Why You Shouldn’t Hire a Document When What You Need Is a Team Member

hiring a team member

The “Curriculum Vitae”, otherwise known as the resume, has been around since about 1482. Created by the great Leonardo de Vinci, the professional “CV” offered a quick and efficient way for hiring managers to estimate whether someone might be a good fit for a job. Unfortunately, “guessing” your way to the perfect hire just isn’t a good idea.

A CV tells a hiring manager a few distinct things about a potential candidate. With a CV, you can tell where a person worked before coming to your company, how long they spent in each job, and which official certifications they have. That’s about it.

Unfortunately, none of those things are enough to guarantee a good hire. In fact, the number one reason new hires don’t work out has nothing to do with previous experience or technical qualifications. Most hires fail because of poor cultural fit.  

The Problem with Relying on CVs

The idea that technical expertise or a background in a certain industry can 100% guarantee a successful hire is outdated (and a little insane). Currently, 73% of professionals leave jobs because they just don’t feel comfortable with the internal culture. What’s more, countless experts agree that people don’t leave “bad jobs”, they leave “bad bosses” and bad internal experiences.

The workplace is full of numerous moving parts, all of which have a distinct job to play. However, if those parts don’t mesh with each other, nothing really gets done. Unfortunately, the old-fashioned hiring process, focused primarily on the CV, paves the way to hiring mistakes.

If you think of hiring someone like buying a t-shirt online, hiring with a CV is akin to buying a shirt in your size, without knowing anything about the cut, what it looks like, or even whether the design is comfortable to wear. It “should” work as a shirt – but you might not be happy with the result.

As intrinsic as they may seem to the hiring process, CVs are more hindrance than help to the average hiring manager. They convince HR experts they can pick the perfect person for a role based on their previous job roles alone and cause us to forget about the value of cultural fit.

Innovative work simulator company, Unboxable, says around 74% of employers currently admit to hiring the wrong person, and the majority of the time, the incorrect hire comes as a result of poor cultural fit. Unboxable believes that when you focus entirely on the CV, you forget to consider the “human” aspect of the hiring process – i.e., what goes on beyond technical skills.

So, What if We Forgot the CV?

The average cost of a bad hire can be around 30% of the employee’s potential first-year earnings. If you’re hiring a staff member with a $100,000 annual wage, picking the wrong one could cost you about $30,000. That’s a lot of cash to balance on the insights you can get from a single piece of paper.

So, what if we turned the hiring process upside down entirely? Instead of trying to match words on a CV to words on a job description, why not match characteristics in an employee, to the values that make your team thrive?

Unboxable replaces CVs and checkboxes with job simulators which help companies to develop a deeper knowledge of their potential candidates’ attributes, like detail-orientation, communication skills, or the ability to work well in a team.

You still get to test the technical skills of the employees, by testing them in the kind of role they’re going to be working in. However, you can also evaluate the human side of the candidate and consider how they’re going to mesh with their manager, and the rest of the team.

Anyone can write a CV that checks all the right boxes for a role, simply by copy-pasting the keywords from your job description into their application. There are thousands of people out there with skills in things like PHP and Ruby on Rails, but only a handful who will work well as part of your budding start-up. Focusing on CVs alone mean you miss the little details in the hiring process which make all the difference between an “ok” hire, and an “amazing” one.

Hire a Person: Not a CV

A member of staff isn’t a conglomeration of previous work roles and time spent in classes. Your employees need a certain selection of technical skills, and experience working in specific environments – but they need a lot more than that too.

A good employee is someone who can do the job given to them – a great one is someone who can help your business to actively grow, by doing the right work. Companies like Unboxable have begun to recognize that and introduce new methods of evaluating and understanding potential candidates as a result. Now it’s up to hiring managers to make the transition too.

Image: Depositphotos

Itai Elizur Itai Elizur is the COO at InboundJunction, a content marketing agency specializing in helping B2B and SaaS companies to increase their online visibility. Itai has worked with some of the biggest tech companies in Israel, helping them develop and optimize large-scale user acquisition strategies through content, brand messaging and marketing automation.