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The Rewards of Loosening Hiring Requirements Often Outweigh the Risks

Amy Glaser, SVP of Enterprise at Adecco USA


While there is an array of factors that go into making a yes-or-no business decision— budget, resources and timing come to mind—it really comes down to one question: Do the rewards outweigh the risks? If the answer to that question is a unanimous “yes,” decisions often become easier to make, and they likely get approval from stakeholders in executive leadership, finance, marketing and operations.

Today, with their hands forced by a candidate-driven labor market in which it’s difficult to find sufficient candidates, most of America’s companies face a crucial decision: to loosen—or to not loosen—their hiring requirements for temporary workers— requirements such as education, experience, background checks and drug screening. According to our data, most companies (69%) are making the same “yes” decision: to loosen, or at least consider loosening, their requirements.

The risks:

  • Decrease in the quality and potential of candidates
  • Workers who can’t adequately perform their jobs
  • Employees who pose safety threats in the workplace

The rewards:

  • Access to a larger talent pool
  • Uptick in applications
  • Less time interviewing candidates
  • Ability to hire candidates faster and eliminate lost productivity

While it’s easy to compare the risks and rewards in a subjective manner, it’s far more difficult to do the same in an objective manner, but it can be accomplished. Each risk and reward are tied to dollars, and while it’s not an exact science—it can depend on approximations and projections—these monetary values are typically how companies make a final decision.

For example, when considering risks, internal data may tell you that the safety threats posed by a material handler have little correlation to their years of experience. Furthermore, different data may tell you that stating “five years of experience required” on your job ad limits the number of applications you get by 50%, forcing you to wait longer—and potentially have productivity lulls—before hiring the right candidate. So why would you require five years of experience when one year of experience is likely sufficient? You wouldn’t, especially if it can save you money without compromising workplace safety.

Not every case will be as cut-and-dry as the above example, but it illustrates how loosening hiring requirements for temporary workers can benefit your business’s bottom line. We do caution you; making the decision to do this should not be taken lightly. It should be data driven and include various perspectives. But if the data confirms that the rewards outweigh the risks, and your organization’s leaders are on board, we encourage you to take action. It might just be the best means of finding temporary workers in an increasingly challenging contingent labor market.

For much more data and insights on loosening your company’s hiring temporary job requirements, read our report: “The Case for Loosening Job Requirements."