Employer Branding Talent Acquisition

4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Rely on CV Scanning Software

Automation is taking over in all industries and recruitment is no exception. But just because technology is making it easier and quicker for us to reach and recruit candidates, doesn’t mean it should remove the human element from the recruitment process.

CV scanning software is being introduced as an alternative for recruiter’s to manage the hundreds of applications submitted, removing the need for as much manual reviewing.  However, these systems could sometimes be resulting in suitable candidates being discounted.

Here’s why you shouldn’t rely entirely on CV scanning software to find the best candidates for your roles.

1. Strong candidates can have bad CVs

A CV offers an insight into a candidate’s experiences and marketable skills, but it’s never possible to employ based on a CV alone. A candidate who lacks the ability to produce a CV that would get them through a CV scanning software vetting process could still have the expertise to excel in a role.

An applicant may struggle to tailor their CV and add relevant keywords that a CV scanning software will be detecting. This could be because they have either not needed to produce a CV for a long time (for example, a candidate who had a long-term position) or they don’t have the necessary CV writing skills. These applicants could still match your employer’s specification and therefore be incorrectly declined.

More experienced candidates who have had long-term positions often struggle to display their relevant experiences and skills in their CV, especially those who were recruited before a CV becoming standard practice. CV scanning systems assess the quality of a CV whereas a more personal review will allow you to weigh up their suitability for a role beyond a bad CV.

2. Keywords can vary dramatically

Keywords will vary between industries and sectors and can even differ in each company, searching based on an exact list may remove candidates who are using other synonyms or acronyms.

For example, within the HR environment, the sector can include titles such as personnel team, people team or human resourcing team and it isn’t always possible to be able to identify and include all these variations, ensuring all possibilities are searched for.

As a recruiter reviewing a CV, you’ll be able to recognize these differences and ascertain which candidates best match your client’s specification, without avoiding a candidate merely due to their usage of different terminology.

3. You need to look beyond the CV

A recruiter’s role is to discover talent and the ability to assess whether a candidate will fit with an existing team, be a value to a company and perform well in a role goes beyond what is written in an applicant’s CV.

Look beyond a CV and identify whether a candidate can back up their claims by providing examples to support their skills set or measure the applicant’s capacity to develop within a role. CV scanning software’s will take your client’s specification literally whereas, as a recruiter you can delve deeper into an applicant’s CV, weighing up whether their skills, qualifications, and experiences are closely enough matched to the role requirements.

Applicants often undersell their experiences in their CV or can even introduce white lies to boost their application.  These factors won’t be considered by an automated system but is something as a recruiter; you should be looking out for.

4. The goalposts can move

The recruitment market is continuously changing meaning the availability of candidates can directly reflect your client’s specifications and requirements. As it becomes more difficult to recruit, your client may adjust the skills or qualities they expect from a potential candidate.

CV scanning systems won’t give you the ability to react and adjust in accordance to your client’s demands. As a recruiter you should be aware of the recruitment market, understanding the availability of candidates and the skill set currently assessable from your available talent pool. Individually reviewing CVs, allows you to bring forward to a client’s attention candidates that don’t tick all the criteria areas but have the right foundation. This is an essential part of recruitment if you discover that finding an applicant who fits all aspects of the client’s requirements won’t be possible.

CV scanning systems might be declining candidates who you may need to revert to if unable to fill based on the current list of essentials.

As a recruiter, you have the ability and experience to quickly identify suitable candidates and match applicants to your client’s requirements.

By using CV scanning systems, you may be narrowing your talent pool through discounting candidates unnecessarily based on them not fitting into a restrictive set of rules.

Look further than an applicant’s CV and assess the candidate’s suitability beyond keywords and avoid using the CV as a tick box exercise.

By Andrew Fennell

Andrew Fennell is an experienced recruiter, and founder of CV writing service  StandOut CV. He also contributes to a number of leading career pages such as The Guardian, Business Insider and Huffington Post.