What Role Do Grades Play In Hiring?

What Role Do Grades Play in Hiring?

Over the years, a number of business schools have adopted grade non-disclosures (GND)—a policy that prevents students from revealing their grades or GPAs to potential employers. Some studies have shown that GND policies actually cause students to put in less academic effort. But what do grades really demonstrate, and are they a strong predictor of future success and impact?

These are questions that Joe Patti, executive director of Grand Opera House and writer at Butts In The Seats, recently delve into.


While students are less likely to put in the effort if their grades aren’t revealed to employers, the study also found that those same students were more likely to participate in extracurriculars and enroll in more difficult courses.

That begs two questions: What are grades intended for – and what do they tell employers about a potential hire?

“I recently made a post about how classroom grades are not an accurate reflection of future performance or capacity, extrapolating that to comment that not all metrics are meaningful to decision making,” Patti says. “This is a similar situation. While they may prefer to have GPA revealed, employers will hire MBA graduates from top programs due to reputation, networking and the fact one was admitted to the school signals something about their economic, social and educational background.”


When it comes to making a decision—like hiring—data can be helpful. But what role does GPA play in making a decision? And is the information we use to make big decisions even all that helpful?

Patti gives his two-cents but leaves the answer up to the reader’s interpretation.

“To a large degree we make conscious decisions about what is most important when we choose where to live, work, and play based on myriad personal and social criteria,” Patti says. “But we like to eliminate the nebulous factors and hew to lists created using arbitrary criteria. Which is why you can see five Best Places To Live articles a week where only a few places overlap. It is fun to see your favorite places on the list, but is that information helpful for decision making?”

Sources: Butts In The Seats, Butts In The Seats

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