Spending hours crafting your CV to what you think is perfection could soon be a redundant exercise.

That’s because a growing number of companies are disregarding the curriculum vitae during the hiring process – either in part or entirely.

CV based recruitment is being increasingly phased out for a number of reasons – including awareness around unconscious bias, the potential for fraud and because achievements such as a degree or A levels – are not as sought after as they once were.

Many recruiters are tearing up the CV and using other strategies to hire and find the right candidates

Alex Hirst, chief executive and head of people at global agency Hoxby, says: ‘I think people are becoming wiser to the fact that hiring on the basis of qualifications and background doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting the right person or combination of people.

‘Our rationale is driven by our desire to create a happier and more fulfilled society through a world of work without bias.’ 

He adds: ‘Our diversity is better for business, it gives us a competitive advantage – and we are better together.’

What are some companies asking for instead of a CV? 

In the latest in the This is Money interview cheat sheet series, we talk to several businesses – large and small – to find out what alternatives are being used to sniff out the star applicants and how you can best prepare for this potential seismic change.

1. Going digital is the future

Andy Ingham, senior vice president sales EMEA & APAC at Bullhorn says the CV’s role is diminishing with increased use of LinkedIn

With so much information of a candidate’s employment and skills available online, the CV is no longer the only search and screening asset.

Andy Ingham, senior vice president sales at Bullhorn, says: ‘There’s no question that the CV’s role is diminishing. 

‘Consider the increased use of platforms such as LinkedIn, by both recruiters and job seekers, where candidates can apply without a CV.

‘Digital is the future. Our survey of more than 2,000 recruiters worldwide shows that 43 per cent of firms are currently undertaking a digital transformation and CVs will play a decreasing role as more advanced alternatives supplant them.

‘The coronavirus and the need to work remotely at scale have already reduced the emphasis on CVs in hiring, and we can expect them to continue to become less pivotal in the hiring and selection process until they fade away altogether.’

Action to take now: Ingham says: ‘Check your social media handle name, your email address and older social media profiles.

‘What images and messages are on there, and do you still stand by them all? If you’re not precious about your old social media posts, you might want to use an online tool like TweetDelete that quickly deletes your old posts.

‘Remember, you can and should still have a social media profile, just bear in mind that what you’re posting on there isn’t just for your friends and family – it is equally for current and future employers.’

2. Pre-interview assessments

In an effort to make the hiring process fairer, many recruitment professionals make candidates take digital assessments before any interviews.

Deepa Somasundari, senior director of strategic projects at the global job site Indeed, says: ‘Skills-based assessments allow jobseekers to showcase their skills to employers in order to connect to jobs that match their expertise. 

‘This approach also opens opportunities to more people and also helps employers widen the talent pool and find the true best fit for each role.

‘In the last 60 days, employers posting jobs on Indeed have set hundreds of thousands of pre-interview assessments with the most popular ones being attention to detail, communication and logical thinking tasks.’

Action to take now: Tests can vary and it’s difficult to prepare for the unexpected. But there are plenty of online tests that help you practice and improve your performance.  

We did a secret hiring experiment 

Rachel Carrell chief executive of Koru Kids has ditched looking at CVs

Rachel Carrell, chief executive of Koru Kids, says she engaged in an experiment after feeling dissatisfied with the traditional hiring process. 

She says: ‘You get tons of CVs, can’t possibly interview everyone so you choose some with prestigious employers/education and relevant keywords.

‘In so doing, your biases kick in and you exclude people who had a rough start in life or are different from you. 

‘Then you have 30-minute chats, which tells you who’s good at 30-minute chats.’

‘So, we started to turn the process on its head.

‘ Now we don’t look at anyone’s CV until late in the process. 

‘Instead, we put tons of info in the job ad and answer questions by updating it so everyone’s on a level playing field.

‘The ad links to screening questions which we separate from names and blind double mark. This surfaces candidates who really know their stuff. And surprise, surprise – it’s not the usual suspects. 

‘We did this as an experiment, but it’s worked so well that we’re making it permanent.’

3. Blockchain

Many associate blockchain with the cryptocurrency industry but this technology is being used in the hiring process too.

Blockchain is useful in the battle against CV fraud because it can identify inconsistent data, prove falsification and verify certifications.

In the last 60 days, employers posting jobs on Indeed have set hundreds of thousands of pre-interview assessments with the most popular ones being attention to detail, communication and logical thinking tasks 

Deepa Somasundari, senior director of strategic projects – Indeed

Gaurang Torvekar, chief executive and co-founder of Indorse, explains: ‘Candidate’s profiles can be stored on the Blockchain through platforms like Indorse and others which are trying to replace and unbundle companies like LinkedIn.

‘You can store public profiles and certification processes on the Blockchain, which makes the validation process more efficient and secure. 

‘Uniquely, blockchain provides immutable provenance of the candidate’s skills – it cannot be tampered with, changed, or altered. This is a critical aspect of why it is so powerful in recruiting.’

Action to take now: Have you been entirely truthful on your CV? If not, it’s time to make the right changes.

Around two in five of UK workers have lied on their CV at some stage of their professional career, according to a survey by commercial property agent Savoy Stewart.

If companies adopt blockchain technology more CVs could be flagged or rejected for inaccuracies.

We make candidates do gamified coding tests 

Aude Barral, co-founder of skills-based developer recruitment platform Codingame, says: ‘Sifting through resumes is both inefficient and time-consuming. 

