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Should You Hire A Candidate Without A College Degree?

hiring college graduates background check education verification

Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs became extremely successful without the benefits of a college education. You wouldn’t want to pass on the opportunity to hire the next Bill Gates at your organization so what should you do with candidates who didn’t continue their education after high school? Here are some tips and guidelines for considering candidates without degrees.

Education vs. Employment History

Significant research has been conducted on the correlation between a student’s performance in college and how it will help in the workplace. Ernst and Young’s U.K. office decided to remove the degree requirement from their application. After conducting an internal study of 400 employees, they found little evidence that academic success was correlated with the job performance of new hires.

Whether you require candidates to have a degree or not also depends on your industry. You wouldn’t hire someone to be a doctor or a teacher if their highest form of education was high school. Other industries, however, can benefit from hiring candidates without degrees. The tech industry in particular seems to agree that hiring outside of the college educated applicants is a smart move.

Advantages to Removing Degree Requirements

There are a few benefits to allowing candidates without degrees apply for positions at your organization. Here are some of the advantages:

  • About 68% of Americans age 25 or older don’t have a bachelor’s degree so by eliminating the college education requirement you’re expanding the candidate pool.
  • Many candidates who don’t have bachelor’s degrees will have more hands-on work experience.
  • Candidates won’t be pressured to lie about their education history on resumes or during interviews.  

Removing degree requirements can be beneficial for some positions but this isn’t always the case. Some skills and traits can only be acquired on the job whereas others require a college education. Consider the requirements of your industry and the position before removing degree requirements because every position is different and the benefits listed above may not work for your industry.

No matter what criteria you’re looking for in candidates, whether it’s education or work history, make sure you verify their claims. With about 40 percent of applicants lying on resumes, background check screening and verification processes are essential to an efficient workplace. If you have questions about risk mitigation solutions, feel free to contact us!

 

Image by Scott Maxwell

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