Finance Execs are Willing to Pay for Degrees for Workers

In another sign that the tight labor market is forcing companies to reevaluate their hiring strategies, a new survey finds a college diploma may not always be required for new hires, particularly in accounting and finance.

Many of the 2,000 executives surveyed in the recent Robert Half Finance & Accounting survey also report they’re open to supporting these employees’ ongoing education, with 63 percent saying they are willing to provide tuition reimbursement or professional development for new staff members who don’t have a four-year degree.

The research suggests that large companies (93 percent) are almost twice as likely as small firms (51 percent) to provide tuition reimbursement or professional development to those new hires.

The firm also released an infographic of the functional areas where finance leaders say a college degree isn’t always required.

(The finance sector isn’t the only one that is exploring offering tuition-reimbursement and professional-development programs, as we reported here.)

“Given the competitive hiring market and historically low unemployment rates, finding a candidate who checks every box isn’t realistic,” said Steve Saah, executive director of Robert Half Finance & Accounting. “Savvy companies are becoming more flexible in the hiring process, including considering applicants who may not have all the desired education or experience outlined in the job description but possess the necessary soft skills to succeed in the role and fit with the organizational culture.”

Saah added, “Employers that provide education and training offerings could see a number of benefits, including improved recruitment and retention efforts and employees with sharpened skill sets.”

Michael J. O'Brienhttp://
Michael J. O’Brien is former web editor with Human Resource Executive®.