Is the traditional CV now dead?
- Oct 14, 2019

Is the traditional CV now dead? by Mark Stephens.

An article that I read this morning encouraged me to share a few thoughts and insights on this topic.

Increases in attrition levels and longer bedding in periods before new hires become productive are becoming more commonplace, and can often be traced back to poor or inadequate recruitment practices.


The limitations of a CV

Most of us understand that if you want to evaluate prospective candidates properly, then you will need to dig far deeper than the traditional CV.

You will also need to go beyond a telephone interview, and if you want your onsite face to face meeting to be effective, then you will need to do a lot more ahead of that interview, to evaluate the prospective employee that you are meeting with.

Few people will argue against the opinion that a CV is a one-dimensional document, that I like to think of as a business card, but rarely, if ever, will a CV tell you everything that you need to know about someone, before hiring them.

And yet more than 50% of hires in the UK ever go much beyond the CV, before moving onto a telephone interview and then to a face to face meeting.


Time for change

Deloitte, in its 2019 Global Human Capital Trends Survey, showed over 70% of employers cited recruitment as a critical business issue, and if you go back a few years to the last CIPD survey of over 1000 business owners, over 90% stated that the recruitment of staff was the most critical issue influencing effective growth within the organisation.

So it is slightly disturbing that so many recruiting businesses, fail to apply the right level of due diligence.

Recent surveys indicate that current national attrition rates are massively up and are, of course being affected by the current record low unemployment rates we are experiencing, but there is also a lot of evidence to prove that there is a direct correlation between employment longevity & new hire productivity, and the quality of due diligence performed during the applicant screening process.


Talent Attraction

Collecting the right information

Here is a selection of the most common forms of due diligence that can be delivered as part of your assessment process:

– Industry and Job Knowledge Tests

– Competency-Based Assessments

– Skills Assessments

– Gamification or Task Orientated Tests

– Cognitive Ability Tests

– Critical Thinking Test

– Creative Thinking and Problem-Solving

– Numerical Reasoning

– Aptitude Tests

– Cultural Alignment Profiling

– Behavioural Alignment Profiling

– Emotional Intelligence

– Team Fit

– Personality Profiling

– Presentation and Communication Profiling

– Background and Reference Checks


In reality, it is impossible to consider running too many of these tasks, which is why consideration needs to be given on a per role basis as to what due diligence is most appropriate to the position being recruited for, in order to provide an effective holistic assessment of the prospective employee.

The traditional CV should at best form part of a well thought out set of screening tasks and references that contribute towards the interview selection process.

Better screening can also remove the need for multiple on-site interviews, which, in my experience are often costly and unnecessary.

Decisions at face to face meetings are also often heavily driven by gut feelings, so it makes sense to do the formal groundwork before-hand.

By adopting a good talent attraction and recruitment management system as the centrepiece to your recruitment strategy, will also contribute towards applying better practices as it makes it easier and more effective to issue and draw conclusions that assist in making the best hiring decisions.



More about the author

Mark Stephens

Mark has established a reputation for his passion and enthusiasm over twenty years working in the recruitment industry, both client and agency side. For the last seven years, he has been researching the recruitment landscape from both a technology and people perspective. His insights into market trends are often used and quoted across the industry’s leading publications.

His company, Smart Recruit Online, have been the winner of 5 international awards for technology innovation and Recruitment Technology in the last 18 months and currently hold the accolade of filling more jobs from direct applications for their clients than any other online recruitment service in the UK.

Connect with Mark Stephens on LinkedIn


Smart Recruit Online offers an award-winning talent attraction software that will streamline and revolutionise your recruitment strategy.

We offer a customisable software platform integrated with multiple selection and screening tools, enabling you to make well-informed recruitment decisions. 

To find out what we can to for your recruitment strategy, book a demo by clicking here.

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Mark Stephens

Mark has established a reputation for his passion and enthusiasm over twenty years working in the recruitment industry, both client and agency side. For the last ten years, he has been researching the HR & Recruitment landscape from both a technology and people perspective. A previous winner of the prestigious Chambers – Innovation in Business award, Mark is a serial entrepreneur and is the founder of Smart Recruit Online Ltd, CareersPage Ltd, The HR Resource Library and Corporate Wellness & Mental Health UK Ltd. His company, Smart Recruit Online, has been the winner of 7 national and international awards in the last 18 months for recruitment innovation. Mark has dedicated his time since 2007 researching the online HR & Recruitment sector from a user, technology, and candidate behaviour perspective, and is regularly published and quoted by leading industry publications for his research and personal opinions.

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