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Hiring: Recognizing the Value of Today's Various Educational Tracks
Higher education has been undergoing a paradigm shift. Recently, the trend in education has lead many students away from a traditional university education and toward more specialized, directly-applicable programs. It’s important for business owners to be aware of this trend as it pertains to potential hirees.
It wasn’t long ago that when developing a list of qualifications to include in a job description, that a four-year college degree was a must among them. That type of education, however, may no longer be a necessary ingredient in the job description recipe. While completing a traditional college education speaks to certain aspects of a potential employee’s abilities and perseverance, it’s no longer as weighty an element to consider. It’s important to recognize the value in these less-than-traditional educational tracks; they are neither incomplete nor inferior for educating many a professional.
The fact is, many of these educational programs are highly customized to a particular occupation or skill. They can be attended in-person or online, full-time or part-time as fits with the student’s situation. And while the graduates may not hold a “traditional” degree, they come away both highly knowledgeable and highly employable. The existence of this new breed of qualified personnel begs the question: Have your job requirements kept pace with the times? There are a number of benefits to seeking out (or at least considering) employees who have opted for a more specialized job training, including:
Higher caliber applicants - When the requirements of the job you are offering consider a variety of educational paths as valuable, your company will gain applicants’ respect. Failing to acknowledge them may cause applicants to consider your business to be out of touch - and thereby an unattractive place to even apply for a position. When your company steps up and recognizes that many sources of education are valid, you’ll find a larger pool of qualified applicants at your door. This is another way to ensure that your business hires the best and the brightest employees.
Wider range of applicants - Looking beyond only those who are university graduates enables you to cast a wider net when “fishing” for employees. You’ll find applicants from different backgrounds and situations who can add a rich diversity of culture, knowledge and sensibility to your workforce. That diversity will serve to enlighten your business and help it avoid becoming stuck in a rut of sameness.
More focused and loyal employees - Students who opt for a specialized educational program have a particular career path in mind. These individuals are most likely following a passion. You may find them to be more focused on working in a specific field or position - as opposed to just getting any old job that brings in a paycheck. For that reason, it’s likely that hirees from this pool will be more highly motivated in their position. Hiring employees who know what they want to do will help ensure that your workers remain interested in their jobs and loyal to the company that hired them to do it. That loyalty among employees results in a more stable, cohesive workforce because it lessens employee turnover.
Education is a critical factor in finding top-notch employees but it’s important to recognize that there are a variety of ways to gain it outside a traditional college education. As the world continues to change, it expands to accommodate a broader definition of the educational requirement for employment. You can find a whole new group of potential hirees by adapting your job description qualifications to include alternatives to university degrees.
Are your job descriptions in sync with the gamut of today’s educational programs?
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