Is a 2:1 really a measure of work ability?

  February 06, 2017

Most companies looking to take on graduate employees will typically ask for a 2:1 or higher from their applicants. Why? Is is a valid assessment of work ability, intelligence or job related job skills? To be honest, no, it's not really a measure of any of those things. A graduate who scored a 2:2 or even a 3rd could be equally as intelligent, hard-working and suitable for a role as someone with a 1st or 2:1, but perhaps because of learning preference or a fluke on exam day, they simply didn't achieve that coveted 2:1. As a result these candidates are ignored and dismissed off the bat. Why? Is it because companies truly believe no one with a 2:2 or lower could excel in their organisation or be a smart individual? No, it's because there are a lot of graduates out there, and to be honest aside from degree rankings, there's not really much else to go on when it comes to deciding who to recruit.

But if companies know this isn't a truly valid assessment of suitability for a role, why do they continue to rely on this approach? The answer is simple: they don't know how else to go about it, and it's unsurprising as recruitment has evolved very little over the years, and most companies are comfortable sticking with what they know.

That is why at Happy Work we want to help start a recruitment revolution: enabling companies to hire people based on more than just their degree. Looking at things such as verbal and numerical skills, values, and skills, using scientifically validated measurements, we can help find the employees who really fit your company and have the skills to do a job well, rather than the ones that just look good on paper.