about a candidate’s personality or character – soft skills viewed as essential for successful performance or to fit in with company culture. In fact the former head of human resources at Google, Laszlo Block believes that ‘resumes are useless’. He suggests CVs can only tell you what someone done in the past and not what they’re capable of doing in the future.
When CVs fail
The rigid format of the standard CV might be useful for HR personnel and recruiting software, but it has no personality. Gaps between jobs aren’t accounted for and there is no defined section for skills learned outside a work environment. Unusual career changes or skill sets all require further investigation and explanation.
While they can be useful for demonstrating experience in certain sectors, such as project manager jobs or an engineering job, CVs probably aren’t the best way to get across why you’re the best person for the job. Indeed, certain words and phrases, such as name, gender or address, can lead to bias – whether conscious or subconscious.
Clearly, technology doesn’t get it right all the time. CV screening software can reject a CV from a candidate with all the right attributes for all the wrong reasons. At the same time, candidates can tailor their CVs to get through Applicant Tracking Systems.
As a result, some companies have stopped asking for CVs. Unilever is one, relying instead on game-like assessments, video interviews and problem-solving exercises to narrow down applicants.
Candidates are also being assessed in other ways. Many companies are sorting candidates based on their credentials, experience and accreditations on LinkedIn, which can be a more reliable source of information than a CV. Social media platforms are also playing an increasing role in assessing character.
Getting the balance right
CVs can still be useful for filtering candidates at the outset of the recruitment progress, but are more effective if this is done in conjunction with personality tests and other assessment tools.
Furthermore, certain high turnover roles such as seasonal jobs, sales jobs and retail jobs might be more suited to other forms of application procedures, such as completing an online profile that employers can access at short notice when a vacancy appears.
These days, it’s more about a job seeking a candidate than vice versa, so there’s a lot to be said by using online profiles, such as the ones at Zoek. Your Zoek profile can have a huge effect on the opportunities that come your way, as you can tailor your job preferences. For example, if you’re looking for opportunities in a certain region, such as jobs in Sheffield, or jobs in London, then you can specify this on their profile. And that’s not something you can do with a CV!
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