When there’s a huge shortage of talent, like there is now, employers have to make hard decisions. For example:

  • If you had a choice between a qualified applicant and an underqualified applicant, who would you choose?
  • But what if the underqualified applicant was much stronger in their soft skills (such as collaboration, emotional maturity, creativity, positive attitude) than the more qualified candidate?
  • What if there are no “perfectly” qualified applicants and you’re only left with someone who doesn’t meet all your requirements?

It’s time for employers to relax their job requirements a bit and consider candidates who are hungry for the job. Why? Because it opens the door to less experienced but super hungry candidates who will be loyal and hard-working. Attention employers: Hard skills can be taught. If you find a less-than-experienced candidate with great soft skills (which are ingrained and can’t be taught)—here’s why you should hire them.

Why Should You Hire an Underqualified Applicant

Less Qualified Applicants Will Work Harder to Make an Impression

One big study of 20,000 workers found that close to 90% of the new hires that fail do not fail because of their technical hard skills. Instead, they washed out of their new job because of their soft skills such as work ethic, ability to collaborate, and general attitude. If you’ve heard the phrase “attitude is everything” then you should understand that hiring a less qualified applicant with an amazing attitude is almost always better than hiring an experienced candidate with a bad attitude. That’s exactly why your hiring process should not rule out candidates who do not meet all of your technical requirements.

10 Million Open Jobs and 8.4 Million Unemployed

The Washington Post reports there is a strange match between unemployed Americans and open jobs.  While many experienced workers are reconsidering their career paths, according to the article there are many less-experienced workers struggling to break into their chosen job market. Vox asks, “Why everybody’s hiring but nobody’s getting hired.” The reason, they suggest, is that, “people don’t have the right skills, or at least the skills employers say they’re looking for.” 

Younger (Less Experienced) Workers are Flooding into the Workforce

Baby boomer retirement has pushed millennials to the top of the demographic heap; they are now the largest generation in the U.S. labor force. Millions of Gen Yers are also happily trying to make their way into the workforce. As you might imagine, these younger workers are also less experienced, which makes it harder for some of them to find jobs. If you’re using the same job requirements you’ve used to attract more experienced candidates you’re going to lose. The candidate experience pool is shrinking and you need to adjust your requirements.

Building Employee Hard Skills will Increase Their Loyalty

Think about it. If you lower your job requirements just slightly, you’ll need to provide additional training to the less-experienced candidate. That’s not a bad thing; it can work to your advantage in several ways. First, you will build candidate loyalty as they transition into working in your business and you provide them with additional training. Second, the additional training is worth something to you and the employee. You may be able to hire the candidate at a lower rate and “train them up.” Too, getting an eager less experienced candidate allows you to train them to fit your company. These workers come with fewer bad habits instilled by a former employee and they certainly won’t bring along an attitude of “this is how I’ve always done it.”

Do You Have an Underqualified Candidate?

If you’re searching for candidates, your applicant tracking system is particularly critical for new hires that need onboarding and training to succeed. Exelare is an ATS that does more than house applications. It’s the tool you need for today’s uncertain job market. Find out why by contacting us today.