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Use of GPA as Candidate Selection Tool Falls

February 4, 2022 | By Mimi Collins

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TAGS: diversity and inclusion, nace insights, surveys, trends and predictions,

GPA—once widely used to identify potential candidates for jobs—is now used by fewer than half of employers, according to the results of NACE’s Job Outlook 2022 survey.

Currently, just 46.3% of responding employers said they use GPA to screen candidates. Just five years ago, 67.5% percent of respondents identified GPA as a means of identifying candidates to interview for jobs. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1: Percent of respondents that screen candidates by GPA

Source: Job Outlook, National Association of Colleges and Employers

The move away from GPA as a screening tool is not consistent across industries, regions, or even size of company. In fact, 100% of respondents from the utilities industry, 64.3% of employers located in the Southwest, and 68.2% of organizations with 10,000 to 20,000 employees reported using GPA. Among organizations that use GPA to screen candidates, 3.0 is the most common cut off.

Still, the overall drop and the trend away from using GPA appear to reflect growing awareness among the employment community that screening by GPA may undermine efforts to build an inclusive workforce and disadvantage students who are balancing school with work and other responsibilities. It also suggests that the competition for talent has employers scrutinizing their initial screening procedures.

The Job Outlook survey is an annual forecast of hiring intentions of employers as they relate to new college graduates; the current survey examines employer hiring plans for the college Class of 2022. Data for the Job Outlook 2022 survey were collected from August 18, 2021, through October 1, 2021. Of the 157 total respondents, 116 were NACE employer members, representing 15.7 percent of eligible member respondents. The Job Outlook 2022 survey was also distributed to nonmember companies from which an additional 41 responses were received. The Job Outlook 2022 report is available to members in MyNACE.