You Should Never Hire an Over-Qualified Worker. Right? Wrong

A recent study found that there are some serious advantages to hiring someone who is more than qualified for the position. Hiring someone who is overqualified person sometimes means that person has the knowledge, skill, and time to be creative. And being creative can often bring benefits to the whole business.

To read all about it, click here: Should Employers Hire Over-Qualified Employees?

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4 thoughts on “You Should Never Hire an Over-Qualified Worker. Right? Wrong

  1. The reluctance of employers to hire so-called “overqualified” applicants has always struck me as ridiculous. Employers should hire the best qualified candidate, period. That being said, the disparity between the qualifications and the job requirements should definitely be thoroughly explored during the interview. Perhaps the person is seeking a less-demanding job, for personal reasons. Perhaps they enjoy being “a big fish in a small pond.” There are many other possible explanations. How long do underqualified — or marginally-qualified — candidates stay, once hired? If the over-qualified hiree leaves — or, better yet, gets promoted — within a year or two, at least the employer had the benefit of their superior qualifications for that period of time.

  2. “overqualified candidate”.
    You’re a football team (American football) and you want a wide receiver that can run the 40 in say 5 secs. A prospect runs it it 4.2. Is he overqualified or is he bringing more to the table?
    The job description says “BSEE” required, but someone comes in with a Masters or PhD. They’re overqualified somehow? Or is it the business is simply equating the higher degrees as the candidate needs more money?
    I can see a business being curious when they have a PhD in theoretical physics interviewing for a door greeter position, but seems to me asking “why” during an interview is the thing to do, not dismiss the resume out of hand.

  3. This is where it’s important to screen candidates well. Probe more during the interview process to find out WHY the overqualified candidate wants the job. I have a clerical assistant who has a law degree. She’s making a good $30,000 less than if she had a law-related position. But she’s taking care of sick parents and doesn’t want the long hours that a law office would require.

    Other “overqualified” candidates may be at a point in their career where they want to scale back and have less responsibility. Others want to live in the location of your company. Some may be caring for children or aging parents or dealing with their own serious illness and just need a less demanding job.

    This doesn’t meal they’ll fly the coop or be bored. It’s just where they’re at in life. Ask good questions during the interview and you can weed out those who just want a job, from those who want this specific job despite being overqualified for it.

  4. In my experience, I was a burnt-out middle manager who was promoted several times because I did good work. I never stopped to think if I would like the new roles. After all, everyone wants to be promoted. Right? Well I did really good at middle management and was targeted for further promotion when I worked myself to exhaustion. Everyone was flabbergast when I gave notice to work in a specialist position all felt I was over-qualified to fill. I am glad I was given a chance. I refer to my past experience as my “past life”.

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