A college degree has long been a traditional job requirement for many office jobs. But are there occasions where hiring someone without a college degree is the right move for your business? The truth is, each individual’s experience will be very different, so it’s hard to have a blanket policy for these situations. Here are some things to consider if you come across a candidate without a college degree.

Consider Experience

A two- or four-year degree isn’t the only way an employee can bring talent to the table. It may be that their years of experience outweigh the possible benefits of finishing college. Don’t just skip down to the end of the resume to see the education section before evaluating the rest of the content.

By automatically dismissing a candidate based on their education, you may rule out very qualified individuals.

Hire for Potential

There was a time when hiring for potential was the norm. Then, after the recession when unemployment was high, companies started becoming much more specific about the experience they required. That meant companies no longer mentored employees to become top talent in their organization.

It may be time to get back to that idea. Hiring someone who has the aptitude, even if they don’t have the specific college requirements, may be a great choice for your business.

Understand Life Skills

And just because someone has acquired the degrees to be able to show their credentials doesn’t mean they’ll be a great fit for your company. For many companies, hiring someone fresh out of college is a gold standard, but you may be missing out on important life skills that can benefit your business.

Look at the complete picture to determine if the candidate is a good fit for your company. Life skills, things they’ve learned outside the office, may be just as important as a college education.

Evaluate Individually

Finally, don’t just leave the decision up to your applicant tracking software to pull out the keywords you’ve indicated. You need to evaluate each candidate individually. You never know if you’re about to hire the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, and if you only look at their education you’ll miss out.

If someone has a unique back story or something different that they bring to the table, at least take the time to talk with them.

Do you want to know more about hiring the right people for your team? Harvard Resource Solutions can help you find the best candidates for your workplace. Click to schedule your free staffing consultation today.