Hire the potential

The UK’s staff shortage crisis is worsening each day, and the gap between over / underqualified workers and suitable job roles has never been larger. The pandemic has undoubtedly upended the dynamic in which many businesses function, leaving certain industries in high demand with major staff shortages and vice versa.

For business and for some of our clients, this means considering candidates that wouldn’t typically meet the job criteria. Is this a blessing in disguise?

Traditionally but more so in the past decade, we have seen growing limitations around examination / degree-based application criteria, detailed in many cases as the employer’s expectations for those wanting to apply. Whilst academia remains relevant in the fine-tuning process of recruiting, employers must keep conscious that qualifications should not solely be used as a filtering tool. As a result, we have seen this widen the career-skills gap even further for potential applicants.

For employers inundated by inadequate applications due to the long-term employment crisis, it can be difficult to know where the line is with exploring potentially successful workers who don’t quite hit the mark vs downright time-wasting on applicants who don’t fit the mould.

Whether you are the eager-to-learn but ‘underqualified’ candidate, or someone struggling to recruit the talent, it’s worth remembering the big picture. Is this person self-motivated, a natural leader and problem solver? Do they fit in with the company culture? Do they have career aspirations? Are they trainable?

These are all extremely important questions that determine whether you’re making a sustainable and smart decision for the company. Consider that even with similar industry hires, every business does things differently and standards may differ from company to company.

Given the scarcity of top talent, employers do need to have standards to provide staff with a way of working to aspire for. This needs to be further supplemented by the employer’s ability to invest, facilitate, and nurture staff to bring the best out of them and continue raising the bar of not only your way of working but also your culture as an invested employer.

Believe in your people and they will believe in your business. Homegrown talent can be underrated.

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