Why under-qualified person may be hired

Qualifying for a job might go beyond the usual consideration such as level of education, experience or age. File Photo.

What you need to know:

  • Talent. A company may decide to employ an under qualified person because of their exceptional talent.
  • Nurturing talent. Some companies are known to hone skills. They identify traits of potential stars which they nurture to make the person a valuable addition of society.

Applying for a job that you are technically not qualified for might seem crazy but who knows luck could be on your side.
Job applicants could be under qualified due to age, education or experience but this varies from one organisation to another.

“One should put in mind that there is a checklist used for one to be contacted for employment. This, in most cases, puts into consideration your experience and qualification.
However, it is unlikely that candidates will tick all the boxes,” notes Paul Wayero, a consultant at Meal. So why would a company hire an under-qualified applicant?

Impression and motivation
Impression combined with motivation to learn is key for recruitment irrespective of qualification. “There were a handful of instances when we (the employers) at the time met someone a little too junior who we just could not let back onto the ‘street’. Sometimes we would discuss how we could support that person and ensure he or she succeeds. There were also a few instances where it was hard to let go of a good, although under-qualified candidate,” Wayero says.

Willingness to learn
Attitude defines a good employer. It is a ‘price tag’ that determines or shows how valuable one is.
According to Nixon Ochatre, the executive director of Private Education Development Network, in most cases good employees have a positive attitude and zeal to learn. They are usually reliable and committed to their work.
Such positive attitude, Ochatre says, is the greatest value that any employer would desire. Qualification doesn’t necessarily mean an employee is good.

“Companies would rather hire an employee who works hard, is reliable, committed to their work and also willing to work other than one who thinks they have all the experience and academic qualification but lack other qualities,” he says.
Such employees (good but under qualified) can be improved through identifying training needs and come up with opportunities that will give them required experience and an opportunity to learn on the job.

Leadership and performance potential
According to Moses Ssesanga, a human resource personnel, employers normally consider certain potentials such as leadership or performance because “companies look at the future and want to tap into the applicant’s potentials”.
However, he says, most companies will stick on existing recruitment policies and culture, which as David Omoding says might require the company to play by the book.
Many companies, he says will strictly recruit a person based on required qualification including education, work experience and age.

However, he notes other companies will choose to improve their capacity through recruiting inexperienced people and training them through furthering their education or sponsor them for specialised courses.
“This applies to organisations that have a vision of grooming or nurturing fresh talent,” Omoding, who is a communications officer at Platform for Labour Action, says.

Longevity in work place
According to Omoding, usually, the highly skilled and experienced candidates have a wide market to cast their net and could change jobs anytime while those with less could opt to settle in one place for some time as they gain experience and knowledge.
However, Yassin Musosi believes that it takes exceptional talent or targets to employ an unqualified job applicant.
This, he says, is derived from the HR guiding policies which in most cases will specify who to employ, their level of education and education.
Therefore, even when an unqualified applicant has performed well during the interview, the HR policy might force them not to be considered.

There is need, according to Musosi, to adhere to the processes to avoid falling in the trap of bleaching laid down policies to favour an applicant.

Such bleaches are bound to create questions or discontent among employees who might question why the company has had to recruit an under or unqualified persons.
However it is a considered view that less-established or under qualified employees have room for growth. They are fresh and eager, not fatigued or scarred.
Such employees are also hired to bring in new blood that may bring fresh ideas and perspectives to old problems.
Their enthusiasm can be infectious and their naiveté could turn out the gold to drive the company ahead.
In most cases they are not afraid to ask, “why”. They will ask the most innocent questions, which gives them to learn
They might also be able to bring in or preach that much needed positive change.

The issues
Considerations. In most cases you need to consider the strong case for the traditionally unqualified hire. Not every company, particularly in the early stages, can afford to hire an established superstar. Therefore it is important that they go for the fresh ones because most companies, particularly in the growth phase, are better off discovering potential stars.
Nurturing talent. Some companies are known to hone skills. They identify traits of potential stars which they nurture to make the person a valuable addition of society.