CV – Is it the ONLY effective tool for preliminary screening of candidates?

Imagine a situation. You are holding a post of a recruiter in a company. And in front of you are CVs of potential candidates. If 2 of the CVs show an academic background of candidates who have only passed the matriculation examination, the CVs automatically get rejected. Absolutely no consideration is then given to the skill sets and the capabilities of the candidate. This is the power that CVs today have in preliminary screening of candidates. In the initial round of shortlisting or eliminating candidates, CVs play a major role.

Now, consider the following examples. Dhirubhai Ambani left for Aden to take up a job arranged by his father even before the matriculation examination results were out. The legendary Sachin Tendulkar, started his career only when he was 14 years old. JRD Tata did not study beyond matriculation as mentioned in his biography Beyond The Last Blue Mountain by R M Lala.
All these above mentioned people are masters in their own profession. Dhirubhai Ambani has set up a great empire. Sachin Tendulkar is considered to be one of the greatest batsmen till date and JRD Tata founded India’s first commercial airline, ‘Tata Airlines’, in 1932. Had you to see the CVs of these great personalities when they just started their career, you probably would have never ever had a second look at their capabilities and the knowledge they possess in their fields of interest.
I understand that CVs are very important in shortlisting candidates. Through well written and well drafted CVs, one can sell their past performance and their skills to a certain level.
But CVs don’t help in assessing the personality and the interpersonal skills of the candidate. A person can come out to be a very intelligent person, but what if he is an individual worker and cant work well in teams. A person’s capability of working in teams can’t be assessed through a CV. It needs to be assessed through various other activities. Many companies today, are looking to change their CEOs because they can’t work well in teams, even though the performance of the company has not declined. There are many people who are capable and masters in their respective field, but their intelligence doesn’t translate into positive academic background. These are the very people who know their job well and understand what their true potential is and how effective their performance should be to translate into the profitability of the company.
CVs are important but so are other ways to judge a person’s knowledge levels. Companies, today, are increasingly using other methods namely case study discussions, group discussions and tests to shortlist candidates to find out whether the candidate is suitable for the job. These methods have recently picked their share of importance. CVs are given importance, but equal importance is given to the above mentioned activities too. By using all these methods, companies can avoid the dangers of missing out on these people.
In my opinion, CVs should be considered by all the recruiters but the candidates also need to be assessed on other dimensions of the job (teamwork skills, knowledge needed for the job, personality, to name a few) with the help of various other methods mentioned above.
Today, recruiting the right type of candidates is very important. If a person is not given a job true to his potential, then not only the organization’s performance levels but also the employee’s career path gets affected. By using CVs as well as other activities, the recruiters can have a perfect person-job fit and thus contribute to the overall advancement and development of the employee and the organization.
[The article has been written by Miloni Y. Sanghrajka. She is a student at K J Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research. She is from a commerce background and is going to take up HR as her specialization in her second year of MBA. ]

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