Is it time to scrap paper CVs?

Let’s face it; the typical recruitment process is often met with dread by business owners and candidates alike. I don’t blame them. Traditional practices involve lots of paperwork, lots of expense and, annoyingly, lots of time!

Searching for the ideal candidate should be an exciting opportunity for positive change – a pleasure, not a chore. This is why we encourage businesses and candidates to do things differently.

In an age of social media, real time online communication and innovative technology, there is no longer any reason why businesses and candidates should be buried in paperwork.

For starters, where possible, it’s time we said goodbye to paper CVs! Candidates hate writing them, and I hate reading them. Clients tell us that paper CVs are useful as a point of reference during the interviewing process, but overall, using them is time consuming and boring. They tell us nothing about the person behind the paper and even the most exciting career histories can look dull on a flat sheet of A4.

We recently spent some time talking to eighteen-year-olds at a graduate recruitment fair in Gloucestershire who are hoping to find a way to kickstart their careers. They tried giving us their paper CVs, and out of courtesy, we took them, but I explained that if they want to stand out, if they want us to remember who they are, they need to be a little more bold and original.

We all know that first impressions are essential when recruiting the right person, so I ask candidates to potential employers by using Firestarter’s 60-Second CV Challenge. By asking candidates to record a video and answer a few simple questions, we can get real insight into a candidate’s personality and profile and get a more accurate first impression, allowing us to match the right candidate with the right role.

Using modern techniques to identify high performing candidates makes the search for remarkable people a little easier.

But saying all of that, in an increasingly ‘online’ world, I’m not adverse to a little tradition… pick up the phone… call into our office… there’s no substitute for human interaction!

Liza Bewick

Director, Firestarter People Solutions

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