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Employers want ‘career readiness skills,’ not just good grades: report


‘Skills continue to become the currency of hiring,’ hiring technology company says

Skills, not grade point average, are playing a larger role in the hiring process, according to a report from a hiring technology company.

The “State of Early Global Hiring 2024” report from HireVue found employers are more interested in “career readiness skills,” than college grades.

“In the U.S. less than 40% of employers reported that they are screening candidates by GPA this year,” a news release from the research group stated. The report also includes data from the United Kingdom and Australia.

“Skills continue to become the currency of hiring,” the report states. “The changing nature of jobs, talent shortages, and company growth are placing increased emphasis on skills-based hiring to deliver the talent that organizations need now and for the future.”

The College Fix spoke to HireVue about how employers can incorporate practical skills into the hiring process.

“The value of GPA should not be entirely dismissed, but it shouldn’t be the sole or primary factor in hiring decisions,” Chief Industrial Organizational Psychologist Nathan Mondragon told The Fix via a media statement. “Instead, consider it as one of several data points in the comprehensive picture of a candidate.”

Mondragon said a “more comprehensive view” should include “pre-hire assessment and interview scores” and other information on the applicant’s background.

He listed “special projects, publications, volunteer commitments, work-study positions, and extracurricular activities that take place entirely outside of the university,” as other ways to assess candidates.

Mondragon suggests five screening methods employers can use: structured interviews, game-based assessments, video interviewing solutions, psychometric assessments, and work-based learning programs.

“These selection methods offer a more comprehensive and fair assessment of candidates’ skills and potential, ensuring recruiters can identify the best fit for their organizations,” Mondragon said.

He said artificial intelligence and automation can be used for video interviews, pre-screening, and psychometric assessments.

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He also suggested grade point average may promote bias against lower-income students.

Mondragon said, “there is an increased understanding of how bias can creep into certain measurements.”

“Take the example of the GPA, a working-class student who had to commute and work full-time while managing their coursework may have a lower GPA than their middle-class counterpart who only had to focus on school–but the former student is no less qualified than the latter,” he said.

Technology changes also mean that adaptability and ability to learn new skills will play a role in hiring, according to Mondragon and the report.

“There will be approximately 100 million new jobs in the next 5 years and we don’t even
know what they will look like yet,” the industrial psychologist states in the HireVue report.

“All of this means that employers need to open up the aperture and hire based on the potential a candidate has to operate in a changing environment, rather than hiring based on previous experiences,” he said.

Past experiences are “becoming increasingly less relevant.”

It’s the talent with the ability to learn, grow and adapt that will set organizations up for success going forward,” Mondragon said.

“Hiring based on skills, motivations and individual characteristics or abilities allows organizations to connect talent with a wider range of opportunities and unlocks the potential in all candidates to achieve what they are truly capable of.”

Editor’s note: The article has been updated after HireVue told The Fix it is not a “human resources company” but a “hiring technology company.”

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