LinkedIn CEO says he looks for "skills, not degrees" when hiring

Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, is leading his company toward having a workforce made up of people from more non-traditional backgrounds—or at least not traditional to Silicon Valley, writes Justin Bariso for Inc.

"There's just so much talent to be had if people are open to finding this talent in different places," says Weiner.

He has begun an apprenticeship program at LinkedIn that will embody the mantra that he says he is trying to permeate throughout LinkedIn's culture: "Skills, not degrees." According to Weiner, only 5% of Silicon Valley tech workers come from non-traditional backgrounds, which he attributes to the industry's focus on pedigree.

Instead, he says he focuses on hiring for personal qualities that demonstrate leadership and potential, such as perseverance, loyalty, and a growth mindset—attributes that Weiner says you don't always learn from a degree.

In a new apprenticeship program called REACH, Weiner says LinkedIn is looking for people who have these personal characteristics and who have some basic coding experience. The company is looking beyond four-year schools, by including coding coot camps and community colleges in their recruiting efforts.

"There's just so much talent to be had if people are open to finding this talent in different places," he says (Bariso, Inc., 5/25). 


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