Glossary: HR & Recruiting Definitions
Credentialism is a term used to describe the increasing emphasis on formal education and certifications as a requirement for obtaining and advancing in specific jobs. It’s an issue that has significant implications for human resources professionals and departments within organisations.
Credentialism is an ideology that emphasises formal educational credentials above other ways of understanding human potential and ability. In this context, it refers to only hiring candidates with higher academic qualifications.
As more and more employers require higher levels of formal education and certifications for job candidates, it is becoming increasingly challenging for those without these credentials to find and secure employment, regardless of their qualifications or experience. This can make it difficult for organisations to find and retain a qualified and diverse workforce.
For human resources (HR) professionals, credentialism can present several challenges, including narrowing the talent pool of candidates, creating difficulties in hiring and promoting workers, and potentially leading to discrimination against workers without formal credentials.
Credentialism can affect different groups of workers in various ways. Some of the significant impacts of credentialism on the workforce are:
Workers with formal education or certifications may find it easier to find employment, as many employers now require higher levels of formal education and certifications for job candidates. This can limit job opportunities for workers without these credentials, regardless of their qualifications or experience.
Older workers who may need formal education or certifications might be disadvantaged in finding new employment, as employers tend to favour younger candidates with more recent qualifications.
Credentialism can limit workers’ ability to move between jobs and industries, as different fields require formal education and certifications.
Credentialism can exacerbate existing inequalities in the workforce and decrease DEI. Workers from lower socioeconomic backgrounds may be less likely to have formal education and certifications, making it more difficult to find and advance in specific jobs.
Credentialism can lead to overvaluation of formal education and certifications while neglecting other important factors such as work experience, on-the-job training and performance evaluation, which can lead to a miss-hiring or over-qualification of employees.
Credentialism can also lead to higher costs for employers and workers, as workers may have to invest in formal education or certifications to qualify for specific jobs. Employers may have to pay higher salaries to workers with an educational degree and certifications.
Credentialism can significantly impact the HR department in your business. Some of the significant impacts of credentialism on HR are:
Credentialism emphasises formal education and certifications to advance or get specific jobs. It limits opportunities for workers without these credentials.
It might make you miss out on some great minds and skill sets. Therefore, organisations need to consider alternative ways of evaluating worker qualifications. Below we found some alternatives you can use to assess candidates:
Considering these alternative ways of evaluating a candidate’s qualifications, you can find and retain qualified workers, regardless of their formal education or certifications. This can help build a diverse and talented workforce and avoid potential discrimination and miss-hiring.
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