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3 Reasons It’s Okay to Hire Less Qualified Candidates

August 15, 2013 by Bruce Jones, Programming Director, Disney Institute


All companies hire people. Some new hires fail, some become solid performers, and a few excel. The companies with the most successful employees, however, are those who have very intentional hiring processes.

Each candidate comes to you with a set of preexisting characteristics, characteristics which may or may not align with your organization’s values. The best employees are those who exhibit the desired behaviors of the organization in addition to having a strong skill set.

At Disney, we’ve learned not to worry about skill sets until a candidate has passed the behavioral tests, but we didn’t always get this right. It was during a period of extended growth that Disney hired several outside leaders with strong resumes and impressive backgrounds — they were highly skilled and filled an immediate need. However, these leaders simply were not a cultural fit. Several of these leaders ultimately left the company, further reinforcing the importance of hiring candidates who are strong cultural fits.

So when is it acceptable to hire “unqualified” candidates? Once the behavioral requirements are met, consider the following reasons a less qualified candidate might become a better hire than a more skilled candidate who is less of a cultural fit:

1. It’s more expensive to hire someone you will eventually have to replace again
2. An improper fit can cause disillusionment amongst other employees
3. You can train new skills, but it is much more difficult to train new attitudes


What behaviors would you value most in a new hire? Have you ever hired a less qualified applicant because they were a superior cultural match? Tell us your story in the comments below.

Image: Flickr User mrbill78636


Posted in Selection, Training, Engagement | Tagged Recruitment Strategies, Employee Engagement, Recruitment Techniques, Recruitment and Selection Process, Employee Turnover, Bruce Jones | 2 Comments


2 Responses to 3 Reasons It’s Okay to Hire Less Qualified Candidates

  • SEMEI says:

    on August 15, 2013

    When the candidate's values ​​align to Disney is more likely to be successful Incompetent management is very high price to pay, and not just monetary, but rather low morale for the recruiter who is wrong, the employee to be fired and peers who worked with him.


  • Carmen says:

    on September 20, 2013

    In my company I often hire people with little to no experience in front office positions. I found that often these people react better to the requirements of behavior that people with more experience.


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