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Why You Should Hire Employees Who Don’t Meet All Requirements

Note: This post originally appeared on Inc.com, where Hireology co-founder and CEO Adam Robinson is a regular contributor.

Job seekers have their choice of opportunities in today’s tight labor market. And to attract top talent in the competitive job market, employers need to rethink their hiring strategies.

According to a new study from staffing and recruiting firm Adecco, employers across the U.S. are facing challenges hiring employees meet their requirements. Specifically, respondents indicated it’s difficult to find workers with the desired experience (59 percent) and right hard skills such as specific tech certifications (57 percent).

Given these challenges, to fill your open roles, your team might need to be more flexible when it comes to candidates meeting your specific requirements. Otherwise, you risk taking much longer than anticipated to fill your open roles, which can cause your productivity and profitability to take a hit.

Below, I’ve outlined how you can hire employees who are likely to succeed in your open roles even if they don’t have the exact background or experience outlined in your job descriptions.

1. Assess culture fit during the interview process.

In many cases, hiring for culture fit can be more important than hiring for exclusively based on experience. If you hire an employee who checks every box on your list of skills and required experience, but he or she isn’t a culture fit, this can have a negative impact on your team.

Gauging a candidate’s culture fit is a critical piece of the interview process. Make sure to focus on culture fit during at least a few of your interview questions.

At my company of more than 200 employees, one of our core values is “Eager to improve.” By asking questions related to this core value and hiring employees who are driven by continuous learning and improvement, we can set them up for success and growth even if they don’t meet each and every requirement.

On the other hand, if you hire an employee who looks perfect for your open role on paper but he or she has a negative attitude or isn’t motivated by your company’s core values, mission and common goals, it can lead to decreased employee morale and might even drive some top performers away from your team.

Focusing on culture fit during the interview process not only helps you hire talent who will work well with the rest of your team, but it can open up your candidate pool to more job seekers than being stringent about the exact experience and skills.

2. Offer training and certification reimbursement.

Employees who are a strong culture fit for your organization are likely eager to hit the ground running as soon as they get started. And it’s much easier to teach skills to the right employee rather than try to mold a poor culture fit to align with your team.

When you come across candidates in the hiring process who seem like a great fit but could use some additional skills training, or is lacking a specific certification listed in your job description, let the candidates know how you will help them succeed if they join your team.

Consider hiring a candidate who doesn’t have a required certification on a trial basis. Once he or she is on board, your team can either offer reimbursement to complete the certification or set aside time in the employee’s first weeks or months to complete the certification. This will make new employees feel as though you’re invested in their success. And it will boost productivity on your team once the certification is completed.

In today’s competitive hiring market, if you overlook candidates who don’t meet all requirements in your job descriptions, you’ll limit your potential talent pool and it will take much longer to fill your open roles. By instead hiring candidates who are eager to grow and succeed on your team — no matter the skills they walk in the door with — you can fill your open roles with engaged employees sooner. These candidates might even end up being some of your best hires.

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