When Can You Hire an Underqualified Candidate?

Posted April 22, 2017

With the unemployment rate as low as it is right now, many hiring managers are facing a significant scarcity of talent.

In light of these shortages, many organizations have begun to loosen their job requirements, bringing on less-than-qualified workers and training them.

Companies capable of identifying and hiring underqualified individuals with great potential may gain an advantage over their competitors. This new reality underlines one of the most overlooked aspects of the hiring process - considering if a candidate has the potential to become a high-performing employee.

Unfortunately, many hiring managers are too busy concentrating on comparing hard skills and experience and rarely even think about hiring underqualified applicants. These recruiters are keenly focused on "the perfect fit," and will hold out even if the company is fully capable of getting an underqualified candidate up to speed quickly.

If your company is presently looking to fill an open position, below are a few reasons to opt for the underqualified candidate.

Amount of talent on the market

A lack of qualified candidates on the market isn’t just in your head. Recent surveys have shown that around one-third of companies are having trouble sourcing highly-skilled workers.

Because there is inadequate talent available on the market, it makes sense to hire underqualified candidates with a lot of potential; then to coach them to be star performers.

Added motivation

Employees who are offered a job despite being underqualified should be eager to prove their worth and get up to speed. Furthermore, these employees will lack skills or experience, so there should be no shortage of material for them to learn. Underqualified employees are also more willing to roll with the punches, which makes them ideal for a company looking to overhaul procedures or workplace culture.

Reduce labor costs

When your company has an underqualified candidate sitting on the other side of the negotiating table, the hiring manager has all the leverage with respect to making a job offer. The amount of money saved could be invested in training these employees or investing in assets that could make the job easier for these new workers.

Lower time-to-hire and hiring costs

Opening the door to underqualified candidates means a bigger pool to choose from, and this in turn speeds up the process and lowers hiring costs. Speeding up hiring times also translates to losing fewer candidates to competitors; an important factor if your company can effectively identify candidates with high potential.

Embrace the Millennial workforce

According to census data, almost 40 percent of the workforce will be millennials by 2020. This means the applicant pool will be less experienced and less qualified in the coming years. Hence, organizations may be compelled to reduce candidate requirements or face the realities of an increasingly diminishing talent pool.

At Ambassador Personnel, we regularly help our clients identify candidates who will be great fits for their team. Please contact us today if you are looking to work with a full-service staffing agency!