…At least that’s according to LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman who claims they are now a redundant part of the jobseeking and hiring process, thanks to the rapidly growing presence of his own site’s online profile versions.
And almost dead, but not quite yet, according to the omnipresent HR influencer / guru / thought-leader [circle as appropriate], Kevin Grossman. But he wants them to die. Why? Because they are apparently “…a self-serving piece of inconsistently formatted and fudged professional drivel that really doesn’t help me hire true quality of fit.”
Even my recruitment CRM provider People Cloud, a great product nevertheless, are apparently bowing to customer demand to introduce one-click functionality that turns CVs into formatted, standardised, regimented templates that can troop off across cyberspace like a Dictator’s military parade stomping in perfect unity into the inboxes of clients across the land.
All this CV-hating has to stop.
I’m all for harnessing technology, embracing innovation, and adopting future trends, but some things just shouldn’t be messed with. For me, the way a CV is presented, formatted, structured and delivered reveals a great deal more about the candidate’s personality and nature (and spelling ability) than a bland, characterless template. Businesses who want to screen applicants by digital keyword searching are stupidly removing the most essential element in the art of recruitment – the human element. Recruitment cannot, and never will, work as a science, and technology needs to be utilised to enhance the reach, speed and skill of the human rather than replace it entirely.
Of course, people lie on CVs. And this leads to a waste of recruiters’ time. But people lie on their Linked In profiles just as readily. While standardised and templated CVs that are homogenised into a digitally readable pile and fed into a machine for keyword plucking are just as liable for deceit. Just last week I was told the story of a jobseeker getting frustrated at never making it past the keyword screening part of the application process for a large New Zealand corporate, deciding instead to copy and paste the job advert into the area the CV should go and bingo, they moved through the system and received a call from the internal recruiter (who was admittedly rather unimpressed upon making the effort to read the “CV”).
But then maybe it’s just me. I work in a niche sector, where character and personality are important factors in a candidate’s suitability. I also work in a small market where I’m never likely to experience the volumes of applications some US or UK corporate recruiters might need to handle. But for me, it is more important that CVs do something to catch my eye, force my hand towards that phone, to make that introductory call. Way more important than turning everyone into a rigid and faceless accumulation of keywords in an effort to “trick” their way through an automated hiring process.
Stripping CVs of their individuality is a backward step for recruitment. Potential forward steps, where a traditional CV’s personality can be blended with emerging multimedia channels, are very well-illustrated in this interesting article from Kyle Lagunas of Software Advice.
And amidst all of this debate we are forgetting one very important thing: There’s nothing quite like having a good laugh in the office at some of the particularly weird, wonderful, outlandish-claiming and dodgy-photo sporting CVs that periodically cross our recruitment desks. Even in rec-to-rec we see some classics from candidates who really should know better.
Long live the CV.