Scrap the CV! Existing hiring methods exacerbating the UK’s skills crisis and social mobility divide, research reveals

  • Survey finds 88% screen out candidates because of a lack of experience, yet 67% say screening for experience reduces size and diversity of their talent pool
  • Arctic Shores CEO calls for organisations to “scrap the CV” and select for potential to address the skills mismatch crisis and social mobility divide

Manchester, UK; 26th April 2022: 88% of HR and talent managers have screened candidates out of their hiring process because of a lack of experience, yet 67% say selecting for experience reduces the size and diversity of their talent pool, further exacerbating the skills crisis.

That’s according to a survey by Arctic Shores, the psychometric assessment pioneer, which has identified that outdated hiring methods are shrinking talent pools and hampering diversity. It also costs organisations money, with 72% currently paying higher salaries in order to find candidates with the right experience.

Time to make the leap: embrace potential over experience

Experience is undoubtedly a key factor in whether a candidate is hired, with 91% of respondents identifying experience as a useful way to establish whether a candidate will suit their roles. In light of this, 68% currently use CVs as their first method of screening for experienced hires.

However, the majority (78%) believe a lack of relevant skills and candidate experience will inhibit their ability to achieve strategic objectives and/or financial goals in the next 24 months. By relying on past experience rather than the potential that a candidate shows, organisations are taking a financial and strategic hit.

The World Economic Forum has also warned that 85 million jobs will disappear and 97 million new digital-first jobs will arise by 2025.

Robert Newry, CEO of Arctic Shores, commented: “What we’re seeing isn’t a skills shortage, it’s a skills blindness. We live in a world with millions of capable workers yet companies are stressing about escalating salaries and an inability to fill roles. The issue is that everyone is playing musical chairs, poaching those with experience from other companies, who in turn poach from someone else. The only way organisations will get out of this costly spiral is to start hiring for transferable skills and potential.”

Scrapping the CV

Whereas the majority of hiring managers use CVs as their chosen method to screen out candidates, more than half (59%) have considered removing CVs from their hiring process altogether.

When it came to reasons why CVs hadn’t been removed from the process, 65% of respondents were blocked by the belief of a lack of viable replacements, hiring manager objections, and a lack of time and resources. Removing the CV feels like ‘hard work’ for many, with the perception that there are no viable alternatives. Only 27% use psychometric assessments in their hiring processes.

“Scrapping the CV might sound radical, but you cannot solve tomorrow’s challenges with yesterday’s solutions,” added Newry. “What we’re calling for is an awareness of the challenge we face and for the start of a transition to futureproof the UK’s workforce.”

There is already evidence that an alternative approach can be taken and with great results. Darren Cassidy, Managing Director of Xerox UK and Ireland, is one of the early adopters of a Scrap the CV approach: “At Xerox, we have always looked to hire people based on their potential, where diversity, inclusion and belonging are core to our culture. So we are excited about our pioneering partnership with Arctic Shores to select for potential. My team has seen how the platform can identify potential from a candidate pool who haven’t had the best start in life and bypass the need to see a CV, which too often holds back those who have had the least opportunity. This is definitely the way forward.”


Lisa Baker is the Editor of International Business News. As the Owner of Need to See IT Publishing, Lisa is an experienced business and technology journalist and publisher.

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