Balancing perception and reality: A thoughtful approach to candidate image in CV
In the realm of recruitment, the fusion of perception and reality casts a compelling narrative. As the gateway to professional opportunities, a candidate’s CV is a canvas that often paints a picture of their potential. However, with 85 per cent of employers believing that candidates exaggerate skills on their resumes, it becomes critical to accurately identify the authentic job-seekers who have portrayed themselves honestly. The challenge lies in finding the equilibrium between evaluating the CV ‘as per ‘face value’ and ‘reading between lines’. Nowhere is this balance more crucial than in the supply chain and procurement industry, where the demand for critical thinkers with innovative problem-solving abilities reigns supreme.
Power of perception
CVs serve as the initial introduction between job seekers and potential employers, shaping perceptions that can greatly impact the trajectory of careers. It is akin to a candidate’s personal brand – a well-structured CV communicates professionalism and competence, while a poorly composed one may inadvertently detract from a candidate’s qualifications.
In the supply chain sector, where precision and attention to detail are paramount, the impression derived from a CV can greatly influence recruiters’ opinions. A concise and well-organised CV can instantly convey a candidate’s organisational abilities, which are particularly important in roles requiring attention to detail and structured thinking.
Unpacking perception and stereotypes
One’s judgement is often negatively impacted by unconscious prejudices. They influence a recruiter to make choices that benefit one individual or group at the expense of others. This can thwart attempts to promote diversity, retain talent and hire new employees. Left unchecked, prejudices can also influence the culture and standards of a company. The industry must make a conscious effort to evaluate candidates based on their skills, qualifications and experiences rather than preconceived notions tied to gender, ethnicity, or background. Overlooking qualified individuals due to these biases not only deprives the industry of talent but also perpetuates a lack of diversity.
Supply chain and procurement can particularly fall prey to such biases, leading to the underrepresentation of certain demographics. For instance, the misconception that certain roles are better suited for specific genders or backgrounds can hinder diversity within the industry. By perpetuating these biases, companies inadvertently limit their access to a wide array of talents and perspectives.
Striking a balance — Perception vs reality
Effectively presenting achievements and impact on a CV is an art form. In the supply chain and procurement field, this art lies in highlighting the intersection between one’s skills and the industry’s demands. Balancing self-promotion with authenticity is crucial — over exaggeration risks disillusioning employers, while few may undersell one’s capabilities.
Candidates aiming to enter or progress within the supply chain and procurement sector must strategically align their CVs with industry-specific requirements. Emphasising proficiency in areas such as demand forecasting, vendor management and logistics optimisation can attract recruiters’ attention while showcasing instances of adaptable problem-solving illustrates a candidate’s suitability for the industry’s dynamic environment.
Addressing bias in the screening process
Companies must recognise the urgency of mitigating unconscious bias in the hiring process. Starter solutions which can be easily implemented include blind screening, where personal information such as name, gender and race is removed from resumes and applications; having a diverse hiring panel that includes people from different backgrounds and with different perspectives; and training recruiters to be aware of unconscious bias and to evaluate candidates objectively.
Meta, formerly known as Facebook, leverages cutting-edge AI technology to ensure fairness in its hiring process. By analysing data from the hiring process, Meta can identify and address potential biases, helping to create an inclusive and unbiased hiring environment.
It would also help if companies standardise their interview process. Although there may be a series of questions directing the discourse in non-standardised interviews, there is little uniformity for applicants. This is often when unintentional prejudice may be seen. Candidates may not have the same chance to successfully present their candidature and highlight their suitability for a position.
Furthermore, the integration of AI and technology in CV screening is becoming increasingly significant. These advanced tools are specifically engineered to identify pertinent keywords and qualifications, all the while ensuring an impartial initial selection process devoid of inherent biases. Artificial Intelligence is harnessed to meticulously scan resumes for keywords and skills that hold relevance to the specific job opening.
A pertinent example is DHL, a renowned German logistics company, which has seamlessly integrated AI-powered tools into its recruitment procedures. Within its framework, the AI system meticulously analyses CVs to align candidates with job prerequisites based on their skills, experience and qualifications. This streamlined approach expedites the initial screening process, guaranteeing a more efficient and effective selection of candidates perfectly suited for the role.
Diversity as an asset in supply chain and procurement
Diverse teams drive innovation, especially in an industry such as supply chain, where multifaceted challenges require creative solutions. Incorporating individuals from various backgrounds fosters a wealth of perspectives, enriching problem-solving, and leading to novel ideas. Diversity unlocks innovation by creating an environment where ’outside the box‘ ideas are heard.
Research underscores the advantages of prioritising diversity. Companies at the forefront of diversity are 45 per cent more likely to report market share growth, and 70 per cent more likely to capture new markets.
XPO Logistics, a global supply-chain leader, exemplifies the dividends of diversity. Its inclusive workforce cultivates innovation, customer-centricity and effective communication. This strategy attracts top talent, engages communities and provides diverse insights for problem-solving. XPO Logistics stands as a testament to how diversity amplifies resilience, global understanding, and overall success in the dynamic realm of supply-chain operations.
Shaping a more inclusive future
The future of hiring practices will be shaped by a number of factors, including the increasing use of AI and technology, the growing importance of diversity and inclusion and the need to make the hiring process more equitable. Forward-looking companies are beginning to realise that embracing diversity isn’t just a moral imperative but also a strategic advantage. As the industry becomes increasingly interconnected on a global scale, diverse teams can navigate the complexities of international business with greater acumen.
The supply chain and procurement industry’s conundrum of blending merit with fairness in CVs encapsulates the broader challenge faced by the global workforce. By fostering diversity and embracing equitable recruitment practices, the industry can tap into an expansive talent pool, propelling it towards a more innovative and inclusive future.
The author, Saumya Khare is the senior director-human capital of Moglix, a B2B industrial tools and equipment supplier company.