Ditch the traditional CV and move the diversity agenda forward

ARTICLE BY SALLY CLARE, HEAD OF DIVERSITY AT AMBITION
 
In my recent blogs, I highlighted the challenges experienced professionals are facing when looking for flexible work.  This results in many individuals being forced to consider dramatic career changes or taking on lower level, lower paid roles in order to get the flexibility they need. 
I also explored why using a traditional CV format simply doesn’t work for many experienced professionals who have taken time out of the traditional jobs market. 

These are common problems that many individuals are currently facing when looking for flexible work, but what are the solutions? 

Businesses need to take a different approach to recruiting if they want to advance the diversity agenda.

In my role at Ambition, I have been working on a new initiative which aims to help these experienced individuals find challenging, flexible work. 

I firmly believe that rather than focusing on the gaps in an experienced individual’s CV, businesses instead need to focus on:

  • The talent and skills these individuals could bring to the table
  • The different perspectives they will have as a result of the experiences they have been through
  • The resilience they will have developed while working through challenging times
  • The networks they will have created along the way 

Flexible working offers numerous benefits for employers

Businesses that hire an experienced individual on a flexible basis often gain a more autonomous individual with a far broader skill-set than the average candidate. An employee who understands how to effectively work with business leaders and can navigate their way around the corporate structure is invaluable. 

Add to this the ability to use their extensive experience to up-skill the team and individuals around them and you have an effective, highly capable employee, ready to start adding value to your business almost immediately. 

The alternative option is to pay someone a similar amount on a full time basis to ‘grow into the role’ which can take time, training and extensive development. Then, of course, there is the risk that they will leave the business once they reach the level you need them to operate at. 

Given the benefits of hiring flexible talent, it is surprising that more companies aren’t already utilising this talent pool.

How to improve the flexible jobs market status quo?

At Ambition we are adopting a new approach. Instead of a ‘traditional CV’ that doesn’t do these experienced professionals justice, we encourage senior level flexible workers to create a biography to serve as a carefully collated overview of their career to date. 

This biography will demonstrate all of the skills and experience the individual has gained over the years, not just the experience pertaining to certain jobs. 

As a result, the employer will get to see a professional profile of the candidate which gives a clear overview of their career, the key skills they have refined, the experience they deem most relevant, alongside the factors that motivate them to work and the approach they would take to the role being advertised. 

 
Why will this help businesses?
  • A biography lends itself to diversity as individuals are being recruited based on their overall skillset rather than where they have worked for the last 5 years
  • There is less focus on the irrelevant 'noise' on the CV (minor tasks relating to a certain role) and more on the core experience pertinent to the business
  • Easier to gain an overall impression of the individual and their personality which often does not come out when you piece together a CV
  • Highlights clearly what the individual can bring to the role
In my next blog I will cover how to create your own biography. In the meantime, if you are interested in hearing more then please contact me at: diversity@ambition.co.uk
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