Recruiters Value ‘Experience’ More than GPA and School Prestige, Data Shows

Internships over Ivy Leagues.

Almost five years ago, Google announced that they would no longer determine a candidate’s potential for success based on academic pedigree such as school prestige and GPA. The tech giant instead looks at prior experience, problem-solving skills, and learning ability as indicators of a strong candidate. Now, Google’s approach to recruiting seems to be part of a larger trend.

Data pulled from our platform reveals that the university recruiters that use RippleMatch value the internship experiences of entry-level candidates slightly more than their major, GPA, and school prestige. The insight comes from data collected through our matching process, which asks university recruiters to weigh the importance of factors like GPA, major, previous internships, campus clubs, and school prestige so our technology can match their job opportunities with the best student candidates. In order of most important, the following list shows how recruiters prioritize the attributes of early-candidates on our platform:

  1. Internship Experience
  2. Major and GPA
  3. School Prestige
  4. Club Leadership or Participation
  5. Athletic Achievement
  6. SAT/ACT Scores

RippleMatch’s platform allows recruiters to prioritize the specific kinds of internships, majors, and clubs they’re most interested in, as well as request specific schools and GPA cutoffs. That means a recruiter hiring for a software engineering role can request previous internships in software engineering, computer science majors, a desired minimum GPA, target schools and more. However, internship experience is weighed the most heavily out of those factors, at the recruiter’s request.

GPA, major and university are still relevant factors when evaluating a candidate, but it’s encouraging to see recruiters using our platform to evaluate candidates holistically, rather than focusing solely on school prestige and GPA. Prioritizing a candidate’s work experience is a great step to surface candidates from diverse backgrounds across the country, rather than focusing on a concentrated set of prestigious universities.

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Ebonee Bradley

University Recruiter

"With one click of a button, I can get tons of great candidates from underrepresented groups."

Josh Fialky

Senior Talent Acquisition Partner

"It's so important for us to understand and track who we are meeting. The data and analytics RippleMatch provides on diversity and background is invaluable."