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Should you consider under-qualified candidates for your company? Every company, big and small, wants the most brilliant and talented candidates to work for them. Many people need a job, and companies require top performers.

But hiring the most brilliant and talented ones is not that easy. By listing a specific set of qualifying factors in terms of education, skills, and experience, hiring managers can distinguish and choose the most desirable candidates from the bad ones. 

But what about under-qualified candidates? Are they outstanding and talented?

Most hiring managers and employers will reject candidates who do not meet their expectations or qualifying criteria. For many employers, it seems quite natural to consider candidates who meet their standard criteria. But, is this a wise practice?

You will not consider a job application received from an under-qualified candidate. Do you know that hiring an under-qualified staff might reap huge benefits for your organization?

Hiring someone with a different experience or lack of experience may pave the way for new ideas and valuable contributions.

Under-qualified candidates may have the potential to blow your mind with innovative and unique approaches to problems. Hidden talent is a boon to any company; the super-productive nature of such candidates can be accessed during critical times.

Hiring someone with qualifications above and beyond the requirement is also an option that will support your organization. But, hiring someone who lacks certain credentials for a particular role may be the best option. Let’s see how hiring candidates who may not have the qualifications is beneficial to a company in many ways.


  • Under qualified candidates are psyched to learn and grow professionally.
  • Hiring an under-qualified candidate is a win-win situation.
  • Perfect candidates just do not exist, which is why you should consider hiring the ‘Best Candidates’.
  • Hiring a less qualified candidate is not risky for a company 
  • Hiring someone who is under-qualified minimizes the loss output 

Why You Should Hire Under-Qualified Candidates for Your Company

Recruiter hiring under-qualified candidates

1. Under-Qualified Candidates Tend to Be More Loyal

Taking a chance on underqualified candidates looking forward to learning new things about the industry will pay off. If you show some faith in under-qualified candidates, train them, and help them to realize their true potential and shine, they may be grateful to you.

Grateful employees are more likely to become loyal and enthusiastic workers who take immense pride in their work.

The eagerness and enthusiasm with which the under-qualified candidates enter the company can be a boon to the company in several ways. Underqualified candidates are more likely to work in a company for a longer time than the qualified employees.

2. Curious to Learn New Things

Under qualified candidates are psyched to learn and grow professionally unlike employees stuck in their ways. They are looking at the job role offered as an excellent opportunity to learn new things and enhance their skills. If you provide them a chance to gain knowledge or learn new things, they will take it without any hesitation.

Under qualified candidates are always on the go to prove themselves. Should you invite them for an interview, they’ll undoubtedly vow you with their zeal and, once hired, will immediately dive into the new role to learn as much as they can and share it with your company.

3. They Possess Unique Skill Sets

Under qualified candidates need not necessarily be freshers. They may be experienced/older candidates who may be from different industries or individuals returning to the workforce after a long time. These candidates will often possess skill sets that are unique to a workforce that could be beneficial to your organization.

One of the main reasons to consider hiring under-qualified yet passionate workers is that these people possess unique and amazing talents that can be nurtured by your company.

4. Fewer Salary Expectations

Qualified candidates will likely not settle for a job offer without negotiating their desired salary and benefits. It could be anything from higher pay, more holidays, or other job perks. Under qualified candidates do not make such outright demands, and they accept whatever they’re offered out of the gate. Reduced salary and fewer benefit expectations should not be the primary motivation for hiring less qualified candidates.

Hiring an under-qualified candidate is a win-win situation for both the candidate and the company. The company can offer the bare minimum to onboard someone who is quite willing to accept the bare minimum in exchange for the opportunity to learn and grow with the company.

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5. Financial Benefits for the Company

Hiring a less qualified candidate is not risky for a company because the total amount invested in that candidate would be less if it quits it won’t cost much to find a new replacement. This approach can be much helpful to new companies or companies who are struggling to make a huge turn over during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

What may be a low or unimpressive salary to qualified or an overqualified candidate can seem like a gold package for under-qualified candidates/employees. All companies seek to hire great candidates and get the most out of them. Hiring less qualified candidates can be financially beneficial to companies. Hiring them means you can offer them less salary than you would for those with many years of working experience.

6. It Saves Time and Resources

Hiring someone who is under-qualified minimizes the loss output as it can be done sooner. It also means that you’re hiring someone with less investment and resources. Finding the perfect candidate whose CV is adorned with all the laurels, skills, and qualifications might take a lot more time and consume more resources.

7. True Talent Doesn’t Need Qualification Always

This is one of the most important reasons to consider under-qualified candidates and not ignore them. The main goal of HR is to hire someone who will thrive in a role and deliver amazing results to the company’s growth. A candidate’s talent cannot be judged by his/her qualifications.

When you find a candidate who has a real talent, which could be valuable for your organization doesn’t reject the application if the candidate is under-qualified. Doing so, you might let that talent be taken advantage of by one of your competitors.

8. They Possess a Striking Work Approach

Inexperienced/under-qualified candidates are more comfortable to train. You can train them to perform tasks exactly the way you want them to. Underqualified candidates who are freshers or employees who are new to the field can bring fresh ideas and perspectives that may be beneficial to your workforce.

