Recently, one of my many apprentices said that employment applications should only ask for name, contact information and hours available to work. I said that an employer would need to know previous work experience and was promptly told that previous experience was irrelevant to the job. I was incredulous.
He explained that regardless of the amount of experience of the applicant, this experience does not relate to the ability to do the job at the new employer. "Shirley", I said, "you don't meant that if one has worked at several fast food places, one can not make French fries at another restaurant?"
In effect, his reasoning was "past performance is no guarantee of future results". He is of the opinion that college degrees and high school diplomas tell employers nothing. Philosophers are men whose opinions are against the morality of their time. The mercy of Caesar in an environment of revenge and Nietzsche's view of mercy as weakness in the Christian milieu are two examples. If my apprentice does not pursue the occult, he has a future in philosophy, since everyone knows that a college diploma is necessary for worldly success and those without degrees can not be successful. These accomplishments, degrees and diplomas, do not indicate if the applicant is capable of doing the job or not. This is a tremendous insight and must be considered in full to determine what veracity, if any, exits in this idea.
These various diplomas only indicate, he continued, that one has finished various courses (jumped through hoops) to be granted the certificate. We know nothing else about the candidate. Extra curricular actives do not give any further insights into ability. Only Human Resource Departments, who are responsible for hiring, are concerned about hiring fellow college graduates.
Armed with his insight, we now understand why so many people have degrees, but work in unrelated fields. Generally speaking, large companies will hire people who have degrees, but may not be capable to do the job. Innovative companies will not play by this unwritten rule and will hire people who are capable, regardless if they are a high school graduate or not. It is assumed that when people turn in applications and resumes are capable of working in that position. This assumption is not certain.
I believe, but do not know, that having a box on an application or asking in an interview if the candidate is capable, may violate various laws. Therefore, at my company, we will only ask for name, contact information and hours available to work. Everything else is superfluous.