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Should You Reduce Hiring Requirements to Fill Positions Faster?

Aug 17, 2022 10:30:00 AM
By Linda Trzyna

in HR Trends, Hiring, Diversity

It's early Monday morning and you've received the infamous meeting invite, noting "We need to talk." You learn that you're about to lose one of your best employees in two weeks. How quickly are you able to fill their open role?

Vacant positions cost your company time and money. First, there’s the outlay associated with recruiting, screening and interviewing candidates. There’s the possibility of lost revenue if their absence slows production, or you need to pay overtime to workers who are picking up the slack. And there’s the cost of training a new employee.

Today’s candidate-driven market complicates matters further, increasing the urgency for a speedier hire.

To decrease time-to-hire, some companies have begun to relax their hiring requirements. That can be good for both the company and the candidate, notes Sepand Zarrabi, Manager, North America Recruiting & Executive Search for TPD.

How to Decide Whether to Relax Hiring Requirements

Before deciding whether you can be more flexible on the skills of your incoming hire, it’s helpful to consider the following questions.

  • Which skills are must-haves and which are nice-to-have?
  • Can you train a new hire in any of the requirements within a reasonable time frame?
  • Are the requirements sensible within the compensation range?

For instance, consider your requirements for an entry-level position. Are they realistic?

SHRM notes the hurdles many emerging professionals face when seeking entry-level jobs. It cited research that “61 percent of all full-time jobs seeking entry-level employees required at least three years or more of experience.”

It’s an old conundrum – can’t get hired if you don’t have experience; can’t get experience if you don’t get hired.

The Advantages of Looser Requirements

“If you are able to relax hiring requirements without compromising what the new hire needs to accomplish, then there are a number of benefits,” Zarrabi says.

  • More Candidates

Loosening requirements automatically widens your talent pool, increasing the chances that your new hire is among the first wave of candidates.

  • Better Cultural Fit

When you loosen the criteria for technical skills, you focus more on the soft skills that help a new hire integrate and work well with your team. Candidates with strong soft skills also are more likely to be a good cultural fit.

  • Stronger Diversity

Evidence suggests that fewer job requirements can boost gender diversity, according to LinkedIn. “Research shows that men will apply for jobs even if they only meet 60% of the requirements, while women won’t apply unless they meet 100% of them.”

  • Train Them Up Right

If the candidate needs training, says Zarrabi, “you’re potentially providing some of your existing employees with the opportunity to train the new hire. That typically results in greater job satisfaction.”

Even better, you can keep their training in line with your company’s best practices. This not only prevents bad habits, but it also results in stronger staff loyalty and engagement.

  • Quicker Recruitment

With a larger, more diverse talent pool, you’ll be able to fill the position faster. This helps reduce customer frustration due to unanswered phone calls and emails or slower response times. It also helps control co-worker frustration, since it cuts down on the time they need to fill in for the vacant role.

  • Budget Friendly

Loosening requirements may mean hiring a person with a smaller skill set. The upside is that the starting salary of a lesser-skilled employee will be lower than that of a more qualified candidate.


In need of hiring expertise?

Staffing agencies like TPD are experienced in screening applicants to ensure candidates have the necessary background for part-time, full-time, temporary and contract positions. They can help streamline and optimize your hiring process to quickly fill open positions without compromising quality. If you’re ready to hire, get in touch with TPD today!


Filed under HR Trends, Hiring, Diversity

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