Should I Hire an Underqualified Candidate?

The Right Staff - Should I Hire an Underqualified Candidate

In every candidate pool, there are candidates who check off most or all of the requirements in the job posting and candidates who don’t.  

While it can be tempting to simply ignore the candidates who don’t quite fulfill the checklist, doing so may cost you the best person for the job. Here’s when and how to consider hiring an underqualified candidate.

Three Reasons to Consider an Underqualified Candidate 

1. The skills they lack are job-specific. 

Not all skills are created equal. Certain skills, like the drive to self-educate or the willingness to make mistakes and learn from them, can compensate for the lack of other skills, like the ability to operate a particular piece of machinery or software. 

An “underqualified” candidate might nevertheless be the right choice if they’re dedicated to continuous learning, and all they need to learn is how things are done in your organization.  

2. The candidate knows they’re underqualified. 

Some candidates admit in their applications that they don’t quite meet the job’s requirements, but they had a compelling reason to apply anyway. For instance, a candidate may talk about how committed they are to the same industry or causes your organization supports, or they may discuss their desire to learn from your team.  

Candidates who know they’re underqualified join the team knowing they’re a bit behind the curve. As a result, they’re often zealous in their commitment to learn, grow, and catch up to their fellow team members.  

3. They bring a fresh perspective. 

 A potential risk to hiring fully-qualified candidates is that they’ve already been doing this job, or one very much like it. As a result, they may be more set in their ways. They may also have more concrete ideas about what is or is not possible. 

 An underqualified candidate, however, may lack this work experience, but they also lack any assumptions that experience might have otherwise created in them. They’ll bring a fresh perspective and new ideas to the team because they haven’t had the chance to assume without evidence that some ideas are off the table.  

 Looking for Qualified Candidates? We Can Help!

Choosing the right candidate can be tough, especially when several promising options are available. At THE RIGHT STAFF, LLC, we specialize in helping St. Paul employers find the best available talent for every job opening. Contact us today to learn more. 

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