From classroom to career: Why skills outshine schools

January 25th, 2022
HireVue Team
Artificial Intelligence,
Candidate Experience,
Recruiting Teams

For years, campus recruiters have pegged academic pedigree as a top predictor of job success, picking students from prestigious schools and with nearly perfect 4.0s much faster than their seemingly less-accomplished peers. 

However, more and more, research is showing us that the information on a student’s college resume may not be the best indicator of career readiness.

 Recently, tech giants have led this movement by eliminating degree requirements altogether, in favor of skills-based hiring. LinkedIn backs this up in a recent report, showing that 26% of electronic technicians who work at top companies do not have a college degree.

Why the recent shift to competency over credentials?

 While degrees and GPAs may determine success in an academic environment, they don’t necessarily translate to real-world skills. Employers often require a completely different set of skills than what a student learned in school; so employers who hire strictly based on test scores may end up shutting out an entire group of skilled candidates. 

And if there’s one thing organizations need in today’s world of talent, it’s more great candidates.

Addressing the Skills Gap

Identifying core skills and matching candidates to those roles is critical for job success. While some jobs may rely on academic knowledge to be successful, most entry-level jobs should rely on a defined set of transferable soft skills, such as leadership, communications, and problem-solving.

 Since few student graduates will meet every job requirement, employers should first determine the soft skills required for the job, then address the gaps after the candidate is hired. While soft skills take time to learn, hard skills can almost always be trained.

Training and Upskilling

To do this, employers need to implement training and upskilling as part of their onboarding process. When companies are dedicated to learning, they can begin by finding the candidate who fits the soft skills requirements; then, train any gaps in hard skills.

 A recent McKinsey report warns employers about falling into the trap of only training employees on hard skills, such as tech or digital skills, as soft skills — such as interpersonal communication, problem solving, and critical thinking — are becoming more and more critical to job success. Employers who focus on filtering candidates based on interpersonal skills rather than GPA scores reap the following benefits:

Reduced Turnover

Skills-based hiring finds the people who will add the most value to your company culture, and who are more likely to succeed — and stay — in your organization. Your best people are interested in more than just a salary; they want to work for a place that values the skills they bring to the table, and where they can continue to develop and grow.

To find the best fit for each role, tools like HireVue’s Builder can help talent teams by quickly building interviews with auto-generated questions that fit any job at any level, including early-career. In doing so, all candidates have an equal opportunity to show off their job-based competencies — no matter their alma mater.

Reduced Bias

A talent acquisition process that solely focuses on education or experiences often leads to a homogenous workforce. With a smaller, more exclusive candidate pool, recruiters are limited in the number of top candidate choices.

On the other hand, by predetermining skills, recruiters open up opportunities for highly qualified candidates who might otherwise be overlooked. This, in turn, helps employers tap into a wider talent pool and build a more diverse, innovative workforce than they would by relying on campus visits alone. Digital talent solutions like HireVue’s assessments and video interviews provide opportunities for global recruiting, giving more people a fair chance at employment — and organizations a better chance at finding the best talent.

Faster Time-to-Hire

Traditionally, skills have been assessed later in the hiring process, after a resume review and phone screen. But now, candidates can be screened and interviewed before recruiters even set foot on campus.

By using a standardized framework, like HireVue’s Assessments, talent teams can integrate skills assessments with the interview process, providing a quick and easy experience that gets candidates through the funnel fast. And with the ability to prescreen and prioritize top candidates, prepping for job fairs has never been easier.

HireVue’s recruitment software helps talent teams create accurate assessments, designed by IO psychologists, that fit each job role and screens candidates in as little as 7-10 minutes, finding the best fit as quickly as possible.

Leverage technology to find the right skills

Ready to implement skills-based assessments into your talent acquisition process? Start by cutting out antiquated job requirements, and adding in current job responsibilities, instead. LinkedIn shows job postings that do receive 14% more applicants per view. Then, leverage a platform to improve the talent experience for both candidates and hiring teams. 

At HireVue, we help provide talent teams with a more dynamic talent view so they can make faster, fairer hiring decisions and get jobs filled.