Hiring Gen Z – Talent Criteria: Does a College Degree Still Matter?
Welcome to the Executive Innovation Show Podcast, brought to you by Live Video Interviews. During this podcast hear host, Carrie Chitsey, talk with Nick Schacht (Chief Global Development Officer at SHRM), DeAnnah Stinson Reese (CEO of Educate, Equip, and Empower), and Jennifer Oswald (Head of People at Clover Commerce).
Nick Schacht is the Chief Global Development Officer at SHRM. He has been an HR leader for more than 30 years. He currently heads all non-dues revenue for the Society for Human Resource Management and has led various talent development companies spanning industries from petroleum engineering to project management and leadership to cybersecurity.
DeAnnah Stinson Reese, CEO and founder of Educate, Equip, and Empower works with professionals and college students on ways to successfully transition and thrive in their desired careers and how to successfully navigate their job search. She’s been featured as a contributing author with Forbes, Women Exceeding and Boss Up Magazine.
Jennifer Oswald, is the Head of People at Clover Commerce. She began her career founding a Human Resource Department for a top-five Food Distribution Company. One of her biggest accomplishments was reducing employee turnover from 258% to a low of 17%.
Listen to “Talent Criteria: Does a College Degree Still Matter?” as we discuss:
- As top companies such as Apple, Google, IBM, and Whole Foods come out and publicly drop the college degree requirement, it’s time to have the debate. The guests of the show talk about if a college degree should still be required or is hands-on experience more important to filling open job positions. With Generation Z considering not going to college, does this change the future of HR traditional requirements for certain positions?
- Listen as Jennifer Oswald talks about how a college degree for her company, Clover, is now a nice-to-have versus a must-have. She talks about the competitive job market within Silicon Valley and how that has changed their perspective on things like accelerator programs.
- Nick Schacht of SHRM states how they have also removed a bachelor’s degree from their job requirements. He goes on to talk about how this is truly dependent on the job and skills needed. While Apple and IBM may have removed the job requirement to apply, he reminds Generation Z that they still have to go up against a much larger labor pool.
- DeAnnah Reese Stinson stresses the need for Generation Z job applicants to be competitive. If students do decide to go to college they need to give themselves that competitive edge via internships, part-time jobs, and side projects.
- We give the roundtable guests a scenario:
- When hiring a developer type role, would they want:
- someone who went to software engineering school but has never coded,
- someone who went to school and also had internships,
- or someone who has been coding for the last 12 weeks via an accelerator program.
- Listen as they give their answers and explanations to what they chose. Which candidate would you select as an HR professional?
- As the job requirements change and more of Generation Z will not be going to college, how does that change college recruiting for a company like Clover? Jennifer details their new approach to hiring Gen Z individuals and continue finding top talent. From partnerships with accelerator programs to looking into high schools, Clover still wants to remain competitive in their space. What motivates Generation Z in the workplace?
- Nick Schacht of SHRM talks about new and productive approaches to hiring new talent. Listen as he gives examples of how some of SHRM’s members are doing innovative things like partnering with community colleges and less competitive two-year programs to build internships. How will you reach the Generation Z talent pool?
- DeAnnah advises students to create a digital footprint as a professional. By using social networks such as LinkedIn to find companies and connections, they have a better shot at obtaining a job and eventually a career. What other aspects of social media does she have her clients proactively use? Listen to find out.
- Generation Z is going to be the largest demographic that does not go to college, with 67% being concerned that they are not going to be able to afford college. Nick believes that there is going to be a huge shift in assessing candidates based on what they can do versus what they know. Should your talent acquisition team be looking at how well people learn, adapt, and acquire knowledge?
- Carrie brings up that 39% of Millennial parents say they don’t feel like a college degree actually led them to long term earning potential. DeAnnah speaks on the advice she would give to a room full of Generation Z juniors in high school. Listen as she talks about the importance of knowing what you are going to invest in your degree.
- How important is hands-on experience in finding out what you want your career to be? We take a walk down memory lane with our guests on their college degrees, past jobs and experiences that led them to Human Resources, did they actually go to school for it? For all three, having hands-on experience allowed them to find their passions.
- Carrie wants to know if the guests feel that ATS (applicant tracking systems) hurting job boards and the applicant review process. Is keyword stuffing driving you crazy? Jennifer talks about how much she dislikes resumes altogether. She believes that there needs to be a better way to shift through the 11,000 applicants in her current hiring funnel. Nick believes that it’s how technology is used that’s the problem. He talks about how creating a job description when hiring Gen Z that actually reflects what you’re looking for will weed out some of the bad matches and save time. He also believes recruiters have to do better with screening and interviewing techniques.
- What is keeping these HR guests up at night? DeAnnah talks about the constant challenges to stay up on the changes and trends within HR, including Generation Z in the workforce. Nick talks about his concern that HR professionals are not developing the baseline of competency they need with technology and data. And Jennifer states the talent war in Silicon Valley is keeping her up at night. Listen to more of their answers here.