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Is the CV relevant today?

Twelve months ago, I was scheduled to interview a candidate for a leadership role we had been trying to fill for several months. As I looked through her CV, her experience was limited and not at all related to the area we were hiring for.

When I asked our HR Business Partner why I was interviewing this candidate, I was told to ‘just wait until you meet her’. Fifteen minutes into the interview, I knew why. She just had it. And by had it, I mean she had the innate leadership talent we look for, despite her lack of relevant experience. We hired her and never looked back.

I’ve been telling this story quite frequently over the past few weeks after Stryker was named #2 on the Great Places to Work list; our third year in the top two. I’ve been asked what the secret to this success is.

For Stryker, the foundation of our people strategy is how we recruit. Hiring is the single most important decision a manager can make. Get it right and it pays back in spades. Get it wrong and you pay for it for years to come. This isn’t rocket science and I would think most organisations buy into this approach. The hard part is living it day in, day out. To help us, we focus on 3 key areas:

  • Our hiring philosophy is centred around hiring for talent and not for experience. Therefore, when we recruit we look for the things you can’t teach an individual. When you take this philosophy into your hiring process, you automatically widen your potential pool of candidates. In addition, it also opens you up to finding people that are better suited to the role.
  • Our method has been based on a long-term partnership with the Gallup organisation studying exceptional performance in roles and what makes the best the best. For example, we study what the best people managers do and know that unless you inherently care about your team and want to see people develop then you’re likely to not succeed.
  • Lastly, while we may have a strong talent philosophy and method, it takes a huge amount of organisational discipline to stick to it. If you set your talent bar high, recruiting takes time and it should be hard.

So, does our formula mean the CV is dead? Absolutely! The CV is dead as the key and major driver for a successful application at Stryker. Talent is our key focus, so apply and bring your whole person to the interview.

By using a talent philosophy, developing a method to identify it and then sticking to it in an uncompromising fashion, you open the organisation up to the possibility of:

  • Avnish, a former Physiotherapist now a Robotics Product Specialist
  • Tim, a former Park Ranger now leading a team that builds Operating Theatres
  • Sarah, formerly in the Fashion Industry, now a HR Co-ordinator
  • And myself, a former Youth Worker now running Stryker for Australia and New Zealand.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Maurice Ben-Mayor is the President of Stryker South Pacific.

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