May 22, 2022

When companies look beyond diplomas to recruit

In terms of recruitment, the diploma, proudly displayed on the CV of candidates, has long been authentic. Historically, companies have outsourced the assessment of candidates’ potential to their academic pedigree. “To say that someone is a graduate of HEC, for example, corresponds to saying that he is good. The system of the Grandes Ecoles was used for this: their ranking provided information on the virtues of the candidate. Explain Jean Pralong, professor of human resources management at the Normandy School of Management. A very French vision and a way of sorting out the candidates still in force today for young school graduates – especially in large companies, very fond of these profiles.

But since the 2000s and the massification of higher education, recruiters sometimes struggle to find their way around for others. Faced with the variety of bac + 5 level titles, they had to change their methods. « The difficulty for companies is to identify what is learned in training, continues the researcher. They have a fairly precise idea for the most reputable schools, but for the others, they may wonder what the graduates are trained in. » An impression confirmed by Nicolas von Nagel, co-founder of Citevo, a growing company in the real estate sector : « Dor several years, there has been a proliferation of private schools, in commerce and real estate. It is very complicated for us to differentiate them from each other. »

Internships, work-study programs or voluntary commitments

The masters delivered by the universities have managed to assert themselves in the landscape. « University degrees have more and more of their place, even if there are still brakes”, note Vincent Furlan, director of the recruitment firm Feelinks. “Some large companies, for example, imperatively ask certain schools for certain positions. But among SMEs and start-ups, recruitment is much more open. » With, in certain sectors, such as chemistry, biology or mechanics, very specialized training, in conjunction with reference laboratories. « The master won his bet. A master’s degree is quite comparable to a diploma from a good school., confirms Hervé Chomienne, lecturer specializing in management at the ISM-IAE of the University of Versailles-Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines.

However, if the top 10 business or engineering schools are still popular, companies are forced to use other criteria to determine the value of candidates, with different practices depending on the sector. Jean-Philippe Teboul, director of the recruitment firm Orientation durable, specializing in the social and solidarity economy, notes « a priority of experience over diploma”. With particular attention to internships, work-study programs or voluntary commitments. He points out a few exceptions: “Clients in consulting have a desire for display, they want to be able to say that they are putting their consultant who has gone to such a high school on a mission. »

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