Why do we continue to use CVs to make technical hires in emerging functional areas we know relatively very little about rather than utilise more effective recruitment approaches?


I get that CVs provide a neat summary of professional experience, which is important and useful when you are comparing candidates.


I understand that CVs tell us a very important story about someone’s life. They help us understand how someone’s arrived at the place they are today – again extremely important and useful information when weighting up suitability and fit.

Unfortunately, though, many CVs don’t tell us the real story about someone’s life, and professionals skills and experiences are often embellished and hence are not effective recruitment tools.


Some CVs are phoney, and others create a false impression about the depth and breadth of someone’s skills, competencies and passion for pricing and revenue management. Their has also been increased issues with identity theft due to social media etc.


People know that good CVs win more interviews. They know recruitment tracking systems and recruiters are screening for key words.


Many candidates develop their CVs and LinkedIn profiles using popular key words to get more attention, views, job enquiries, call backs or interviews.


How often have you sat through commercial recruitment interviews and been amazed that the person your meeting, it nothing like you imagined from their CV?  I bet you have both good and bad experiences.


CVs are ineffective ways of predicting high performance in pricing teams and not always effective recruitment


Effective recruitment and talent recruitment competition has turned into a game; people know that a good CV will help them win a great job.


Many applicants have professional writers develop their CVs.


What you see on paper is not necessarily what you get in real life – and this is becoming the Effective-recruitment-pricing-teamsnew norm in recruitment.


In fact, our research shows that a CV is a completely ineffective predictor of character and individual pricing capability.


Our research on pricing and revenue management teams finds, for instance, that highly capable pricing leaders and managers tend to be more self-critical and rate their skills slightly lower than their actual capability and the opposite is true for underperformers. The same goes for high potentials.




A CV does not tell you how good a pricing manager is at solving pricing problems and tackling wide scale change initiatives. Often great pricing managers don’t know how good they really are because they have nothing to compare to.


Just because it says on their CV and LinkedIn profile that they are good at pricing, a team player and a great people manager, doesn’t necessarily mean they are.


Replace CVs with real proof & evidence


To know how good someone is at pricing or revenue management or even people management, you need to see them in action? Get proof. Use evidence based hiring. See how they think through problems; react to challenges; reason through data; respond to pressure.


To hire pricing super stars, we need to stop relying so heavily on CVs and also AI recruitment and begin to understand the basic attributes that lead individuals to make good or bad pricing decisions.


We need to understand what constitutes domain pricing expertise and measure individual pricing capability. We need to compare candidates using objective and relative benchmarking data rather than gut feel and internal benchmarks.


As time goes by, internal recruitment functions are doing less, and less real screening and HR managers are doing less, and less scientific investigation of high performance.


We have all become too pre-occupied with administration and lowering costs by outsourcing complex recruitment interaction to computers.


We are seriously underplaying the need for good recruiters and talent managers to read and interpret higher order cognition and emotional interactions during the hiring process. Complex interactions like reading someone’s: motivations, drives, intentions, commitment levels, value system, thinking style, behavioural style etc.


The irony in all of this is that recruiters actually want to do better work and improve their analytical skills. And, likewise, candidates want to have the chance to prove themselves beyond their CV or job application.




The current recruitment process dis-empowers both parties, and makes everyone dread recruitment.


All this needs to change.


One company’s A player may be another company’s B player.


There is no 1 CV out there that defines a successful pricing person; there’s is, however, a science to bringing together the right team mix so that individual’s and teams alike succeed.


The best recruiters of great pricing people understand the individual, team, function and the business during the hiring process, including the root pricing problems you have to solve (and even the opportunities available).


Great recruiters want to understand a candidate’s approach to problem solving because they know decision making capability is much more important than previous experience.


A great recruiter also knows how someone goes about their daily life is just as important as their abilities and skills.


We all have skills, capabilities, potential and even derailing behavioural traits that cannot be measured or described in our  CVs. Very often people don’t even know what they are really good at.


A CV says nothing about how we perform best, only what we are likely to perform best in – and even then this is a matter of opinion.


Without a better understanding of what’s really driving high performance and lack of performance in pricing and revenue management organisations we are destined to repeat failure and not effective recruitment, and continue to pay the high cost of that failure.


The strengths and skills written down on someone’s CV are really just an illusion or projection. A great match is what really matters for effective recruitment for pricing roles.


Key learning for hiring managers and effective recruitment:


The key hiring questions we’ve got to ask ourselves, then, is:


  • What is it that shapes and influences this person?
  • Does it align with what we believe as an organisation?


The mindset that we are what we have lived is incomplete, i.e., our past, our experiences.


A candidates CV biography is not their destiny. Their self concept (what we think of ourselves) is a projection.


The past does not equal the future – or maybe it does it you live there.


Making great hires is about recognising great matches, not great CVs.


But often the best matches are made by great recruiters not algorithms. i.e., the people who care enough to examine the person behind the CV. The people who select based on how well individuals can help accelerate a culture the business wants to see in the next 2-5 years.


The decisions we make shape cultures, CVs don’t.


See our blogs on price support and job hunting tips.


See our blog on recruiting price expert talent.