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Twitter Spats, The British Press And How They’re Shaping CV’s In The Current Job Market?


I’m actually not sure whether this counts as a celebrity spat. However, this particular incident was a bit more interesting than the usual Twitter exchange. This was based on a comment made by the comedian and actor John Cleese about Fraser Nelson, the Editor of The Spectator. A highbrow exchange? Certainly not when the wider Twitter world got involved.  However, the issue revolved around Cleese’s exception to Nelson defending the Daily Telegraph’s recent undercover investigation into the world of British football. Why, he asked, “do we let half-educated tenement Scots run our English press? Because their craving for social status makes them obedient retainers?”

Cleese has been accused of casual racism and elitism among other things. However, it was Nelson’s reply which really got me thinking. “As for educational pedigree, things at The Spectator are even worse than Mr Cleese suspects. We don’t even check the schooling of who we let in nowadays. We have a no-CV policy: we hire…. on aptitude tests alone.” This isn’t the hiring policy at the latest start up tech firm. This is a traditional Fleet Street establishment. If the Spectator have such a policy what are the implications for the humble CV? The history of the CV dates back further than you might imagine. The inventor of the pretty much everything, artist, musician and writer, Leonardo Da Vinci, also seems to take credit for having written the very first CV. The History goes, that in 1482, Da Vinci listed his capabilities and skills down on paper, to send off to a potential employer, the Duke of Milan. So fast forward 534 years and in the recruitment industry are still reliant on CV’s. The majority of our clients still want to see a CV even if they take our recommendation to interview that individual. Is it just the more creative industries that bypass CV’s? Or does mark a change attitudes towards CV’s. With the majority of people now effectively having an online CV available for anyone to see in their LinkedIn profile. It makes the actual document itself less relevant. Within the recruitment industry we find that the most sought after candidates are not those people out of work or even those in work and actively seeking out new opportunities. The real gems in terms of the job market are those passive candidates who are not actively looking but would consider moving if approached about the right opportunity. These candidates won’t generally have an up to date CV anyway. What all this discussion brings home is the importance of a recruitment company to build collaborative relationships with both clients and candidates. With a high degree of trust between recruiter and client there is often no need to send a CV. Certainly for temporary recruitment if the consultant has a full understanding of the job brief and is confident in their selection of the right candidate then there should be no real need for a CV at all. Even with permanent placements on a repeat basis many of our clients will interview based on recommendation alone. I think perhaps it is too early to say that the CV is dead but with video interviews becoming increasingly popular and accessible perhaps it is time for the industry to move on. What is really interesting about The Spectator’s recruitment policy is that it reflects how little prospective employers can really gauge from a CV. An experienced Recruitment Consultant’s assessment of a candidate coupled with aptitude test and where necessary a psychometric profile are the most powerful tools available to any hiring manager. Well, that’s my opinion but no doubt someone out there on Twitter will disagree!
Mark Gill

By Mark Gill

Recruitment Director with a proven record of providing world class hires at all levels of office and management positions within the Leeds Bradford region. We use our unique Headway Recruitment Platform incorporating psychometric testing to find the top candidates. If you want access to the full local talent pool get in contact with the team at Headway. We help companies achieve growth through our unique approach. This ensures the candidates we place are the perfect fit. Companies are then best placed to get the best from each individual as they understand their motivating traits. Proud to be recognised as preferred supplier for several businesses in the Sunday Times top 100 firms to work for.
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