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Lisa Haggar

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Recruitment: Why are we still using traditional CVs in a virtual world?

Why are we still using traditional CVs, when our digitally enabled world can offer us so much more?

Covid-19 has resulted in a digital explosion. Within 24 hours businesses had to adapt quickly and find a way to get everyone working remotely, which I have no doubt that ‘micro manager Mike’ wasn’t at all pleased about. It’s even been reported that certain companies have been ‘spying’ through people’s cameras to see if they are working or taking screenshots of their activity!

But for the majority of us, the pandemic has fast forwarded the mentality that we can run a business while working from home by at least 10 years. In fact, I’m not even convinced we would ever have achieved what we currently have, due to the outmoded mindsets of some leaders.

However, whilst we can talk confidently about the adaptability of businesses through the digital explosion, there’s one area that’s been left in its tracks.


Allow me to explain….

The alarming growth rate in unemployment right now, means a saturated marketplace from a candidate perspective. From looking at Linkedin job adverts, on average jobs are reporting between a 500–700: 1 ratio in the HR arena. 

And through the digital explosion, we have failed to adapt how we apply for a job. There are early adopters of digital CVs, but very few. I’ve been using them for the last 12 months and have found that it allows me to hear and feel the passion and expertise of the candidates, which is simply not possible on a two page, 2D piece of paper.


Every single recruitment agency I talk to about this says the same thing.

“What about bias? If we send a CV, we can take out any personal details about that person, so it removes bias”.

Actually, I don’t believe it does STOP bias. 

Whether we like it or not IF the hiring manager has a conscious or unconscious bias, then when that person walks into a room for an interview or on a Zoom call (as it is right now) then they will find an excuse to not hire them. So many people get told they didn’t get the job due to cultural fit and when you go back and ask what they mean by that, they usually can’t articulate it. 

Because, for them, your personality or your face didn’t fit. It appals me to say this out loud but it’s the TRUTH. 

At least with a video, you are not going to waste either party’s time. Don’t think that as a future employer we should take other people’s time for granted. It’s a two-way street. 

Why is recruitment technology dragging its heels? 

In a digitally enabled world where even the novices can make a video on an app and send it over in minutes, why is it applicant tracking systems (used by all recruitment agencies and many HR systems)  haven’t adapted their platforms to be able to undertake this functionality?

Why haven’t huge social media platforms like Linkedin enabled it as an option? Surely considering the current climate that would have been a more advanced function for the site rather than using time and resources to build another emoji or LinkedIn stories?

We managed to flip an entire global business world overnight and yet we still recruit like it’s 1993 with a CV and covering letter and Powerpoint presentations!

Take a moment to see what’s coming… Tinder… but for recruitment.

HR is known for being risk averse, but now is the time to adopt this pioneering concept. If this year has taught us one thing, it is that ANYTHING and EVERYTHING is possible.

I want to be the one who recruits from the heart and my head, who doesn’t want to miss out on the best talent just because someone isn’t great at writing a CV, who wants to put the Human back into HR. 

I’m ready to take a risk and pioneer this concept… the question I’m asking is… are you?

Interested in this topic? Read ‘Two ways to create a positive candidate experience‘.

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