Recruitment: Does education matter?

When seeking out candidates for new roles, you may wonder how much of an emphasis to place on a jobseeker's educational credentials – or whether to weigh up education against workplace experience, natural skill and ambition to paint a more complete picture of a candidate.

A December 18 article from The Venture's Tony Featherstone revealed that in an increasingly flexible job market, a university degree may no longer carry the same clout as it did in its past, and that an "oversupply" of graduates may actually have a detrimental effect on the Australian job market. He also cautioned prospective students about the realities of debt, which can often rack up to $40,000 for an "average" undergraduate degree.

But on the other hand, Featherstone – who is a part-time lecturer – noted that university-educated students are usually equipped with strong critical thinking skills, which can serve them very well in the workplace.

It is a tricky balance to weigh up whether pursuing a degree is the right move for certain students – especially those who are just wrapping up their high school studies.

A possible solution, he suggested, is not to encourage secondary school students to pursue a degree until they are ready to do so – in some cases, he suggested young people might be better off working and studying part-time or trying out a few different job options before making the decision to study further. Others may be ready for the world of uni right away – the decision should be down to the individual, he said.

As an employer, you can utilise a number of useful tools to help assess any candidate's suitability for a particular role, whether or not academic qualifications are part of the requirements for the job.

For example, recruitment software can help you sort candidates by experience or qualifications so you can be sure to find the right people for the role in question. Whether you are looking for temporary, permanent or contract workers, the right software tools can help you speed up your search.

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