Employers are increasingly valuing passion for a role, positive work ethic and willingness to learn when recruiting for entry level roles, with university degrees less likely to be seen as important, according to research from Indeed.
As thousands of students await their A-Level results this week (18 August), three in four employers say they are more open to hiring candidates without a degree than they were a decade ago.
It contrasts with a recent CIPD survey which found more than half of employers still screen candidates for degrees and post-graduate qualifications, rather than skills and potential.
Indeed’s poll of more than 500 employers found that 87% would favour a positive work attitude over qualifications when recruiting for an entry level job, and 78% valued a candidate’s passion for the role over a university degree.
Strong work ethic (62%) and willingless to learn (63%) also ranked highly among employers’ priorities, whereas only 13% rated having a university degee and 11% valued high A-level grades.
However, this message did not seem to be getting through to A-level students, who largely still believe that employers wanted to recruit university graduates for their entry level roles (87%) and that a degree would give them more career options (53%).
Seventy-four per cent said they would be more likely to go straight into employment after school if they knew a degree wasn’t a necessity for their desired employer. The cost-of-living crisis was among the reasons why many wanted to go straight into an entry job, with 32% stating that university was too expensive.
Indeed’s head of talent intelligence for UK and Ireland, Danny Stacy, said employers should consider taking a more flexible approach to candidate requirements when looking to fill vacancies.
“Young people can be the breath of fresh air that many struggling industries need. What they lack in workplace experience, they make up for with a host of soft skills. Building diverse workforces is conducive to performance – diversification in age is no exemption,” said Stacy.
“A-level results day is an anxious and exciting time for students hoping to earn the grades they require to enter university. But for hundreds of thousands of people not planning on higher education, it’s a time for evaluating what the future holds and considering the jobs and careers open to them.
“The good news for those planning on taking their first step on the ladder is that the jobs market appears in good shape and this is also true of entry-level roles, which are at their highest point in three years. Our research also suggests that employers are showing greater willingness to look beyond university degrees alone and take into account attitudes and soft skills.”