Why You Aren’t Hiring the Employees You Want

By: Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab and Joshua Rudolph; The Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice

The Solution — Get #RealCollege Ready

The #RealCollege movement brings attention to the real needs of today’s college students. The response to our 2019 #RealCollege Survey showed that 39% of students experienced food insecurity in the last thirty days. As our president Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab once said, “It’s awfully hard to graduate from college if you haven’t had anything to eat.”

How to Get #RealCollege Ready by working with #RealCollege students.

See them, support them, sign them.

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  • Create positions for enrolled #RealCollege students. Make part-time positions for college students with stable hours, reliable work, and decent pay. That’s enough to help most #RealCollege graduate. A higher number of qualified candidates means more chances to find someone that fits.
  • Re-think experience requirements. Experience requirements may inequitably filter out people who cannot afford to intern for free in college, often those with low income. Instead, filter by skills or use skill-tests available on job sites like Indeed.
  • Work with community colleges to find and create hires. Make connections with community colleges in your area. Create programs to train students in the skills they need to get hired at your company. It works for Boeing.

Sign them

  • Hire #RealCollege students. They’ve got the experience and talent to fill your positions.

Who’s #RealCollege ready?

Here’s a short list of companies with #RealCollege ready programs or initiatives to provide inspiration to your company.


Apple’s App Development with Swift course helps bridge the skill gap that community college grads may face. The hands-on course helps associate degree holders get the hard skills they need in the digital age. Not to mention, it helps students to get “Apple” on their resume.


IBM works with several community colleges to offer internships and apprenticeships at IBM hubs. They provide training for tech jobs that don’t require four-year degrees.


Sheetz provides scholarship opportunities not only to their employees, but to the children and stepchildren of employees. Helping #RealCollege students can also mean helping the people that support them.


Wegmans supports #RealCollege students through scholarship programs and college partner programs. The Wegmans Scholarship program provides funding for any college program, meaning students in liberal arts programs get the same chance at funding as do their business school counterparts.

Work Study Positions

Colleges tailor work-study positions to the needs of students, so these jobs provide a good benchmark for working students’ needs. Work-study jobs give students consistent schedules with a maximum of hours they can work, making sure students never overwork themselves to keep a job.



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#RealCollege Blog

#RealCollege students, presidents, educators, and more will lend their voices here with support from Believe in Students.