The Paper Ceiling

New initiative rolling out focused on The Paper Ceiling which is defined as " The paper ceiling: (n) the invisible barrier that comes at every turn for workers without a bachelor’s degree. See also: no alumni network, biased algorithms, degree screens, stereotypes, and misconceptions." Curious how organizations are changing recruitment practices and how we, in the L&D community, may need to change to support a broader, more diverse employee base.

More here, Tear The Paper Ceiling.


@WJRyan This is the first I’ve heard of this initiative but I love it.

I’ve hired people with before and they have these “Applicant Questions” and “Skills Tests” you can add to your job posting that you can either require or encourage candidates to fill out. Some of the preset “Skills Tests” are quick pre-made sets of questions that can test for things like “Work style: Reliability” or “Work motivation.”

For the positions I’ve had to hire for, I always thought these were more insightful than whether or not the candidate had a Bachelor’s Degree or what the degree was in.


Show me what you can do, I wanted to see someone’s portfolio more than the degree they earned. I appreciated their effort but valued the skills demonstrated too @MelissaFiske


Hi Bill @WJRyan,
As an educator, I have never been asked for a portfolio, just my degrees, certs, etc., however, there were additional questions specific to the position requiring written (not recorded), responses. In lower ed. I’m seeing certified educational positions specifically state the educational/degree requirements for educators not so much para professional positions. The term para professional to me also denotes the most often lower pay- job classification for supporting staff. I’m not sure how much if any changes educational institutions will change, or need to change these often system-wide employment requirements and procedures. It is the system that has been in place for decades. Other thoughts/opinions welcomed.

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Interesting @Roxann, I always asked for a portfolio so I could see how the design process worked and the assessment strategies applied so maybe I am an outlier. I don’t think we’ll see educational programs changing but I think we will see an increased training opportunity to upskill folks by LinkedIn Learning, Degreed, and others awarding stacked badges and then used in a blockchain portfolio process. Demonstration plus degree might be the long-term goal.

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