When assessing a candidate’s suitability for your vacancies, it’s vital to see facts and figures throughout their CV. Numbers provide scale, context and give you a much greater understanding of candidate capabilities – without them, many statements can be left open to interpretation.
For example, two different candidates could list “team leadership” as a skill on their CV and appear identical. But if one of those candidates is managing a 2 person team and the other is managing a 200 person team, then they are clearly not suitable for the same roles.
Accompanying claims with numbers in this fashion gives candidates a much more accurate description of their work and quantifies the impact they make. They also allow you a direct comparison method when making final decisions on forwarding candidate to roles. In cases where you suspect a candidate is strong but their CV is lacking the figures to back it up, you must quiz them on their numbers and ensure the CV is updated accordingly.
These types of metrics are vital to employers and they should always be visible in a CV before being put in front of a client or hiring manager.
Most companies are in business to make money, and even non-profit organisations require a healthy bank balance to run efficiently. If you want a meaningful measure of a candidate’s success, looking at their contributions to company finances is a good place to start.
- Do they manage a budget? Budgetary responsibility is a positive sign and the size of said budget will give you an indication of the candidate’s seniority.
- Have they saved any costs? Any initiatives that a candidate has led or supported to cut company spending will always be looked upon favourably, especially large amounts over long time periods.
- Have they generated any revenue? This is not just a signal for sales or marketing candidates. Any activity that a has contributed to company earnings is a viable benefit to an employer.
Time is a hugely valuable resource to companies and individuals alike. If a candidate can demonstrate their ability to use time wisely, it should be seen as a resourceful trait.
- Can they commit? Good candidates generally tend to stay with employers for long time periods and commit themselves to projects through to completion.
- Can they save time? Anything change that can be brought about to save a company’s resource time is a massive selling point. If a candidate has implemented process or policy changes that have led to faster and more efficient ways of working, they should certainly be looked upon favourably.
- Can they meet deadlines? A successful organisation relies on a team of staff who get things done on time. If a candidate can show quantified examples of delivering ahead of schedule, that’s even better.
The geographical span of a candidate’s work shows exactly how far their impact spreads physically. Numerical location signals within a CV provide a better understanding of the scale of a candidate’s work.
- How far does their work reach? A candidate could have their work focused solely in one city to concentrate on a particular market, or they may work across multiple regions to cover a large client base. Neither of these are better than the other, but they could affect suitability for certain roles.
- Do they manage multiple sites/offices? A candidate who is managing one location for their employer will be at a very different seniority level to a candidate who is managing twenty. Ensure that these numbers match with hiring manager expectations.
Size related statistics are good indicators of a person’s contribution in the workplace. Often bigger numbers will demonstrate a bigger impact, but this will depend on the role requirements.
- Have they worked on big projects? In order to know where you can place a candidate, it’s crucial to know the types of environments they have worked in, and metrics are a great way to convey this. Look out for signs on project or operations monetary value, number of people affected by their work or value of change delivered.
- How big is the team they work in or lead? It’s important to understand whether a candidate works within a small team, or leads global teams consisting of hundreds of people.
Although figures are important, they can occasionally be deceiving if taken out of context. For example, a £100 saving may be impressive from a £150 monthly spend. However, a £100 saving from a £150m spend is barely noticeable.
Percentages express the impact of a candidate’s work in direct correlation to their employer’s, so they can be reliable sources of data.
- Have they hit their targets? If a candidate’s role is subject to targets or KPIs then it’s crucial to know how they are performing in relation to expectations.
- Do they make impactful increases and decreases? If a candidate is able to increase sales by 20% or decrease customer waiting time by 35%, then their value becomes very clear.
About the author: Andrew Fennell is an experienced recruiter and founder of CV writing service StandOut CV.