Monday, January 18, 2016

Higher Education: Penguin Random House Not So Impressed With Colleges As Screening Tool, Waives Degree Requirement For Job Applicants

From The Bookseller:

PRH removes degree requirement from job applications 
Penguin Random House UK is removing any requirement for a university degree for all new jobs to attract a “more varied candidate pool” in order to “publish the best books that appeal to readers everywhere”.

Group human resource director Neil Morrison said he made the decision following increasing evidence that there was no simple correlation between having a degree and ongoing performance in work. PRH’s “brightest talents” come from a variety of different backgrounds, not just from the top universities, Morrison added.

The publisher has now removed the degree filter from all job advertisements, job descriptions and recruitment processes in the UK with immediate effect, and is instead focusing on giving every applicant the opportunity to demonstrate their potential, creativity, strengths and ideas, regardless of their background.

Morrison said: “We want to attract the best people to help grow and shape the future of our company, regardless of their background - and that means that we need to think and act differently. Simply, if you’re talented and you have potential, we want to hear from you.

“This is the starting point for our concerted action to make publishing far, far more inclusive than it has been to date.”

He added: “Now, we need to be more visible to talented people across the UK. We believe this is critical to our future: to publish the best books that appeal to readers everywhere, we need to have people from different backgrounds with different perspectives and a workforce that truly reflects today’s society.”

Graduates are still welcome to apply for jobs....MORE
Smart management.
Sheepskin as filter may have worked in 1960 but today it's lazy HR.
And not just in wordy industries like publishing. See also last August's WSJ opinion piece:

Why I’m Not Looking to Hire Computer-Science Majors
...The thing I don’t look for in a developer is a degree in computer science. University computer science departments are in miserable shape: 10 years behind in a field that changes every 10 minutes. Computer science departments prepare their students for academic or research careers and spurn jobs that actually pay money. They teach students how to design an operating system, but not how to work with a real, live development team.

There isn’t a single course in iPhone or Android development in the computer science departments of Yale or Princeton. Harvard has one, but you can’t make a good developer in one term. So if a college graduate has the coding skills that tech startups need, he most likely learned them on his own, in between problem sets. As one of my developers told me: “The people who were good at the school part of computer science—just weren’t good developers.” My experience in hiring shows exactly that....