Just a few years ago, CVs were the only yardstick for assessing a candidate’s skills and knowledge. Why? It helps recruiters to have a glimpse of the applicant without even meeting him or her. They can learn about their educational qualifications, work experience, and other details necessary to assess the applicant’s candidature.
But is it the right tool?
A large number of candidates say that a CV may not always help them to display their skills. They state that skills like decision-making, intelligence, verbal communication, etc. cannot be expressed through it.
Even seasoned recruiters say no, it’s not the right tool. It is known that some candidates embellish their achievements to make themselves more presentable (more than 58%). That’s not the only thing. CVs can create a lot of issues, such as the Halo Effect, and confirmation bias, and may promote stereotypes and other negative influences.
When this happens, recruiters can hire the wrong candidate, which as you know, can have severe consequences. That’s why at least 60% of recruiters are looking for ways to replace CVs, or at least, use some other tests alongside them. If you are a recruiter, you must avoid selecting a candidate solely because of their resume. As you go through the article, you will see why CVs can be problematic, and how you can minimize these problems as a recruiter.
On the other hand, if you are a job seeker, you can work on building and showing your portfolios, and participate in hackathons to state your skill set.
Why are CVs problematic?
It can be difficult to state all the achievements and skills within 1 or 2 pages of a CV. But besides that, there are other problems associated with it:
CVs can be inaccurate
CVs cannot accurately showcase a candidate’s personality, because people often exaggerate while writing them. People mainly exaggerate their CTC, job title, and even employment dates. It is not feasible to verify all those details. This means they have a low predictability score, so they cannot be used as the only metric for a candidate’s selection. Some even say this method may not be diversity-inclusive, or even help isolate extraordinary candidates.
CVs may create bias
Recruiters try their best to avoid bias (intentional or unintentional) while screening candidates. But something might influence their decision-making process, resulting in the selection of the wrong candidates. Here is an example:
Suppose an experienced candidate has applied for a position after working in a reputed organization. A recruiter might unconsciously prefer him over someone who is a fresher or less experienced. This is known as the Halo effect.
Confirmation bias happens when recruiters think a candidate might have left the previous organization within a short time for a reason. Stereotypical bias occurs when recruiters think a candidate has passed from a prestigious institution, thinking he is the better candidate. Or when they think a candidate might be too old for the position.
CVs are time-consuming
Reviewing CVs can be time-consuming, and recruiters are already short on time. Depending on the role, HR managers may have to spend a minimum of 3 hours to a maximum of 40 hours on shortlisting these resumes. However, they have to make quick decisions, which can be biased and stereotypical.
Alternatives to CVs
One thing should be clarified here, companies cannot outright reject CVs at the moment. But companies are looking for alternatives. Here are some options you can consider opting for:
People on LinkedIn are free to add their new certifications, skills, and links to portfolios, to tell companies who they actually are. The social media platform also has some skill tests, and on passing them, people are awarded with badges. These badges can provide an idea of the skill level of candidates who are applying for a particular position. For example, companies like CodeClouds when they are recruiting for web developer jobs in India will cross-check with the applicant’s LinkedIn profiles to verify their expertise and certifications such as PHP or Asp.Net, HTML, CSS, etc.
Portfolios can help recruiters find candidates for more creative positions, such as content/ copywriting, graphic design, web design, architecture, or any art-related positions. A portfolio will contain the best work of those people to catch the recruiter’s attention.
Hackathons and skill assessments
If you want to hire candidates for more technical positions, hackathons can be a great way to pick them. These competitions often contain real-world scenarios and can show the problem-solving capabilities of these people.
Pre-interview skill assessment and coding questions can help recruiters screen the top-scoring people from the rest. For example, if you want to screen people who have applied for Software tester jobs, you can set the questionnaire with questions related to Selenium, Qmetry, JIRA, etc.
Video/ infographic resume
A video resume is similar to a CV, but it is a lot more interactive than the latter. Candidates can tell about their experience, passion, or anything else that might be relevant. Similarly, an infographic resume can be used to show their strengths and skills without resorting to the traditional format.
So, going back to the original question, are CVs becoming obsolete? Frankly speaking, not quite —at least not yet. But recruiters are no longer going to select a candidate only based on that. Instead, they will look at their social media profiles (LinkedIn, in particular), along with their portfolios, personal websites, blogs, and such. They may organize hackathons to understand their coding skills and may look at the video and infographics-based resumes to understand creativity, finesse, and communication skills.
You can take inspiration from American Express, a reputed company that has been recruiting candidates through hackathons and other coding competitions. Sometimes, they also offer other prizes in addition to placement opportunities. These hackathons are organized throughout the year, and usually, they have several rounds to understand the candidate’s understanding.