What to look for in addition to your candidates’ CVs to see if they are right for the job

CV Featured

How important is a CV to the recruitment process? The short answer is: crucial. However, it’s not the only tool that employers have when it comes to identifying whether candidates are right for the job. If you’re looking to make insightful hiring decisions to create a stable and productive workforce then you need to look beyond the CV to do it.

Take a holistic approach to the application

When candidates make an initial application for a role it is usually via a number of different documents with the CV attached. Put the CV aside and look at what else the candidate submitted. How was the cover letter worded, for example – did they take the time to write one? If there’s an application form, look at the content and the care that was taken in completing it. All of this can tell you something more about the person that you’re considering employing.

Good references are key

It’s often tempting to simply use references as a bit of a tick box exercise. “Would you recommend this employee” Yes. “Did you have any issues with them?” No. This bare minimum is often what new employers rely on when making decisions about potential candidates. However, if you really want to find out more about the candidate than the content of the CV, then do more with the references. Ask about work performance but also personality, sense of humour, teamwork, timeliness and how they maintained their work space.

The interview represents a significant opportunity

You could have a traditional style of interview where you’re asking questions and candidates are answering them – and afterwards you can evaluate the results. This will give you a good idea of which candidates are the best in the pack that you’re judging but it still won’t tell you that much about whether individuals are actually right for your business. The interview is a great opportunity to go beyond what you already know about the candidate from the CV and find out more. Try role play for a customer service position to see how the candidate reacts to the challenges they might encounter on the job, for example. Other techniques to get more out of candidates in interviews include group discussion, problem solving and giving them an hour or so in the real job as part of an extended interview/assessment process.

Socialising can be very telling

Asking candidates for team drinks after an interview is a clever way to assess whether this person really fits within the team culture. This represents an opportunity to see how candidates interact with others on the team and gives a different insight into the potential employee than that of a CV or interview. Most candidates will also let their guard down in a social setting and be more willing to be themselves than they might when sitting opposite you in an interview room.

We recruit with intelligence and integrity – if you need help finding the best candidates for your roles 2i Recruit can help. Get in touch with our team today on 01483 414719.