Talking Point: The Disney Institute Blog

3 Reasons It’s Okay to Hire Less Qualified Candidates

August 15, 2013 by Bruce Jones, Senior 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

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

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