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Recruit Group's Initiatives to Reducing Education Barriers in Labor Market

Recruit Group is working toward its goal to help 30 million people facing barriers in the labor market around the world get hired by FY2030, and that includes eliminating barriers to the job market based on education. Education should not be a limiting factor to employment. However, according to one survey in the U.S., approximately 60% of employers have rejected a candidate because they did not have a post-secondary education, even though the candidate had sufficient skills and experience*1. Here's some of our initiatives to break down the barriers.

1 US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2 National Bureau of Economic Research, 3 Georgetown University Center of Education and the Workforce

Advancing Our Platforms

In order to break down the barriers of education, we conducted a small-scale test where we stopped recommending education requirements as one of the screener questions employers populate when they post jobs. As a result, we observed more employers advertised jobs without an education requirement, and more job seekers applied.

Since this has been fully rolled out in the U.S. after successful product testing, we observed a 37% decrease in the share of jobs requiring a college degree*2.

In addition, we found that job postings that do not require a college degree received about 10% more applications than similar job postings with a college degree requirement*3 and are more likely to lead to successful hires.

A chart showing a 37% decrease in the share of jobs requiring a college degree between January 2022 and January 2023

Percentage of Job Postings Requiring a College Degree

To help make it easy for job seekers to find jobs that do not require a college degree, we have placed an additional filter.

A screenshot of the Indeed search page showing the pulldown where users can choose to filter jobs to find ones without higher education requirements

Search Filters to Help Job Seekers Find Jobs without College Degree Requirement

Initiatives with Our Partners

In the United States alone, more than 5 million people participate in government-funded workforce training and apprenticeship programs each year*4. These programs provide skill-building opportunities to those who do not have traditional higher education backgrounds. Despite this, it has been found that they face challenges in effectively showcasing the skills gained from these programs in their Indeed profiles/resumes. According to several workforce training program development organizations, websites that help people build their resumes are often designed with four-year college graduates in mind, making it difficult to clearly demonstrate to employers the work experience and skills gained through practice and through skill-building programs.

We therefore partnered with four workforce development organizations in three countries to launch a pilot version of an initiative called SkillConnect to create scalable connections between program graduates and employers. SkillConnect uses Indeed’s platform to onboard job seekers coming out of the workforce development programs directly onto Indeed. It eliminates the manual process of converting job training curriculum into skills that appear on Indeed Resumes — they simply select their program, and their education and skills are automatically populated.

With this skills information saved to an Indeed Resume, Indeed’s matching technology can work better for these job seekers and for the employers who need their skills. Job seekers are matched with jobs and employers search for candidates based on the skills that they have acquired. While this initiative is still in its pilot, we have seen positive feedback from job seekers and partners that the new function resulted in appropriate hirings. We envision that our SkillConnect will help tens of thousands of job seekers participating in these types of programs put their skills to work and find the job they want.

A smart phone displaying the Skill Connect user interface

Indeed will continue its efforts to expand "skills-first hiring," which is hiring based on a candidate's skills.

Efforts at Our Offices

Last year, under its mission to help people get jobs, we removed college degree requirements from all eligible job profiles we post at Indeed. We established an internal taskforce and our cross-company team worked together to review each of our job profiles, ensuring degree requirements were only included for positions where a degree was truly required. This change has impacted 700+ job profiles, accounting for the vast majority of job profiles across all of Indeed’s business functions.

For a Society Where Everyone Can Access Fair Employment Opportunities

The only requirement to be hired for a job should be that you have the skills and abilities needed to do the work. Not all jobs need all of the things that job postings typically have. Even if you haven’t got a higher education, it shouldn’t determine whether you’re hired or not. To create a society where everyone has equal employment opportunities and can actively contribute, Recruit Group will continue to prioritize breaking down barriers through platform enhancements, partnerships, and internal recruitment, all aimed at fostering more equitable opportunities.

*1 Source: Accenture, Grads of Life, Harvard Business School (2017), “Dismissed by Degrees: How degree inflation is undermining U.S. competitiveness and hurting America’s middle class.”
*2 Hosted jobs on Indeed in the U.S. that included a college degree as at least one of the screener questions decreased from 22% in May 2022 to 14% in January 2023, a 37% decrease.
*3 Analysis revealed that within specific job titles, jobs that indicated that no college degree was required received 10% more applicants than jobs requiring college degrees.
*4 Source: Employment and Training Administration, United States Department of Labor (2019) “Workforce System Results.”

May 10, 2024

This article is based on information available at the time of publication.