They can come with new ideas and strategies, brainstorm them for improvements, and shake things in a way that veteran employees wouldn’t. With their unique approach towards work, less qualified candidates or employees can inspire creativity, productivity, and drive improvement.

Each company may have 100+ reasons to consider candidates under qualified or inexperienced. But the hard truth that companies and organizations have to accept is that an individual’s true potential can’t be judged by the few lines written on a piece of paper!

An under-qualified candidate is not likely going to have a full-fledged 2-page resume. As a result, many less qualified candidates who may have a strong potential are rejected and their resumes are tossed into the trash.

You may not be interested in hiring under-qualified candidates, but let us break a few reasons why you should consider hiring under-qualified candidates for your company.

artist working late at night

Shortage of Qualified Candidates/Talents

Every hiring manager or head hunter is aware of the fact that the shortage of qualified candidates is prevalent across many industries. Although employers face huge struggles in trying to fill vacancies, an individual’s ability to get the work done is often neglected by the hiring managers who only focus on the skills mentioned in a resume. Waiting for the ‘Perfect Candidate’ while ignoring the potential candidates is not a wise thing to do.

Perfect candidates just do not exist, which is why you should consider hiring the ‘Best Candidates’. The ManpowerGroup Talent Shortage Survey indicates that about 34% of employers are finding it difficult to hire people with the right skills. As there are not enough qualified candidates in the marketplace it does make sense to hire under-qualified candidates with high potential and then train them.

 Rising Levels of Unemployment

The level of unemployment is still relatively high in many countries and in the current situation of the COVID-19 crisis, the level of unemployment is soaring to the sky. This also implies that several qualified candidates are unable to land a good job. Hiring and training such as qualified staff with high-potential can be beneficial to the company if deployed effectively.

Millennials Are Entering the Workforce

Millennials will replace the experienced and veteran employees very soon. This means that the candidate pool will become less qualified and experienced in the years to come. So, employers and organizations around the world will be forced to lower candidate expectations or deal with the shrinking workforce.

Do not reject a candidate just because he/she is underqualified. There’s more to what an under-qualified candidate can probably offer you and your company.

The pros of hiring under-qualified candidates include:

  • Increased loyalty as you offered them a great chance.
  • Fresh and creative ideas at your desk.
  • Passion about learning and evolving.
  • Determination to grow as a professional.
  • Fewer demands or negotiations on salary and job benefits.
  • No bad habits to correct or get rid of.

It is difficult to judge whether a candidate who has experience or no experience would be a suitable fit for a job role or not. It is also not easy to know the level of training someone will need to or how they’ll handle a position until they’re in it.

Every one of us can grow and learn. Hiring intelligent and skilled candidates, even though they may be underqualified, will be fruitful. They are more eager to learn new things and are totally open to new experiences and new ways of learning things.

What Are the Traits to Look Out For?

As a recruiter, you should be looking for candidates who possess high levels of enthusiasm, self-motivation, and self-accountability. People with these qualities are capable of learning new things quickly and efficiently. They are ambitious and will drive themselves towards success.

Some traits are far more important than qualifications and experience. Recruiters must look for under-qualified candidates with the right traits and experience that is transferable.

Hiring someone just based on one criterion is not a good thing to do. Hiring under-qualified candidates can be a serious risk and could affect the organization in many ways.

Hiring under-qualified candidates could probably:

  • Harm the reputation of the organization.
  • Damage company goodwill.

The quality of work might decrease, and hiring such candidates can be a waste of time. 

Even though hiring under-qualified candidates are rife with challenges and, the disadvantages are overshadowed by advantages and attractive prospects for the company.

Every single person is unique, with different talents and skills. So, never immediately exclude people. Take every criterion into consideration and carefully decide if a candidate is worth the hire or not.

Working while Quarantine

Identify promising under-qualified candidates who:

  • Show signs of being a great worker.
  • Are humble, conscientious, and willing to accept their mistakes.
  • Enthusiastic.
  • Willing to learn new things.
  • Fit the company culture and values.
  • Are good team players and leaders.

Final Thoughts

In this current starved climate, it is obvious that employers are relaxing their requirements for a desirable candidate and considering giving chances to under-qualified candidates. Hiring is a risky process and it is the ultimate responsibility of the HR or hiring manager to take a leap of faith. 

Why not hire under-qualified candidates when you can see an immense amount of potential for success in them?

The best way to hire an under-qualified candidate is to identify high-potential people, nurture them and groom them into superstars.

Under qualified candidates may be hidden gems whose contribution could be highly beneficial for your organization. Hence, do not fear to take an unconventional approach to hire candidates smartly.

Written By
Nithish S is a professional content writer who is passionate about blogging and creative writing. As a distinguished writer at Workex, he frequently writes about the latest and evolving trends in job search and recruitment. Also, involved in content strategizing and content marketing, he focuses on maximizing user engagement on blogs. Through his blogs, Nithish provides effective tips and strategies for recruiters and candidates and keeps them updated on the things to come.

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