#Nextchat: The Rise of ‘New-Collar’ Jobs and Nontraditional Talent





No degree? No experience? No problem.

A high demand for skills combined with a low unemployment rate have made nontraditional pools of talent an attractive option for employers looking to boost recruiting efforts.

Organizations are increasing their candidate flow and building greater diversity in their pipelines by removing the barriers—such as a bachelor’s degree or previous corporate experience—that keep viable candidates from applying.

The SHRM Online article “Employers Open to Ditching Degree Requirements When Hiring” says that “Nine in 10 employers report being ready to accept candidates without four-year college degrees to fill positions in an increasingly tight labor market.” The article also identifies some companies that have embraced other types of qualifications. For example:

  • EY and PwC announced that they were eliminating degree requirements for some of their entry-level jobs in the U.K. in 2015 in favor of administering pre-hire tests and assessments.
  • IBM is building pipelines of nontraditional talent.
  • Technology companies like GE Digital and Intel have been seeking talent from other educational streams, such as coding programs.

According to Glassdoor, companies like Google, Apple and Bank of America also no longer require a degree for certain positions.

In building pipelines of nontraditional talent, companies are seeking talent from other educational streams. The CNBC article Why IBM wants to hire employees who don’t have a 4-year college degree says that New-collar jobs not only “bring in candidates who built skills through coding camps, community colleges or modern career education programs, but they also attract veterans and those re-entering the workforce or relaunching their career.”

In an interview for this #Nextchat, talent strategist Mary Faulkner said, "Removing artificial barriers to entry for positions can only help an organization. Internal candidates will have more options for career development, and hiring managers will have a more diverse external talent pool to choose from. This means changing some potentially long-held beliefs about degrees. It may also result in changing the organization's entire outlook on the value of developing employees. But in the long run, I think it's worth it."

How is your organization changing its talent acquisition strategies to take advantage of nontraditional talent, and how are you assessing skills for new-collar positions?

Please join @shrmnextchat at 3:00 p.m. ET on July 18 for #Nextchat with special guest Mary Faulkner (@mfaulkner43). We’ll chat about how searching for talent in nontraditional pools can enhance your talent acquisition strategies.

Q1. What are the pros and cons of removing degree requirements when hiring?

Q2. What conversations, if any, is your organization having about adjusting or removing educational and other requirements to boost talent acquisition efforts?

Q3. How has adjusting or removing degree and/or other requirements changed your talent acquisition strategy?

Q4. "Grow" versus "hire"—how do you determine when to hire an experienced candidate and when to hire a qualified candidate with great potential who might be a better long-term hire?

Q5. How is your organization working with community colleges, coding camps and other modern career educational programs to find “new-collar” talent?

Q6. How does your organization calculate the education/experience equivalency for job requirements in lieu of a degree?

Q7. How can HR assess a candidate’s skills and ability to drive results in lieu of specific experience or a degree?

Q8. What advice can you share with others regarding removing degree requirements and other ways of building pipelines of nontraditional talent?


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