It’s not about what school you went to but who you are.

A new survey of Canadian businesses conducted by BMO found that “personality traits outrank both credentials and education for many employers who are looking to hire new graduates.”

According to the study, half of those businesses they surveyed plan to hire students or recent graduates this year and personality traits and an applicant’s skill set were the top two most important attributes in the decision making process.

Most interesting was the fact that the degree earned and school attended mattered far less than any other factor with only 3% of all businesses survey selecting it as the most important factor.

I know when I consider new hires, I rarely consider where an applicant went to school or what program they studied in.  That’s a big difference between Canada and the United States.  In the US, the college or university you attended seems to matter a lot to your career path.  In Canada, it isn’t really a factor except for a few smaller schools where the alumni connection is quite strong, I’m thinking Queens, St. FX, and Mount Allison.

It’s certainly a tough job market out there for new graduates.  I hear it from my students and we see it in our own research on Canadian Millennials.  Availability of good jobs is the top challenge for Millennials, according to Millennials.

And I hear from recruiters and HR professionals that managing Millennials is a major challenge.  Personality matters a lot and knowing who your young new recruits are, what they expect out of their job, and how they see the world is important to helping them excel in their job.

Over at www.canadianmillennials.ca we have a Millennial Personality Quiz.  Take it and find out which Millennial segment you are closest to.