Breaking Down Job Market Bias & Barriers to Help 30M Job Seekers Get Hired

Commitment to Society

Help 30 million people facing barriers in the labor market around the world get hired ― barriers such as education, criminal records, disability, military experiences and others*2

The only requirement to be hired for a job should be that you have the skills and abilities necessary to perform it. However, bias and barriers in hiring can make it harder for many job seekers to find, get and keep a job.

At Recruit Group, we are committed toward breaking down these biases and barriers through making advancements in our platforms, partnerships, and our own efforts at our organization. By increasing access to quality opportunities, we strive to make a positive, equitable and sustainable social impact through connecting people to better work to create better lives.

To make progress toward this goal, in FY2022, we focused on and worked to reduce five barriers: education, criminal records,*3 disability, and prior military service experience,*4 as well as not having access to technology and transportation necessary for job search.*5

Reducing Educational Barriers

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.*6 These barriers to the job market based on education have a tremendous impact on working people, not only in job opportunities but over their lifetimes, such as in terms of wages and lifelong earnings.

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.*7

In addition, we found that job postings that do not require a college degree received about 10% more*8 applications than similar job postings with a college degree requirement and are more likely to lead to successful hires.

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.

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.*9 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.

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.

Other Priority Barriers

Criminal Records

Job seekers with criminal records are over 50% less likely to get a call back or offer.*10

Learn more about our initiatives


Job seekers with disabilities face additional barriers to finding a job and may need additional accommodations on the job.

Learn more about our initiatives


Veterans who are looking for a new opportunity or transitioning from service to civilian life; they may have difficulty matching their skills and experience to the job market.

Learn more about our initiatives

Job seekers without Work Essentials

Without critical support like digital access and transportation, job seekers struggle to find work and get employed.

Learn more about our initiatives

Initiatives at Group Companies

Matching & Solutions SBU: Initiatives at Recruit

Recruit, which operates mainly in Japan, has arranged the "WORK FIT" employment support and career education program for justice-impacted people for the first time in 2022. The program has been offered at schools and local employment support organizations since 2011. To solve the issue of preventing recidivism, Recruit is conducting a program for justice-impacted women to encourage them to prepare for life after release from prison.

Learn more (Japanese Only)

Staffing SBU:Initiatives by CSI Companies

Staffing SBU has launched a global social program that supports underserved people with education, training, and employment opportunities called “RGF Connect”. For example, Florida, where one of our staffing companies CSI Companies is located at, has a large population of racial and ethnic minorities and, like many other states in the U.S., struggles with ongoing disparities in education and job opportunities. Against the backdrop of these disparities, CEO Chris Flakus and CIO Melissa Fulmore-Hardwick of CSI Companies, are working to provide job opportunities and career development support in the tech industry for college and high school students who are relatively disadvantaged in the region.

Learn more

Our Journey Toward 2030

While our challenge is just beginning, through making product advancements and partnerships, we are proud to have been able to help 3.9 million job seekers*11 facing barriers get hired. We will continue to respond to the growing needs of employers for Inclusive Hiring*12 by further improving our platforms.

Reducing the Time to Get Hired by Half

Learn more

Community Support

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  • On this webpage, the number of years stated are reflective of the number of Recruit Holdings fiscal years, which begin on April 1 each year and end March 31 of the following year. All figures displayed here are approximate.
  • The initiative as of today includes providing assistance through the Company's online job platform, and through partnerships with NPOs and other organizations with whom the Company collaborates. The Company may also aim to reduce other various barriers, including newly emerging issues in the labor market by FY2030.
  • In the United States, approximately 70 million people have a criminal record (source: The Sentencing Project), and the unemployment rate of job seekers with a criminal record is approximately five times higher than the US average (source: Prison Policy Initiative).
  • A U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation study from 2016 found that 53% of veterans are unemployed for four months or longer after leaving the military. We recognize that veterans who are looking for a new opportunity or transitioning from military service to civilian life may have difficulty matching their skills and experience to the job market.
  • This indicates barriers that hinder job hunting, such as being unable to connect to the Internet, and a resultant lack of access to a job platform, and/or lack of transportation to interviews and work.
  • 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.”
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Source: Employment and Training Administration, United States Department of Labor (2019) “Workforce System Results.”
  • Source: Wendy Sawyer, Peter Wagner (2020), “Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2020”
  • Represents number of hires made on Indeed reported from both job seeker and employer sources through our Hired Signal measurement, from May 1, 2021 - March 31, 2023 globally for job seekers who faced at least one of the following barriers: education, criminal record, military experience, disability or lack of essentials such as a computer or internet access.
  • Inclusive hiring indicates a company’s efforts to realize improved fairness in recruitment in order to achieve a workplace that reflects the diversity of society, as well as ensuring all people have access to economic opportunities.