Survey: 45 Per Cent of Canadian Job Applicants Don't Meet Skills Requirements, But Companies are Willing to Train Up

More than three in four professionals would apply for a job even if they aren’t fully qualified

  • 86 per cent of companies are willing to hire and train a candidate who lacks required skills
  • 58 per cent of employees have landed a position when they were underqualified


Toronto, ON — Should professionals mind the skills gap when applying for a position? In new research from global staffing firm Robert Half, HR managers in Canada said 45 per cent of resumes they receive, on average, are from candidates who don’t meet job requirements. In a separate survey of Canadian workers, 76 per cent admitted they would submit for a role when they don’t match all the qualifications.


Luckily for applicants, 86 per cent of HR managers reported their company is open to hiring an employee whose skills can be developed through training. In fact, 58 per cent of employees have been offered a job when they didn’t match the exact qualifications.


Workers were asked, “Would you still apply to a job if you didn’t meet all of the qualifications on the job description?” Their responses:









HR managers were asked, “How open is your company to hiring and training an employee who doesn’t meet the skills requirements for a position?” Their responses:


Very open


Somewhat open


Not open at all





*Responses do not total 100 per cent due to rounding.


View an infographic of the survey results.


“Companies that approach hiring requirements with some flexibility open themselves up to a broader pool of talented candidates who otherwise may have been overlooked,” said Greg Scileppi, president of International Staffing Operations at Robert Half. “While core competencies remain important, identify applicants who are agile learners eager to expand their skillset, and who take a proactive approach to professional improvement ― they will likely be more motivated to find new ways to adapt and innovate within the role, and provide greater value and commitment to the business in the long-term.”


About the Research

The survey was developed by Robert Half and conducted by an independent research firm. It includes responses from more than 300 HR managers at Canadian companies with 20 or more employees and more than 500 workers 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments in Canada.


About Robert Half

Founded in 1948, Robert Half is the world's first and largest specialized staffing firm. The company has more than 300 staffing locations worldwide and offers online job search services on its divisional websites, all of which can be accessed at For additional career and management advice, follow our blog at