There are not many “Gurus” you should take hiring advice from, but Scott Galloway has built nine real businesses and, as a Professor, actually researches most of what he says. Scott is an advocate for hiring people without degrees. Galloway’s perspective is prioritizing skills and potential over formal qualifications, which I wholeheartedly agree with.
Now, my advice to young people is to get an education, on the job as an apprentice or through colleague, on average you will earn more than those who do not! Employers, on the other hand, are not looking for the average; we are looking for good people to help our companies grow and limiting people with a degree limits us to less than 40% of the population.
Many of the world’s most successful individuals and people I have hired didn’t complete college, and requiring degree requirements can be exclusionary, as higher education is for the rich. Look at tech giants like Apple and Google, where many employees have thrived without holding traditional degrees. By overlooking degree requirements, businesses can tap into a broader talent pool, harnessing a wider range of skills, experiences, and backgrounds.
One of Galloway’s central arguments is that skills and motivation often outshine academic credentials. Employers should emphasize assessing candidates’ ability to adapt, learn quickly, and contribute to the organization’s goals. By focusing on these factors, businesses can identify hidden talents and reduce barriers to entry for those without degrees.
Scott and I don’t suggest abandoning education but instead advocate for a more inclusive and meritocratic hiring process. So what can employers do?
- Write job descriptions for what is needed not to keep the number of candidates down for HR to deal with.
- If there are high volumes of applicants, get them to complete a small related task. The Vancouver Canucks are hiring a Social Media Coordinator, and instead of asking candidates to create an Instagram post about the team, they asked for a traditional resume and cover letter? WTF?
- Use interview techniques that predict job performance like skills testing, behavioral-based or Top Grading style of Interviewing.
This hiring approach of hiring the best people, not the best people, with the right piece of paper not only benefits candidates but can also lead to enhanced innovation and increased diversity within organizations, EI, more money!!!