When it comes to hiring new graduates for entry level jobs, there are two things that I strongly believe:
- Organizations should hire based on potential for future success.
- Businesses should not limit their applicants to a certain degree type.
There are exceptions to my second statement.
For example, If you’re an engineering firm doing highly technical work you will obviously need to hire graduates with an engineering degree.
Entry level hiring should be the equivalent of looking to the future. If you’re disqualifying candidates solely because they do not have the ability to make an immediate impact, then you’re not hiring for an entry level role. Most new graduates will either have no experience or very limited relevant experience. That’s a good thing. It allows you to capitalize on a young, eager mind that is willing to work hard and learn.
Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t compare two candidates and determine which will be able to make an impact sooner, that would be a mistake. However, there are a lot of bright people, who may not have experience, but are willing to learn and work hard to be successful.
On to degree types! Before I express my opinion, I should mention that I am a little biased. I graduated with a degree in Philosophy. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a company’s job description that said “philosophy degree essential”, so that’s where I’m coming from.
My belief is that if you’re hiring for a less technical business role – marketing, sales, customer service, etc. – why limit applicants to those with a business degree? Why not look at people with a variety of degrees. Not only does this improve your chances of finding someone great, but you may find someone who brings a different perspective to the table.
I recently came across a great video “How to get hired at Goldman Sachs”. Edith Cooper, the Global Head of Human Capital shares what Goldman Sachs looks for in new-grad job candidates. Follow this link (CNN Money) to watch the video.
Goldman Sachs’ ideal entry level candidate:
- excellence in their interests – sports, music, community participation – not just academics
- successful in their field of study and intellectually curious
- interested in global markets
Goldman Sachs does not recruit exclusively from Ivey League schools. As a global company, employees from a variety of backgrounds are critical to their success, so they recruit from small colleges and state schools as well.