Recruitment Insights

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The end of the CV? - Part 2

By Darren Franks |
03 janvier 2017 | 0

After my last article relating to the sheer number of candidates who applied for one job (you can read that here), I was contacted privately by an experienced Executive who wanted to understand why companies overlooked his CV, even though he was selective on the positions he applied for.

The Truth

The ultimate issue is the CV. Companies and recruiters have little choice but to filter candidates by the content contained in their CV. This may sound harsh but it is the reality. Recruiters (internal or external) cannot speak or meet every candidate who applies – this can run into the hundreds (especially in the Middle East). I spoke to company earlier this week who have received 15,000 applicants since January, imagine the man-power needed to speak or meet with every person who applied!

Think of the filtering process the same way you run searches on Google. If you put in a broad term such as “Jobs in Dubai” you are going to get thousands of results (actually 1,300,000 !) – but if you’re specific and enter “sales jobs in Dubai” you’ve narrowed the search to a mere 432,000 (!).

The same process is conducted in recruitment. If a company (or agency) receives 200 candidates, they will filter those results by keywords. The algorithms used by some of the modern Applicant Tracking Systems go beyond just key word searching and use Semantic Searching. These are more accurate however it all still boils down the content on a CV or in some cases, on the application forms.

If a company is looking for a specific skill set then key word searching is of course necessary. For instance, if a company is recruiting for a Web Developer and requires PHP skills then a company has to discount anyone who’s CV doesn’t contain the word PHP. The next stage should be to technically assess those candidates and there are many companies out there who use a range of technical testing tools.

But what about Sales people?  It’s virtually impossible to judge a persons ability to sell based on their CV. OK, you might be able to narrow the search a little if you’re looking for someone with specific industry experience but arguably a good sales person should be able to adapt to any sector and product.

So what’s the solution?


“The best predictor of how someone will perform in a job is a work sample test. Give candidates a sample piece of work, similar to that which they would do in the job, and assess their performance.”

Laszlo Bock SVP of People, Google


Yes – you’ve got it – don’t rely on a CV!   Surely it’s better to watch and listen to a candidate pitch a product, respond to emails and answer quick fire questions under a bit of pressure before you arrange an interview? This way you can get a feel for how that person may sell your product or service and fit into your culture.

If you want to find out how we are changing the way sales people are hired, please visit our site:

This post is the second part of our series relating to the End of the CV.


Posted in "End of the CV", "Recruitment", "Talent Acquisition"

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