Over the past almost 7 years that we have been blogging int he HR space we have made much about the bad decision by corporate management to rely solely on the recruitment of passive candidates to fulfill their talent management needs. Now Yahoo has reportedly taken this to a new level – Not only can you not work outside the office, you have to have ivory tower credentials to boot. Lets get some facts out on the table right upfront less someone accuse me of not appreciating the efforts that have been undertaken by these individuals. Trust me I know about the ivory league college graduates – My late uncle was from the 1935 class from Yale, my late father was a 1940 graduate of MIT and 1946 graduate of Harvard Law, and one of grandfather’s was a graduate of University of Pennsylvania. They are all excellent institutions of higher education.
Here is the problem, the Uniform Guidelines for Employee Selection Procedures makes NO reference to having to graduate from a particular school. In no Bona Fide occupational qualification statement does it show that where you graduated is an indicator of the requirements for you to perform the job at level that will benefit both the employee and the organization.
So to rule out an individual based on where they graduated is equivalent to recruiting solely passive candidates. In both cases you are playing a modern day form of musical chairs in which the number of available seats continues to restrict to you run out of chairs. Toyota has taught us, when they opened their plants here in the US, that hiring for skills rather than strict background creates a far stronger organization.
For the record I graduated from a small private college in the Midwest who hired some of the best instructors in the world on the understanding that they were there to teach not do research. My education was of equal value as those who graduated from the Yale’s, Harvard’s and MIT’s of the world.