In this labor shortage, should you lower the bar on hiring qualifications?

In the summer of 2021, the number of job openings is running at a record level. That super-tight labor market is leading more employers to expand their view of who is qualified to work, accepting more non-traditional qualifications like certifications and digital badges.

Six in 10 employers say they are at least thinking of hiring non-degree candidates this year, up from 4 in 10 in 2019, according to a survey of 1,200 employers by Pearson, an online learning company. And 21% have already started hiring workers with non-degree credentials.

Employers hope that lowering the bar will broaden the candidate pool and speed up hiring. They also believe it can attract talent that's more diverse and those who have a strong work ethic and unique skills (see chart below).

Increasingly, employers believe real-world experience can account for as much or more than a...

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