In many cases, a job description is like a Christmas wish list. Managers might be tempted to throw in everything but the kitchen sink and then wonder why they have no applicants or perhaps no qualified candidates to interview. As we know, humans are much more than skills on a piece of paper. When it comes to hiring, it’s important to remember that there’s room at the table for someone who doesn’t check every box on the wish list. A job description is simply that: an index of qualifications that the hiring manager finds necessary. But where does the line blur between a must have and a nice to have? Let’s explore five viable reasons why you should consider a candidate who might not check every mark.
An awesome cultural fit
The importance of a healthy, vibrant company culture cannot be overstated. An amazing environment can cause top notch candidates to accept your job, and it can motivate fantastic employees to stay even if your competitors are trying to woo them away. Does the candidate reflect the kind of culture you have and wish to keep? A positive attitude and a can-do spirit are not elements that can be taught, whereas your software package, protocols and preferences can be. In other words, anyone can be taught how to use a system, but not everyone can be taught self-motivation. A great worker also inspires others around them and elevates the entire office — the opposite of a bad apple who spoils the whole bunch.
Perhaps the candidate has worked outside of your industry, but they have performed similar job duties before. Or maybe they have technical experience that shows they are capable of absorbing technology quickly. For example, a mechanical engineer who has Solidworks experience but needs to learn Inventor for your company. The kind of driven, competent candidates we represent at BIC Recruiting are more than capable of showing a hiring manager they have transferable skills and a passion for learning. In fact, a candidate who doesn’t check every box but who has a hunger for the job will run circles around a candidate who matches your wish list but who isn’t enthusiastic.
Does your company have solid training and development in place? Any candidate you hire will need proper onboarding to understand expectations and to feel comfortable in their new job. If you hire someone outside of the box, this can be an additional opportunity to invest wisely in the person and help to bridge any skills gap. By doing this, you show a clear commitment — not only to excellence, in general, but to the individual to help them succeed. This investment cultivates a sense of loyalty and reduces the possibility of the new hire leaving after a short time on the job. “This company has invested in me, and I owe it to them to do the same.” That is the kind of outlook you want!
Diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging are crucial initiatives. This includes diversity of thought. Take a look at your departments. Does everyone approach issues in the same way? Do you ever hear the dreaded phrase, “But this is how we’ve always done it?” Providing an opportunity to someone outside of your industry or outside of your wish list can add a different voice to your team. Someone with a fresh perspective and different experiences might be the exact thing your workplace needs to break out of a rut and solve tough problems.
Soft skills matter, too
What are the character traits that you find important when hiring? Many managers cite things like good communication, honesty, strong work ethic and flexibility. Someone who’s a rock star technically, but whose attitude stinks or who is lazy or full of drama is more likely to drag morale down than lift it up. Yes, the skills may be there, but what about everything else?
At BIC Recruiting, we work with amazing candidates who aren’t only great on paper — they are amazing altogether. You can rest assured they will contribute to your team above and beyond expectations.