Broadening the Talent Pool For Your Job Opportunity

May 17th, 2018

Hiring Lesser Qualified Employees

As a staffing agency, we see it all the time. Lots of available jobs, but not enough talent… or at least, not the right talent. There is always a list of qualifications we are supposed to find in potential candidates: a bachelor’s degree, five years of experience, adequate knowledge of specific shipping systems, or skilled in a specific computer program.

In many cases, these job prerequisites make sense as you wouldn’t want a welder to show up to their first day on the job having never touched a cutting torch or grinder before. Or a CDL driver who just moved to Wisconsin and has never driven in the snow to get behind the wheel of a semi driving for the first time during a Milwaukee winter. However, strict qualification lists make finding the right employee like finding a deer roaming the streets of Brookfield… possible, but may not happen in a day.

As recruiters, we know there are reasons you should hire lesser skilled employees and train them to be skilled employees. Here’s why:

  1. Willingness to change
    While people who have years of experience in a similar role may bring things they’ve done successfully at other companies, they may also bring a stubbornness and unwillingness to change. People are characters of habit, and the “I’ve always done it this way” attitude ignores the fact that there may be a different way or maybe even a better way. Lesser skilled people are more moldable to your company’s processes, knowing that because they’re new they should expect and embrace change.
  2. New ideas
    Similarly, being in the same field and following the same processes for years can be blinders for new opportunities. Like people, many companies fall into routines and adopt an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude. Lesser skilled, new employees can bring a fresh set of eyes to your company’s processes. They may see inefficiencies more clearly and bring new ideas to the table. Like Occam’s Razor says, sometimes the simplest solution is the best, and people with years of experience can sometimes forget to think in simplest terms.
  3. More productive time on the job
    When starting a job you have less qualifications for than what the company was hoping to hire, it can feel like you are constantly behind, trying to catch up. It takes time to soak in all the new skills, and lesser qualified employees will be hungry to learn to try and get back on pace. Sure, training will take time and patience on your part, but from our years in recruitment, we know it means these candidates are more productive – spending their time actively learning the new role rather than watching the clock.
  4. Ready to prove their work
    Lesser skilled employees know they have to prove themselves to match the output of their skilled counterparts. They know they’re replaceable if it doesn’t work out, which means they will be putting their best foot forward at work each day. Mistakes may happen as part of the process, but there’s no better way to learn than to know exactly what not to do and what to watch out for in the future.
  5. Higher commitment
    It’s an unfortunate reality employers face that sometimes you spend all this time and effort training a new employee, just for them to leave within the first few weeks or months. This situation occurs even with a perfectly qualified candidate. However, lesser skilled employees understand that most companies don’t take chances on training someone to fill a role. Therefore, they are more committed to you and your company because you believe in them enough to teach them skills they don’t have.
  6. No old bad habits
    As anyone who has worked in the same position for years knows, it’s easy to fall victim to bad habits as years go on. Maybe you aren’t completing your reporting right away, aren’t keeping track of your mileage, aren’t properly cleaning your tools, or are letting papers pile up before filing. In any case, lesser skilled candidates haven’t acquired these bad habits yet, and because they’re trying to make a good first impression, they are going to do everything in their power to not just avoid bad habits, but to create good ones.
  7. Better attendance
    Learning something new is challenging and exciting. From our experience in the recruiting industry, we’ve seen better attendance from workers who are learning new skills and training for a new position, rather than from workers who are in a monotonous rhythm with their work. Not knowing what new challenges and opportunities the day will bring is enough reason to get out of bed each morning… on time!
  8. Less money
    While the big drawback of hiring someone with fewer skills than the job description is, of course, the training time, a big benefit is cheaper wages. It’s common practice to pay someone what they’re worth, not necessarily the job title you are training them to be. An even bigger benefit: if the employee is performing well and learning quickly, you can compensate them with a bonus or raise. You will be paying the wage you had initially planned on paying when you opened the position, and they will be even more committed to your company since they know they are appreciated and will be compensated for their hard work!

Requiring a laundry list of qualifications definitely narrows the candidate pool that you will have to choose from. Our best recommendation is to list only the absolute requirements: licenses, certifications, and experience with complicated tools/machines. On the qualifications list, leave things like a number of years in management in a related field or knowledge of a very specific computer program off. Having more applicants per job opportunity allows you to take other traits into consideration, such as how they fit in to your work culture or how their personality meshes with their supervisor. Ultimately, our goal at SourcePoint Staffing is to bring you the best candidates and let you select the employee that is the best fit!