Most employers revert to ‘roles’ and qualifications above all else.
Remember when having a university degree was the single most important piece of information on your CV or job application? Without a relevant, degree-level qualification, candidates would rarely make it onto the shortlist for a first interview, regardless of what else they offered, experience, availability or general suitability for the role, team or organisation.
In today’s market, and despite the exponential rise of applicants with degrees, their perceived value still holds true. When looking at a CV for the first time, most employers revert to ‘roles’ and qualifications above all else – but is this the right approach?
Role history and qualifications are, of course, important, but what about the person behind the degree? What will they bring to the role? How could they positively impact the organisation? And is it really good practice to discount someone just because they didn’t get a 2:1 fifteen years ago? In such instances, it’s right to question the assumptions employers are making about individuals.
Does every organisation need innovators?
In short…yes. It was refreshing to recently read Chuck Swoboda’s article in Forbes where he argued that if organisations want to find true innovators and individuals who are going to help take their businesses to the next level in disruptive landscapes, they need to look at mind-set rather than skill-set. Indeed, he goes on in the piece to advise that although CVs and resumes provide a starting point, they should be downplayed thereafter in order to ensure that important personality traits and soft skills are uncovered.
We need to identify candidates with a growth mindset – those who actively seek out opportunities to learn, improve and challenge themselves. Why, therefore, wait until the end of the recruitment process to assess these traits? By including psychometric assessment in the screening phase, something which is currently unheard of, it’s possible to get this information much earlier on.
Comfort is the enemy of progress.
Here at Elbo, we think many organisations, recruiting managers and Heads of Project Management are missing a trick when it comes to identifying the innovators and disruptors that are going to make a difference in their teams. Our technology is specifically designed to help identify these types of people in seconds, assessing everything from skills to psychometrics using complex data models, intelligent weightings and sophisticated algorithms. Despite this, we still find that employers are constrained with what we like to call ‘comfort-factor requirements’ rather than those that are going to result in a fantastic, long-term and game-changing hire for their business.
What does it matter, for example, if a candidate’s CV shows a few months less experience than ideally required, a career break, inconsistent job titles or no degree? Especially if the psychometric testing and everything else about them reveals they are fantastic problem solvers, innovative thinkers and calculated risk-takers. Perhaps the candidate’s degree is not 100% relevant to the role. But is having a 2:1 from a ‘good university’ more important than the lessons attained founding a business at the age of 16? More importantly, should the subject of their degree undermine all and any other personality traits, skills, qualifications, experiences and that the candidate has? If organisations doggedly stick to inflexible criteria, we most certainly miss out on future stars who may end up working for a competitor.
Find your stars.
Our message to employers and those recruiting for large projects – don’t miss out on superb individuals just because of archaic ideas which apply a broad-brush approach to every CV review. Using technology to unveil the different layers of what makes an individual either right or wrong for a role alongside better, more calculated interview processes is surely a more effective way to build awesome teams of individuals that will fly within your organisation.