What Would Happen if You Hire Someone Who is Overqualified?


What Would Happen if You Hire Someone Who is Overqualified?

When a candidate is overqualified for a job, it generally means they have a more extensive resume than a hiring manager expected. Such applicants are typically those with a higher educational background and/or level of experience than needed.

As you wonder how to tell if a candidate or employee is overqualified, rest assured that it’s not as unusual as you may think. According to recent research by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, about 48 percent of employed U.S. college graduates were in jobs that required less than a four-year degree.  

The Pros

The risks of hiring an overqualified candidate; namely, they’ll be bored and unmotivated, so they’ll likely underperform or leave, may be more perceived than real. Rarely do people move on simply because they feel they’re too talented for a job.

  • Are your employees overqualified? If so, there is an upside, as overqualified workers are generally easier to train, have already begun to hone their best leadership qualities, and offer top qualifications at a lower price. You can assign them important projects with minimal oversight. They’re ready to hit the ground running and put their past experience to good use.
  • You may assume that an overqualified person is just using their role as a stepping stone to something bigger. But a study of more than 5,300 employees revealed that those who were overqualified actively chose their jobs because of flexible hours, location, benefits, or other factors contributing to their overall satisfaction levels.
  • They’re ready and willing to step up to the plate. They’ve already “fought in the trenches” and as such, are not gun shy when it comes to tackling tough assignments. When they feel they can positively influence their work environment rather than taking a passive approach to their work, their turnover rate is no higher than that of other employees. They work just as hard, and they take greater ownership and pride in their work.

The Cons

But if too many of your employees are overqualified, it’s not all sunshine and lollipops. Be on the lookout for:

  • Job dissatisfaction: There also are studies showing a correlation between over qualification and job dissatisfaction, boredom and even negative work attitudes.
  • Disrupted morale: When you hire an overqualified candidate, other employees may see your decision as a threat to their job security or future advancement. It could even go as far as people leaving your company as a result.

So, What Should You Do?

If a candidate piques your interest, and then you realize they’re overqualified, make sure they have a good reason for applying for your job.  

  • Get to know a candidate during their interview. If you’re unsure of their motive in applying, the simplest and most effective way to find out is to simply ask them. Are they out to fill a pay gap between the jobs they really want, or is there a better reason?

Partner with Frontline Source Group!

The hiring experts at Frontline Source Group can help you source, select, screen and interview candidates, as well as make the right final hiring decisions, regardless of a prospective hire’s skill set or qualifications. Get in touch with our staffing service in Dallas, TX. Contact us to find the branch nearest to you or read our related posts to learn more!


Tagged Staffing Agency, Temporary Agency
Published on Feb 27, 2019