SURVEY: Small businesses dissatisfied with college-educated job seekers
'If you ain’t got the skills, you ain’t got the job,' said one employer.
The survey predicts that the small business community 'may lead the renaissance back to vocational training and restoration of non-college-educated careers.'
A survey by recruiting service RedBalloon small business index PublicSquare suggests that small businesses are losing interest in hiring candidates with four-year degrees.
In the study, known as the Freedom Economy Index (FEI), the organizations surveyed over 70,000 small businesses between Oct. 25 and Oct. 30. Of the small businesses surveyed, 905 responded.
The findings of the study suggested that small business owners were dissatisfied with the state of higher education, with 67% of participants responding “strongly no” and 24% of participants responding “somewhat no” when asked whether they thought higher education institutions were “graduating students with relevant skills that today’s business community needs.”
“They don’t show up to an interview, and work is too hard, 9-5 is such a struggle,” one interviewed employer complained. Another lamented that “[t]he [t]alent shortage will just get worse because high schools and colleges produce no talent.”
When asked whether they were more or less likely to hire a candidate with a four-year degree, most were indifferent, with 41.5% of employers stating that whether or not a candidate had a degree made “no difference.”
However, 40.6% of employers were either “somewhat less” or “strongly less” likely to hire a candidate with a four-year degree. Only 10.2% said that they were “somewhat more” or “strongly more” likely to hire a candidate with a four-year degree.
“I only care about skills. If you ain’t got the skills, you ain’t got the job,” said one employer, with another saying that “[w]e would hire someone with hands-on experience over someone that read about it in a book.”
When asked if they preferred “a job seeker who just graduated with a 4-year degree or someone without a degree who has worked in your industry for 4 years,” only 2.6% of participants stated that they “somewhat” or “strongly” preferred candidates with a four-year degree.
In contrast, 86% stated that they “somewhat” or “strongly” preferred candidates with four years of industry experience.
“Experience cannot be replaced with education alone,” stated one employer. Another said that “[a]t this point, I’ll take the one with talent and imagination, and who didn’t look at their phone in the last 20 minutes.”
Finally, when employers were asked if colleges and universities were “fostering free speech & debate; graduating students capable of debating ideas & using critical thinking to evaluate differing concepts,” 96.9% responded with either “somewhat no” or “strongly no.”
In its conclusion, the survey predicts that the small business community “may lead the renaissance back to vocational training and restoration of non-college-educated careers.”
“Americans are resilient,” the survey concludes. “Even if their government and schools are working against their interest, the small business owner will survive and continue to fuel the flame of liberty that has made our nation’s economy the strongest in history.”