7 Reasons to Hire Underqualified Staff

Businessman Sat In Corner Wearing Dunce HatWould your business consider hiring an underqualified candidate? Would you leave a position empty, and sacrifice output, even though there were enthusiastic, bright but underqualified candidates on the table? Would you relax the job requirements for a position a little in order to allow an underqualified candidate into a role?

In view of the current talent starved climate, it’s becoming more evident that employers may need to start relaxing their job requirements a little to allow underqualified staff to enter their business. I believe that employers who can identify and hire high potential, underqualified staff may gain an edge over the competition. Still need convincing of the importance of being open to underqualified staff? Please read my seven reasons to hire unqualified staff.

1. Under qualified staff with the right attitude can be superstars

A Leadership IQ Study of 20,000 employees found that only 11 percent of new employees fail due to a lack of functional/technical skills. New hire success was not dependent on qualifications but mainly down to the new hire’s: attitude, motivation, temperament, coach-ability and EQ. This means that if you can’t find qualified staff, then hiring underqualified staff with the right attitude could still produce great results.

2. Qualified Talent shortages

The Manpower Group Talent Shortage survey (and many other surveys of this nature) show that 34 percent of employers are struggling to find people with the right skills to fill posts. This figure sits at 49 percent in the US and 71 percent in Brazil. Since there is not enough qualified talent in the marketplace, it makes sense to hire underqualified but high-potential staff where necessary and then to train them to be stars.

3. High levels of unemployment

Unemployment levels are still relatively high in many countries, which means there is a huge supply of underqualified but potentially high potential talent that could help your business if deployed effectively.

4. Younger workers coming into the workforce

According to US Census Data, nearly 1 million millennials enter the workforce each year and by 2020 nearly 40 percent of the workforce will be comprised of millennials. This means that the candidate resource pool will be becoming less qualified and experienced and so employers may be forced to lower candidate requirements anyway or face an ever shrinking resource pool.

5. You can pay them less (initially)

You may be able to initially pay underqualified staff less in order to help offset any reduced productivity or additional training that is required. Of course, once they are up to speed, bring them up to market rate!

6. Reduce your time-to-hire and minimize lost output

Hiring underqualified staff can mean that you hire someone sooner, which means you can minimize lost output.

7. They may be more loyal

If you put your faith in underqualified staff, train them and help them to realize their potential and shine they may be very grateful and more loyal.

The key to hiring underqualified staff successfully is to target high-potential staff and provide a supportive environment where they can both self learn and be groomed into superstars.

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Kazim Ladimeji
Kazim Ladimeji is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and has been a practicing HR professional for 14 years. Kazim is the Director of The Career Cafe: a resource for start-ups, small business and job seekers.