Why Multiple Companies Aren’t Requiring College Degrees Anymore

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According to the latest September 2022 Recruiter Index results, 22% of jobs that recruiters are working on don’t require a college degree. However, 78% of jobs still need a bachelor’s degree.

However, this trend is shifting  to large companies like Apple and Google. Nordstrom, Bank of America, and Costco are big names moving toward skills-based hiring. 

These companies are following advice from leaders in the hiring market. They say that competency is more important than some of the credentials that an education can provide. Having these college requirements for each job description could make it challenging for businesses to hire new talent as the pool of candidates with degrees will get smaller. On top of that, candidates are applying for jobs with skillsets that match what they have.

The candidates are already applying for jobs based on skills; employers need to catch up and hire employees based on their skills, more than their college education.

With the Great Resignation, and now the Great Hesitation, as Evan Sohn, CEO of Recruiter.com , called it, many companies still struggle to find new talent. They’re dropping the requirement for standard tech jobs needing a four-year degree to focus on finding new talent that may still be qualified. 

But what does this mean for your company and the future of hiring? Keep reading to find out! 

Why This Shift Is Happening

One main reason companies hire candidates without college degrees is a labor shortage, especially in the tech industry. Google, Apple, and IBM are some companies dropping requirements for any, like an engineering degree. 

If companies want to stay competitive and hire great new talent, they’ll need to start doing more skills-based hiring. While college degrees demonstrate a candidate’s foundational knowledge and ability to learn, they may not have all the specific skills necessary to complete the job, excluding capable candidates.

One of the other reasons that companies are getting rid of the college degree requirement is that it’s also opening more doors for companies to hire more diverse talent. Marginalized communities may not have access to get and complete a college education, but they may be incredibly skilled workers. 

As diversity becomes more important for securing bottom-line profits or attracting new talent, this is one thing that can help companies quickly hire a diverse workforce.

Benefits of Not Requiring a College Degree 

Requiring a college degree undermines labor market efficiencies, and as experts predicted, it can cause serious problems.

If companies currently require college degrees, they may want to consider getting eliminating degree requirements. While this isn’t a decision that your recruiters should take lightly, there are benefits to getting rid of this requirement. 

Diverse Workforce

One argument for getting rid of this college degree is that it can help you hire a more diverse workforce. As time goes on, having a diverse company becomes more critical. 

A diverse workforce is essential for your company’s profits, but it’s also crucial for your employer brand to attract new talent. Some research found that 80%  of survey responders said they would prefer to work for a company with a diverse workforce and value diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). 

Larger Talent Pool

According to one study, two out of three  employees don’t even have a college degree. If you require a college degree for a position at your company, you’re only going to cut your qualified talent pool by over half. 

Some of these applicants might have the work experience needed to complete the job that you need them to do; they may not have a college degree. If you’re struggling to hire the right talent, you may consider opening up your job description to a bigger talent pool.

May Not Be a Defining Factor of an Employee’s Success

Recruiter.com has powerful AI sourcing software, but we have to program the algorithm for it to be powerful. 

Xuan Smith, CTO of Recruiter.com , said, “This software identifies people based on their work history, how long they were at their job, and what their company does. However, we don’t consider education in our algorithm because we don’t find it to be a huge predictor of success.”

Sometimes the most crucial factor is finding the right employee with the foundational skills you need. Each job will do a task differently, and it might be better to hire someone you know you can train to do the way you want. 

Good Employer Branding

In addition to the other benefits, not requiring a college degree can also improve your employer branding. Candidates may view your company as more progressive and forward-thinking, which could draw in more applicants.

With 22% of companies not requiring a college degree (according to the Recruiter Index), this could make you more competitive in the hunt for talent. You’ll also be ahead of the curve. When you look at the industries that are growing in the United States, many of them already don’t require a college degree because it’s not needed.

This includes jobs like software developer, sales, technician, home health worker, or another skills-based worker.

What This Future Means for Your Company

If you decide to forgo requiring college degrees in your job descriptions, you might want to focus on apprenticeships and internships even more. These programs will likely be more popular as companies emphasize using specific skills rather than education requirements. Even with a college degree, there will still be an onboarding process for those candidates, and you will have to spend time training them on how to do the job at your company. 

Companies will also need to adjust their company structure to ensure that they have the resources to source, coach, and train candidates with a high potential for success. However, once you can help train them, they demonstrated the skills that they need to succeed in that position.

What Steps Should You Take Now?

If you’ve decided that you’re interested in opening your talent pool with candidates who don’t have college degrees, you need to be prepared to receive more applications for each job posting. With the looming recession, this has already happened, and companies are starting to wait and see if they will hire or fire. 

You’ll need the resources to handle more applicants. If you don’t have the money to hire an in-house team of recruiters, we have on-demand recruiters you can contract monthly. These recruiters don’t come with hefty headhunting fees; you can use them as needed! 

We also have powerful AI-sourcing software to help you grow your talent pipeline. We can send these candidates directly to your hiring managers’ inboxes. When you decide on some that you like, we can send optimized, automated outreach emails to recruit these candidates. 

However, these are only our two main recruiting solutions ; we have many more that might be a good fit for your business. Contact us today to figure out what recruiting solution is best for your company!


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By Alyssa Harmon