Saturday, July 18, 2009


Warren Buffet cites 3 qualities to look out for when recruiting: Integrity, Intelligence and Energy. Now tell me, how do you assess these using a cv? Answer: you can't. A cv will give you a measure of experience, but little else - and that's assuming the candidate has integrity.
Whenever I've recruited, I've really only been interested in these 3 qualities, with experience coming in fourth. You can train skills - you can't train attitude.
So why on earth does the recruitment industry, aided and abetted by HR departments, persist in judging candidates by their cvs alone? And why do they shortlist only those that match the job spec as closely as possible when the result is to maintain the status quo, promote stagnation and inhibit change and evolution?
My hunch is that this behaviour is driven by fear - fear that a decision based on intangibles cannot be supported by evidence. Evidence provides a firewall against criticism, it defends judgement and protects the hapless decision-maker.
The crying shame is that each time a recruiter opts for safety, another chance for the organisation to evolve goes out of the window.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wise Words.

I used to recruit engineers on their personality and energy and got it right every time. The CV was just a reference their ability to understand kit and software ... nothing more. Attitude to the overall requirements of the team and the ability to energise those around them was far more important. The CV did not necessary detail this attribute but if it came out at interview, they were in through the door.