When recruiting people, I have in the past always asked for CVs wherever the organisation I was working allowed. The are very valid reasons for preferring CVs instead of standard applications forms.
- The candidates know you will be scrutinising the information thoroughly.
- The candidates know humans will be making a decision instead of automated keyword sifting.
- The recruiter gets to see the level of English the applicant has. (Not always possible on an applications form due to the structure.)
- The recruiter gets to see the skill the applicant has in laying out and formatting a report, font selection etc.
- CVs reveal information that application forms do not necessarily pick up. because the applicants are giving a freer hand in what they write.
- Applicants know that whilst their CVs may be scanned into a computer system, they are not carrying out the recruiter’s data entry task, so their information is not simply discarded as being ‘on file’ in a database.
- Accepting CVs brings a larger talent pool to the recruiter because tweaking a CV for a specific vacancy takes a lot less time for the applicant, some of whom may simply be put off by a standardised application form. This results in information coming in from people on the cusp of applying, which can also reveal applicants who are a good fit for the role, but who are very busy with their current position / lives.
The list really does go on, but for me, whenever an organisation asks for a CV I am assured that someone will review it and make a decision which they can justify. They do not use a standard framework to try and justify their decision. That confidence, that professional expertise says a lot about an organisation.