Vodafone hires the best and brightest talent by looking beyond academic qualifications and considering individual skills and abilities

Vodafone: looking beyond academic qualifications

Vodafone: looking beyond academic qualifications

Should academic qualifications be the only way into a professional career? Vodafone doesn’t think so. That is why the prime employer for women is changing the way the company hires.

Considering candidates on a case by case basis

Around the globe, to hire the brightest and best, companies are increasingly considering skills and abilities on a case by case basis rather than just relying on academic achievement. Especially when it comes to the technology industry, where companies are evolving traditional hiring policies to focus on digital skills and potential.

Vodafone wants to improve diversity in the technology sector and source the range of talent needed to drive the business further into the future. This is why Vodafone is updating its HR policies to accept graduates with a 2:2 (in the UK) or equivalent – focusing on a candidate’s digital skills and potential instead of academic credentials.

“We wanted to change the dynamic by hiring for potential, rather than academic grades,” says Jacqueline Field, Head of Group Resourcing at Vodafone. “I think people are asking businesses to change the way they do business, to be more sustainable and inclusive and more supportive of communities.”

Annabelle found her dream career with Vodafone

An example of a woman thriving thanks to Vodafone's new hiring policies is Annabelle Akintoye who got a 2:2 in her degree in chemical engineering from Swansea University and was worried she wouldn’t be able to get a job in the tech industry. “I felt sad because it’s ingrained in you that you have to get a 2:1,” she says.

But after doing a masters in engineering management – and getting a distinction – Annabelle won a place on Vodafone’s Business Discover Graduate Scheme.

“When companies just hire people who have a 2:1 and above they miss out on people like me,” she says.

Annabelle's career at Vodafone is going well. She is currently working as a cyber-security specialist. “I love my job. I didn’t think I would enjoy work as much as I do,” she says. “And I love working in tech because it’s always changing. No two days are the same.”

“I’m very proud of the work I’ve done,” she adds. “I think it would help if tech companies were more diverse.”

Initiatives to attract a wider pool of candidates

Vodafone has also set up a number of initiatives to attract a wider pool of candidates. For example, the Future Jobs Finder offers young people a way to gain new skills and employment in tech. Vodafone’s #CodeLikeAGirl programme also encourages girls to get involved in STEM subjects, while the Teach First, Hopscotch and Apps for Good digital creators challenges invite young people to work together to design apps to improve their local communities.

Coding Tomorrow in Turkey is one of a number of Vodafone’s projects in different markets. To help tackle the digital divide in the country, a truck drives to rural areas giving children aged 7-14 free training in coding and robotics. Schemes like these are welcomed by young people in the industry.

Vodafone also offers opportunities such as work insight days and its discover graduate scheme, focused on developing young talent through our various youth programmes. 

Kick-start your tech career with Vodafone

At Vodafone, everyone is embraced and welcomed. The company is proud to offer equal opportunities regardless of race, nationality, cultural background, gender, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, religious or political belief. 

Search and apply for jobs with Vodafone today.


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Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.

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