Today, it seems like nearly every job has at least a bachelor’s degree as a requirement, even if the position doesn’t technically require college-level skills. While many hiring managers believe that seeking out college graduates will increase the caliber of the applicants, making it easier to find top talent, that isn’t necessarily the case.
In fact, having a bachelor’s degree listed as a must in your job announcements could be hurting your chances of finding your ideal candidate. If you are wondering why, here’s what you need to know.
A Four-Year Degree Doesn’t Guarantee Success
Often, hiring managers equate a four-year degree with a proven level of success. However, having a bachelor’s degree does not mean the candidate will experience any particular level of professional achievement. Similarly, just because a person doesn’t have a degree, that does not mean they couldn’t excel in the role.
All a degree really shows is the person did enough in an academic environment to pass. Anything else is often just speculative. Plus, many courses do not adequately prepare students for the real world right out of the gate. They ultimately need additional training to thrive in their position, making a bachelor’s degree even less critical.
You’re Shrinking Your Talent Pool
In many cases, a job seeker will only apply for roles where they believe they mainly qualify based on the requirements. If you list a bachelor’s degree as a must, anyone who does not have one will assume they will be screened out, even if they have enough experience in similar roles to bring all of the needed skills to the table.
However, if you focus on potential instead of academic credentials, you are increasing the size of your talent pool. Candidates with a willingness to learn, solid critical-thinking skills, and similar attributes may excel if you are open to providing them with on-the-job training. Plus, this approach can boost retention and allows you to mold your workers into your ideal employees, including down the road when you need to fill higher-level vacancies.
Further, trainable candidates may be a better option if you need to close any skill gaps. Since they are open and capable of learning, you can teach them to handle the areas that aren’t as well covered by your existing staff.
You May Increase Diversity
Having a diverse workforce provides your company with a range of benefits, including improved innovation and problem-solving. However, by requiring a bachelor’s degree, you may be hindering your diversity goals, as certain underrepresented groups are less likely to have a college education.
By removing the academic requirement and focusing on soft skills and potential instead, you may attract a more diverse group of applicants. As a result, your diversity goals could be easier to obtain.
Ultimately, requiring a bachelor’s degree for positions where that level of education isn’t genuinely necessary isn’t providing you with many benefits and may, in fact, be hurting your chances of finding top talent. Consider eliminating the requirement from your job ads and focusing on potential instead. You will likely be glad that you did.
If you are interested in learning more about effective recruiting, the team at The Squires Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our recruitment specialists today and see how our hiring expertise can benefit you.