Hiring Potential: Viewing “Unqualified” Candidates in a New Light

When looking to fill a role quickly, it can be easy to dismiss candidates without experience in your line of work. The reality is this practice may be costing you the opportunity to think and recruit outside of the box. This is especially true when it comes to roles in the service industry, hospitality, and QSR, where businesses tend to see a higher turnover rate and need new hires to pick up training quickly.

If you’re looking to hire for the long-term, finding an individual who connects with your business and has the right work-ethic is much more valuable than a candidate with a few extra years of experience.

The benefits

Here are just a few reasons why you should consider applicants without direct experience in your line of work:

Skills can be taught. Day-to-day tasks can be taught in training, but a great professional disposition can’t. The right hire can pick up skills quickly and effectively, no matter their previous work experiences.

They’re a “blank slate”. Because these hires don’t have previous industry experience, they are much more open to feedback and guidance than other employees who may have a “that’s not how we did it in my last job” mentality.

They’ll be loyal to your business. Employees who have a highly positive workplace experience are more likely to stay with the business. This can have an even stronger effect when the individual knows that the employer took a chance on them and invested the time to help them become successful in their role.

Did you know that initiating a connection with a candidate can foster a stronger professional relationship, ultimately increasing your successful hire rate? Explore active candidates with HigherMe’s Talent Pool.

Here’s how to assess an ‘out of the box’ candidate

Examine their application. There are many ways to assess a resume and cover letter beyond a candidate’s work experience. The tone and phrasing they use in their cover letter can indicate if they have more of a social or analytical approach. Do they tend to use soft skills to describe themselves, or do they tend to quantify their achievements?

Also, pay attention to how they connect their skills and experiences to your job posting. Do they share keywords you’re looking for? If the applicant has taken the time to draw these comparisons for you, chances are they are highly invested in the opportunity and may be worth meeting in person.

TIP: On HigherMe, evaluate candidate applications more effectively by checking out their Video Cover Letters!

Assess their communication. During a face-to-face interview, take note of their responses and body language to see how it lines up with your initial impressions from their application. Ask open-ended questions and look for indications of their interest in your business, how they would approach training and acquiring new skills, and what they value in a workplace.

Consider the chemistry. Ultimately, chemistry is the one thing that can’t be taught on the job. Ask yourself if this is someone who you would enjoy working with each day, and if they’d get along with your existing staff. An individual with the right work-ethic who clicks with your team will be much more valuable than someone with a few extra years of experience.

Ready to begin hiring with HigherMe? Our community hosts thousands of active candidates just waiting to connect with you! Visit our Employer Page or email contact@higherme.com for more info.

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