Hiring the Slightly Under-qualified!

Those of us who work in recruiting are acutely aware of the severe shortage of qualified candidates for many skilled positions. With a local unemployment rate around 3%, many positions go unfilled for extended periods of time. Positions in Accounting, including Accountants, Accounting Managers, Payroll Administrators, AP Clerks, AR Clerks and Bookkeepers are particularly difficult to fill with the fully qualified candidate.

Positions remaining unfilled can lead to frustration from the overworked employees attempting to cover one or more empty positions. This can lead to turnover and morale issues for current employees. It also can lead to an overworked manager. Of course, being overworked can lead to unintended mistakes or late reports. Corporate managers or business owners are then disappointed. The impact of unfilled positions can indeed impact an entire company!

Actions to consider include:
1. Promote and train a current employee who has interest and knows parts of the position.
2. Hire an outside employee on a temporary basis to assist with special projects or certain tasks until the long-term employee is hired.
3. Outsource projects or duties that can be effectively accomplished by a third party at a reasonable cost.
4. Recommended Action: Hire the slightly under-qualified candidate who has some or most of the skills needed. Recognize that the new hire will require more time to train as well as more supervision in the short term. Odds are high that this will be a successful hire – just takes a bit of patience.

Strong candidates are hired quickly; companies are competing for both the fully qualified and the slightly under-qualified candidates. Make a decision on the spot if you interview someone that you believe can be trained for the position in a relatively short time. If you think someone could likely be trained to fill your open position, but are not confident enough to make a direct hire, use a temporary service to hire the employee during the training while you make an evaluation. Too many good hires are lost due to delayed decisions! Give training the “slightly under-qualified” a try!

Julia Aguilar