Recruitment Dilemma: Guidelines for Hiring Overqualified Candidates

June 28, 20191:47 pm1584 views

Dealing with overqualified candidates is tricky. Recruiters often think that overqualified applicants can be a threat to the business which can affect the company’s bottom line and overall employee morale. However, looking on the bright side, overqualified candidates can also be your greatest asset. For example, they are experienced professionals who can offer exceptional skills for your team so your team collaboration might improve with their presence. 

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A study by Kerstin Alfes suggested that a good partnership can happen if you place the overqualified individuals within teams where other employees are also high performers. Therefore, when you already have high performers in your organisation, there is a good chance that you will create a better team by hiring the overqualified individuals.

So, will you give the overqualified candidate the chance or you are still struggling with your dilemma? 

If you are still having the dilemma of whether to hire or dismiss an overqualified candidate, let’s us give you further insight. Amy Gallo in her research suggested that you should not do a quick screening based on a candidate’s credential alone. Having more experience does not qualify a candidate – same as having more educational backgrounds. If the person’s prior positions are not directly related to the job in question, wrote Gallo, there might be another reason why they want the job. So, between an asset and liability of overqualified candidates, these are more considerations you can think of.

  • Find out why the candidates are applying to the job that is below their qualifications. If it is because of the recession or bad economy, there is a high possibility that he will move on once he gets a better opportunity. But if he applies for the job because he wants to achieve a better work-life balance, he will appreciate it if you accept him in your company. 
  • Find out their expectations and what they want for the job. Then, ask yourself whether you or your company has the ability to fulfil it.
  • Ask them if they are flexible with the company culture such as having to report to a younger and less experienced boss.
  • Find out if he wants a fast promotion. If yes, think broadly whether you can do it in the near future or not.
  • Find out if they have extra skills that will benefit your business. For example, the overqualified candidate is very good at technology and you are currently in need of a tech trainer. If the candidate willingly offers his expertise to teach other candidates. Then, hiring them could be a good move.
  • Think about your organisation and its talent needs for now and the future.
  • Think of the future advancement and growth that meet both your demands and their demands.
  • Lastly, have plans and be careful as well as be clear with your plans for the new employees.

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