The recruitment disruptor ditching CVs that will solve your diversity problem

06 February 2018 -


A large pile of CVs is enough to scare most managers. Insights spoke to Andrew Lavelle, co-founder of TalentPool, an innovative hiring tool making recruitment easy, and organisations more diverse

Jermaine Haughton

With a thriving database of graduates, second-jobbers and experienced jobseekers, TalentPool’s unique software allows employers to ditch CVs as a part of the hiring process. Managers can quickly use a database to filter through candidates based on the qualifications, skills and experience they demand most.

Catering to a growing list of small businesses and start-up clients, such as deliveroo and Med Shr, TalentPool is disrupting the recruitment industry, appealing to managers tired of lengthy application forms, CVs and expensive recruiters. The by-product? A reduction in unconscious bias and more chance to hire great candidates.

Here, its co-founder Andrew Lavelle explains how TalentPool works, and whether you should ditch CVs too.

TalentPool initially began as GradList, a list of graduates who were available for work in a particular industry. How did the idea originate?

“[Tom Davenport and I] had just completed a big consulting graduate scheme at a corporate firm and were getting involved in their recruitment processes to find new graduates. It was an inefficient process. Big companies spend a lot of money trying to attract graduates and the smaller companies are muscled out: they don’t really have a presence on campus because they don’t have the resources, headcount and money. Therefore, most graduates are not aware of the opportunities that exist in smaller companies. TalentPool is a way of bridging that gap.”

CVs and job boards are already popular recruitment methods for small businesses. How does database technology differ from traditional approaches?

“The employer is only dealing with applications that are relevant and meet their criteria. This is unlike a job board, where a manager may receive large volumes of applications, but many are inappropriate. Many employers do not appreciate how much time internally is lost through [reviewing] applications and the internal costs placed on the organisation. We try to offload that to our system.

Managers are also left to make their own decisions. “We use a hands-off approach. Candidates sign up and provide information about themselves and what job they are looking for. Employers also explain who they are and what jobs they are seeking to fill. Then the system matches the appropriate candidates, based on meeting the employer’s criteria, to apply for the role. It’s all done automatically. It crucially saves time for managers and all contact is made directly between the candidate and the employer. There is no middle man and no selling.”

What considerations will managers have to make when moving to a non-CV based hiring process?

I think employers really must sell the role and themselves to the candidate much more.

Managers need to be more open-minded about the kind of candidates that they might want to interview and hire, considering all the qualities they can bring to their team. Some employers are great at it, but those who do not hire frequently, can fail to keep up with the changing nature of the marketplace. There are enough graduates to fill these graduate roles, for example, and it’s always incredible when you hear stories in the news about employers struggling to fill roles.”

Diversity is an important management concern for employers of all sizes. How can the database platform process prove more beneficial to attracting talent from different backgrounds?

“A big problem traditional recruitment models have is that many employers use their resources to target a small number of universities. For example, top law firms [looking for graduates], only send their representatives to a certain number of universities and those applicants are likely to have similar backgrounds and demographics. If you go to a mid-tier university, but you’re a good ambitious candidate and really deserve to get a chance to work at these top firms, you simply won’t have any access to the process.

“The shift towards platform models, where everyone is evaluated equally, regardless of where you attended university or whereabouts in the country you have studied means you still can access the best job opportunities. Platform models require employers [to search for jobseekers] based on a set of academic and professional criteria, rather than an individual’s personal or social background, meaning they receive applicants that they may have never previously considered looking at.”

TalentPool’s clients are predominantly SMEs. Given the time and cost pressures on small businesses, how have your clients used the technology to be successful?

“Our Clients will often use a job board and a recruiter, as well as us, and we’ve had plenty of occasions, where we have been successful where the other channels haven’t, despite having fewer applications. The recruiters may have provided ten applicants and the job board provided 20 or 30, whereas we provided five. Of those five, one of those was offered the position, as opposed to other candidates from the other channels.”

TalentPool is a database-based recruitment tool that could help improve the diversity of your organisation

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