‘Throwback Thursday’… to that time my computer crashed and my candidate’s CV disappeared from my screen as the phone continued to dial out their number. I’d already got a great first impression of their skill set – good experience of the most recent releases from Oracle, industry leading projects, and a reference straight from one of my best clients, but I’d been hoping to read the ‘hobbies and interests’ section whilst the phone rang. 

A lot of recruiters bypass this piece of a CV but I find it critical reading when it’s included – if you’re going to form a proper relationship with a candidate you need to know what makes them tick and fires them up outside of the office, as well as when they’re at their desk.

Doing my best not to panic I tried to get my computer to play ball, dialling tone carrying on forebodingly in my ear and my eyes glancing at the bottle of Dalmore my colleagues on the perm desk had kindly given me for my last birthday (only opened outside of working hours naturally). 

A Scottish voice answered the call and, still with no CV in front of me, after I’d confirmed I had the right person and they were looking for a new role, my mind raced to think of the easiest way to build some rapport.

‘So, judging by your accent, do you enjoy a wee dram?’ I asked.

Thankfully, by the time we’d swapped a couple of tasting notes my computer was working again and I confidently predicted, there and then on that call, that with my candidate’s skills and goals I could land them their dream role. 

Three weeks later they signed for their new employer, and three weeks after that my candidate and I were off to the London Whisky Show together to celebrate. Having made the effort to do more than just 'keyword' match I'd made a placement, and I'd made a friend for life. 

As a hiring manager in any industry, how often have you looked at a CV and given as much thought to the extra-curricular sections as the career, skills, and education segments? And how often have you heard the line that recruitment is too transactional and we don't take enough time to really get to know the people we're working with? 

Perhaps it's time that the section that comes after your career history is treated as more than just an after-thought...