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Democratization of education

This blog post is based on the twelfth episode of the data-driven recruiting podcast hosted by CodeSignal co-founders Sophia Baik and Tigran Sloyan. You can find and listen to this specific episode here or check out the video version embedded below.

The democratization of education is here. So, what exactly does that mean for recruiting? Whether we realize it or not, education has had and continues to have a significant impact on hiring. It’s not always easy to see the connection, and that’s because it takes a while for it to propagate.  

Take the current day reliance on pedigrees, like graduating from a top tier school. That may have been an important requirement for getting a job in the past. But with the internet boom we’ve seen over the past twenty years, educational resources have changed. Valid education opportunities are available to everyone who has internet access, not just the lucky few who received a coveted acceptance letter.

Previously, individuals might have had access to a local school, which usually meant local teachers, for better or worse. Today’s environment offers opportunities to listen to the best instructors in the world, all from your laptop. With these high-level educational opportunities, more and more people are mastering skills than ever before. This is especially true in hot fields like software engineering and computer science. What that leads to is an influx of candidates, all claiming to be ready and able to do the job. As that number continues to rise, the ability for recruiters to measure a bigger pool remains limited.

The stakes are higher than ever when it comes to recruiting because there is an increase of hidden gems in the applicant pool. These candidates may not present well on paper, but they’re highly qualified for the jobs. Recruiters are hearing from more applicants who say they’re skilled, but have fewer ways, like those outdated pedigrees, with which to validate who really is.

This educational shift is driving the need to measure skills directly. Which means it is critical to have the right toolkit to determine who can perform well in the given job.

So, how does your organization that has used the same recruiting process for years take the first step? How about by eliminating resumes today. The incoming pile of resumes continues to get bigger, and you can no longer determine who’s qualified from these outdated pieces of paper.

To replace the resume, you’ll typically need to introduce an assessment. There are many to choose from, so pick what works best for you. Once you have implemented a test, you can start measuring how recruits are actually performing in their jobs over time and continue fine-tuning the tools from there.

Education impacts recruiting more and more as the gap between education and recruiting decreases. To find the most amazing people, we have to be able to measure skills, whether they came from an impressive Ivy League education or an online app.