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Is Hiring Underqualified Candidates Bad for Your Business?

Since the pandemic hit in 2020, many businesses have come and gone, making the job market more unstable than it has ever been. A lot more people who aren’t qualified for jobs in the field are willing to apply, making it almost impossible to find the perfect fit for your company’s positions without a long process of scanning and interviewing all candidates.

Therefore, the age-old question is more important than ever: can the HR department be okay with hiring underqualified candidates?

hiring an underqualified candidate
Hiring an underqualified candidate could be a worthy gamble to take.

The answer may surprise you despite a few evident cons to the move. Of course, we do not recommend getting less qualified candidates hired or acquiring job seekers that lack many qualifying factors. But, if you can reduce a fair bit of your company’s requirements, underqualified applicants could be hidden gems that will potentially gain a huge profit for the company in the long term.

With the reasons listed below and tips on what important things to look for in a candidate’s portfolio, we hope this article can help your business find good employees.

Differences between Underqualified and Unqualified candidates

Simply put, candidates are underqualified for a job if they lack only one or two qualifications but believe in themselves and their abilities, or if your company values lifelong learners over work experiences. Therefore, they still have a fair chance to join your business.

An unqualified candidate is simply that – unqualified. They lack the basic knowledge in comparison to other candidates that already possess the right qualifications for the job. Hiring an unqualified candidate will require extensively more training and will likely take the candidate more time to perform their job to a basic level. All of these items can be costly for a company and also result in a potential loss of profit for the company. 

How to determine which candidates are unqualified or underqualified?

“Underqualified vs. unqualified” are two terms that sound almost similar but have quite a large gap of differences in meaning, as we have established above.

Aside from the credentials your company looks for in a future employee, people usually prefer to work with a focused, cheerful, and passionate underqualified individual rather than a know-it-all unqualified one.

So, to determine who is an underqualified candidate and who is an unqualified one, it is vital to look for the following factors while interviewing a possible applicant:

  • Transferable Skills
  • Ability To Learn and Do The Job
  • Great Enthusiasm, Desire, and a Nice Attitude
  • Solid References
  • Impressive Portfolio

Despite the cons of lacking the necessary professional background and requiring extra training shown in their resume, if an underqualified candidate can portray most of these clues, it is still a gamble worth taking.

Why should employers consider hiring underqualified employees?

It might come as a shock to a few employers who could not see actual advantages in employing people who could not attribute much to the position right away, but there are some positive aspects in hiring underqualified candidates that are worth consideration.

High enthusiasm for further growth and improvement

Underqualified applicants may have little to offer owing to a lack of experience, but they will usually compensate for this with their willingness to learn more and bring new ideas to the table to prove themselves to you.

An underqualified employee still has so much to prove and improve on.
An underqualified employee still has so much to prove and improve on.

Such passion would fuel many of their advancements on the job, turning them into exceptional employees.

Financial expedients

Because these applicants are underqualified, it is only logical to pay them a lower starting wage than a qualified or overqualified candidate, which would also do less damage in the unfortunate potential circumstance of replacing a member. They would also likely have fewer pay and benefit negotiations at the outset of their careers.

In essence, it is a win-win situation. The employer can provide the bare minimum to attract someone prepared to take the bare minimum in exchange for the chance to expand their skill set and work for a fantastic firm.

High loyalty

This trait is often regarded as the best characteristic when hiring an underqualified applicant, and it would increasingly improve a company’s long-term journey.

With millennials gradually taking over the workforce, the labor market will soon be flooded with young go-getters eager to jump ship and work for a company that pays the most, provides the greatest benefits, and has the finest working culture.

As a result, having green applicants would be a safer choice. They are usually fresh to the position or were terminated from their previous one for reasons not caused by them. So, because you have given them a chance, they would be more likely determined to prove themselves as a dedicated and hardworking individual.

A better opportunity to shape employees

Managers can provide underqualified applicants with material for training, mentorship, and molding. Overqualified candidates may be autonomous workers whose ambitions may pose a threat or risk to management. Underqualified ones, on the other hand, may thoroughly enjoy the novelty of the work and put more “heart” into it.

An underqualified candidate can easily be shaped into an ideal member to meet your specific needs.
An underqualified candidate can easily be shaped into an ideal member to meet your specific needs.

Furthermore, older candidates, employees coming in from a different field, and individuals coming back to the industry after an extended time may bring unique skill sets to the workforce. In some instances, these skill sets may translate, but in other cases, they can help to enrich the position and open up new opportunities.

Conclusion: Is Hiring Underqualified Candidates Bad For Your Business?

Every firm wants to assemble the most outstanding team possible and hire devoted employees. Some businesses discover that taking a chance on candidates who appear eager but lack the usual qualifications has a better chance of achieving this goal.

Take a chance on an underqualified individual if you see the possibility for long-term success in their history, skill sets, and attitude. With the correct investment in time and money, these previously unqualified new workers will soon become rising stars in your organization.

Contact Boulo Solutions, an Alabama-based talent company, for the best source of employees!

As a brand focused dearly on “helping working mothers and employers achieve their potential,” surprise yourself whether you are looking for a job or here to post one! You can reach out to our team at (800) 428-6473,, or even leave your info here for more details.