Hiring: Life Experience & Degree Inflation Term Paper

Pages: 20 (6128 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 10  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Management  ·  Written: November 21, 2019


4. a) Describe and define Degree inflation. Is Degree inflation out of control?

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Degree inflation refers to the loss in value that the idea of earning a degree holds over time in terms of its appeal and meaning for employers. It is much the same as dollar inflation: the more dollars that enter into the economy, the less value each dollar holds. The same goes for degrees. Decades back when fewer people had them, a degree signaled something important and special. Today, everyone is expected to have a degree and the number and types of degrees offered have risen exponentially. There are so many degree opportunities at colleges around the nation, with various majors and minors available, that they number into the hundreds easily. Degrees are also easier in some ways to obtain than they were in the past. If one cannot afford schooling, one can easily obtain a loan to start classes. If one is unsure of what to major in, one can take two years or more of general studies classes before making a choice. And since a 4-year degree is now the norm, one is expected to get a Master’s or a Doctorate in order to stand apart from other candidates, to show that one has truly invested himself in a field. In the past, earning a Bachelor’s showed a high level of investment and commitment on the part of the individual because back then it was not so easy to get a loan to go to school and it was not something that every high school student was urged to pursue. Today, every student is told that higher education is necessary. However, the Associate’s and the Bachelor’s degrees carry less weight with employers today than they did in the past. Today, they are viewed as the bare minimum that an employer looks for in most cases. It is the equivalent of a high school degree in many ways. It does not signify the same as it used to.

Term Paper on Hiring: Life Experience & Degree Inflation Assignment

Additionally, in many ways, it is more about credentialing than it is about learning or gaining experience and real-world skills. The credentials are not hard to obtain as standards have been lowered across the board to accommodate more and more students who lack the skills that used to be required at a major university. Because the standards have been lowered, employers know that a higher degree is not necessarily going to be reflective of the skills needed to do the job. Degree inflation is therefore out of control to some extent.

When is enough education enough? After all, much of what is needed to do a job is learned on the job, and higher education itself has become a kind of big business. Students have become commodities for the places of higher learning and they are squeezed for every last penny as the requirements to obtain a degree have increased along with the price of schooling. Degree inflation not only puts more barriers between young persons and workplaces but it also hampers businesses that refuse to accept candidates for a job unless they have a degree, for there are many eager and willing young workers with skills who can learn on the job and who will be committed and loyal to a firm if given the opportunity (Fuller & Raman, 2017).

b) How must HR rethink their hiring strategies and challenge misperceptions of college graduates and less-educated but experienced workers?

HR must utilize hiring strategies that focus on assessing the applicant’s actual skill-level, knowledge-level, motivation-level, and work drive. Just because an applicant has a degree does not mean that the candidate is the best hire for the job. There may be less formally educated applicants who have stronger skills and more experience—and they need to be given attention. As Fuller and Raman (2017) show in their Harvard Business School report, “degree inflation is undermining U.S. competitiveness and hurting America’s middle class” (p. 1). Employers do not do themselves any favors by only looking at applicants who have degrees.

One strategy that HR can utilize is to look internally and to promote from within if the job is not an entry-level position (Cappelli, 2019). This means that there are likely to be workers within the company who would appreciate the opportunity to rise up and take on a more challenging role. They should not be passed over just because they did not earn the right credentials at college. In many cases, they can be trained to learn what is needed without too much of a problem. What matters is that they are loyal to the company, they have intrinsic motivation, they want the challenge and they have the interpersonal skills, the communication skills, the drive, the passion, and the experience needed to succeed. By posting jobs internally the company can promote from within and be relatively confident of finding the right worker for the job based on performance evaluations, interviews, and level of dedication shown by the worker.

Fuller and Raman (2017) also recommend the strategy of training lower-level workers so that they can climb the ranks of management and provide the company with the kind of skills and leadership the company wants to see. If a firm is looking for a specific look, there is no better way than teaching those workers who meet certain criteria and who are already employed with the firm. This is basically the strategy of developing talent from within. Companies such as Walmart and J.P. Morgan Chase already use this strategy.

Another strategy is to partner with outreach programs to train people who are in the workforce but who are not yet employed. This creates an opportunity to bring talent under one roof to see who has the skills that can be developed more fully so that the individual can fill a role in the company. HR can work with the company’s executives and directors to develop the type of program that would allow the firm to bring candidates together for a workshop, provide training, assess responsiveness, and create a list of potential candidates who reflect the type of character and understanding that the firm could use.

5.  a) Describe strategies some companies are taking to address the problem of sourcing talented workers (Talent and Potential Factor) internal to the organization.   

Mobilizing talent from within the organization should be the goal of the company. As Volini et al. (2019) note, “to fuel growth, organizations need to more effectively tap their current workforce to identify and deploy people with the required skills, capabilities, motivation, and knowledge of the organization, its infrastructure, and its culture.” The way to do this is to allow the Talent and Potential Factor to flourish within an organizational structure that facilitates upward mobility across the entire firm. The problem that companies currently face is that they tend to be hierarchically structured and do not promote the kind of culture needed for mobility. Most workers are stuck moving upward only within their own division. Workers should be able to have their talent and potential assessed from outside divisions because it is very likely that many workers have the skills, tools, and vision needed to have a positive impact at multiple levels within the company (Volini et al., 2019).

One strategy is to look at high performers within the organization as being right for any role in the company. Technical background and experience should not be considered limitations. Instead of looking at candidates in confining terms, HR should look at candidates in terms of Talent and Potential. Does the worker show a strong talent and a high level of potential? Would the worker flourish in a variety of roles if given the opportunity? In many cases, workers would learn and adapt on the go and bring their talent and potential to a new role within the company.

Upskilling is another approach that companies are taking to address the problem of sourcing talented workers from within. AT&T is engaged in upskilling by spending millions to train and educate employees through professional development programs (Volini et al., 2019). The purpose of upskilling at AT&T is to allow the company to… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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