‘The bottom line is tech recruiters can’t rely on a CV to give them an accurate overview of a candidate’s skills.

‘Candidates might have the right qualifications, experience and skills on paper, yet end up falling short of the expected technical expertise. 

‘On the other hand, recruiters may miss out on talented developers with considerable potential simply because their CVs don’t stand out, or they didn’t follow a traditional career path.’

Barral believes that skills-based hiring can help companies avoid the possibility of overlooking star candidates. 

‘Hiring organisations can turn to CodinGame’s online technical testing platform to streamline, automate and speed up the screening process.

‘Candidates can be sent gamified coding tests which levels the playing field for all developers. 

‘Our automated testing gives reliable data and insight into candidates’ true abilities – you don’t have to rely on what they say they can do on their resume.

‘An individual’s performance can then be evaluated and compared against other candidates’ work on specific problems.’

Jordan Baker, chief executive of Sanity Marketing, says he values personal cover letters addressed to the hiring manager and not ‘to whom it may concern’

4. Screening questions and cover letters

Many recruiters are putting more weight on candidates’ cover letters and their ability to answer a series of questions.

Hirst says: ‘We have shaken up our recruitment process so that the focus is less about work history and more about how applicants answer two simple questions: why do you want to be part of Hoxby? And what does Workstyle mean to you?’

Coronavirus and the need to work remotely at scale have already reduced the emphasis on CVs in hiring, and we can expect them to continue to become less pivotal in the hiring and selection process until they fade away altogether 

Andy Ingham – Bullhorn

Jordan Baker, chief executive of Sanity-Marketing, says: ‘We do ask for CVs as they are useful, but they are not the first thing I look at. 

‘I like a good cover letter that’s written for me not to “whom it may concern” and gives explanations for gaps in CV or a offers reasons why they’re suited to the job.

‘I always use Indeed as you can ask people questions. I want to make sure that people want to work for us not just because they’re looking for jobs.’

Action to take now: Get creative to stand out from the crowd. 

Hirst points out: ‘Since we made this change, which was done with inclusivity in mind, we have seen applications in the form of songs, poems, paintings, recipes, Instagram posts, films – one applicant event made an animation using Lego.’

Don’t omit answering questions as non-participation is often used as a filter by employers. 

Baker says: ‘I like the assessments that you can do on Indeed. If people don’t answer a question or do the assessments, I do tend to dismiss them outright.’ 

5. Video resumes

Some believe that video resumes will replace the word and pdf CV documents. This is because they can be easier and faster to deal with and offer a level of authenticity that a piece of paper can’t provide.

Action to take now: Practicing in front of the camera and familiarising yourself with the equipment before an interview is key.

If you need to submit a video, you may not need to create videos from scratch. 

Fiona Hudson-Kelly, founder of Not a CV and chair of Smart Apprentices, says: ‘You may have videos to share that showcase your speaking or facilitation skills, articles to showcase your writing or a tender to showcase your sales skills. 

‘Whatever it is hold onto it and be ready to share it – evidence is key.’

What is unconscious bias and what does it mean for CVs? 

Unconscious bias has become a buzzword in the recruitment industry. There are different types of unconscious bias but, in essence, it refers to the learned stereotypes that we may apply which could play a role in who we choose to employ.

These biases are ingrained in our beliefs that we may have about things like religion, race, ethnicity, education and women in the workplace. 

We may use them unintentionally (or intentionally) when we decide who to hire and who to reject.

Many companies now have strict inclusion and diversity policies to ensure that unconscious bias doesn’t creep into the hiring process. 

It’s proving a threat to the traditional CV as recruiters embrace other ways of hiring the right candidates such as anonymous tests.

If CVs are used, most of the personal information is stripped out of it such as gender, sexual orientation, income and marital status to prevent hiring managers’ bias determining who should get hired.

Is the CV truly dead?

Not yet and not entirely. Somasundari explains: ‘CVs are an imperfect way of capturing someone’s suitability for a role but it’s too soon to sound the death knell for them. 

‘Instead, CVs will become part of a portfolio of materials that people use to showcase their achievements, skills and ability to perform tasks relevant to the job.’

If you’re at a senior level in your profession, it’s best not to throw away the CV just yet. Baker says: ‘I think for senior roles executive roles the CV will always exist. When I get sent CVs, I look at them, but I do think they are antiquated. 

‘I think the future is answering questions, video clips, portfolios and presenting reasons why you want to work for the company.’

By Angelique Ruzicka 

Get hired! We showcase seven companies recruiting right now

The international health insurance and healthcare group currently has 1,000 jobs on offer including positions like customer renewal advisor, weekend receptionist and financial administrator.

My Online Therapy, which provides a range of psychotherapeutic interventions online is looking to fill 15 roles including a psychologist, customer support associate, product designer, social media manager and accounts payable clerk.

The takeaway industry is still booming. The South African restaurant chain, which specialises in Portuguese African food, is looking to hire 22 people to fill roles like kitchen assistant, griller and assistant manager.

The British Hotel chain currently has 56 roles it’s looking to fill. Jobs they’re looking to fill include a head housekeeper, receptionist and deputy hotel manager.

Safehands Recruitment provides specialist temporary and permanent rectuiment solitons in the health and social care industries. It’s advertising 91 roles which include a registered nurse, mental health support worker and health care assistant.

Sanity Marketing have 35 roles to fill in 2021. They include positions like account manager, head of client accounts and interns.

Sources: Indeed, My Online Therapy and Sanity Marketing

This content was originally published here.

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