Is it time to consider a CV-free recruitment process? As hiring picks back up and labor shortages persist in front-line professions, does this sound the death knell of traditional CV based recruitment for some industries? In an attempt to recruit faster and better, employers are trying different methods to evaluate candidate profiles, and they are right to! The question stands: hiring without a CV… is it good or bad idea?

5 facts about CVs

1. They are time consuming

For both candidates and recruiters, CVs are time-consuming. Any good candidate adapts their CV to the job description before submitting their application. And good recruiter will do their best to read and evaluate the CV in front of them as it relates to the vacancy at hand.

2. They don’t tell employers everything

Candidates can write whatever they want and it can be difficult and time-consuming to verify all of that information. It is also difficult to truly reveal soft skills in these CVs. Moreover, CVs only offer 3% of potential prediction for candidate success in a given vacancy.

3. They cause confusion

Piles on piles of CVs can look very similar to one another and recruiters or even ATS can struggle to adequately evaluate each application on its own unique merits. Candidates rarely have perfectly aligned experiences to the position in question. The recruiter has no choice but to use standard criteria to select profiles.

4. There is nothing extraordinary about them

CVs don’t do a good job of highlighting atypical profiles that could have all the qualities required for the job. Additionally, the format of short one or two page CVs leave little to no room for endorsements from past employers indicative of the candidate’s potential.

5. They do not serve diversity and inclusion policies

CVs bring together information subject to cognitive biases (gender, marital status, appearance, course of study, address, etc.). A candidate without previous experience in the profession is not necessarily unsuitable, but you won’t find their softs skills or potential on CVs.

Detecting potential without CVs

Since CVs offer less and less usefulness in assessing human potential, other methods of evaluation have become democratised. Sectors affected by labour shortages: hospitality, logistics, energy and mass distribution, for example, include professions in which one learns “on the job”. The rise in skills is then done through experience, mentoring and immersion in the profession. In these cases, the ideal candidate will rather be someone who easily gets on board with new methods and situational processes.


At this point, the most obvious CV-free option is questionnaires. Composed of around 30 questions prepared by the employer, they invite candidates to highlight their motivations, expose their soft skills and defend their candidacy. On the downside, this option for evaluating applications can be just as time-consuming as sorting CVs if the questions lack precision and true relevance.

Job simulation recruitment (RMS)

This approach is not new.  RMS does more to focus on soft skills developed during their professional career, but also personal experiences. Recruiters can use RMS to include long-term job seekers or candidates coming from another sector.

A playful passage via social networks

Some companies have developed their own application test which allows them to make an initial selection without the intervention of HR and TA professionals. This is the case for the company Toggl which asks their candidates to submit to a first test on Facebook. The tool designed by the company is then responsible for sending automatic responses to candidates who do not meet the prerequisites, giving HR and recruiters time to focus on the selected profiles.

Application by deferred video

This format saves time and puts candidates in a more comfortable position, they can prepare it and save it within a given time. Recruiters and managers save time and go through videos rather than CVs.

The smart personality test

Based on the predictive recruitment method, this type of test will go deeper than a CV to identify the candidate’s motivations and soft skills. Based on a principle similar to questionnaires, then personalised by AI, the exercise is as rewarding for the candidate as it is for the recruiter, because both can realise the most important character traits, motivations and working conditions suitable for that person.

Because it is not only about competency

While it offers a multidimensional assessment of the candidate, recruiting without CVs should also take into account the types of candidates sought. Re-skilling and atypical career paths will certainly be welcomed by CV-free recruitment methods, while executives with a straight career path may prefer an enhancement “on paper”.

With the success of soft skills-based recruitment and candidate assessment methods focused on personality, interpersonal skills and motivation, CVs are imminently threatened with obsolescence in some sectors. However, care must be taken to match the needs of each company to CV-free recruiting, which can also be misleading without the right parameters. It is therefore a question for HR and recruiters to properly frame the prerequisites of the position, both in terms of skills sought and in the working conditions in which the candidate will evolve.

Epictetus said, “Everything changes, not to cease being, but to become what has yet to be.” Recruiting without CVs can be more effective today in the right conditions, but with the wrong conditions and direction, CV free recruitment – even if using RMS or video interviewing for example – can be equally ineffective.