Hiring the ‘overqualified’


Motivating employees is a large part of keeping quality standards in the workplace. When you have someone who is ‘overqualified’ for a job, some start to question if they will be pushed to work hard. Managers may be missing out on the ideal hire by eliminating those who are overqualified from consideration. When potentially hiring someone who is overqualified, it pays to look at every aspect of what they could bring to the business.

What makes a candidate overqualified?
People with a higher education level that is required for the job they are applying for are generally what would be considered overqualified. There are also those individuals who have had a number of years experience in the industry that would make a starting position seem like a step down the career ladder.

The Pros:
The overqualified candidate will require less training than those who are inexperienced, saving you time and money not having to train new staff. They could be left unsupervised for longer periods as they will have more industry knowledge to get them through a task and can provide assistance and guidance to other new members of the team. Overqualified candidates are also a good source of new ideas and expertise, demonstrating creating problem-solving in ways that you may not have considered.

The Cons:
While overqualified candidates may save you money in regards to training, they may request a higher salary overall. If you advertise a job with a certain pay rate then it is assumed applicants are willing to comply with this, but those who have more experience may want a bit more for their work. There is also the risk that overqualified workers will be dissatisfied with a lower level role as they are more than capable to handle the workload and are not challenged. This could lead to boredom and low morale, potentially affecting others in the workplace.

Whichever way you decide to go, it is important not to rule out a candidate simply because they have more knowledge or experience required for the position. Getting to know an individual’s motivation and personality during the interview process will give you a look at what kind of worker they will be, which will be different from the side that shows on paper.

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