Do you have an Eighty Percenter as a candidate for a role that you are attempting to fill? Are you an Eighty Percenter pursuing a new opportunity?

An Eighty Percenter is someone who has eighty percent of the qualifications (hard skills) required to be an expert in a specific role.

Often times with these candidates, the remaining twenty percent can be trained in the short term. Companies frequently neglect to consider, and hence overlook, a candidate’s soft skills such as their cultural fit, integrity and coachabilty. These factors can outweigh the lack of a few hard skills and have shown to have a greater impact on whether a candidate succeeds in a role.

With the unemployment rate for degreed candidates last measured at 3.4%, many companies are struggling to find the right candidate. At the same time we are seeing some professionals having difficulty restarting their careers.

Hiring an Eighty Percenter may be the solution.

Now, I do not want to downplay the importance of such things as industry specific knowledge, experience with a particular software or a certain education. Such hard skills are very relevant when considering a candidate for hire. I do see, however, motivated candidates who are emotionally intelligent and a strong cultural fit being passed over because they lack one or two trainable qualifications.

Take a good look at these Eighty Percenters. Particularly their soft skills and desire to join your team. In many cases, they are the hires that will end up making a real difference for you and your company. Their energy, culture fit and willingness to learn may trump the lack of a hard skill.

What if you are an Eighty Percenter vying for a new opportunity? You are excited about the role, team and company. Questions about the cultural fit and your confidence in quickly getting up to speed are unwavering. What is your next move?

Candidates often forget to sell themselves during the interviewing process. You may be an Engineer, Supply Chain Analyst or Director of Operations but you need to be a Salesperson when interviewing.

So your next move is to sell yourself. Address the twenty percent, communicate to all stakeholders the excitement you have about the opportunity and the confidence you have in succeeding within the role.

Enthusiasm is infectious. Accentuate the eighty percent, demonstrate your passion for the role and give examples of you overcoming past obstacles. Leave no doubt in their minds that you are the candidate for the job.

Companies and candidates alike need to recognize the opportunity that Eighty Percenters offer. With companies struggling to fill certain requirements and candidates finding it difficult to restart their careers, exploring the Eighty Percenter may be the answer. For both parties, the soft skills, cultural fit and emotional intelligence may outweigh the hard skills.