Employees are a driving force behind any company’s success. For this reason, one of your highest priorities as a manager is finding the best candidate for a position. In contrast to popular belief, hiring the candidate who fills every job qualification is not always the best choice. In many cases, an underqualified candidate with the determination to succeed may be a better option.
Find out why you should consider hiring a candidate who may appear underqualified on paper.
The 70% Qualified Standard
Look for a candidate who’s at least 70% qualified. Since they don’t have everything you’re looking for, they’ll be more inclined to work hard and fill the gaps. Underqualified candidates typically want an opportunity to push their limits and grow professionally. These candidates tend to be more focused on not failing, letting down the hiring manager who gave them a chance, or missing out on a big break. As a result, they pay attention to little things that help them get ahead. These candidates close the skills gap, go out of their way to evaluate and assess their progress, and ask colleagues and their manager for constructive feedback. They’re humble, have positive attitudes, and continually work to prove themselves. These candidates have a growth mindset and seek challenges to fulfill it. They embrace work for the sake of learning, growing, stretching, and building their knowledge base.
Ability to Adapt
Look for candidates who can grow into increasingly complex roles. The ability to adapt is a top predictor of success at any level. Because skills can be taught, it’s more important that candidates have relevant knowledge and experience and be willing to change than fulfill all requirements upfront. To determine whether candidates can adapt, ask them to point out jobs on their resume where they were at least 30% underqualified and detail the steps they took to overcome this issue. Find out how candidates educated themselves, which sacrifices and mistakes they made, and other efforts they took to succeed. Find out whether they took on their own professional development or lost track of time when doing so because they were so engaged in the process. These are the candidates to consider hiring.
Potential to Succeed
Candidates who show proper motivation are very likely to succeed in a challenging role. Strong ambition to leave a mark while pursuing greater goals shows humility and investment in better performance. Insight, engagement, and determination are signs of potential. So are passion, intelligence, and alignment with company mission, vision, and values. Without them, a candidate with all the right qualifications won’t succeed in a role.
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