Do we still need a CV to hire Senior Executives?

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This month we have already discussed how LinkedIn is a key part of a candidate’s search strategy but as recruiters and hiring managers, does that mean the traditional CV is now redundant? 

Do we still need to see a CV to hire the best senior execs?

Whilst LinkedIn and other online resources have become a vital part of our hiring process here at Barron Williams, we think a traditional CV is still essential when hiring senior execs.

According to Top CV:

“CVs are still seen as an integral part of the recruitment process, no matter how much technology moves forward. It’s because they’re a great way of presenting skills, career history, and other details in a document that’s precise and succinct. No other method works quite as well.”

You could argue as a professional CV writing service, they would say that.

A recent report in Forbes also asked if the résumé is dead and they cited research by Test Gorilla that highlighted how skills-based hiring is on the rise, stating:

“An emerging trend points towards a reliance on skills-based hiring, and a departure from traditional résumés, based on new research. Over 70% of survey respondents stated that skills-based hiring is more effective than relying on résumés.”

They go on to say that:

“Companies view skills-based hiring as more effective than using a traditional CV. The idea is that testing for specific skills is more effective than being drawn by big names and snazzy titles.”

As a professional services business, specialising in senior management and executive-level roles, we have seen our fair share of CVs. 

We know what makes a good one and they provide us with an excellent snapshot of a candidate’s professional experience, so for us, they are still essential.

However, a CV alone does not maketh a good hire. We need greater holistic insight!

We need to take the CV and with a full and proper process, establish soft skills, cultural fit, communication skills, problem-solving ability, teamwork, etc. The CV gets you into the game – as long as it matches you to the role brief and candidate profile!

A good CV will give us an excellent intro or overview, but it will not verify personality, proficiency, behavioural fit, cultural alignment, the potential for success, etc.

Combining the CV with a rigorous selection process is what gives us a full picture. 

Our holistic approach enables a better understanding of a candidate’s suitability for the role and your organisation. The CV is just the start.

That robust process is what will ultimately lead to a fully informed hiring decision.

Writing a good CV is a skill too, but is it the kind of skill that demonstrates if a potential FD or MD is the best candidate for the role? 

Maybe not but without it, you may not get the opportunity to find out.

The CV is alive and well in our opinion and, when hiring senior execs, we will always start our process by reviewing a candidate’s CV to provide us with the following:

1. A comprehensive overview of the candidate

A CV will provide us with a comprehensive overview of a candidate’s career, including their education, work history, skills, and accomplishments. It allows us to see their professional journey in one concise document and quickly assess if we need to talk to them about the role.

2. Good candidates will customise their CV for the role

A CV should be tailored to emphasise specific experience and achievements that are most relevant to the role they are applying. This customisation can be valuable in helping us assess their fit for the role, sector and your organisation. It also demonstrates their commitment and marks them out as a serious candidate.

3. A good snapshot of their career path to date

A good CV is often a quick tick-off in terms of qualifications and experience at the senior exec level. They provide us with a detailed overview of the candidate’s professional background, such as specific project details, key accomplishments, and leadership roles they have held throughout their career. Measurable achievements, yes. Too many adjectives, NO!

4. Provides us with a reference point in interviews

CVs serve as a reference document for us in interviews. We can use the CV to structure our questions and probe deeper into a candidate’s experience and qualifications. We once read somewhere that a good CV is a picture that paints a thousand words and actually, that is pretty apt as 1000 words over 2 to 3 pages max is the word count we would recommend.

5. Gives our search process consistency

An effective process is vital. It gives us, our clients, and all candidates structure, consistency, and a fair hiring procedure, ensuring that we put the right people in the right roles. A CV provides a consistent format for evaluating candidates, making it easier to compare and contrast their experience and qualifications. It also shows us how the candidates communicate.

6. Provides us with compliance and documentation of the process

In some cases, especially in regulated industries, a CV is often required for compliance or HR documentation purposes. For us, however, receiving a CV from a candidate or potential candidate is a commitment which enables us to seriously discuss that person’s interest in your role.

Good hiring needs more than just a CV

Whilst CVs are still critical, as we have already stated, they are just one part of the hiring process. 

Here are some additional steps that we will use to hire the best people for your organisation:

1. LinkedIn

As discussed from a candidate perspective in our recent Is LinkedIn stopping you from getting Hired? article, reviewing a candidate’s profile will also provide us with excellent insight into their professional network, endorsements, recommendations, and much more.

2. Covering Letter

Many senior executive candidates will submit a cover letter or email when applying for a role, and we think they’re an excellent way of demonstrating a candidate’s motivation, passion, and cultural alignment with your organisation. They should keep it short. Para #1 “Why I’m applying?”. Para #2 “Why I’m a good match to the role brief?”.

3. Interviews

Essential. In-person interviews, video interviews, and multiple calls are crucial for us to fully assess a candidate’s interest, personality, soft skills, leadership qualities, and cultural fit. We want candidates ‘on-duty’ every time we speak. 

4. References

We always conduct thorough reference checks to verify a candidate’s recent work history and gain detailed insight from former colleagues and employers.

5. Assessments & Testing

Depending on the role brief from our client, we may utilise skills or personality assessment tests to further evaluate a candidate’s suitability. They can be very valuable in validating conclusions drawn from other areas of the selection process.

For the team at Barron Williams, a well-structured CV, along with the steps above, will provide us with a well-rounded view of a senior executive candidate’s fit for a role and the client organisation.

The CV is very much alive, kicking and a critical part of the recruitment process!

If you are looking to work with a team dedicated to helping you find the right people to fulfil those crucial roles for your organisation, please use our Client Upload Form or call us today.

If you are looking to find or apply for a new role, then please feel free to Upload Your CV or call us for an exploratory conversation.

And if you’re not already, please don’t forget to follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Barron Williams

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