GM is looking to broaden, and yet sharpen its talent pool by moving to skills-based hiring from more diverse and inclusive backgrounds, Automotive News reports.
This pivot in hiring by the General can be traced back to 2020, when CEO Mary Barra announced GM wanted to be “the most inclusive company in the world.” To do that, the global automaker was going to need to attract more talent. So, it created a diversity team to drive these efforts. One of the first results of the work of the diversity team is the move to skill-based hiring instead of requiring a four-year degree.
GM believes the end of the four-year degree requirement will open up a whole new pool of talent for the company to pull from. GM’s executive director of diversity, Tammy Golden, told Automotive News, “When you focus on what’s required of the job versus, say, a four-year degree, as your ticket in, it allows you the opportunity to open the aperture to another pool of talent.”
The automaker also emphasizes that people skills are more important than having a degree. Golden pointed out that one of her best leaders at the company had a physical education degree but worked in manufacturing, but “he knew how to bring people along.”
The company is following a three-tiered strategy to attract this talent. Per Automotive News:
- DE&I consulting integration, which helps the company develop inclusive leaders.
- Work force innovation, which examines work streams that affect the employee experience and aims to eliminate biases that could impact that experience.
- Work force design, which focuses on creating pathways into the company beyond four-year degrees.
GM says it has already hired 500 “group leaders” in the last several months from diverse and inclusive backgrounds (minorities, women, etc.). From what Jalopnik can gather from the Automotive News article, it appears those hires have been in the manufacturing and tech branches of GM careers.
The automaker also looks to gain tech talent with the introduction of a scholarship program, in partnership with Udacity. 100 scholarships will be available to women and people of color in the Southeast Michigan area. Training will prepare them for tech careers not only at GM, but other manufacturers and OEMs as well.