In many markets, job openings are running at record levels. Employers are fishing for talent in a limited pool of candidates. This tight labor market is leading more employers to accept more non-traditional qualifications for candidates with no degree. So you realize you are not alone, sixty percent of employers say they are at least thinking of hiring non-degree candidates this year, up from 40% in 2019, according to a survey of 1,200 employers by the online learning company Pearson.
Danny Iny, author of the book Leveraged Learning, suggests that if you are considering looking beyond traditional credentials to uncover good candidates, take these steps:
- Take a close look at what really leads to success in your workplace. Then revise your job postings to reflect the stuff that actually matters and shift your mindset to override the “degree” signal. And please, stop looking for GPAs, a useless filter for most jobs.
- Switch off the applicant filtering related to education. Focus more on assessments and simulations that give you a sense of what candidates can bring to the table.
- Look at other educational streams. Tech companies often look for nontraditional degrees, such as coding programs.
- Consider requiring an online candidate application that includes behavior questions. Or better yet, ask applicants to perform tasks that simulate the job. Résumés can overlook skills you require and overestimate skills that are not fully developed by candidates.
- For more complicated jobs, consider paying a candidate to take on a project or hire on a contract basis before you extend an offer.
- Develop a culture of learning and growth. While it’s important to find the right candidates, it’s even more important to make sure you continue to develop them.
Tough times call for new methods. While not suggesting you should overlook talented degreed candidates, there may be suitable talent that is not degreed to fill your openings. Happy hunting.