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CEO Insights: Adopt the CV-less hiring approach and join a revolution.

Tuesday 25th July

CEO Insights: Adopt the CV-less hiring approach and join a revolution.

Are you ready to scrap the CV and hire for potential?

Read time 2.5 minutes

Molson Coors, Siemens and Brakes are the latest companies to adopt the CV-less hiring approach and hire for skills, not just experience.

Business critical roles are being left open for longer than expected, talent pools continue to shrink, and with the challenge of hitting diversity targets still looming over every TA’s head, it’s clear that we need to do things differently. Hiring without a CV is a transformative approach to hiring that emphasises soft skills over hard skills - also known as skills-based hiring. It is a move that marks a significant shift in the way traditional recruitment has been carried out for so many years. But is it the right way to go?

The sceptics of this approach worry that removing the CV removes the value of experience. This is not the case. The point about removing the CV is to change the focus from past experience (and, in many cases, privilege) to human skills, which could be transferable from other sectors. This shift in mindset broadens the span of experience, not limiting it to hard skills. To use an analogy, if hard skills are the leaves of a tree (perishable and need to be replenished) and experience is the trunk, growing in strength over time - both of which are underpinned by our roots, which are our soft skills. The point is that a trunk without roots is just a log.

Scrapping the CV and hiring for potential.

The Scrap the CV campaign is straightforward in principle. The focus is no longer solely on qualifications or experience, which research has shown employers often disregard those candidates with a lack of experience or qualifications, despite those candidates possessing significant transferable skills.

Instead, selection methods should look to more scientific, objective measures of potential to succeed in the role. In particular, skills like resilience, creativity, empathy, and problem-solving abilities will be used in the role. Looking beyond the CV and selecting based on candidates' natural skillset gives employers greater predictive power on who will succeed in the role and opens the talent pool to candidates with little to no experience. This is especially important in today's dynamic work environments, where these abilities are often undervalued, where many of the roles being created are either entirely new or have too few people with experience to provide a realistic talent pool.

Does experience matter?

It is essential to note that hiring without a CV does not mean experience is irrelevant. Clearly, some specialised roles and management roles require specific knowledge and exposure to key activities. CV-less does not aim to diminish the relevance and value of experience but rather balance it with the value of soft skills. If a role is hard to hire for and has a long time to hire, the question should be asked: are we in an ‘experience trap’?

“If you keep doing the same things, you will get the same results. Everybody is going with the bucket to the same well. We wanted to go to a different well with a different bucket”

Jon Turner, MD of Siemens Electrification and Automation Business

This is the very same question that Siemens asked themselves at the start of their hiring for potential journey. A key factor in making this new approach successful was changing internal mindsets and finding those hiring managers who wanted to challenge the status quo. We call this step 1 in our playbook for CV-less hiring, and it’s a vital part of any successful hiring revolution. 

The success of Siemen’s new hiring approach has caught the attention of our other customers, who are very excited about doing things differently to find the right candidates. Molson Coors Beverage Company recently announced its commitment to the CV-less hiring revolution to broaden access and reduce bias. This message sends a really strong employer brand commitment to make a difference in the community while improving their ESG target and diversity targets. This commitment has been supplemented by working with two charities, Bridge of Hope and The Social Mobility Foundation.

The time has come to think differently about the recruitment process. With the right tools and know-how, businesses can embrace the CV-less hiring revolution and reap the rewards of having a truly diverse workforce. Taking this approach means companies have access to the very best talent; no matter their experience or background.

Ready to join the CV-less hiring revolution but don’t know where to start? Read our playbook on hiring for potential.

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