It’s thought Leonardo da Vinci penned the first known professional resume back in 1482, listing his skills, his experience and his ideas for invention. But is this still the best way for us to assess potential talent? Since then, the CV has changed, spread rapidly and developed into a primary recruitment tool with the primary function being to secure an interview.

CVs were very useful when you only got around 20 applicants, but in today’s technologically advanced world where online job applications have dramatically increased the volume of candidates, is it still the right mechanism to be using?

Hiring off the back of a great CV does not guarantee a successful hire. Anyone can have a great CV, it doesn’t mean they can do the job how it needs to be done.

Also, many employers continue to try to fix their talent shortfalls by poaching ‘experienced’ and costly people from their competitors, for no guarantee of a successful return on investment.

So, due to the high number of applications today and the fact that CV’s and poaching competitor talent is no guarantee for a successful hire, organisations need to recruit, develop and retain talent in different ways. One example of this is that by ING.

Arkadi Kuhlmann, founder and CEO of ING Direct USA, has recruited thousands of employees to his organisation, he’s made a point of not looking to his competitors as a source of talent. He says:

“If you want to renew and re-energise an industry, don’t hire people from that industry. You’ve got to untrain them and then retrain them. I’d rather hire a jazz musician, a dancer, or a captain in the Israeli army. They can learn about banking. It’s much harder for bankers to unlearn their bad habits.”

As Kuhlmann and others have demonstrated, employing inexperienced ‘raw’ individuals, and investing in them through ongoing learning and development can deliver exceptional results that encourage loyalty and long-term commitment – all of which cannot be determined by a piece of paper (or CV)!


What could you do differently to ensure your resources are used in the best way to get the best people onboard?