Guess what, people lie on their CVs.

You probably know that already, but here are some alarming facts on the matter.

63% of CVs contain discrepancies, up 15% in the last decade! Some contain slight embellishments, like someone exaggerating the scope of their responsibilities, others, damn right lies, like someone claiming to be employed by a company they’ve never really worked for. Either way, that’s 3 in every 5 CVs include discrepancies.

Here’s another statistic for you. An employer may only read a CV for anything from 5 to 30 seconds.

So let’s talk about the White Elephant in the room, the CV. Given all of its flaws, why do most employers still use a CV as the single most important tool in recruiting their people? Both the initial sifting, and interview stage, at most businesses seem to continue to rely on the humble CV for what is the biggest decision they can make – people are your most important asset after all!

Let’s think about what a CV actually is. Basically, it contains a range of personal information but, let’s be frank, what employers are really interested in is not someone’s interests and hobbies, but their experience.  So the CV is essentially a sequential list of someone’s work experience.

And that’s where the problem lies.

Too many businesses, in our opinion, focus exclusively on previous experience – what someone did in previous roles – when making hiring decisions. They believe that past experience, ideally as similar as possible to the role they’re trying to fill, will be the best predictor of whether someone will be successful or not.

The interesting thing is that evidence shows past experience is actually the least accurate predictor of success in a role. Now, don’t get us wrong, we’re not saying that experience is unimportant, but we’re saying that, taken on its own, it is shown to be only 25% accurate in predicting future success in a role. That means that, if you recruit people at your business solely based on experience – as many do – 1 in 4 hires will be mis-hires.  Think about that for a moment, how many of your current employees would you employ again if you had the chance – 1 in 4?

What’s the alternative?

For us, it starts by understanding and properly defining the type of person you want, beyond just experience. These are their wider characteristics and attributes. We define this type of person as “the complete individual”.

We believe that other factors are as important, if not more important, than experience. These include a person’s intellect, values, motivations and behaviours. Evidence shows that someone’s ability to be successful in a particular role is more determined by these other factors, rather than experience.

It’s the right combination of these things, along side experience, that you’re looking to establish for your “complete individual”.

And here’s the good news. You can take away all the embellishments and inaccuracies from a recruitment process, reliant on CVs. You can actually apply psychometrics across all of these other factors. This makes your recruitment far more objective and accurate…about 75% accurate to be precise.

So, we suggest that you think about the limitations of the CV in your recruitment and more importantly, the limitations of recruiting solely on experience. CVs have a role, but it’s only part of the process of recruiting the “complete individual”.