15 large successful companies (including Google, Apple, IBM, Bank of America or EY) no longer require a university degree from candidates for their high-qualification employee selection processes –Go to the article–
This news, for some perhaps revolutionary, is not surprising in today’s environment, increasingly competitive and continuous innovation. A context where knowledge, products and services become obsolete in a few years or even months.
From the reading I draw 3 conclusions:
1.- Higher education is not enough by itself to be successful today.
Today there are still many cases of successful entrepreneurs and executives without a university career such as Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Richard Branson or Amancio Ortega that are added to the already deceased such as Steve Jobs or Tomás Pascual. Very different industries and professional realities with something in common: none of them have graduated from a prestigious University.
Multiple practical evidences that demonstrate that talent (accompanied by sacrifice) is unclassifiable. An example that university degrees or Masters are not deemed necessary to succeed and demonstrate all their entrepreneurial and executive potential.
Accumulate knowledge, being the # 1 of your promotion is something remarkable but it is not a guarantee of professional success.
Even in some cases it can have more adverse effects than positive ones, since good emotional skills do not always combine well with intellectual and brilliant minds, which sometimes degenerates into arrogance or into a difficult person.
2.- Higher education reflects an impression of being away from business reality.
The disconnection between what is taught in the University and the requirements of the world of work is a growing concern in many countries. Reinventing higher education (and also basic education) is urgent because knowledge is overvalued and there are significant gaps in emerging skills that will be fundamental in the future.
In addition, the reputation of the university has room to improve: as an example, only one third of Spanish entrepreneurs have a University degree because they consider it far from real needs according to an interesting study by the BBVA-IVIE Foundation.
If education has traditionally been a capital issue for job success, I dare to say that today its importance is multiplied in these beginnings of the 4th Industrial Revolution.
The “education crisis” is a difficult issue and little discussed in the public debate but must be addressed urgently by countries that want to play in the 1st division of global competitiveness.
I believe that having a University or Masters degree is a positive starting point. Not so much because they are an automatic passport of success but because they show “good health” to work: wisdom and basic skills, discipline and good habits (study, practice and research) and ability to learn, achieve results and overcome difficulties.
3.-The recruitment process requires new criteria and strategies.
Many companies and talent scouts are still focused on recruiting primarily for technical knowledge or experience. They continue signing for the classic criteria of “sector-function”: finding in the market the best possible professional within the available compensation package that has successfully held the same position in the same industry for several years.
Today, however, the best companies value technical knowledge and experience as basic aspects to compete but prioritize other elements that have proven to be more important.
Evaluate aspects such as social skills (empathy, communication and teamwork among others), potential, learning ability, ethics or fit with corporate values (what Google calls “Googliness”).
And never forget the passion: If they have two “equally” good candidates, they will probably choose the person who has the most passion for the company’s business mission.
Finally and very important: they recognize the diversity of the candidate, which can bring something different and innovative within the team and the company. They know that a “linear and mono-color” team does not enrich the corporate culture nor is it sufficiently disruptive and, therefore, will not achieve extraordinary results nor will be a medium-term winner.
Breaking the inertia of the recruitment processes and leaving the comfort zone is necessary because emerging variables are more visible day by day, and this will determine job success in the coming years. Excellence will possibly be a good combination between a classic and an innovative person.
Reinventing the recruitment precess is quite urgent: we need it to win the future.
This article has also been published in Observatorio RH –Go to the article–