Job placement agency looks beyond education credentials for candidates
Job creators usually look for the best and the brightest out of college. But one company believes having a can-do attitude is more important than a college degree.
The slowly recovering economy has left a plethora of college graduates looking for work. But one company will be just as happy to let them keep looking.
Sharon Virts Mozer — founder and CEO of FCi Federal, a clerical staffing agency — matches back office workers with federal offices across the United States. Mozer, featured in this months Inc. Magazine, has created about 1,400 jobs.
Those without a degree have a special credential Mozer says, a strong will to work hard and high motivation. Often, employers in today’s current workforce undervalue those with high school diplomas or GED equivalence.
In her interview with Inc. Magazine, Mozer says 95 percent of her employees do not have a college degree.
"What we do is we hire those folks. We give them some competency tests, we make sure that they have a can-do attitude," she said.
Mozer said she hires those without a college degree because a degree isn't necessary to do the work that’s done. When FCi Federal does hire college graduates to do administrative production processing work, they don't stay with the company.
"We find that the high school graduates find this work rewarding. They take great pride in supporting the mission of our customers and the constituents that they serve," she said.
Alicia Aldridge started working for FCi Federal about 13 years ago, Mozer said. A new parent and recent high school graduate, Aldridge was hired to do data entry and mail processing. Mozer says she saw something special in Alicia.
"She had that glimmer in her eye and she was an over-achiever. We put her on a course to become a manager. Today she manages three contracts for us," Mozer said.
Not having a college degree wasn't a hindrance for Aldridge, Mozer said. And there are countless others with the same story.
"One of our vice presidents does not have a college degree and she is our operations excellence executive," Mozer said.
In the Inc. Magazine interview, Mozer says FCi employees can earn credentials like Six Sigma or Project Management Professional certification, which future employers could value as much as a degree.
"The Takeaway" is a national midday news magazine that features unique conversations about topics of the day with both newsmakers and diverse voices. The show is a co-production of WNYC and PRI, in editorial collaboration with the BBC, The New York Times Radio, and WGBH Radio Boston.