Is it time to ditch the CV?

10th August 2015
Jordan Mulcare

High rates of youth unemployment have created an abundance of available talent for entry-level positions. As a result, hiring managers can be increasingly particular in their requirements, demanding specific credentials and experience in the hunt for the ‘perfect’ candidate, an individual described in recruitment circles as a ‘purple squirrel’. Here, Carl Plant, CEO of, bITjAM, explains why the time has come for recruiters to move beyond the CV. 

While ‘purple squirrel’ candidates do exist, the perfect employee is unlikely to be found using outdated recruitment methods. With such particular job specifications and requirements, how could the ability of such a candidate be reflected through a few A4 pages? When online job applications first began to gain footing in the HR world, they were merely perceived as supplements to the traditional recruitment process.

Fast forward to today, when an increasing number of digital tools are available to employers. Take a look at the manufacturing industry: although the industry is on track for long term growth, the highly-publicised skills shortage means recruiters are forced to seek talent internationally. Similarly, despite the healthcare sector spending millions on recruitment, good candidates are few and far between. But is a lack of home-grown talent really to blame?

For entry-level recruitment, stronger connections between education providers and industry recruiters are needed. Recruiters also need to take advantage of existing digital tools. Although most use platforms like LinkedIn and complex candidate databases, what is also needed is something that helps jobseekers and recruiters speak the same language. This way, the skills of fresh graduates and experienced candidates alike are easier to match to the requirements of employers.

Working in partnership with Stoke Sixth Form College, Newcastle-under-Lyme College, JCB Academy and a number of manufacturing employers, bITjAM has developed digital tools to aid the job hunting and the recruitment process. Acting as a digital companion to the traditional CV, bITjAM’s mobile app, Passport, encourages jobseekers to draw from their experiences inside and outside the classroom. Aside from conventional qualifications, it’s vital that candidates recognise how important core skills such as time management, problem solving, communication and leadership are to employers.

Interestingly, this lack of leadership skills has recently been highlighted by the Department of Health in its NHS report Better leadership for tomorrow. The healthcare industry is clearly suffering from a skills shortage, perhaps it’s time to adapt the recruitment process to highlights these essential skills. Using cloud based technology, Passport translates the candidate’s skills and experiences into a language understood by employers, providing a clearer candidate-to-employer communication than that of a traditional job application.

Now is the best time for both employers and jobseekers to take advantage of the digital tools available to them, so that in the near future, finding that purple squirrel is not so difficult after all.

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