The way employers approach hiring is constantly changing. One of the most promising changes in the growth of new collar opportunities: excellent career opportunities for people without 4-year college degrees. 

Industry leaders in tech, healthcare, finance, manufacturing, and logistics are focusing more on a candidate’s hard and soft skills, rather than their level of education, allowing companies to find more qualified workers. They’re creating new collar jobs by instituting “junior level” positions, on the job training programs, internships, and apprenticeships so that new hires can grow into higher-level roles. 

So, if you’re not looking at a candidate’s degree or GPA average, what should you be looking at instead?  Here are three key indicators of a great new hire, no degree required, and how to “test” to find the best.

How Well They Solve Problems

Problem-solving is an essential ingredient of any job.  Creative, analytical and flexible thinking are critical for a company to thrive and compete.  A candidate’s past performance in meeting challenges and real-life complications is a strong predictor of future success.  Have them describe a problem they faced, and then explain how they approached the problem and why they chose that approach. 

How Well They Learn from Their Mistakes

A bad work experience can be an excellent learning opportunity.  But only if a candidate maintains a positive approach to their work and to their company.  Have them explain how they’ve benefited from constructive criticism and what steps they took to minimize miss-steps in the future.  If they will be supervising others, have them describe when they had to deliver negative feedback, and how they guided their team through the experience.

How Well They Work with Others

Diversity is more than gender or ethnicity.  When you move away from hiring everyone with the same background and education, you bring new dimensions to your team. Assess their emotional intelligence – the ability to perceive, reason, understand and manage emotions – and how it influences their workplace communication and management skills.  Have them describe a time when they didn’t agree with a decision or approach and what they did to get on board or persuade others to change. 

Job Auditions – Test to Find the Best

Hiring non-traditional candidates something new to your company?  Not sure how to gauge potential without the related degree? Consider having your top candidate(s) audition for the job. It allows you to evaluate how they will truly perform in the role by presenting scenarios relevant to the job they’ll be doing.  

Whether you’re bringing in talent for an event or a full day at the office, auditions let you assess a candidate’s skills in real-time. You see how they respond to challenges and manage setbacks.  You witness their interactions with your employees and the ability to fit in with your company’s culture.  

Expanding your perspective to go beyond degrees can yield great benefits for your company.  Incorporating job auditions in your hiring practices helps you assess a candidate’s potential based on skills.  When done correctly, job auditions are beneficial for both the employer and the candidate to determine if they are a good match.  

Would you like some help finding the right people? Contact us. We’re here to help. MassHire Cape & Islands Career Center 508-771-JOBS (5627)

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