Four-year degrees: Not every employer requires them these days

Has Your Business Ditched Degree Requirements? – We Background Check a New Trend

Roy Maurer sticks his professional nose into hiring trends as a talent acquisition guru for SHRM online. When Roy Maurer posted an article about employers willing to “ditch” degree requirements when hiring staffers, his words caused company heads to sit up and take notice.

According Mauer’s research, “Nine in 10 employers report being ready to accept candidates without four-year college degrees to fill positions in an increasingly tight labor market.” That said, few employers would consider dropping an online background check requirement. 

Instead of 4-year degrees employers see certifications, certificates, online education credits and digital badges as acceptable credentials when hiring people for open positions. In fact, 66-percent of 600 HR leaders queried say they consider certifications and online degree certificates to be just as qualifying as bachelor’s degrees. 

Zoe Harte, senior vice president and head of HR and talent innovation at Upwork, enthusiastically supports this trend. “Given the skills gap today and record-low unemployment, this makes complete sense. Our education system is not keeping up with the needs businesses have.”

Does this mean you should adjust your hiring practices accordingly? Not quite yet. As this emerging trend gains popularity, Future Workplace partner Dan Schawbel says, “not so fast.” “Some companies are publicly stating they will look past the four-year degree, but it’s still pretty rare.” And while Harvard Business School researchers cite “more than 6 million jobs in the U.S. are now at risk of degree inflation,” that doesn’t mean the time is right for all employers to abandon degree requirements or other requirements for that matter, like a pre-employment online background check.

We bring this to your attention because while possessing degrees served generalists well in the past, specialization reigns supreme today. Coding camps, apprenticeships, data science, cloud computing and cybersecurity are niches that “don’t require traditional four-year degrees,” says Kelli Jordan, the woman heading up IBM’s new-collar initiatives.

Online Background Check Uncovers False Statements on Resumes

Why should you think about relaxing your degree requirements? First, HireRight’s 2017 employment screening benchmark report found that 85-percent of applicants lied on their resumes (up from 66-percent in 2012). You’re already seeing resumes that may include falsified school information. Second? You have HireShield on your side to sift through credentials, so you always get the skinny on candidates. Discovering whether your job applicants are degree holders or not is as simple as running an online background check. Make better, more informed hiring decisions with our help.


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