Why Top Companies Are Recruiting People Without Degrees and You Should Be Too
As the marketplace becomes swamped with competition, many companies are looking for new ways to succeed. In fact, some of the world’s top companies are now looking for new hires without degrees. Ernst and Young has dropped degree requirements for applicants. The tech giant, GOOGLE has started hiring non-graduates. There are a number of other big-name companies who now look outside the graduate degree pool for great hires.
Why would these giants of industry take such a risk? What is the advantage of hiring non-degree employees in such a competitive market? Here are just a few reasons successful companies are hiring workers without degrees.
- Successful Companies Are Looking for High-Quality Attributes One thing many of these companies have in common is that they are looking past qualifications written on paper. Flourishing businesses look for people who will complete their team and contribute to their goals. They are more likely to find the attributes needed in people who have experienced life in a real world workplace.
- Sticking to One Group Eliminates Opportunity Every company is looking for top talent who will stick with the company long-term. When hiring managers only accept applicants who have a degree, they are missing out on exceptional people with real world experience and a desire to succeed. Opening up the applicant pool to people without degrees allows companies to expand their search and truly get the best hires. Businesses who are looking for the top talent should never limit themselves to one type of employee or one applicant pool, they may be missing out on the next big thing.
- Degrees Don’t Predict Success- More and more businesses are finding that accreditations and degrees are not an indicator of a productive or reliable employee. In fact, there is little correlation between the two, as stated by Google’s Vice President of People Operations, Laszlo Bock. Instead, great recruiters and hiring managers look for people who can collaborate and solve problems on the fly. Other attributes these companies look for include, intellectual humility, determination, personal responsibility, creativity, and communication.
Characteristics of Non-Degree Candidates
Non-graduates have quite a few attributes that often set them above their degreed competitors. Here are some of the top characteristics that companies are finding in candidates without degrees:
- Larger Variety of Skills- Many people have a varied and unusual work history. They’ve done many different jobs and have a lot of different skills. These skills will help your company grow and improve.
- Ability to Learn/Adaptability- One thing big companies are constantly looking for is a candidate who can learn quickly and adapt to sudden changes. Previous on the job training and work experiences will give these candidates the aptitude for quick thinking and careful adjustments when projects change or the market fluctuates.
- Real World Experience- One of the best things applicants without degrees have to offer is their previous real-world experience. They have been in the trenches, they understand their position, and they are less likely to crumble when the going gets tough.
- Need Less Management, Fewer Training Sessions- Often experienced employees can be thrown on the job with a lot less training and management than those coming straight out of college. Chances are, their real-world experience will provide them with most of the tools they need to succeed in your position.
- Have a Proven Track Record- Experienced non-graduates will often have a long list of accomplishment and referrals that will show you how they work. While a degree shows you what tests candidates have passed, a proven track record shows you what challenges that applicant will succeed in. Successful companies look at qualifications, not degrees or titles.
- Don’t Crack Under Pressure- New graduates have little real world experience and can crack under the extreme pressure a new career might throw them. These students, though brilliant, have often had little experience with failure or obstacles. Non-graduates have already experienced failure, difficulties, and obstacles. They are more likely to stand back up and continue trying, no matter what life may throw them.
Regardless of what type of company you have or business you are running, looking at applicants without degrees can really bring in top talent. Make sure to check referrals, discuss job experience, and get to know the applicant before you hire. When you find the right candidate, don’t let a degree stand in your way of snatching them up. Have other questions or concerns about hiring non graduate candidates? Check out our podcast for more thoughts and ideas on hiring the right candidate.