- 84% of hiring managers said the higher education institution a candidate attended was a “very important” or “important” factor.
- Favoritism appears to be shown to candidates who attend the same institution as a hiring manager: 66% of hiring managers said that they are more likely to move forward with a candidate who attended their alma mater.
- Allwork.Space spoke to three workplace leaders to gauge their opinion on the importance of which college potential hires attended.
While college is expensive and time-consuming, having this experience on your resume is a massive benefit.
Intelligent.com surveyed 1,250 U.S. hiring managers to understand the significance of where a candidate attended college. What the survey found was that 84% of hiring managers said the higher education institution a candidate attended was a “very important” or “important” factor.
Hiring managers seem to put a lot of value on the institution that potential job hires attended; in fact, 71% of hiring managers said they’d be more likely to move forward with a candidate who attended a top-tier school rather than a candidate who did not.
Also according to the survey, four-year institutions of any caliber are favored over community colleges; 76% of hiring managers said they are less likely to move forward with a candidate who attended community college versus one who went to a four-year institution.
Additionally, favoritism appears to be shown to candidates who attend the same institution as a hiring manager. 66% of hiring managers said that they are more likely to move forward with a candidate who attended their alma mater.
Allwork.Space spoke to three workplace leaders to gauge their opinion on the importance of which college potential hires attended.
Career Strategist at ExecuNet, Career Expert and Contributing Editor at ResumeBuilder Stacie Haller told Allwork.Space that traditionally, many hiring managers have had a bias leaning towards students that attended the same college as they did, or give more weight to certain colleges on a resume.
“This has begun to take a back seat in areas where talent has become harder to attract, and more and more we are seeing hiring managers looking for the skills they need — soft and hard — when seeking to hire. The college that someone attended does not necessarily predict a long-term successful hire, but if the person attended a program or major where the skills taught are applicable for the position, such as accounting for an accounting position, then that of course is taken into consideration in the process. More and more, organizations are providing certificate and/or training programs for those needing hard skills, and they are being hired for the soft skills that will help make them successful,” Haller said.
Gilles Raymond, CEO of Letsmeet told Allwork.Space that he believes that data shows a very strong correlation between the college backgrounds and the companies that graduates will work for.
“Based on worldwide LinkedIn figures, if you pick three very different companies such as Google, Goldman Sachs, and Ford Motors you will see the concentration of some specific university graduates per company. For Google, the top four universities attended by Googlers are all in California; Berkeley and Stanford graduates represent 3.2% of all Google employees worldwide. If you look at Goldman Sachs, none of the California universities are in the top 15 schools of employees, and Columbia University (the second university in terms of number of degree holders at Goldman), is not even in the top 15 at Google. The same rules apply at Ford, none of the top 15 university graduates are part of the top 15 at Goldman or Google,” Raymond said.
He says that locations and specializations of universities play a big role in this concentration.
“As an example, seven of the top 15 universities’ graduates at Ford are based in Michigan. By joining a specific college, a freshman is already moving closer to the company he will work for. The risk at 18 years old to already give direction to your career is a big bet, and students need to be aware of this. If not, they might start on the wrong foot, and might face challenges to move forward in their careers,” Raymond said. “On the corporate side, companies manage to keep a high level of diversity in terms of sourcing their employees. Berkeley is the most represented university at Google but it is only 1.5% of the employees. It completely limits the network effect in recruitment, which can be a big bias inside corporations.”
Amy Zimmerman, Chief People Officer at Relay Payments, told Allwork.Space that she doesn’t think what college a person attends is the best predictor of future success.
“Truth be told, a person’s success has way more to do with their ambition, work ethic, and EQ than which school they attended. I realize some schools have better academic rigor than others, but it doesn’t necessarily translate. Companies operate differently so hiring for culture fit / success criteria is a way better tell of success than the cache of the candidate’s alma mater,” Zimmerman said.