interview1I hear it all the time from my clients when hiring — “I can’t find someone that is “just right” for the position.” Or “They don’t meet all the qualifications for the job.” Well – they’re wrong.

It’s a big mistake to expect that the possible candidates have to own ALL the qualifications for the said position. Why?

1. It’s unrealistic. Even in times like these, where there are a lot of people on the street, the system of finding the right person with the perfect qualifications is slim to none, and slims out of town. What happens is that the recruiter or HR associate puts unrealistic demands on every candidate at the start and rarely lets anyone with real potential in. They focus on capabilities and not on personality.

2. It’s not long-range thinking. Think about hiring for a bank manager. If you hire a previous bank manager with all the qualifications for the position, they’re going to be pretty bored within six months doing the same thing that they did at their last location. Once you learn how the company ‘works’ and all the people’s personalities – the job gets pretty basic after awhile. Then they get bored, sloppy, or start bothering you for a promotion.

You need to STRETCH your new people. The basic rule is to hire at least one grade below the stated position to ensure that you are challenging that person. What will happen? For at least the first year while they step out of their comfort zone they will push themselves and build new potential. In addition, when you stretch your pick, you might find that they do things differently from the previous manager — who might find innovative ways to attack their position and motivate their troops.

For those that are in the market looking for that position, use this info as a retort to the interviewer’s response that you might not have the requisite experience for the position (by the way – a frequent excuse used ALL the time). Tell them that it’s better to hire someone where it is a stretch – they will have more content employees that are consistently challenging themselves and doing things differently.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this – feel free to leave your feedback in the comments section below. Thanks!