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With an abundance of university graduates in the local job market, degree holders are no longer considered an elite group.
Yet for Hong Kong employers, the debate on the importance of hiring graduates who are strong academic performers seems to be a never-ending one.
A a post entitled “Third class honours graduates may be less capable than secondary school students” on Hong Kong Discussion Group, sparked a discussion among Hongkongers about the pros and cons of hiring third class honours graduates.
“Bosses beware. With the abundance of university graduates in the job market, third class honours graduates may be less capable than secondary school students. These graduates got their qualifications from copying the assignments of their classmates,” the post reads.
Some people agree that good academic qualifications are crucial when hiring fresh graduates. “Graduates with third class honours show that they are really laid back, no employer likes staff members who are so laid back,” writes one respondent.
Another commenter said for full-time positions he only hires degree graduates with second class honours or above, but for workers currently attending a part-time education programme, he is more lenient towards their academic achievements.
Some bosses complained about university graduates’ strong sense of entitlement, demanding for unrealistic pay just because they are university graduates. “The opening for fresh graduates at my company offers HK$14,000 which is the market price, but a graduate with zero working experience said he is worth at least HK$20,000 because he got his degree from Australia,” said a respondent.
However there are also respondents who think the requirement for candidates to come from top universities or to have certain academic achievements is a tactic to hand out low-ball offers. “The candidate is perfect for the job yet when it comes to money, the boss will try to pick on something as an excuse to convince the candidate to accept less money,” one commenter pointed out.
In other cases bosses favour applicants from their alma mater, believing great minds think alike. After all, psychologists have found bosses trust staff who eat the same dishes as them.
The more sensible thing to do is to focus less on a candidate’s academic background and custom-make a recruitment process to ensure you’re hiring the best fit.