You need to find your way through the CV PC BS. By Wes Boshoff Anyone hiring people will tell you that it takes a lot of resources to get the right person in the right seat. An investment of time and money, both of which are valuable commodities in business. So, when we get a hiring decision wrong it doesn’t give us a return, but rather sets us back and can be an all-round business loss.

We base a potential three to five year working relationship on a two to three hour interview, if we are lucky. This is not something we can afford to get wrong. Then, it’s often a marketing exercise for the interviewee who is fishing the market for better financial opportunities but not really looking to build the business. Let’s not forget that beautiful CV with just enough “PC” to camouflage the “BS”. However, it’s not all doom and gloom, if you look through the PC BS you will find the right person, one who matches the business competence, fits culture and isn’t just in it for the compensation.

Latest studies show that, on average, each corporate job offer attracts 250 CVs. Of those candidates, four to six will get called for an interview, only one will get the job (Glassdoor). Forty-eight per cent of recruiters said they conduct three interviews per candidate (MRI Network). One in two Millennials plans to be with their company one year from now, 50% of Millennials say they’d consider taking a job with a different company for a raise of 20% or less (Gallup). They also make up 45% of the workforce (Dante). We know this is no easy task, particularly when we see that it can cost a company six to nine months of an employee’s salary to find and train a new employee (SHRM).
Too often we look straight at the bottom line.


What is the candidate worth? What do we need to compensate them for doing their job? But there’s more. There are a few things outside the scope of the CV to have a look at. The more you quantify and qualify them, the better you will be at putting the right person in the right seat. These will require your IQ and EQ, but that’s why you do what you do in the first place!
The 4 Cs of Recruitment: Character, Chemistry, Collaboration and Credibility

Character is defined as the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual. It forms part of their personality, mentality and temperament. Start the interview before you start the interview – if possible, speak to the security guard who let the candidate in, how were they treated? Speak to the receptionist and host staff. How were they treated when the candidate walked in and was offered and brought their coffee?

For the most part, you will get three kinds of candidates, the nervous ones whose palms are sweaty and their mouths are dry. These people tend to shy away from greeting others and can be seen as aloof or distant. They need to put themselves forward! The second candidate is the person who is a “professional interviewee”. They have all the right signs, looks good – smell good, but perhaps just show a bit too much. It’s all about the act! They need to be real. The third candidate is there because they have “arrived” they tend to be arrogant and can treat people with no respect. It is not confidence but rather a degree of insecurity. They need life skills. You see, character is demonstrated by how you treat those who can do nothing for you …

Chemistry is the complex emotional or psychological interaction between people. Remember that not everyone is going to like you and you won’t like everyone. You will, however, soon see if this person is a people’s person or not … Take into account both nerves and “fronting” during the interview. Can the two of you get on? They’re not there to make friends but they should deliver a sure sign of being friendly at least. This is where your relationship with your clients kicks in, you need to understand their “people culture”. Will this candidate get in and get on with the people who they will be required to work with and for? Remember that you are in the people business, it’s no longer business to business but rather people to people. When it comes to people, we don’t leave companies – we leave people!

Collaboration this is the action of working with someone to produce something. This is going to take some creative questioning from your side. It refers to team and how the candidate works, are they a team player, and if so do they seek all the glory or do they give equal effort and credit where its due. People who have something exciting to tell you about a project or job that produced a great result, will not be short of stories – let them speak. This is where you need to be more interested than interesting.

Leadership is closely linked to collaboration in this regard, so play close attention to responses that they give. Do they have leadership qualities or potential based on how they work together to achieve a target or outcome. What is their style?

Credibility is the quality of being trusted and believed in, as the saying goes “If it’s too good to be true – it probably is!” Now your instinct takes over, don’t set the candidate up for failure but ask qualifying questions that will either settle the truth and increase the validity of a situation or decrease it’s worth and credibility.

This can often get the candidate into a bit of a sweat, because they have to tell the truth without embellishment. This is serious but at the same time it’s not an interrogation … no need for good cop bad cop, just be real with them and get them to be real with you – the truth is always out there.

Practise the 4 Cs and watch your hit rate increase!


Wes Boshoff is the Thought Leader at Fivestar Business Rehab,



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Nigerians in South Africa
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