Mastering the art of effective CV Screening

BY Nicole Sopkovich   |  

We get it, sifting through numerous CVs to find the perfect candidate for your business can be tough. But making sure you're picking the right ones is key for a successful hiring journey. That's where effective CV screening comes in handy.


The Stakes Are High:

In today's competitive job market, attracting top talent is imperative. A recent study by the CIPD reveals that 89% of UK employers struggle to find candidates with the right skills and experience. This translates to wasted time, resources, and even lost revenue. Conversely, a well-executed CV screening process can significantly improve your likelihood of finding the ideal candidate the first time.


Navigating the CV Screening Process:

Let’s face it: this can be a difficult task. On the one hand, you are faced with time constraints, sifting through countless applications while juggling other responsibilities as well. On the other hand, subjective bias can creep up on you. Leading to the inadvertent dismissal of potentially qualified candidates.

Did you know that unconscious bias can come at a cost? Fear not; This blog is your guide to navigating the complexities of CV screening. We will equip you with the latest data, insights, and actionable tips to ensure you uncover the perfect person for your team.


Know Your Role, Inside & Out:

Imagine you are searching for a diamond in the rough- a candidate who fits perfectly in your team but somehow gets overlooked amidst that big pile of CVs. The key to unearthing this gem lies in a fundamental step, sometimes disregarded: truly understanding the role you are hiring for. Ditch focusing solely on the job title and embark on a quest for the intricate details that define success in this position.

This means really understanding the role requirements:

  • Hard Skills: Identify what specific skills and abilities are needed to do the job. Think about the technical expertise and software fluency that is required for daily tasks. Stay updated on industry trends and emerging technologies relevant for the role, so you know what to look out for on current CVs.
  • Soft Skills: Think beyond just the qualifications. Don’t underestimate the power of interpersonal dynamics, communication skills, and problem-solving expertise. Consider the team environment and collaboration needs.
  • Experience: Obviously, industry knowledge and relevant experience is crucial. But it's important to think outside of the box, people from other industries could have transferrable skills that should not be overlooked. 
  • Education: While formal qualifications can matter, they aren't the be-all and end-all, tailor your expectations to the specific role. Are there specialised certifications that truly demonstrate the required knowledge and capabilities? And remember there is nothing to be afraid of when considering alternative educational pathways that hold hidden talent.

Attracting the right type of candidates:

  • Craft a Compelling Job Description: Clearly tailoring each job description to outline the specific skills and experience you seek is imperative. No more generic descriptions that attract a sea of irrelevant applications.
  • Streamline Your CV Screening: Reduce the time it takes to do administrative tasks and focus on assessing candidates who possess the skills and experience you need, saving you precious time and resources.

By implementing a strategic and efficient CV screening process, you can attract the top talent your company needs to thrive in the job market.


Talent Beyond the CV:

Let’s face it! CVs are just a snapshot, a curated summary of a candidate’s journey. While they do offer valuable information, solely relying on them can lead to missed opportunities. We will go beyond the CV, unlocking the true potential of your recruitment strategy.

Don't Be Superficial:

Imagine a highly skilled professional with an unconventional career path, reflected in their CV as ‘job hopping’. Are you truly dismissing them based solely on these labels? A recent CIPD study revealed that 43% of UK employers admit to unconsciously overlooking candidates with gaps in their employment history without giving a candidate a chance to explain.

Striking the Right Balance:

It's crucial to find the sweet spot between essential skills and credentials and an open-minded approach to unconventional backgrounds. Here's the key:

  • Sharpen your focus: Instead of feeling overwhelmed, define what is the perfect fit for the specific role. Understand in-demand skills and experience in your industry and tailor your job descriptions accordingly.
  • Become a magnet for talent: Craft a compelling job description that highlights your company culture, opportunities for growth, and what makes the role and your team truly unique. This way, you attract the right candidates and save yourself time screening out those who aren’t a good fit.
  • Don’t judge a book by its cover: Recognise that job hopping or employment gaps don’t always tell the whole story. Also, understand that a candidate’s journey isn’t always linear. They might possess transferable skills developed through diverse experiences, whether this be from volunteering or working in a different industry completely. These skills often get overlooked in traditional CV screening. Look beyond these factors and focus on the skills that the candidate can bring to the table.

Streamlining CV Screening

If you feel buried deep down in the pile of CVs, you are not alone! On average, a hiring manager spends a whooping 15 hours screening applications per hire! But fear not; we have strategies to slash that time and locate your perfect applicant more quickly. (top tip: we can do it for you and save you that time entirely).

In this competitive market, hiring isn’t just a process; it’s an investment. By implementing a suitable strategic and efficient CV screening process, you can secure the top talent your company needs to thrive in the market.


Sharpen your CV screening lens: Understand the role inside-out, look beyond just credentials and assess both hard and soft skills for a perfect winning match.

Ditch the biases and approach the playing field with fairness. Focus on potential and transferable skills, not superficial factors.

Did you know? A recent UK study revealed that 43% of hiring managers feel they lack the skills to screen CVs effectively. Now, that's where we come in! We do everything from CV screening to pre-employment vetting. 


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