Should You Hire An Underqualified Person?

Recruiting is typically looked upon as a process that culminates in the hiring of the most qualified person for the job. Over the past few years, the question became whether it was alright to hire someone who was obviously overqualified. The bad economy had resulted in an overabundance of professionals willing to drop a rung or two down the ladder in exchange for a regular paycheck. Many employers were afraid to hire them, however. The fear was that they wouldn’t be satisfied with the responsibilities, opportunities, or a job that was ‘below’ them.

With the economy rebounding and the job market growing tight once again, that dilemma has pretty much gone by the wayside. Talented individuals are once again able to “write their own ticket”, especially in high-demand industries like technology, engineering, and finance.

These days, many employers are finding themselves faced with the exact opposite situation – whether or not to take a chance on someone who is obviously underqualified for the position. While your initial instinct may be to say “No”, conventional wisdom is rapidly shifting to suggest that an apparently underqualified person might just be the right fit after all. Naturally, there are voices on both sides of the issue. Let’s explore each argument.

Proponents of the practice argue that an underqualified hire provides the ideal opportunity to nurture and mold them into just the sort of employee you wish them to be. Particularly if they are young and fresh out of college – or new to your specific industry thanks to a midlife career change – they won’t have had time to develop bad habits or to be so set in the ways of a previous employer that you will have a hard time getting them to adjust to your company’s culture. Underqualified individuals are basically blank slates. You can educate them and train them precisely the way you want them.

Oftentimes, underqualified candidates are hungry for opportunities to be enveloped by an employer and become part of the team. They are eager for challenges and ready to learn. Opportunities to prove their worth and earn new rewards and responsibilities excite and motivate them.

Opponents argue that hiring underqualified candidates is a complete waste of time and money. Poor hiring decisions result in the loss of thousands of dollars in revenue. The only way to avoid such mistakes is to carefully check each candidate’s qualifications and only consider those with the best credentials. This includes a degree in a relevant field, any appropriate licenses and an adequate number of years of experience.

The ultimate decision is up to you, but if you find yourself struggling to find enough qualified candidates, you may just want to reconsider hiring someone you would have ordinarily passed over. Think of them as a “diamond in the rough” or “raw material” as yet to be molded into the ultimate employee. It may take a bit more work upfront, but the end result will be all the better for it.  

For assistance with all your staffing needs, contact High Profile Staffing today.