The CV has long been a favoured method used to hire candidates. However, applying for jobs is changing. Video pitches and psychometric assessments are now being used by hiring managers in lieu of a paper-based run-through of one’s suitability for a vacant role. As such, it’s important to ask whether the CV will eventually be shunned in favour of alternative methods that benefit both applicants and employers.
As digital avenues dominate, tech is now centric to the hiring process. Never has it been easier to download an app, answer some screening questions, and send across an application for a role. Due to the increasing simplification, James Stephenson, Head of People Services at TUI, believes this will eventually lead to the CV disappearing.
“As digitalisation continues to shape the recruitment process and the use of technology and artificial intelligence (AI) become the norm, traditional approaches are constantly being challenged. In the relatively short-term I expect the traditional CV to disappear,” Stephenson tells HR Grapevine.
Gamification and AI are the recruitment buzzwords of the moment. They can truly help hiring managers determine whether a jobseeker is right for the role. Hiring managers might be interested in them due to their perceived speed and potential to reduce costs.
Clemens Aichholzer, Senior Vice President of Game-based Assessments at HireVue, believes that they can also give employers access to more information. “By using structured video interviews or game-based assessments at the start of the hiring process, companies can collate far more data points on a candidate than they ever could from a CV,” he says.
“The technologies analysing them can enable companies to screen candidates based on their skills, competencies and personality traits versus experience, which is not only a more relevant basis for qualification, but also makes the application process more accessible to a broader range of applicants.”
Focus on soft skills
Hard skills – experience and qualifications – are the traditional foci of a CV, providing employers with a indication of candidate suitability. These qualifications and skills have been an essential part of recruitment. However they can restrict recent graduates or apprentices who have minimal experience but who are still just as determined and hard-working as someone more qualified. These soft skills are difficult to project onto a CV or cover letter, something which rings true with Mediacom’s Head of D&I and Future Talent, Nancy Lengthorn.
She says: “Ditching CVs for our school leavers and graduates has freed us from the constraints of clichés and formulaic achievements. We now concentrate on behaviours, capability, and potential. Instead, we ask: ‘When have you been brave? What does diversity mean to you? When have you stepped up to take responsibility for something and how did it feel?’
“Focusing on internships that a young person may have been gifted by their parent’s social network or discussing the Duke of Edinburgh Award that a teacher cajoled them into doing doesn’t give us insights into the qualities that will help drive our business forward.” So long and farewell?
Every method has its pros and cons, which is why Aichholzer believes video assessments and gamification can be aided by a CV to ensure hiring managers are getting a fully-rounded view of a potential candidate. He says: “That isn’t to say the CV doesn’t have its own merits. However, organisations need to understand that it shouldn’t be used as a means to screen and vet potential employees. Instead it can serve its purpose as a way of supplementing performance and behavioural data hiring managers receive from the newer assessment methods, providing a 360-view of every candidate as they make their decision about who progresses and who doesn’t.”
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) the employment rate in the UK was estimated at 3.9% in April 2019, the lowest it has been since November 1974. Demonstrating the strength of the jobs market, these figures indicate just how many opportunities are available for job seekers looking to make a move and build their careers.
In such a candidate-driven market, hiring managers need to consider the candidate experience and how they are asking individuals to apply for roles. If the process is convoluted and inconvenient, what’s stopping that jobseeker from looking elsewhere?
“The balance of power has also shifted significantly in recent years. The dated view that a company holds the power over the candidate is now not normally the case,” claims Stephenson. “In a candidate driven market the focus on candidate experience is key and this will undoubtedly influence what the ‘CV’ looks like in the future.”
The CV undoubtedly has its benefits and has proved to be a faithful tool in every hiring process, but with the developments of new trends and an increasingly candidate-driven market, the CV may no longer have a place in recruitment as employers seek to find the very best talent.