Recruiting, Talent

Does GPA Matter When It Comes to Hiring?

Getting good grades in high school helps you get into a good college, but does getting good grades in college help you land a good job? Do companies even look at grade point averages (GPAs) when reviewing candidates’ résumés? If you’re like the 12% of C-Suite executives who say grades matter in the hiring process, then you’re not alone.


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Research released by Kingsley Leadership Academy identifies the key attributes and skills that large companies look for when hiring new candidates. The research found that:

  • Only 12% of staff view grades as an important aspect when hiring a new employee;
  • “Work ethic” (60%) and “teamwork” (45%) were selected as the most important skills;
  • Over half of professional services (55%) and manufacturing companies (58%) state that “leadership” is the most important skill; and
  • Only 2 of the 14 industries polled think that grades are looked upon most favorably by the hiring team.

The research also found that most large companies look at a candidate’s grades only to see where their expertise lies and when interviewing for a leadership role, they would opt for someone who can exemplify creativity, people management, and cognitive flexibility.
It also offered some insight into what large companies would like schools to do to prepare graduates for the world of work. Overwhelmingly, most respondents believe that schools should be teaching students the specific skills they will need in their future careers, and surprisingly, a majority of legal organizations feel that schools should allow students to pursue their interests.
“In many ways, current school systems are outdated and not preparing children to succeed in this way; encouragingly, however, this research highlights what potential employers are looking for, and in doing so, identifies the areas where schools could be doing more to prepare children for a successful career and future,” said Arthur Carmazzi, thought leader and developer of a new education model applied at Leadership Academy.