Managers and those involved in hiring decisions at employers of all sizes struggle to identify and recruit highly qualified job candidates.

Managers and those involved in hiring decisions at employers of all sizes struggle to identify and recruit highly qualified job candidates. The majority of respondents are less than confident in their own organization’s ability to spot and recruit the best talent for the job. And those at the largest organizations are the least confident.

Employers prioritize technical and interpersonal skills as well as work experience above academic degrees, majors, college rankings, and grades in the decision-making process about hiring. Employers report that skills such as leadership, critical thinking, data analysis and work ethic are the hardest to find in potential hires – leading most managers to report leaving some jobs unfilled during the past year. Seventy-seven percent of those involved in hiring decisions would consider hiring someone without the desired degree and sixty-two percent have done so.

How confident are you that the recruitment process your organization uses is successful in identifying highly qualified job candidates?

(Asked of managers and those who are involved in hiring decisions.)

Two-thirds of those involved in hiring decisions regard job candidates with a post-graduate education as “Prepared” or “Very Prepared” for workplace success. The majority of respondents consider vocational and technical program graduates as prepared for workplace success. Associate and bachelor’s degree graduates lag behind in the perceptions of the preparedness with more than a majority of respondents.

Three-quarters of respondents fail to see much connection between the school someone attended and their job performance.

Think about the job you most frequently make hiring decisions for. How important are each of the following in deciding whether or not to hire a candidate for this job?

Internship and co-op programs are not meeting their fullest potential. Sixty-three percent of managers and those involved in hiring report their organizations do not offer an internship or co-op program. And only eleven percent of employers have internship programs and these are “Very Valuable,’ while twenty percent find them “Valuable.” A majority of employers have the opportunity to increase both the utilization and value of internship and co-op programs for their organizations and potential job candidates who participate in them.

Colleges and universities should recognize the overall value to students, employers, and their own institutions of coursework that integrates work experiences, technical and interpersonal skills.

End of Report Excerpt