This white paper is a companion piece to the recently released report, Dismissed by Degrees: How degree inflation is undermining American competitiveness and hurting America’s middle class, released through a collaboration with Grads of Life, Accenture, and Harvard Business School’s Managing The Future of Work Project.

Employers across the country are having an increasingly difficult time finding the talent that they need. The unemployment rate reached 4.1 percent in December 2017, the lowest point in more than a decade. Under these conditions, forward-thinking companies have recognized that requiring a four-year degree for entry-level roles may have unintended economic consequences and are creating innovative solutions to broaden their talent pipelines to meet their workforce needs.

Read the report

“According to the Society for Human Resources Management, the average time to fill open roles (from publication of an open role to acceptance of an offer) is 42 days.”

Average Cost-per-Hire for Companies Is $4,129, SHRM Survey Finds,


of employers are having difficulty filling jobs.

tweet this


Opportunity Youth talent pipelines are a solution that can help companies reduce time to hire and interview-to-hire ratios, especially when employers are looking to hire at scale, by providing access to a sizable pre-screened pool of candidates. Innovative companies who are leaders in this work have experienced a variety of benefits including:

read the report
  • 1.

    Increased recruiting efficiency

  • 2.

    More streamlined onboarding and training process

  • 3.

    Increased employee retention

  • 4.

    Increased diversity

  • 5.

    Heightened goodwill within the local communities

Change Makers

Employers are already creating talent pipelines to nurture non-graduate talent, on the basis of ‘hire for attitude, train for skill’. It’s not just about cutting costs, it’s about benefits of building corporate cultures that value sustainable talent development to drive long-term business success.

Gap, State Street, Ochner Health Systems, and Thrive are some of the companies experiencing the benefits of an Opportunity Youth talent pipeline.

Read the report

Design A Successful Partnership

Grads of Life and Accenture encourage employers to create innovative solutions that allow them to thrive in a changing labor market. The Grads of Life talent pipeline model is a roadmap to designing a successful partnership between employers and training providers.


Gerald Chertavian

CEO & Founder, Year Up
Principal, Grads of Life

Elyse Rosenblum

Principal, Grads of Life