CV’s are like Caesar salads.

They are all basically the same, but they can have slightly different ingredients, slightly different flavours

One of the key ingredients many job seekers overlook putting in their CV, and one of the key ingredients that hiring leaders often overlook more fully exploring in a job applicants’ CV are the company profiles of the job seekers current and past employers.

Hiring leaders can be great at asking some “open ended questions” about the prospective candidates knowledge, skills or experience, however, other characteristics that can help to better understand a potential suitable team fit can often come from the types of companies the candidate has worked for.

If a candidate has worked for SME’s that are not household name companies it is most helpful if they provide a small company profile of these organisations, and for the hiring leader to find out more about these companies.

It may not be common knowledge what these non-household name SME companies may do, how many staff they might have, how they are structured, their management style etc. Having insight about where that experience has been gained can be important considerations.

For example, when a twenty-five employee private company was looking to hire a social media specialist it was relatively easy to identify the knowledge, skills and degree of experience that was needed to fulfil the role. A candidate was identified that met the criteria. She was hired.

This new appointment came on board and made a relatively quick and solid impact. It wasn’t long though before there was not only a disconnect with fellow team members but also a reduction in her initiative and deliverables.

As it turned out a key reason for this was that the new hire had previously worked in a highly structured, non-autonomous environment and was not able to comfortably work in what was a self-managed and manage-up type organisation. Subsequently, she elected to leave sooner than the employer wished she would.

In this instance, information that could have been obtained at the interview about her past employers was as important as the skills she had.

This is not to say that it is critical that new hires should all come from similar cultures or structures of previous employers. True, organisations can benefit from different personality types and experience.

SME’s that often do not have deep bench strength really need to be particularly mindful about getting the cultural/team fit right