Hiring beyond the CV

In today’s hypercompetitive candidate market, should hiring managers look beyond the traditional CV? In our latest blog, HdE TALENT Recruitment Consultant, Dannielle Seddon, reflects on the future of tech recruitment and the need to modernise various hiring strategies.

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused huge disruption over the last year within the workplace. This has been across all aspects of the business, from the workplace environment and culture to the security of an individual’s job, to an individual’s personal growth with up-skilling, and then most importantly, the hiring of new talent.

I recently sat on a summit that really touched upon the above subject and hiring in the future of Tech. What became clear from the event was that whether you are an IT Recruitment Consultant or an internal hiring manager, the tech world is changing. In the past 18 months alone, it’s grown at a speed of 10 years, and thus it is vital we hiring managers are keeping up with the speed at which tech is progressing.   By jumping ahead of the game we can do this with one easy step: starting with the new and aspiring technologists, the ambitious and driven individuals who have turned to coding bootcamps or self-teaching the newest and most up-to-date technologies.

During the summit, it was discussed that even though a candidate’s CV and/or cover letter is important within the hiring process, this shouldn’t now be the only material used when trying to find the correct candidate. In today’s modern era,  many forward-thinking companies are searching for the best fit culturally, those candidates who are well versed in using the most up-to-date technologies, and then, most importantly, a candidate who can bring something new and exciting to Tech in 2021. The reality is, this is information that isn’t searchable and fully accessible on a CV.

Moving forward, I believe hiring managers and Consultants should be viewing potential candidates differently. Identify the scope and think outside the box. Maybe the right candidate doesn’t have everything you are looking for, be it a specific degree or qualification for the role. Or maybe they do not have all the languages you require for the role, but they do have 60-80%. While it is of course understandable that these are things that should not be pushed aside, this candidate may have something more to bring to the team and to the development of the company.

There’s a good chance this candidate may have the new, fresh ideas needed to take your company to new levels of success,  becoming the next tech leader within the business. But how would you know if you don’t look past the CV and speak with them?

Personality and personal goals are the future of recruiting the correct candidate. If a CV is done correctly, then yes a candidate can look great on paper, although what you see on paper can be very different from the candidate who sits in front of you on a Zoom Call/Presentation. Depending on the culture of your company, you need to hire to fit rather than hiring based on only skills. Hiring managers need to consider what day-to-day is within the office, who the candidate will be working closely with, who they are likely to bounce off and consider whether they will enhance and bring value to the business?

Another huge factor at play in “Beyond the CV”, is the ability of a candidate to embrace new technologies. This is not something candidates can necessarily portray through their LinkedIn profile or CV, but it is during that first face-to-face interaction with the hiring manager where they will be able to bear witness to the candidate’s demonstration of both drive and passion. This refers to not only their own future within technology and the exciting prospect of embracing new technologies but their desire to grow, achieve and succeed. The candidate should be able to discuss and show both their strengths and, perhaps more so, their weaknesses. This is important as the candidates are proving that they have the ability to reflect, to be molded by and learn from bad habits and mistakes, and even how they use their strengths to push forward to improve as a whole.

So how does a candidate apply for a role without all that is required, and how does a candidate approach the first hurdle with consultants and hiring managers? Well firstly, it’s about reaching out in good time to the relevant person/position and making a great first impression. 

In today’s candidate-driven market, the biggest mistake most employers/hiring managers make in their hiring process) is putting too much attention on hard skills and not enough on soft ones. 

According to a Leadership IQ study, almost half of new hires (48%) fail within 18 months. Just 11 percent of those failures are due to a lack of hard skills; the rest (89%) stem from a lack of soft skills.

Candidates who feel like they don’t tick off all the boxes when it comes to hard skills but have all of the determination, motivation, and innovation should feel empowered to go for it and explain to hiring managers just why they’d prove a great fit for the role. Likewise, employers and hiring managers shouldn’t be quick to strike off a candidate if they don’t 100% fit the criteria.

Technology is changing and so is recruiting.  In 2021 and beyond, it is all about looking further and hiring beyond an individual’s CV. Let’s modernise how we recruit and get the best fit for the client and candidate.