21st August 2018

Are CVs a thing of the past?


The digital age has made everything shorter: content, attention spans and decision-making processes. This is having a profound effect on the way candidates market themselves to companies – and recruiters need to keep pace with this change, to attract the best people for the job.
With traditional CVs on the decline, it could be time for your agency to showcase contractor skills in new ways, in order to pair talented workers with the right client. Let’s take a closer look at how the candidate marketing process is changing, and what it means for your business…

Selling candidate skills in less than 60 seconds

A CV used to be a 2-3 page word document, discussing previous experience in chronological order. However, many candidates are ditching this approach for snappy online dating-style profiles, which are much shorter and to-the-point.
These new-look CVs focus on people’s skills and strengths, rather than where candidates have worked before, which can dramatically change which potential employees your clients are willing to consider. Here is a good example of how the balance has tipped in favour of attributes over accolades.
This movement has been accelerated by the growth of LinkedIn profiles as a recruitment tool. Over four million people on LinkedIn list themselves as contractors, and a third of companies say they have appointed a candidate after seeing their LinkedIn profile because it showed they were well rounded and would be a good fit with company culture – not necessarily because of their previous experience.

Making each CV stand out from the competition

With the employment market more competitive than ever, there’s now a much greater emphasis on CV presentation, with workers using eye-catching fonts and graphics to make their application stand out.
Some of the most creative candidates are displaying their CVs in alternative formats, such as infographics or YouTube videos, or putting their resumé on unconventional platforms – from beer packaging to top trumps cards. You can view some creative CV ideas here.

Using technology to do the job for HR

A few businesses have decided to bypass the traditional CV search entirely, instead using technology to manage the recruitment process.
One example of this is Unilever, which has been screening entry-level employees with an Artificial Intelligence (AI) tool for the past 18 months, to identify the most appropriate candidates in a cost-efficient way.
AI has replaced its graduate recruitment scheme in many places; college students discover new opportunities via social media adverts, and then play a number of online neuroscience-based games. Unilever experts can then match their performance to the job profiles they are looking to fill and invite the best-performing students to interview.

What does this mean for recruitment agencies?

While the onus is on candidates to make their CV sing, the changing way in which people are putting their applications together should motivate your agency to think more creatively and concisely about the recruitment process. CVs aren’t necessarily a thing of the past, but they are due for a shake-up.
Now more than ever, companies are looking for employees that are both a professional AND a personal match with their workplace culture, even among fixed-term and temporary workers. Therefore, you may improve your success rate by prioritising skills and strengths when setting out contractors’ CVs.
Additionally, your clients are extremely busy, and therefore a shorter, more visual version of contractor resumés may do a better job of hooking their attention. There may still be a place for a more detailed, full-length CV during the recruitment process, but this can be provided as a follow-up document.
Finally, it pays to keep an eye on the many ways in which technology is making essential processes easier for recruitment agencies. AI screening schemes may only be affordable to multinational corporations such as Unilever right now, but there is plenty of more cost-effective software that can help your agency run efficiently in other areas – such as improving your back-office so you can spend more time with candidates and clients.
To find out more about automating your recruitment agency operations discover ETZ’s back-office management software.

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