Can a candidate be a match for a position despite being unqualified? John DiLullo CEO of LastLine (an industry leading cyber security company) summarises, “the candidates that always seemed to perform the best were rarely 100% qualified. Instead, it was individuals with lesser qualifications, but a burning desire to prove something to the world that made all the difference.”

I think it’s fair to say that we perform at our best when we feel challenged, motivated and excited by the work that we are doing and when I think back to the hires that I have been involved in over the years I think the most successful ones are typically when an individual has something to prove and a challenge to rise to. There are several cases that come to mind where the individual’s performance was particularly strong having stepped up into a new role that had more responsibility than their previous role and stretched their skill set beyond what they had previously done.

Having said this it is understandable with the pressures and the time constraints in the modern workplace (particularly in recruitment!) why the emphasis may be on identifying and selecting individuals that are already performing the role in question or who are 100% qualified (or even over qualified) as this may be seen as a better indicator for success or a less risky option.

As with most things of course there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach and each situation is independent to the next but it’s always important to consider that a new role should truly drive someone towards their professional objectives. After all, there is simply no stopping a motivated and driven individual who is given the platform to demonstrate their worth!