Should I Hire an Underqualified Candidate? 

When it comes to hiring engineers and their support teams, technical skills, licenses and certifications are extremely important when evaluating fit. However, STEM fields like engineering are facing a major talent shortage, which is only exacerbated when employers have a strict list of requirements they will not deviate from during the hiring process. There will always be minimum requirements that candidates should obviously meet, but there can be an upside to considering candidates who might not check off every single box on your wish list.  

Skills Can Be Taught 

One of the reasons why it’s so hard to find great people is that hiring teams get caught up in long lists of must-have skills and qualifications for a role. However, if you are too rigid with those “must-have” skills, you could miss out on a great candidate who could have been trained or supported in learning specific skills or earning certifications. Decide early on which skills are truly non-negotiable and which skills actually fall into the “nice to have” category.  

One Less Year of Experience Isn’t A Deal-Breaker 

Say you are looking for someone with 10 years of experience. A candidate applies who checks off a vast majority of your wish list but only has eight or nine years of experience. Don’t eliminate them without talking to them and getting a good feel for their expertise. You could miss out on your ideal candidate if you hold too tightly to experience requirements.  

There Is No Substitute for Passion 

Skills can be taught and learning can be supported. But you cannot teach someone to be enthusiastic about their field. Engineering is a stressful line of work so if you find someone who is truly passionate but they may lack a skill or year or two of experience, don’t write them off. Passionate people tend to work harder, try harder and are more open to new ideas than people who just float along doing their job.  

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Adaptability  

Engineers who are too rigid in their approach can be a challenge to work with. No project ever goes off without a hitch. There are potential roadblocks at nearly every turn. Budgets can change. Requirements can change. Even the weather can have a negative impact on a project. People who cannot adjust quickly to changes can drag down an entire team. Hiring someone who might be slightly underqualified but who is flexible and adaptable can be a great addition to the team over the long-term.  

Need Help Accessing Talented Engineering Candidates? 

If you regularly hire engineering and technical talent and you’re ready to partner with an expert STEM recruiting firm who can help you access top talent quickly, reach out to the expert engineering and tech recruiters at Selectek today.