In the recruitment world, there are some realities that can be unpleasant at worst, and blessings in disguise at their best. When sourcing for new employees, one is bound to come across candidates who don’t exactly fit the bill.

You will encounter quite a number of under-qualified candidates before the right one comes along for the job req. For the most part, many recruiters will simply file the resumes of those candidates in a cabinet for jobs that open up down the road. Or they will just toss them without giving them a second glance. But, this could mean that a recruiter could be passing over a diamond in the rough — someone who could be perfect for a future assignment.

What can a recruiter do with all those under-qualified candidates out there? 

The answer requires a deeper understanding of the recruitment cycle, which we will examine here. It’s a given that every hiring manager will have a set list of qualifications he or she will use to evaluate candidates when interviewing or reading through piles of resumes. These qualifications could come from personal experience, the client’s request, or from someone higher up on the chain. Based on these qualifications, one candidate will be qualified for the job, while the other will be under-qualified.

Because of a lack of certain qualifications, many candidates will not be considered for the open job. Rejected candidates include those who have yet to graduate from college, those who are unemployed, those who are job hoppers and those who do not hold the required degree. But, does this mean one should forget about the great qualities that a candidate like this may have? After all, a candidate could be perfect for another opportunity.

There are a handful of different things you can do with some of the candidates who apply for your open jobs, but are actually under-qualified. Read on…

Hire Them for an Entry Level Position

Every company out there has different qualifications and candidate needs. Some might not be able to wait for the perfect candidate either. If this is the case, consider hiring an underqualified candidate for an entry level job that he or she can turn into the job for which they originally applied. Candidates who are not qualified for your original opening, but offered an entry level job will work hard to impress the company and move up the ladder when the opportunity arises.

Hire Them for Temporary Work

Another option is to hire the underqualified candidate for a temporary job at your company. This will allow you extra time to evaluate the candidate and make an informed decision as to whether or not they should be added to your payroll full-time. The best way to do this is to work with a staffing firm in your area. The firm will be able to conduct the background check, the interview, onboarding and payroll work prior to the candidate’s first day on the job.

Take the Candidate on as a Contractor

You could also hire the under-qualified candidate as an independent contractor for a future project. Your company might have heavier workloads from season to season, which is when you might need some extra help. This could be when you hire the candidate as a contractor. This is an excellent way for your company to save money while also evaluating the candidate for a potential full-time position with the company.

Refer the Candidate to Another Company

Instead of just throwing out their resume, send it to a sister company or client that is looking for entry level workers. You could also refer the candidate to a staffing agency. This will build a strong relationship between your company and the candidate, even though he or she did not get hired for the job.

It comes with the territory when making hiring decisions that you will come across under-qualified candidates. You need to know how to handle them. If you take at least one thing away from today’s post, you should have no trouble at all dealing with under-qualified candidates to improve your recruitment processes.

Tess Taylor

Tess Taylor is the Founder and CEO of HR Knows

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