A Conversation about a Looking Beyond the CV

A Conversation about looking beyond the CV

Written by Alan Walker

Hi! I'm the Editor in Chief of #ChatTalent. That sounds grand, but really my job is just to make sure you get good content - be that blogs, webinars, live broadcasts, or anything else to do with talent. If that isn't the case, let me know.
Good morning, afternoon, evening, or whatever works for you – thank you for joining us for another “Not Another %$#@! Webinar” event about Looking Beyond the CV.

Setting a new personal best, cutting down my introduction to only two and a half minutes, I started off our event with a bit of housekeeping, how the event platform works and an overview of what to expect.

Ultimately, the purpose of our event was for us all to have a conversation about looking beyond the CV.  And I really do mean conversation. We are making a point of not just broadcasting stuff to our audience.

The first part of the event is always my favourite. It’s our opportunity to get to know our contributors a little more and find out why they are passionate about the topic and why they decided to join. The best way I could come up with to do this was to ask each panellist to introduce themselves in reverse alphabetical order. 

Once the introductions were complete, I decided to play devil’s advocate and ask: Why do we need to look beyond the CV? If it’s a record of someone’s work history and achievements – surely it’s got everything that we need?

“No. Because if you think of it, CVs aren’t even seen by hiring managers these days. A bot screens them. So in reality, we aren’t even looking at them anymore”

– Paolo Orezzi.

“Anyone can say that they’re a team player, proficient or good at time management. CVs are just filled with buzzwords. But these words don’t give you understanding, context or the motivation behind their application.”

– Sophie Power.

“I firmly believe that a CV can’t relay someone’s skills. Yes, knowing someone’s work history and past roles is interesting, but they will not give a good indication of whether they will excel within the role. Over-reliance on a CV I think is problematic”.

– Kaylee Parkinson

One of the biggest problems that our recruiting industry faces is that hiring can often be based on who can write the best CV. We’ve all likely looked at a CV and said, or at least thought: ‘This CV is written really well.’

When in reality, possessing that ability, for most roles, has nothing to do with the position that they are being hired for. So, ultimately, we are looking at the wrong things to assess someone’s ability. 

“100%. I think the problem also stems from similarity. If you are always looking at a similar pool of candidates, then the CVs will be similar. And there is little you can do to differentiate between them.”

– Kayle Parkinson.

But what are the alternatives or techniques that we can use to improve? If we’ve all established that we need to look beyond the CV, what is the best option for finding our next best hire?

As Kaylee mentioned, hundreds of tools and technologies out there, but even simply going to basics initially would suffice. 

Like adding simple questions to your application process, informally screening all applicants with a quick 15min phone call or even sending all your candidates an assessment to complete.

“Recently, when we hired out latest candidates, we didn’t even consider looking at CVs. We talked to the candidates about their skills. We conducted interviews and assessments. Focusing on what they could bring to the table, not where they had been.”

– Paolo Orezzi.

Almost running out of time before breaking out into our sessions, I asked a question from the audience:

– While we as recruiters, talent and HR folk can be forward-thinking and eager to have these conversations. How do we get hiring managers on board? As often, they are the biggest blockers. And how do we persuade them that there is a better way.–

“There are a few approaches you could take. But I would say – start incrementally. Collect evidence that this method of hiring works as data always speaks louder than anything.”

– Kaylee Parkinson.
Whether you were there live, or you’re just watching the recordings now – I really, REALLY hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. It was packed full of information and real-world examples. I really feel that we can confidently start implementing at least a few changes within our hiring process.

But that’s just my opinion; I would love to hear what you thought. About the setup, the topic and what our next event should be about → send us an email at editor@chattalent.net

I also want to say a big massive THANKS to all our #Friendors who helped us promote the event.  And an equally BIG MASSIVE thank you to everyone who managed to join us on the day. Thank you for supporting us as we continue to experiment and test new ways.

See you at the next one!

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